Which is harder? Tests in MS1/2, STEP 1 and MCAT?

<p>In terms of difficulties, is the order of difficulty like:</p>

<p>STEP 1 >>>> tests in medical school preclinical years > MCAT?</p>

<p>Also, how many tests do MS1 students take each semester? I know it probably depends on each individual school, but I am just curious: In general, do MS1s take tests more (or less) frequently than premed students in college do?</p>

<p>I have the question because DS seems to have taken 2 tests only since his medical school started a little bit more than one month ago (His schools starts later than most other schools.) I heard there may be another 3 tests or so before the winter break. If this is the case, it seems there are fewer tests at his school. (Another possibility is that he has filtered out some information because he thinks by now we probably do not need to know things like this :) It is sometimes easier for parents to know something from the Internet than directly from their child. This is the reason why most children do not want their nosy parents to pry into his private life like facebook :))</p>

<p>But I also heard there are more materials to go through. So, is it like more study materials per test but fewer tests? (I heard that, in preclinical years at his school, only the "official/final tests" count and they are pass/no-pass even for the "official/final tests." It takes a lot of pressure out of these tests.)</p>

<p>Probably Step 1. You’re competing against a far superior subset of students vs. the MCAT. You have limited time to study for it. You can’t retake it if you pass. It’s a longer test 330 questions (8 hrs w/o counting breaks). And it’s damn important for residency apps.</p>

<p>M1/M2 tests don’t matter very much if you’re in a P/F school. I just had to avoid scoring 2 std dev below the mean in order to pass. Even if you’re not a non-P/F school, first and 2nd year grades don’t count for very much when applying to residency. It’s a lot of material to learn but generally there’s not a lot of pressure to score a 95% vs. 85%. </p>

<p>MCAT seems like a joke at this point.</p>

<p>My iq is to low to come up with a witty remark…</p>

<p>Thanks for your reply.</p>

<p>“8 hrs w/o counting breaks.”</p>

<p>Wow! Just wow!!</p>

<p>“MCAT seems like a joke at this point.”</p>

<p>LOL. It is all relative, depending on the quality of the pool of test takers. Last year, an applicant down in the south said it took her like 6 years, a master degree in science after a BS degree, 3 years research experiences at a top medical research organization here, and 4 or 5 attempts to take MCAT, before she finally got a (barely) medical school worthy score (likely 26 or 27) and she was overjoyed. She is better than a student one year earlier who got into a medical school with a 24 MCAT via a “special route” (JAMP) for URMs. Go tell her “MCAT seems like a joke at this point.” She was from a family where nobody had been to college and she was likely the only one who speaks English (so she has a hook.) She did get into an in-state medical school in the end. She deserves it - considering her long-term “fighting spirit” to overcome her shortcoming.</p>

<p>Thanks again.</p>



<p>There’s no guarantee that she’ll make it through Med school or pass her Steps…it does happen.</p>

<p>Actually, she was accepted to a DO school (UNT - Is it also called TCOM?). She was also accepted to another OOS DO school (AZCOM). Her first MCAT score was taken back in April 2006: 6-----5------5-----P-Total 16P. Her fifth and final score was 27 with a lowest 8 on VR. Another hurdle for her is her UG science GPA is on the low side, 3.0 (not from a competitive college). She posted that she knew (right after she received the score) that she finally had a decent chance at a DO school. The school likely gave her some break due to her URM status.</p>

<p>In undergrad (princeton-econ) son had a mid-term and a final in each of his classes. Not really any quizzes, or bi-weekly tests, just 2 per semester. School for his 2nd degrees (biochem & micro) had them more often but really maybe only 1 or 2 more per semester.</p>

<p>As an MS1 he has them every 2 weeks, every Monday and his is P/F. Changes then to High P/P/F and then Honors,HighP/P/F as the years pass.</p>

<p>He is away this week in clinic assigned to a physician for internal medicine. He will visit/stay with this specific clinic and doctor for the next 2 years, visits every semester. All students in the class were assigned to one all across the state. Son’s is about 2 hours away. His next module (for the rotating modules) is anatomy, starts when he gets back. </p>

<p>The studying/learning is very different than what he experienced at p’ton, more akin to the biochem/micro but not as much as he thought. Less studying more doing, allowing him to enjoy it much more than he first anticipated. Much more so!</p>


<p>No bi-weekly tests at D’s school. One at the end of each block. First block was very short, others are about 3 months long. First test was very long, will see about second in about 3 weeks. I would way at this point, D. is much more studying than doing. She loves dissections, but they are not very often. She is still trying to figure the best mode of studying. Apparently, it is very different from studying in UG. After 3 months, she still feels that she is at the right place for herself, which is the most important, since it took her awhile to decide.</p>

<p>Just heard from son confirming how different his undergrad was from med school. Much, much more studying, researching as an undergrad. His new news was his senior thesis advisor for his major (mandatory at his UG) just won the nobel peace prize for econ.</p>

<p>Senior thesis at p’ton lasts all year, his took all year and then some! His was on healthcare econ here in US, with his advisor expecting so much from son.</p>

<p>So yes, UG very different than MS1. And as far as tests his GMAT was much harder than his MCAT, at least for him.</p>




<p>As I said earlier, there is no guarantee that she will make it through Med/DO school and IF she will be able to successfully pass the Steps.</p>

<p>There was a similar person in my S’s MS1 class. I don’t know what her MCAT or GPA looked like but I heard from my S and all his friends on numerous occasions about this person and how no one could understand how she was there.</p>

<p>This is a true story about her. During a lecture on sexually transmitted diseases, this girl raised her hand and asked the professor if she was concerned about contracting an STD when treating a patient. I am NOT kidding. S said the room went silent, the lecturer paused a few seconds and then carefully and deliberately enunciated " I am treating them, NOT having sex with them" at which point the entire lecture hall went into hysterics. Apparently this kind of question became so commonplace with her that the class would groan when she raised her hand.</p>

<p>She failed three classes her first semester, re-took them and failed them again and is no longer there.</p>

<p>URM status may allow some truly undeserving students to be admitted but it won’t guarantee their results.</p>

<p>^Which is why I’m against AA.</p>

<p>I do not know how we could tackle this AA issue effectively. But I think when AA is practiced at the college admission level or graduate/professional school level, it is often too late to remedy this. However, how can you do it at the middle/elementary school level, when you really need to start to intervene? Not everybody is Mother Theresa (except that you can find many in the medical school applications if you believe them :)) , so it is only natural that most families care much more about their own children than anybody else’s children. “Robin hood”, like it is practiced here in Texas to a certain extent in its top 10 percents rule, can only work to a very limited extent in practice.</p>

<p>An anecdotal example here, when DS was taking prereqs in college (the premed classes are sort of competitive), the failure rate of the URM students in these premed classes seems to be alarmingly high. To put it bluntly, many of these URMs were more likely to be blown away when they need to compete head-to-head against those students from a competitive/wealthier high school who have access to better education resources in their whole life. Maybe if these students attend a better-fit school, it may not be so discouraging for them to continue the premed track and they may be successful there in the end.</p>

<p>Also, at some college, some overly “science-lopsided” students may have a hard time if they are not into any humanity subjects. At some college, API or IB classes can not used to fulfill core education requirements at all. Some top ranking high school students (because of their prowness in math/sciences in high school) may have a hard time in taking some of the required core/common education classes.</p>

<p>My post was not a shot at AA because in many/most cases it effectively accomplishes what it is intended to do. In the case that I mentioned, it did not work and that may be the case for the person that mcat2 mentioned, only time will tell.</p>