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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Test Prep: “It Sucks”

(Photo by Cole Tan)
(Photo by Cole Tan)

 
At several tables spread through the library on Thursday morning, students clamored over test prep books.
In a group study room, two students were copying organic chemistry structures on windows from MCAT study books spread out on the table. At the south end of the library, a group stared at a white board with example questions from the LSAT.
Matt Chaus, a senior in physical therapy, is preparing for the GRE, a placement test for graduate school.
“It’s really hard to study for the GRE because I have school, so I have to study for my classes too,” he said. “It sucks, it just adds more time to my study load.”
Hopeful students have been occupying the Marriott Library and the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library in recent weeks as they cram for their big test days.
Preparing for the GRE for most graduate schools, the LSAT for law school, the MCAT for medical school or other graduate school-required tests takes many forms. Some students spend nine months studying and taking practice tests, while others spend one month preparing.
Keti Amirkhanashvili, a senior in biology, took the MCAT this past July. She said she spent six months studying for the exam, so she sympathized with the students preparing for the same test near her table in the Marriott Library.
“It sucked. I felt like I was going to fail,” she said. “I was stressed too because I had so much other stuff going on.”
Amirkhanashvili said the amount of pressure graduate school placement tests, including the MCAT, put on students is sometimes more difficult than the test itself. Some seniors wishing to go to medical school are trying to avoid some of the stress by taking the MCAT before the new version, which includes more sections, takes effect in Jan. 2015.
Graduate programs have different methods of application selection, yet almost all require some sort of test. Harvard Law School’s website states that among all factors, including undergraduate grades, the test and extracurricular actives, “no one of these aspects of an applicant’s file is dispositive in the admissions decision.”
Still, Amirkhanashvili said graduate programs may unofficially pay the most attention to test results. She also said choosing to take a test like the MCAT, LSAT or GRE is a hard choice in itself and a part of all of the preparation.
“It’s a lot of work. When I was studying for the MCAT, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be a doctor, so I didn’t study as hard for it,” Amirkhanashvili said. “I didn’t have as much motivation for it.”
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@tonycalo1

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