Monday, August 25, 2008

'Twas the Night Before MCAT

Dear Blog Readers (yes I believe that I can make 'reader' plural),

In case you haven't pieced the obvious together I am writing the MCAT tomorrow.

I am desperately trying to be zen about the whole thing, which is proving near futile.

I know that the score tomorrow isn't going to define the rest of my life, and that it will not dictate if I get into med school or where. It may throw a wrench into the "when" part of the equation if I bomb it as I will have to rewrite and reapply (oh JOY!) again next year.

Ahh, next year. I can't even think about that.

This will be the longest and most intense exam I have written to date. So if any of you out there have any vibrant words of encouragement, last minute strategies, personal anecdotes of how you were bombing practice exams and then shone like an Asian prodigy on test day, or tips for what/how much to eat/drink during the 3 alloted 10 minute breaks it would be much appreciated. You can email me at subtleanvil(at) if you don't want the blogosphere to know that you soiled yourself on test day but still got into Stanford.

I will spend the rest of the day trying to fight the urge to curl into the fetal position and suck my thumb and/or watch reruns of 'The Office' on my laptop.

1200h MST tomorrow...please send God/Allah/Buddha/Confucius/Mother Earth/Pan/Universe--whatever you believe in--- a shout-out on on my behalf.

Studiously yours,



Bostonian in NY said...

I know this seems stupid but for the essay section FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS! If you 1)state and support your argument, 2)illustrate an exception 3)synthesize and conclude, chances are you'll end up doing very well.

Other than that, just remember to breathe, pace yourself and eat a good breakfast.

Rogue Medic said...

The bad news - it is too late to do any real preparation knowledge-wise.

The good news, you already know a ton of stuff about medicine. Others, who have passed this test have been much less prepared.

The things you can control - get some sleep, eat a good breakfast (as Bostonian in NY mentioned, I haven't noticed him giving bad advice in any of his comments) because having a stomach growling at you is very very distracting.

The most distracting thing in the world is a growling stomach - and a pretty woman. The 2 most distracting things in the world are a growling stomach and a pretty woman - and a Ferrari. The 3 most . . . .

Relax. The people who need to panic are doing so because they do not understand the material. The more relaxed you are, the better your memory works. Anything you look at, from now until the test, is purely as a reminder - it is not studying.

If the MCAT is anything like the SAT in grading, when you run into a difficult multiple choice question, you should skip it and come back later. Since the number of questions you answer has a lot to do with your score, you want to answer as many that you do know the answer to as possible. You can leave a mark next to the question, put your best guess in, write the number down on the scrap paper, or some combination to remember to come back to it, if you have time. Make sure you do not do something that causes you to get the numbers out of sequence. I like to check the question number against the answer number every 5 or so questions, because this is something that a disorganized brain (such as mine) has problems with.

If you have questions, ask the proctor. Preferably before the timing begins. But you know this stuff.




Albinoblackbear said...

Thanks Lads---all good advice. Much appreciated.

I think that full bladder spasm beats growling stomach/pretty woman/Ferrari (personal experience during last o-chem final--er...not the car or the girl, the bladder spasm).

Hope I can make it to my favorite wine store before the exam (is that an inappropriate use of pre-exam time?) It'll be closed by the time the exam is's the only place that carries my favorite Champagne. And if there was ever a day for's tomorrow.

OK 20 more minutes of physics review and I am hitting The Office episodes for an hour.

Thanks again random blog strangers that I seem to 'talk' to more than anyone else these days...(is that pathetic and sad??)

Rogue Medic said...

Going to the favorite wine store before the exam is not a problem. Indulging in what they purvey before the exam, that would be a problem. If it helps you to relax (knowing that everything is set for a celebration), then go ahead.

Good luck.

You will do well.

Beach Bum said...

It's too late to offer advice, so I won't. Just hope you had a good day, and a wonderful recovery. By the time you read this note, the die will be cast, so release it and enjoy the next few days!



Bostonian in NY said...

Hope it went well!

Rogue- Props appreciated...

Dragonfly said...


Unknown said...

Night before the exam is fatal. Mix thoughts of how the exam would be and what would be the scenario to attempt it really frightens everyone. Mine was similar too. Though I was well prepared with the classes of Best LSAT Prep Course and their mind blowing latest material. Thanks to them for better understanding and helping me achieving desired score.