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Week 8 Standardized Test Preparation. Kent L. Barrus Pre-professional Advisor. Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation. Why Take Standardized Tests?. Grades Don’t Tell the Whole Story The Great Equalizer of Undergraduate Education

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Week 8 standardized test preparation
Week 8Standardized Test Preparation

Kent L. BarrusPre-professional Advisor


Bio 311 professional school preparation
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

Why Take Standardized Tests?

  • Grades Don’t Tell the Whole Story

    • The Great Equalizer of Undergraduate Education

    • More Important for Students Graduating from Schools not Well Known or Schools Who’s Reputation is Less than Other Schools.

  • Determine the Test Taking Ability of an Applicant.

    • Will you Do Well on Medical School Exams?

    • Will you Do Well on a Licensing Exam?


Bio 311 professional school preparation1
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

What are the Different Tests?

  • MCAT

    • Allopathic

    • Osteopathic

    • Podiatry

    • Some Veterinary and Pharmacy Schools

  • DAT - Dental

  • OAT - Optometry

  • PCAT – Pharmacy

  • VCAT – Veterinary (No Longer Offered)

  • GRE – Graduate Schools


Bio 311 professional school preparation2
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

MCAT Essentials

  • When to Take the Test

    • April 17th or August 14th

    • Deadlines: March 12th or July 9th

  • Where to Take the Test

    • Idaho – Albertsons College (Caldwell), University of Idaho (Moscow), Idaho State University (Pocatello)

    • Utah – Utah State University, Southern Utah University, Weber State University, Brigham Young University, University of Utah

  • Costs

    • Regular Exam Fee - $185.00

    • Miscellaneous Fees ranging from $10 to $60


Bio 311 professional school preparation3
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

MCAT Essentials

  • How and Where to Register for the Test


Bio 311 professional school preparation4
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

MCAT Scope of the Exam

  • Verbal Reasoning (VR)

    • 65 Questions

    • Score 1 to 15

    • 85 Minutes

  • Physical Sciences (PS)

    • 77 Questions

    • Score 1 to 15

    • 100 Minutes


Bio 311 professional school preparation5
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

MCAT Scope of the Exam

  • Biological Sciences (BS)

    • 77 Questions

    • Score 1 to 15

    • 100 Minutes

  • Writing Sample (WS)

    • 2 Questions

    • Score of J to T

    • 60 Minutes


Bio 311 professional school preparation6
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

MCAT Preparation

  • Self Study

    • Class Notes

    • Preparation Books

    • AAMC Website

  • Study Groups

    • Draw from the skills and knowledge of other

    • Support to reach the goal

    • May slow the pace of learning down


Bio 311 professional school preparation7
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

MCAT Preparation

  • Commercial Courses

    • Very Expensive

    • Helps you create a course of study

    • Built in financial motivation

    • Sense of confidence that you have done all you can do to prepare


Bio 311 professional school preparation8
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

DAT Essentials

  • When to Take the Test

    • Any time of the year

    • Give yourself at least 3 weeks to register

  • Where to Take the Test

    • Idaho – Boise Sylvan Learning Center

    • Utah – Ogden, Orem, or Salt Lake City Sylvan Learning Center

  • Costs

    • Regular Exam Fee - $160.00

      • Score Sent to 5 schools, NOT AADSAS.

      • Additional score reports are $10 per school.


Bio 311 professional school preparation9
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

DAT Essentials

  • How and Where to Register for the Test

    • Registration is good for 12 months


Bio 311 professional school preparation10
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

DAT Scope of the Exam

  • Survey of Natural Sciences

    • 90 Minutes

    • Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry

  • Perceptual Ability

    • 60 Minutes

    • Angle discrimination, form development cubes, paper folding, etc.

  • Scoring of the Test

    • Standard scores range from 1 to 30. 17 is considered average.


Bio 311 professional school preparation11
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

DAT Scope of the Exam

  • Reading Comprehension

    • 60 Minutes

    • Read, organize, analyze, and remember new information

  • Quantitative Reasoning

    • 45 Minutes

    • Mathematics, Numerical Calculations, Conversions, Probability and Statistics, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Word Problems


Bio 311 professional school preparation12
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

DAT Preparation

  • Self Study

    • Class Notes

    • Preparation Books

    • ADA Website

    • Other Online

  • Study Groups

  • Commercial Courses


Bio 311 professional school preparation13
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

OAT Essentials

  • COMPUTERIZED IN 2004

  • When to Take the Test

    • February 7th 2004 and October 16th 2004

    • Deadlines: December 29th and September 7th

  • Where to Take the Test

    • Idaho – Idaho State University

    • Utah – Weber State (Ogden) or BYU (Provo)

  • Costs

    • Regular Exam Fee - $130.00

      • Score Sent to 5 schools.

      • Additional score reports are $10 per school.


Bio 311 professional school preparation14
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

OAT Essentials

  • How and Where to Register for the Test


Bio 311 professional school preparation15
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

OAT Scope of the Exam

  • Survey of Natural Sciences

    • 90 Minutes

    • Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry

  • Reading Comprehension

    • 50 Minutes

    • Read, organize, analyze, and remember new information


Bio 311 professional school preparation16
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

OAT Scope of the Exam

  • Physics

    • 50 Minutes

  • Quantitative Reasoning

    • 45 Minutes

    • Mathematics, Algebra, Probability and Statistics, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Word Problems

  • Scoring of the Test

    • Standard scores range from 200 to 400. 300 is considered average.


Bio 311 professional school preparation17
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

OAT Preparation

  • Self Study

    • Class Notes

    • Preparation Books

    • OPTED Website

    • Other Online

  • Study Groups

  • Commercial Courses


Bio 311 professional school preparation18
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

PCAT Essentials

  • When to Take the Test

    • January 24th 2004, March 27th 2004, and October 25th 2004

    • Deadlines: December 5th, February 13th, and September 12th

  • Where to Take the Test

    • Idaho – Idaho State University

    • Utah – Weber State (Ogden) or BYU (Provo)

  • Costs

    • Regular Exam Fee - $69.00

      • Score Sent to 1, 2, or 3 schools.

      • Must arrange for PCAT score to be sent to PharmCAS if applying to PharmCAS schools.


Bio 311 professional school preparation19
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

PCAT Essentials

  • Register By Mail

    • Application Packet

  • Register Online

    • Only For March Test 2004 and later.


Bio 311 professional school preparation20
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

PCAT Scope of the Exam

  • 300 multiple-choice questions with 3½ hours to take it.

  • Verbal Ability

    • 50 Questions

  • Quantitative Ability

    • 65 Questions

    • No Trig or Calculus

  • Biology

    • 50 Questions


Bio 311 professional school preparation21
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

PCAT Scope of the Exam

  • Chemistry

    • 60 Minutes

  • Reading Comprehension

    • 45 Questions

  • Additional Experimental Section

    • You will not know which section is experimental

  • Scoring of the Test

    • Standard scores range from 100 to 300. 200 is considered average.


Bio 311 professional school preparation22
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

PCAT Preparation

  • Self Study

    • Class Notes

    • Preparation Books

    • PCATWEB Website

  • Study Groups

  • Commercial Courses


Bio 311 professional school preparation23
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

GRE Essentials

  • When to Take the Test

    • Any time of the year

    • Deadlines: December 5th, February 13th, and September 12th

  • Where to Take the Test

    • Idaho – Pocatello, Boise

    • Utah – Ogden

  • Costs

    • Regular Exam Fee - $115

      • Score Sent to 4 institutions.

      • Additional Score Report $15 per Institution.


Bio 311 professional school preparation24
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

GRE Essentials

  • Register By Mail

    • Application Packet in CAC

  • Register by Phone


Bio 311 professional school preparation25
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

GRE Scope of the Exam

  • 300 multiple-choice questions with 3½ hours to take it.

  • Verbal Ability

    • Analyze and evaluate written material

    • Analyze sentence relationships

    • Recognize word and concept relationships

  • Quantitative Ability

    • Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis

    • Reason Quantitatively


Bio 311 professional school preparation26
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

GRE Scope of the Exam

  • Analytical Writing

    • Essay Portion

    • 45 minute “Present your perspective on an issue”

    • 30 minute “Analyze an Argument”

  • Scoring of the Test

    • Verbal Score 200-800 in 10-point increments

    • Quantitative Score 200-800 in 10-point increments

    • Analytical Writing Score 0-6 in half-point increments


Bio 311 professional school preparation27
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

GRE Scope of the Exam

  • GRE Subject Tests

    • Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology

    • Biology

    • Chemistry

    • Computer Science

    • Literature in English

    • Mathematics

    • Physics

    • Psychology


Bio 311 professional school preparation28
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

GRE Preparation

  • Self Study

    • Class Notes

    • Preparation Books

    • GRE Website

  • Study Groups

  • Commercial Course


Bio 311 professional school preparation29
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

Test Taking Skills

  • Pace Yourself

    • Don’t forgo answering easy questions because you spent to much time on harder questions.

  • Mark up the Test Booklet (for paper-based tests)

    • Underline important points

    • Strike through wrong answers

    • Make calculations or drawings

  • Read the Entire Question Carefully

    • Don’t make an assumption as to the answer with thoroughly reading the question.


Bio 311 professional school preparation30
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

Test Taking Skills

  • Use the ‘dot’ method

    • Put a small dot on the answer sheet for a question that will require significant time to answer.

    • Put a question mark next to this question in the test booklet.

    • If you run out of time on the test, you can go back quickly and fill in the answer sheet where you placed the dot.

    • This helps reduce the possibility of missing questions due to totally random guessing.

    • Helps prevent frame shifting errors.


Bio 311 professional school preparation31
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

Test Taking Skills

  • Answer Every Question

    • Unlike the SAT, there are no penalties for guessing.

    • Your first instinct is more likely to be correct.

    • Don’t change answers unless it is obvious that you misinterpreted the question.

  • Approximate the answer

    • If the possible answers differ significantly from each other it is possible to approximate for quicker calculations.

    • Adjust the numbers to be calculated by rounding off or move to a close number with a known trig function.

    • With most problems you will be able to tell which answer is a reasonable estimate.


Bio 311 professional school preparation32
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

Test Taking Skills

  • For Reading and Verbal Tests

    • Answer the question only on the basis of the information given, NOT from prior knowledge.

    • Sometimes reading the questions and answers first can alert you as to what you should be looking for in the passage to be read.

  • For the Writing Sample

    • Practice, Practice, Practice.

    • Read the Op-Ed pieces in major newspapers.

    • Typical Structure

      • Explain what the statement means

      • Describe some situation in which you disagree with the statement

      • Provide justification for your disagreement.


Bio 311 professional school preparation33
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

Test Taking Skills

  • For Reading and Verbal Tests

    • Answer the question only on the basis of the information given, NOT from prior knowledge.

    • Sometimes reading the questions and answers first can alert you as to what you should be looking for in the passage to be read.

  • For the Writing Sample

    • Practice, Practice, Practice.

    • Read the Op-Ed pieces in major newspapers.

    • Typical Structure

      • Explain what the statement means

      • Describe some situation in which you disagree with the statement

      • Provide justification for your disagreement.


Bio 311 professional school preparation34
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

Test Taking Skills

  • Study for the test like you would a 4 credit class.

    • There are no ‘tricks’ or ‘strategies’ that can substitute for knowledge of a subject.

  • Get a good nights sleep

  • Arrive in plenty of time so you are not hurried.

  • Eat well before the test and during.

  • If you are a poor standardized test taker, you can improve.

    • Visit the Learning Assistance Lab


Bio 311 professional school preparation35
Bio 311 - Professional School Preparation

Should You Retake a Test?

  • Are your scores consistent with your grades?

  • Did you prepare adequately for the test?

  • Will you have the time and motivation to prepare for a second test?

  • Doing the same or worse a second time will hurt you.


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