Friday, February 17, 2017

New City, New Job, New House, & New...

Oh yeah, I have a blog! Firstly, happy new year to all my friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and lovely start to this new year!

Lots have changed in my life! Firstly, my husband got a new job in a new city. Which is exciting and all, but moving is always a pain. However, we are officially homeowners for the first time! Going from apartment to apartment (4 apartments since we've been married) to a house, finally makes us feel "settled". We still have a couple boxes to unpack and pretty much have no furniture, but it's all coming together slowly.

When are we having kids? Oh yeah, we have one of those now! Yup - that's right, we are also new parents! We were blessed with a boy in the fall of last year, which made house hunting, moving, and getting settled all the more exciting! New city, new job, new house, new member! Phew, I'm exhausted to say the least.

As per my previous post, you can guess that MCAT didn't go to well. I was 9 months pregnant when I took the test, and probably not the best of decisions. But oh well, new year, new resolutions. I am now studying for the MCAT and registered to take it in the middle of May. Hopefully that goes as planned. I'm going to focus mostly on Berkeley Review material and practice exams this time around.

I'm going to try to be more consistent with trying to update this thing with studying for the MCAT while being a mom - let's see how that goes! I know it's not going to be easy, but I'm determined to make it work! Any other moms out there? Reach out! Would love some advice!

Friday, July 29, 2016

MCAT Struggle

Hey everyone -- I know it's been an extremely long time since my last post. I was actually contemplating writing
this post for a while. Since the beginning of this year, things have been, in a word, "interesting". Lots of things have happened to me personally and professionally, both good and bad in both areas. And maybe I'll open up about it all in another post, but the main focus of this post is my MCAT struggle.

I had originally planned on taking the MCAT in January. I didn't stay on track and ended up delaying it to March. There were several deadlines with my masters as well as severe personal medical conditions that erupted in these past few months. I eventually took the exam at the beginning of July after a couple months of much needed stability.

I've always had a struggle with the MCAT. My previous score was a 496 and while taking practice tests this time around, I was barely hitting the 502 range. While I don't know my score for the July test yet, I'm sure I didn't even hit the 500-mark. My goal for this post is to get advice on how to better take this test. From everything I read, and from my experience with practice tests -- I don't seem to have a problem with content; it's my reasoning skills that need work. I'm missing information that I should have been able to reason out from the passage information. Most of the posts I read are advice on how to score higher, 509+. But I don't see any posts on getting around 505. I hope this post reaches someone who struggled to get to this point.

I know these numbers are lower than the majority of what medical students are trying to aim for, so please keep any, negative, non-helpful comments to yourself. If you have any constructive criticism or advice on how to approach my studying for the MCAT please comment or email me!

Thank you so much!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Gift Guide: For the PreMed Student

It's a couple days before Christmas, and if you're like me and still need to get a few last minute shopping completed (oops) or need some stocking stuffers, here's a guide for the premed student. (or pretty much any student in grad school)

  1. MCAT Books. Other options: Here, Here, Here
  2. Colored Pens. Other Options: Here, Here, Here
  3. Noise-Canceling Headphones
  4. iPad/iPad Mini. Ask for student discounts and refurbished options. 
  5. Gift-Cards to Starbucks (or any coffee shop), Sephora/Ulta, Spa, Massage, and/or favorite restaurant. You can't go wrong with either of these. 

Hopefully these options help! With Amazon Prime, you can get items shipped for as low as $2.99 - just in time for Christmas.

Okay, my break time is over, and it's back to the books for me. Wishing you all a lovely holiday season!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

MCAT Update! [Dec 16, 2015]


It's definitely been a while since my last MCAT update. Thank you so much to those of you who have sent me encouraging words and wishes and are following me on this journey. It means a lot to me and I truly appreciate it.

The past week has been quite hectic, which I previously knew it would be, so I was really excited to get back to studying yesterday and the remainder of the week. My goal for yesterday and pretty much everyday this week is:
+ 5-6 passages in Chemistry
+ 5-6 passages in Biology
+ Spend 1-2 hours with Psychology

This should keep me occupied for a huge chunk of the day. I'll probably be back in a couple days to check in with my progress. If you're interested to see what books I'm using, check out my previous post.

Monday, December 7, 2015

MCAT Update! [Dec 7, 2015]

Hello hello!

Thank you all so much for your sweet comments on my previous post via instagram. This weekend was a little busy with various errands I had to run, so I knew I wasn't going to get too much done over the weekend. Without further ado, let's get to the studying update!

I finished everything I wanted to, except the psychology part. I'm using this book for my psychology content review, and I definitely underestimated the time it takes to write notes on the subject matter. For me, while most of what I'm reading makes sense, I'll forget terminology and different stages within models, etc. After taking this version of the MCAT twice already, I know that I need to be better at recall, so it's important for me to write it all out. This is by far taking the most of my time, but I don't seem to have a better method.

My goal for today is focus my time 100% on psychology. Right now I'm borrowing my friend's book who needs it back tomorrow (I forgot my copy at home, but will be home on Friday), so I'm going to try to get through as many chapters as possible.

My goal for tomorrow is:
+ 5-6 practice Chemistry passages
+ 5-6 practice Bio passages
+ 2 Verbal exams
+ review over psych notes for 1 hour

For anyone interested, here are the books that I'm using to study from:

Thursday, December 3, 2015

MCAT Update


December 3, 2015. I'm registered for the MCAT in January, so I have roughly 2 months left. I return back to school the Tuesday after Martin Luther King holiday and take the MCAT that weekend. Ideally, with going back to school and my usual slow-ness the week before MCAT, I do not want to leave any major studying for that week. That last week, I want to focus getting back in routine, getting a proper nights rest, and reviewing the little things I seem to forget always.

I started studying for the MCAT around the middle of October and made a whole schedule for myself, factoring trips back home, exam days in school, research deadlines, etc. It's a pretty comprehensive schedule. But the real question -- am I on track?


As being a full-time graduate student and working in a lab, I definitely underestimated the amount of time I would have to study MCAT. I did accomplish a few things, but I'm definitely not on schedule that I wrote up for myself. Rather than dwell on how much farther I wish I was at this point, this post is about my plan of action for the remainder of the time I have.

Now that classes and lab are over until next semester, I can wholeheartedly focus on the MCAT. I'm kind of excited, really. Since I'm studying for the exam on my own -- my friends have a different timeline than me -- I have to keep myself motivated and keep going. This will be my 3rd time taking the exam, so I need to make sure I walk in feeling like I did everything I wanted to do. I registered for the January exam because I have a huge research conference in March along with submissions for research and regular class exams, so I know I'll be distracted around later MCAT dates.

To keep myself on track, I'm going to become regular at keeping a weekly (may turn into daily) log of my progress on this blog. I've realized I need to make short-term, reachable tasks for me to be fully efficient. Long-term goals with the MCAT overwhelm me when I fall off track one day and can't seem to get back. So day-to-day goals work better for me.

Goals by the end of Friday:
+ Finish at least half of Psych content review
+ Finish one chemistry problem set
+ Finish one biology/biochem problem set
+ Finish two verbal exams

See y'all in a couple of days!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Link up!

Hey everyone!!

I decided to create a link-up to reach out and connect to other premed students, or even med students, residents, etc!! Please include a sentence or two about yourself and what you're aspiring to be. As I just joined the blogosphere, I would love to find new blogs and people to follow! P.S. Sorry for the bare bones of this blog. Still trying to learn my way around it - I do have plans to update! I promise!!

About me! I'm currently in my final year at my masters program and have applied to medical school this year. However, I do have a lower MCAT score, so I do plan to retake the MCAT in January so I'm ready to apply again next cycle. Apart from being a full time student, I'm also doing research in infectious diseases. I created this blog to give myself a creative outlet, to connect to others in my position, and hopefully find those sparkles in my everyday life. I'm creating a study plan for the MCAT this week so I can get back into it starting Monday. I'll post my schedule up this weekend!

Thanks for reading! Now, let's hear about you!!