If You Took The MCAT Recently, Here's Why You Will Probably Fail

By Momina Mindeel | 30 Aug, 2016

When taking the Medical Colleges Admission Test or the MCAT, as most of you may call it, you get to see faces and sides of students that you had never ever encountered before. According to sources, more than 50,000 students appeared for the MCAT. The herd mentality of shoving everyone into the same professions, aside, MCAT, is the bane of many a college students.

“My brother scored an excellent score in F.Sc. Part one, worked day in day out for MCAT, still could not make it to the list. I swear he did.”

“I studied so much but I just could not grasp the concepts during my MCAT. Guess will have to repeat my F.Sc all over again.”

“MCAT was nothing like what we had studied in F.Sc. It was just all concept-based, imagine.”

These are all very commonly heard things among students taking their MCAT exams.

Unfortunately, I have been hearing these melancholy-stricken remarks for the past four years. Basically, since I decided to go through the process myself, I know what the agony of an MCAT exam prep is like. It was nerve-wracking, to say the least. I had been at the top of my class all my life since rattay lagana was my strongest forte. I would memorize all the mathematical problems, the numerical and even the chemical reactions. Till date, I have no idea whatsoever about what they actually meant or how they are solved logically, mainly because it did not matter. Obtaining the highest possible score was all that mattered to our teachers and parents and that is exactly what we worked hard for.

I distinctly remember crying my eyes out when I had to sit through my first MCAT preparatory session.

I was so lost, it all looked so out of place. Our teachers wanted us to focus on the very thing that they themselves had negated for the last two years; consolidating our concepts. We did not have any to begin with.

On Sunday, I was taken on a trip down memory lane, when a number of students could not do as well as they had thought, in their MCAT. My Whatsapp, text message inbox and Facebook were cluttered; kids complaining relentlessly about how all their hard work had gone down the drain, except the lucky few. It brought back all the painful memories and I couldn’t help but wonder, when was it all going to stop?

 

MCAT itself is not as problematic as the currently prevailing F.Sc culture and its redundant practices, that precede it.

It has been ages since the Government or the textbook board systems revised the syllabus. Take for example the English syllabus, the books feature some of the most ridiculous short essays about the most irrelevant things while ‘Goodbye Mr. Chips’ continues to adorn the F.Sc part two’s syllabus, even though it is a novel that came out in 1934, and is not even regarded that highly among readers, these days.

Students are asked to cram all the synonyms/antonyms that are mentioned in the guide books without having the need to understand their actual meaning and when the MCAT instructors asked you to memorize advanced vocabulary words, all of you cried your eyes out once again. Some, even the best, could not pronounce the simplest of the words but could regurgitate everything like a pro when provided with a pen and paper.

The multiple choice questions for Biology, Chemistry and Physics are so conceptual, many can’t even decipher the answers to the simplest ones because they aren’t equipped with the proper resources to understand the concepts, instead are given a set number of questions to memorize and blindly follow the patterns.

In my days as an MCAT preparing student, it was chaotic. We never thought we would have to understand the underlying concepts of all our favorite topics to actually answer the questions based on them. The topics were our favorite mainly because they were easier to memorize with lesser text and more equations.

The F.Sc system is the reason most students suffer from an inferiority complex, when confronted with the A-level students.

This inferiority complex can manifest itself in the form of hatred toward the A level kids or students becoming complete recluses, and everything in between. The former does not care a rap about grooming the students because all it needs are the high scores, out of them that will eventually determine their merit. To be honest, even A level, these days, is nothing better than a rat race but at least that system is way more current. We, unfortunately, have become just too comfortable in our ways.

On a lighter note…

 

Cover Image via: topstudyworld.com

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