June 24, 2009 9:16 AM
It's been about a week since my MCAT classes started. Before I tell you about the classes themselves, here's some info about the MCAT. The test is organized into four sections:
-Writing (2 essays)
The four sections basically cover all the premed reqs. The test takes about 5 hours to complete, with 10 minute breaks between each section. Notice that half the test isn't even science! You get 30 minutes to write each essay. I think that's where I have the most trouble on. I've always despised in-class essays because I can never come up with the correct word or how to phrase it the way I want in that short period of time. In college, when I write papers, I take at least a week to organize everything and write a million drafts.
In my opinion, the topic for the MCAT essays are really annoying. They usually give you some quote, like "Evil only triumphs when good does nothing." (I've misquoted this and I don't remember who said it...) In those 30 short minutes, you have to plan out how to answer these three questions:
1) Explain what the quote means
2) Give an example on how the quote is not true
3) Describe the circumstances for which the quote is true
I've pretty much paraphrased the above questions, but you get the general idea.
Besides the writing section, the other sections consist of 6-7 passages. For these sections, you get a score out of 15, I think. You get a letter grade for your essays, somewhere between J and T, T being the best.
Oh, I forgot to mention that the MCAT is now a computerized test! How unfortunate. This means you can only highlight...and nothing else. No underlining, drawing stars, or putting question marks.
Anyways, so this past weekend, I took my first practice MCAT...and I managed to completely mess it up. On the first section, I finished the first passage, but I somehow couldn't find the 'Next' button. So I hit the 'Review' button, instead. A screen pops up and says, "If you move on to the next section, you cannot go back." I thought, "Ok...that's not supposed to happen. Oh well..." and I click 'Ok.' Wrong choice. I was now on the Verbal question. I basically answered 5 out of the 52 questions for the Physical sciences section. Oops....so I completely freaked out and emailed the administrator. Turns out you can start over. So I did. This time, on the last section, I had 30 minutes left and the test somehow ended automatically for me. So that's my first MCAT test...great.
As for the classes themselves, they're kind of...boring. Hopefully they'll get more interesting later. Classes are 2.5 hours long, from 7-9:30 pm. By the time I get home, I'm pretty much dead tired. The homework load isn't that bad. Everything's pretty much a repeat of stuff I've already learned.
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