Sunday, October 9, 2011


I took the abbreviated MCAT diagnostic test today for my prep course.  Ouch.  Even my verbal score wasn't as high as I had hoped.  After being out of school for some time, my brain is pretty rusty.  I've been reading my biology prep book but I haven't touched upon the physics and general chemistry sections because I hated them in undergrad with a passion.  Also, at this point my analytic skills are terrible.

I am worried about the physics part of the test though.  I did fine in the undergrad classes, but I was also forewarned by several physics tutors during undergrad that the regular not-for-physics-students physics program at school had a crappy way of teaching physics for students that planned to take the MCAT.  Three hours of lecture each week seemed really inadequate to learn.  We spent 6-8 hours in lab each week, but many of the TAs openly admitted that they were so far into their own graduate work that the grossly oversimplified undergrad physics stuff seemed foreign.  It was very reassuring (not).  And sometimes, some people just aren't very good at teaching.

Despite that, I had a blast in one of the three physics classes I took.  Mainly because the TA brought her rescue tripod chocolate Labrador to class and everyone got to play with a happy dog that hopped around on three feet.  "What? I can play with the dog if we finish our work early? Hell yeah!"  She was a good teacher too.  Circuits is probably the only thing I remember out of a whole year of physics.

The TA for the following quarter wasn't so great.  One day a girl broke down sobbing, "Why are you so mean to us?!"  Lab was really awkward after that incident.

And that is what I remember from physics =D


  1. You'll get there! My biggest advice for the MCAT is to do lots of practice questions and exams, and to time yourself on the exams so that you get used to the time constraints (especially on the verbal). Also, don't make the mistake of skipping practicing the writing section because you think you're a good writer, or you may just end up with the lowest writing score that allows you to apply to medical school. (Not that anyone I know did this. Noooo....)

    Oh, and take a full day off from studying and other stressful activities the day before the exam. That was the advice my brother gave me, and it was so worthwhile. The exam day is utterly exhausting, so having rested and mentally prepared for a full day made it much easier to get through and I'm sure helped my scores. I felt really sorry for the(much much younger than me) people I saw studying for the MCAT in the Tim Horton's the morning of the exam.

    Good luck! It's just one more of the many hurdles that you get to jump through.

  2. (And that's my completely unsolicited advice.)

  3. Thanks for the advice!

    I'm already debating whether to take the day off work before the MCAT, even though I haven't even registered yet. If I get to hang out at the senior home I'll probably work because the old people are nice :P There's no way I'm studying the day before though. I'll end up creating my own black whole of anxiety that will leave me depressed and scared to death on exam-day.

  4. SD is right.

    Also, physics on the MCAT is not real physics. It's learning to recognize what formula you need to use really quickly, and learning how to do scientific notation in your head (also really quickly). I did much better in biology during post-bac, and ended up with the same score in physical sciences as in biological on the MCAT. You'll get it, you just need to practice. I think my score went up by 5 points on that section alone by the time I was done preparing.

  5. Yeah, I've noticed SOME improvement in my practice quiz scores (like, after I learned what things were). The great thing about Kaplan is that they have all these different ways I can torture myself by making my own physics quizzes of varying difficulties :P