Cake or pie?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

MCAT: Check

Yesterday I took the MCAT, I signed up for the 8 a.m. administration and it went pretty well. I took a few practice exams and self-studied for the exam using a schedule I found over the past several months, and kind of hybridized it. Before taking it and after taking it you're reminded that you can't disclose any information regarding the material on the exam, i.e. what specifically the questions were or what the prompts were for the writing sample. So I'm not doing that, of course.

On the elevator ride up, it was just me and another guy, about my height but Asian. We chatted a little bit, since we were both going to the same floor, and wished each other good luck. I forgot to mention I don't believe in luck, I believe in good preparation. Maybe that's the Boy Scout (actually Eagle Scout) in me? So what was my impression of the administration? Check-in was easy, it's a computer-based test, so I gave the desk person my ID, they checked it against my registration, and they gave me a tray to put my wallet/extra stuff in, which I put in one of their lockers. The only items allowed on my person during the exam were the locker key and my ID.

They told me I would need to show my ID to get in and out of the testing room, and sign out/sign in each break. They take biometric data at this testing center, namely digital fingerprints of my left and right index fingers, and then took my photo. The worker said if I had to take another exam there, check-in would be a little easier and they'd only have to take one fingerprint to verify my identity. That's pretty useful, I thought to myself, in case I lose a hand or something. That would be a pain in the ass to try to check in as a one-handed man when they require a fingerprint from each hand. Now I'm going off on a tangent, but one of the things I think that is interesting about me (physically) is that the lines on my hands are different. I mean, I'm aware that no one has identical markings on both hands, but the lines on my hands look different from each other. If I got my palm read, would I go by the dominant hand or the nondominant hand? Not that I'd put much stock in it.

The format is the same for every MCAT administration I think, in that physical sciences is first, then verbal reasoning, and then the writing sample, and then finally biological sciences. When I was taking the test, I would get to the 10 minute breaks between sections, and just kind of sit in my chair, try to disengage a bit, think about happier and less stressful activities like trying not to drown--just kidding--and then forge ahead. Actually, each break I would close my eyes, say a little prayer, and then continue. I don't think any of the breaks I took was longer than a minute, and I never left the desk/chair in the testing room where I was taking the MCAT. When I checked out for good the worker was surprised, making a comment about how I took no breaks, and I said, "The quicker I finish, the quicker I can start drinking." I had one beer on Saturday after the exam at my sister's house - she made my favorite dinner, which our mom always used to make for me on my birthday, so I was pretty happy with it. 8D

How do I think I did? I felt pretty confident walking out, at least about the PS, VR, and the writing sample. I didn't feel as confident about BS, and they mentioned I had to wait 30-35 days before I could get my score. I told my friends that feeling confident is either a really good sign or a really bad one. :)

I'm hoping it's a really good one.