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MCAT Anxiety

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6 years 1 month ago #90661 by Zephyrre
Hi everyone! I'm new to mommd...I joined after lurking the MCAT forums and realizing that discussions/advice here are much more open and less judgemental :grin:

Here's the situation:
As a BS/MD I have to get an 8 in each section of the MCAT. I took the MCAT in May and got 10-PS, 11-V and 6-BS and so I have to try again this September.

I just don't know how to feel about this test anymore! I feel like my confidence just got shattered because of the bio science section and I am scared to death about taking it again.

I'd like to hear from people who have taken the MCAT after getting a somewhat disappointing score...what did you do to overcome your apprehension (if any) towards the test or the sections you didn't do well? How do you block those negative thoughts that keep you from scoring better next time?

Sorry for the long post, but any and all input in welcome :D

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6 years 1 month ago #90677 by mdstudent14
I remember being disappointed in my MCAT score, although I'm currently in my 3rd year in med school, so I guess it didn't really matter too much in the end. I never retook it or was in your situation, but I did have to retake a med school final (I was 8 weeks post-baby, I wasn't sleeping well, and bottom line was that I didn't put enough time into studying for it) and yes, I had a lot of anxiety about the retake, which I knew was going to be harder than the original (and in the end, it turned out just fine - I did great on it -- so I knew it wasn't a lack of knowledge but instead a lack of prep).

Anyways, my point is that you are going to have situations like this throughout your pre-med, med-school, and residency career, and you will become much better along the way of picking yourself up after disappointments, dusting yourself off, and finding a way to do what you need to do to get through them. Becoming a doctor is mentally exhausting, make no mistake. This is just the beginning. It's perfectly normal to be nervous, but it's important that you don't give up. You have to hang in there because it's the only way to make it through! Anytime a friend or I was disappointed in our scores on an exam, one of the other of us was always there to remind them that it's just one exam, it's just one day, it doesn't define who you are, you are still worthy of being here, and you just need to pick up and keep moving. Remember that. Because there will be many times you won't feel worthy, but you are. It's one of the hardest feelings to fight while you are on this path.

Study your hardest. Be able to look back and say that you put everything into it that you could and you have no regrets. You will be nervous until you get your scores back, you can't really fight that, but just try to push through it and focus on the work, not the anxiety. You did well on your PS and V (feel good about that! and take some comfort in it), but really take some time to figure out what went wrong with the B and figure out how you can improve. Also, be able to distinguish knowing your limits from just being afraid. If you really don't feel ready to take it again in September, talk to your advisor and see if they think that adding more time is an option worth considering. Good luck! I hope it all turns out well.

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6 years 1 month ago #90678 by li23
Thank you mdstudent14. Clearly I'm not the original poster, but your reply was very thoughtful, encouraging and timely. Thank you!

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6 years 1 month ago #90687 by Alitheia
The great thing is that you did more than well enough for your program on two sections, and you know what you need to study now. It may have even been one particular subject on the BS... the o-chem? biochem? physiology? If you don't know what was hard for you, look back at your study materials and see where you were missing questions or what you didn't understand very well. If you put time into studying BS, obviously your study materials didn't work for you on that subject, so you may want to try a different study method (tutor, online course, YouTube videos, audio files, a different MCAT prep book, whatever).

Or maybe you knew the subject matter well enough, but were distracted, overwhelmed, or exhausted during that section. In that case, take some full-length practice tests to practice getting through a several-hour exam, and do your best to get enough sleep, exercise, meditation, coffee, etc. Whatever puts you in a place where you can concentrate and think efficiently for half a day under pressure.

I took the MCAT 5.5 years ago and then again 3.5 years ago. I studied more with the same materials, and I don't recommend that. My score improved by 1 point overall, and I was still disappointed. I just decided to reapply next summer after trying to talk myself out of medicine for the last few years, and I need to take it again. This time I will be doing something different... trying to figure out what.

Good luck!

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6 years 4 weeks ago #90735 by Zephyrre
Thanks so much for the responses and support! I'm sorry I'm late to see this or reply, but now that I've read your advice I feel loads better about facing the test again.

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5 years 9 months ago #91431 by Zephyrre
Really late update, but I passed my MCAT in all sections! Thanks again for all your advice, I will probably be back on here once med school starts and kicks my butt XD

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