As an MCAT Tutor, it’s natural to assume I’ve taken the exam for myself, maybe multiple times.
“So you tutor for the MCAT?
When did you take the new exam and how did you score?”
Fair enough questions, right?
Since the new MCAT was first rolled out in April 2015, this has been asked by several of my prospective students and Study Hall members.
Actually, I’ve never taken the new MCAT.
I tried, but never got to take it.
When I tell them this, the inevitable next question is,
“How can you help me take it if you’ve never taken it yourself?!”
These are all fair questions to ask an MCAT tutor.
To answer, I must first explain that it wasn’t for my lack of trying that I haven’t taken it. I tried, but my efforts were sabotaged.
In short, on the day registration opened I secured my seat to take the exam on Friday, April 17, 2015.
Two days prior to the test I sent an email to all my subscribers asking them what specific concerns they had about the test so I could look out for them.
Sadly, and shockingly, one of my subscribers forwarded my email to the AAMC.
The night before the exam I received an email stating that tutors without the explicit intent of attending medical school are not allowed to take the exam.
Since I am with an “MCAT prep company” (Leah4sci is my tutoring business) I was banned from testing for life.
So, how does this affect you?
As a premed student and now taking advice from someone who has never sat the new official MCAT?
In order to be the best MCAT tutor I can possibly be, I too felt I needed to be more familiar with the new exam and take it myself, first hand! This was my reasoning for originally registering for the exam.
That was my motivation for taking the old exam under realistic conditions too.
I had made my decision to switch from Premed to Full Time Tutor, and then I took the MCAT one day after being honorably discharged from active duty.
But still, the old exam is not quite the new exam.
So I’ve made it my personal duty to know and learn AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE about the new exam on an ongoing basis.
I now realize that I have gained so much more information about the new exam than I ever would have from taking it.
By intensely interviewing students who have taken it.
I interview multiple students after each and every test date.
I don’t just look for an overview of the exam either: I look for patterns and trends.
- Did they go Organic Chemistry or Physics heavy in the first section?
- How detailed was the information the students had to memorize?
- How in depth were their questions?
- How much math did they encounter?
- What was the level of the math?
- Was there anything that surprised them compared to what they prepared for?
- Were the passages longer or shorter than their practice full lengths or than the AAMC material?
And so on.
I hear feedback from students at every level after every exam.
In doing this I feel that I understand more about the exam than any tutor who has sat through it once or twice.
A student averaging 490 on their full length practice exams will have a very different experience than a student averaging 515.
Are their answers and rankings based on true difficulty or their perceived experience?
To say I’m a full-time MCAT tutor is an understatement.
My days are spent working with clients reviewing concepts, analyzing passages, or working out realistic and achievable study strategies and schedules.
And when I’m not working… I still think about it!
In studying the trends and evaluating feedback from exam to exam, I achieve my mission of being THE MOST INFORMED MCAT tutor I can possibly be.
So when I give you advice, rest assured:
You know it’s not just something I’ve randomly thought of or heard out on the street. Or even something based on my experience sitting this exam once or twice a few years ago.
As we said in the military, I approach this exam with “boots on ground” experience.
This way I can be your best leader and you will trust me.
And I pass this information on to you whenever I can.
Hear from Nayna the B.A.M.D student who scored a 518 with 3 months of hard-core prep. And Kiriat who came from Cuba, started medical school in the Dominican Republic (no MCAT) only to have everything fall apart forcing her to study for (and ace) the MCAT.
And so many other students who share their MCAT and premed journeys with you to help you learn from their successes and failures as you carve your own unique path to success.