Sunday, August 22, 2010

What's up with the MCAT???

I hadn't posted much MCAT stuff in the past month or so because I hadn't done much. I spent the past week reviewing all the wrong answers from the previous MCAT exams questions in my TBR book, and some embarrassing revelations have come to light. I mentioned this before but it bears mentioning again, that I tend to make the same errors in thinking over and over and over again, so the point in my reviewing the wrong answers wasn't for me to see if I could get them right again (because believe it or not, I barely remember any of the problems I repeat). I need to address why I repeatedly go down the path of what I call "wrong thinking" which results in me getting the answer incorrect no matter how many times I come back and repeat the question. The good news is that in >90% of the questions I miss, I'm quite successful to narrowing down the answer to 2 choices. The bad news is that I'm still working on choosing the RIGHT answer of the 2 the majority of the time, LOL!!! It isn't all bad though, I had used to have a success rate of only about 25%, but now I'm up to about 75%, as in getting the answer right when I repeat the problem. However, I think that needs to be bumped up to at least 90%

Strangely though, I have rarely had a problem with critical thinking in my career which is why I think I've seen the success I've had despite not having a PhD. But this MCAT thing, now 21 years since I first took the test, is something entirely different and it is obviously a "mental" issue. Of course, if it weren't a "mental" issue for so many bright students, it wouldn't be revered the way it is and wouldn't result in some of the strange things you see, like a 3.5+ GPA Harvard Chemistry major who can't score above "8" on the PS section of the exam.

If you haven't followed my blog long, you're probably wondering why all this emphasis on the MCAT (besides the obvious of getting into med school) when most people know that MCAT's don't determine the how well a person will practice medicine? The fact is that I've run out of fingers counting the number of people I've known and heard of who had low to mid 20's MCAT's (23-26) and who had trouble passing either Step I, Step II, Step III, or ALL of the Steps, and I'm simply determined to NOT have that be me one day. Right or wrong, I believe fixing the "mental" issue with the MCAT is a HUGE step toward diminishing the possibility of having Step "issues" in the future (although I know there are no guarantees). Plus, Docs are required to retake their boards after a certain number of years of practice, so it seems wise to master this early in the game.

Ok, I need to get into the kitchen now to prepare dinner early so I can study later!! :) Have a great week!!!


  1. I hate the MCAT. I'm taking a break from TBR right and reading blogs, haha.

  2. Hi Path,

    I plan to take the MCAT 2011. Verbal Reasoning is my Achilles heel. Do you have any suggestions for reading materials?

  3. Hi Mi, I throughly stand behind the EK books for MCAT prep starting with the verbal and math reasoning book by EK and obviously including the book with all the passages.

    D, I feel your pain! I've decided to take a break of sorts myself because burn out is NOT our friend when it comes to the MCAT!!!