Welcome.

Hi, you guys! Welcome to my first official blog post via WordPress. If you are reading this post, it’s too late- just kidding- But, you probably already follow me on Instagram and know I am super active on social media. So, I have always loved blogging ever since I can remember. I started off over on tumblr but I never really had a consistent production of posts. However, I have been wanting to for quite some time. So, here we are!

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Daniel Wellington means I am a real blogger. Am I rite?

MCAT

For my first post, I wanted to talk about MCAT-related topics, frequently asked questions related to the test I have gotten and so forth. It only seems proper to kick off my blog with a topic that is not only very important in pre-med world but also very sought out after 🙂
Before I continue: As always, I am here to keep it real and share my most honest opinions.This means everything I say should probably be taken with a grain of salt as I am discovering and experimenting myself.However,stuff here could potentially serve you well as I have a wide variety of experiences due to being such a non-traditional student.
Ok, let’s get to it. Lessss get ittt.

Materials I am using

After researching everywhere on the internet and in real life, I decided on the following materials:

  • AAMC Sample & Scored Full length.
  • AAMC Section Bank (includes all subjects)
    • I plan to go through this bank twice. I heard it was the most representative of the exam (even slightly harder potentially and thus,best prep as far as practice)
  • AAMC Question Packs( every single subject)
    • I plan to go through these only once due to time constraint and placing priority over section banks as those have subjects more highly integrated. Although, keep in mind the question packs DO offer passage format.
  • AAMC CARS QPACKS 1 AND 2
    • I took the AAMC scored as my diagnostic because I’m weird and wanted to get the best possible idea of how I might do without any studying. I scored a 127 after only doing a few passages from CARS Qpack #1 and let me say- it’s great.
      I essentially completed these Qpacks early on in my studying just because they were easy to get through. (see below on my personal CARS method)
  • AAMC MCAT Flashcards
    • I plan to use these as I review content, to quiz myself and just here and there to keep me fresh
  • EK full book set (ALL books minus Psych/soc)
    • EK is the bomb.com. Personally, I am not a fan of their psychology- I don’t think it is extensive enough. Everything else is great: EK does the best job of giving you that MCAT critical thinking skills you want to have/build on as you prepare throughout.
  • Kaplan Biochemistry
    • EK Biochem is good. In my opinion, it is not sufficient -especially if you’re like me and did not have opportunity to squeeze in a biochem class Kaplan does a great job of really spoon-feeding you the material no matter how new you are to biochemistry. They make it easy to understand and get a strong foundation – at least for the level of knowledge you will need for the MCAT.
  • KHAN Academy for P/S
    • If you don’t get one thing from this entire blog post-get this: KHAN is THE MECCA for Pysch and Soc. If you investigate enough, you will see hundreds of people who said companies simply did not cover everything but KHAN had most coverage and not just that but explained things very well. I agree so far.
  • Kaplan Psychology/Sociology Book
    • Some people are brutal enough to just use KHAN. I am not those people. I tend to be thorough minded + there’s that whole I have OCD thing. SO, I would used a company book to complement the KHAN info for this section. Generally, I will read the Kaplan stuff- add rel. Info to my study guide then add KHAN material to this study guide I have going, making sure I do not have duplicate info etc
  • KHAN Academy (supplemental to all of the above. self-explanatory)
    • Mostly for weak areas of mine as necessary. There’s too many videos- Ain’t no one got time for THAT. I mean, unless you do.

My personal strategy for optimal and thorough content review & practice

  • 2-3 CARS passages per day. consistent practice over time is key here.
  • ⅔ content ⅓ practice split everyday: with the ⅓ practice being as directly relevant to what was reviewed in content for maximum application
  • Excel sheet idea to keep track of section banks/Qpack answers and topics to make the above point easier
  • Teaming up with a friend you trust to be as diligent and complete with their contribution to your team

 

PSYCH STRATEGY

  • materials using: KHAN/ BRS BEHAVIORAL HEALTH/ KAPLAN/ GOOGLE because sometimes you can’t get everything on a silver platter you feel me?
  • making study guides pooling all info from above resources/print/put on repeat

CARS Strategy

For any line of reference: I got a 127 on AAMC scored with only doing a few passages from AAMC qpack#1 and employing following strategy (way before I actually got CARS under my belt hard)

also: Shout out to my kindergarten teacher. They were real clutch in helping me with my reading skills.

  • Timing: I don’t give myself more than 8 minutes per passage
    • Chances are the passages are much longer on the actual exam and I definitely do not need to panic about a variable such as time.I split up these 8 minutes:
    • Okay, I am abnormal and a really fast reader so I am generally done reading by 3 minutes.
    • In these 3 minutes, I definitely pay attention and highlight (mentally or literally) weird things that stand out, things that seem to have inflection vibes, weird jargon, things that are in a different language (jk sorry I get bored writing) etc
    • I essentially try to get a general idea plus mentally highlighting what I said above and don’t get fixated on anything in particular. Like, I’m dating the passage but not committed yet. Chances are I won’t need every detail-duh.
    • The next 5 minutes, I go question by question and laser scan the passage remembering where I mentally bookmarked things.
    • I try to answer the question to the best of my ability
    •  As soon as I feel myself starting to try too hard, I move on instead of spending tons of time on that one.
    • I do this until all questions are completed. If I have left over time ( I’m fast & weird), I go back and re-check and change ONLY if I missed something. I try to go with my gut first time around. Usually works for the best.

Week by Week planning

If you didn’t notice by now- I am heavy on the logistics. It would be too overwhelming to post the intricacies of my plan- I promise you. Suffice to say I broke up my schedule pretty evenly overall by subjects and more specifically/importantly- by AAMC guided bullet points. The exception to this would be getting 90% of psychology/sociology content review done upfront before really focusing on other subjects. Why? I wanted to get as much content into the study guides I made so I could print them out and just put them on repeat for the remaining weeks.

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weekly template as guideline to make daily to do list in bullet journal

Other than breaking up the big tasks into a weekly schedule, I then have a bullet journal. Please don’t ask how I do it. I literally make bullets lmao. Essentially, the week by week guide gives me an overall picture of what I should be accomplishing to stay on schedule. I don’t give myself any super super strict deadlines but kind of. So, the bullet journal -I take it day by day and this makes everything so much less overwhelming and flexible to be honest. If I don’t complete a task, I move it to the next day. If I somehow complete all- I might try to do another one etc.

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Moleskine Bullet Journal for Daily Schedule

Daily planning and Staying healthy

Oh,man ..this was a killer. My sleep schedule is weird so I have always had trouble maintaining a daily schedule. Don’t even get me started on factoring OCD and how that affects this. (cray)
I wanted to get in lots of time and still get decent sleep and workout for at most 30 minutes every day about- enough to get my blood pumping and refreshed -in the middle of the day to nicely breakup my days and avoid burnout. Here is my schedule. I should probably mention I am  on a time crunch and that is primarily why my schedule is this intense. I’m not patient enough to study months in advance. Oops. Gotta do what you gotta do.

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example of my daily schedule

I intend to start working out. Nothing serious. Just 30 mins per day for 5 days out of the week at the minimum. I think everyone knows working out is great for stress and anxiety. So, sure I want to look good but I am mostly doing it to stay super healthy.I also place a high importance on eating well even during these past few years that I have not worked out consistently- that means good healthy but also filling food. Nothing worse than being hangry during studying. Our brains need fuel.

Breakfast is my favorite: my go to meal is oatmeal and egg whites. maybe one egg yellow if I’m feeling fat.

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Favorite: Oatmeal avec Bananas, Cinnamon and Agave

External factors: Study Spaces, Support, Motivation

I have been a Starbucks regular for about 4 years (longest relationship,not sorry). I love their espresso and oddly enough found their space to be super conducive to high productivity levels for me. I am not the type to sit in pure quiet. I like having energy around me even if I am not directly interacting with anyone and simply focusing on studying. Despite all of this, I get sensory burnout and need fresh scenery after sitting somewhere for too long.  I hate studying at home for the most part. So, I recommend you find a solid study spot or two for when you feel that sensory burnout and need a change.

For me: I plan to keep studying at Starbucks but have also started studying at Barnes and Noble 🙂

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the usual setup at starbucks. can you tell I like pink and flowers?

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Barnes & Noble Study Desk: So Gorgeous!

Internal factors: Mind Set & Confidence

One thing I have found to be critical to one’s success during this stressful time during MCAT studying is having a high sense of self efficacy. I don’t care how much you feel the need to expel whine-age. Do it. Then move on. It’s hard. But, you have to. My personal best advice on this is to always stay on your toes- assessing how to improve on the daily. Keeping an eye out for what you can improve on regarding both internal and external factors—this has kept me progressing in the right and forward direction never backward.

Trust yourself and your studying.

Whew, that was a long post! But, I hope it helped you all.

Credit to my Med School friend, V for that last line “trust your studying” ❤

Feel free to leave comments,questions,concerns in the comments section on here or send them via my Instagram DM’s. I am happy to answer. However, if I feel certain topics get repetitive- I may just answer everything either in a blog post or video.

LoveforMedicine

Social Media: ” LoveforMedicine” on: Snapchat/IG/Twitter

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4 responses to “Welcome.

  1. This post was amazing, I am in London doing something similar to the MACT called the GAMSAT and honestly this post has been very inspirational! Thank you so much, please post more. It’s motivated me, oh and I really love how intractly you planed your days!! I would have love to see more of your planning, I need to set myself up for this kind of planning too.

    Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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