Just finished up with the next to last AAMC full-length. After all my freaking out…here it is:
Physical Sciences: 14
Verbal Reasoning: 11
Biological Sciences: 13
Just a few more days left and it looks like I was finally able to escape the doldrums of the mid-30s. I was hoping to get a couple of practice exams above my target score, and it looks like I have. Most premeds would probably be dancing on the tables and I have to admit, I did allow myself to get somewhat stoked afterwards, but I’m still worried. I know….I can hear the eye-rolling from all of you now.
Perhaps part of the reason that I’m worried about the exam is that, as you learn and understand more things, the more that you realize that there are things you don’t understand. A lot of my classmates from my post-bacc think that a high score in the physics section is a lock for me because I’m a physicist. But that is a mistake – there are so many basic, simple physics questions that you could ask me that I don’t know. For me, momentum and energy conservation get really complicated because I have a hard time looking at situations from a simple perspective.
In my mind, I’ve sort of created an ideal of the exam as a test that is built out of all the topics I don’t understand all that well. Immunology? Well, I sort of understand that stuff, but I couldn’t diagram the entirety of the immune system from memory. Reproduction? Well, I get dudes pretty easy….sperm is made here, and sperm goes out there. Not too complicated. Chicks, not so much. They have these hormone things, which sort of vary with time, and there is some feedback and inhibition, except when there isn’t inhibition, and then when there is or isn’t pregnancy, there are more hormone things that sort of change. Organic? Yeah, I’ve taught a lot of it to others, but I’m still not sure that I get all the details of things like aldol condensation, elimination, or addition reactions. And I must confess, I have never understood Zaitsev and Hoffman elimination. Then there are all the complicated types of questions about meiosis that one could dream up. Oh, and solubility questions too – there are a lot of bizarro, confusing types of questions that you can cook up on a lot of these subjects that totally confuse me.
So, you see, no matter what score I get on a practice exam, I’m going to find a way to convince myself that I’ve been lucky enough to dodge all the questions I don’t know. That’s really what freaks me out sometimes – it’s been a problem for me ever since undergrad. At the end of the day, I need to just settle down, be confident, and trust that my chops are decent enough to get me a decent score on the MCAT. Because let’s be honest, any premed complaining about a 38 on a practice exam a few days before the exam is a douche nozzle and needs to shut the hell up.