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Why does everyone make the MCAT seem like death?

whs2012whs2012 Posts: 391Registered User Member
edited April 2011 in Pre-Med Topics
First off, please do not pounce me for saying what I am about to say. I'm just a high school student.

Okay,

Is the MCAT really THAT hard? I mean...I have an MCAT general chem prep app on my phone and I generally score between 80-90% on the test. I'm in AP Chemistry now and the class is very intense...so that might account for it, but I've taken practice test from that app and from another test prep website covering general chemistry topics and it's not that hard at all. Same with biological sciences. It covers all of the easy topics (I'm weird, I loved the biochemistry and molecular biology but not the macroscopical biology) that I covered in AP biology. I don't know. :/ Same with organic chemistry. Again, my AP chemistry class is intense. By June we will have covered half a semester of organic chemistry. And so far I enjoy it very much. My teacher loved organic chemistry in college (she originally took it her senior year in high school in Venezuela...yeah, says something about our high schools)...and she always has this big smile on her face when she's teaching the material. It's easy. To me it's a step down from general chemistry...I don't know why but it is to me.


Im also a really big science person. Anything with science is easy to me. Any other subject is hard. :( including math....which is why I hate AP Chem because we can't use calculators.

Also physics is easy. Probably the easiest of all to me, but I don't like it. I hate thinking.

My question is: Is the MCAT really that hard? Am I just lucky to find this information easy is this MCAT much harder?
Post edited by whs2012 on
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Replies to: Why does everyone make the MCAT seem like death?

  • whs2012whs2012 Posts: 391Registered User Member
    Oh. And don't qoute my "I hate thinking" quote saying that "being a doctor requires thinking". I know that. But physics thinking is annoying because it solves nothing. Medical thinking saves lives.
  • norcalguynorcalguy Posts: 7,541Registered User Senior Member
    I don't know who's been telling you that. I usually say that the MCAT can be studied for in about 6-10 weeks.
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Posts: 11,964Registered User Senior Member
    Medical thinking saves lives.

    Somebody's been watching too much ER.
  • Colleges00701Colleges00701 Posts: 1,790- Senior Member
    I don't know who's been telling you that. I usually say that the MCAT can be studied for in about 6-10 weeks.

    ^^^ I think the op was wondering why so many kids fail to break 30 on the test. I think it because kids don't put in enough time and prep for it. To me it seems that an average abilities with 10-12 weeks of prep should be able to break at least a 30, if they put in like 6 hours a day.
  • kristin5792kristin5792 Posts: 2,016Registered User Senior Member
    Why does everyone make the MCAT seem like death?

    Because it is. You'll understand when you start preparing for it, and you'll definitely celebrate (even though you'll be totally exhausted) when you're done with it.
  • tjb111tjb111 Posts: 234Registered User Junior Member
    wait. 6 hours a day for 10 weeks? that sounds like such a BA test, haha
  • whs2012whs2012 Posts: 391Registered User Member
    I haven't seen ER since I was like...12.


    And thanks guys! It was sort of making me horrified reading all of these post about how "horrible the MCAT was." That makes me much less stressed out. :)
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Posts: 11,964Registered User Senior Member
    My point is, if you are relying on the excitement of "saving lives" to get you through medicine, you're not going to last very long. Shockingly little of medicine involves life or death, and besides which even trauma surgeons will eventually settle into things. The vast majority of medicine involves managing chronic illnesses -- making your patients' lives a little bit better.
  • eadadeadad Posts: 2,759Registered User Senior Member
    To me it seems that an average abilities with 10-12 weeks of prep should be able to break at least a 30, if they put in like 6 hours a day.

    Not sure that I'd go along with the "average abilities" statement ....I think that history has shown that plenty of "average ability" kids find out the med school really isn't their intended destination after taking the MCAT.

    Let's see if you still feel that way after you take it. ;)
  • Colleges00701Colleges00701 Posts: 1,790- Senior Member
    Not sure that I'd go along with the "average abilities" statement ....I think that history has shown that plenty of "average ability" kids find out the med school really isn't their intended destination after taking the MCAT.

    Let's see if you still feel that way after you take it.

    ^^^ I guess I may have been saying that just to reassure myself that I will be able to get a 30 after 10-12 weeks for prep, for 6 hours a day this summer. lol, hopefully it works out.
  • cadriethielcadriethiel Posts: 127Registered User Junior Member
    lol.

    Yes. The MCAT is stressful and hard. The material itself is something that can be learned in your AP chemistry/biology/physics classes, or during the first two years of college (many medical schools do not accept AP credit, so watch out). The difficult part of the MCAT is the fact that you will have to memorize every equation (there is no equation sheet) from your physics, chemistry, and organic chemistry classes; then you will have to do mental math (no calculator on the MCAT), read passages, and answer questions using background knowledge (that you hopefully remember) all in a limited amount of time (and in my case, with a computer that shut down!). The stress will also come from the fact that this test will determine a large part of your competitiveness as an applicant (27 vs. 37? big difference). AP Chem (which was intense for me as a HS student) was easy compared to college chemistry, and organic chemistry was fun at first (which is probably the part you've studied) and a pain in the butt later on. Physics and biology were easy for me, and I barely studied for this portion of the test. Verbal reasoning is a pain, even if you ace the SAT verbal, VR on the MCAT is variable. Plus, the future MCAT may test your compassion and social reasoning (so glad I'm spared that, see the new AAMC release).

    So, now that I've added some perspective, I'll say this: as a HS student, you should not worry about the MCAT. When you get to college, learn the material well, and maintain a high GPA. If you are as talented in the sciences as you suggest, you will not need to study for more than 6-10 weeks to get a great score. Many people do not do well because they do not take the MCAT seriously (e.g. I've learnt this already, its easy, etc) and do not study. Those with 35+ MCAT scores usually study intensively for 4-12 weeks, and had a good understanding of the material before they started (it helps if you're a good test taker too).

    TL;DR: Yes, the MCAT is hard and stressful, but you can study and do well as a Junior or Senior in college. Too early to worry as a high school student.
  • eadadeadad Posts: 2,759Registered User Senior Member
    Too early to worry as a high school student.

    Thanks for posting this....I was going to say it and forgot to do so.
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Posts: 13,785Registered User Senior Member
    It is very very hard according to my D. who got decent score and did not need study one subject since she was Prof. assistant for few years. She spent at least 3 hours every day for a long time. She is graduating with college GPA=3.98. It is waste of time to worry about MCAT while in HS. Enjoy your HS years, spend time with friends, have fun! BTW, GenChem is the easiest of college science classes, college Orgo is much much harder.
  • psubmbpsubmb Posts: 96Registered User Junior Member
    Depends. Some people struggle endlessly with the MCAT, but overall I think the whole MCAT = death thing is overblown.

    The science concepts tested on the MCAT are incredibly basic. The reason people have trouble with them is because they took the easy way through their prerequisite courses, memorizing things rather than understanding concepts. If you insist on mastering every concept in your prerequisite courses and developing a rigorous understanding of the subjects as you go along, the MCAT will be a lot easier.

    Also, taking more advanced science courses can help. I majored in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The Biological Sciences section was made a lot easier by the fact that many of the things discussed in passages were things I had already studied in classes beyond the prerequisite courses. There were a few passages for which I could have answered the questions without reading the passage at all just from previous knowledge (albeit knowledge which is outside the scope of the prereq courses).

    Finally, the MCAT is more a test of scientific reasoning skills than knowledge. This is what gets people. Your "I hate thinking" attitude is going to KILL you on the MCAT, and in college level sciences in general.
  • phonyreal98phonyreal98 Posts: 1,964Registered User Senior Member
    I hate thinking.

    You'll hate the MCAT then. Yes, the science background from your BCPM intro classes is all you need on the MCAT. Somehow, it seems like on every practice test I took (as well as the real thing...which wasn't that long ago) the test makers had ALWAYS found a new way to test the material.
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