A Gran Turismo 6 semi-casual online racing club. We're dedicated to the cleanest and funnest racing possible and welcome anyone and everyone to come on in and improve their speed and racecraft.
Admiral Shane stood in the room usually used for training, but had been cleared out so he could make the conference over holophone, and a larger room helped with the scale when they were addressing the entire Federation Council.
It had taken only about 2 ½ days to get to the Golden Egg’s position, as with their progress in the uplifting process - and the fact that they had access to FTL technology - they had been allowed to send a ship out into the Federation, albeit supervised
. As such, they decided on sending a military ship, seeing as there was a much smaller chance of an interstellar incident happening with disciplined Marines.
The chamber was a semicircle, with the Chairperson’s seat at ground level, in the center of the floor, with each next row elevated slightly, so that the gathered Representatives were situated in a step-pattern, ascending to the top row of the chamber. He noticed that the ‘insectoid’ species all were situated to his right of the chamber, if he was looking out at them.
Beside him stood Admiral Ree’Scote, being his ‘escort’ into the Federation; Kyle, as the boots-on-ground witness; Officer Kit’Ahnj, being the Federation’s liaison officer; and Captain Vohr’Doe, as the commander of the vessel that found the planet. But of course, it was him
that was currently the center of attention.
He had reviewed the team's video logs, and he agreed that whatever was on that planet was likely hostile; the sounds that came from that darkness - not to mention the fear he felt when looking into it - were so… wrong
, he didn't feel any other classification would be right. And - after the testimony of Officer Kit’Ahnj, backing up Kyle’s report, and the video - the Council felt the same way; however, they were less inclined to destroy the planet. He was currently being addressed by the Council Chairwoman, a bipedal crocodile, whose title was Chairwoman Hahss’Chom, (which - when she pronounced it - was little more than a hiss, followed by her snapping her jaws shut.)
“We have ways to prevent… whatever this is - from ever being able to exit their system, even if they were to develop FTL technology.”
“With all due respect, ma’am,” he said, keeping his focus on her, and not the - obviously - judging races that surrounded him, all of whom represented different animals from Earth, each one the Speaker for their respective races, “We’ve dealt with a mindless force of nature that was only intent on killing…
“Europa was one of Jupiter’s moons, and was roughly 90% the size of Luna. When we began spreading out from Earth, the question of drinkable water became a problem. And while it's - relatively
- easy to make it from its base components, Europa was almost entirely water, though not all of it was liquid.
“Once we had developed the technology to land there, we set out drilling to the ocean, which was located beneath a shell of ice that was estimated to be between 10-15 miles deep… We made it four miles before we lost all resistance. The drills were shut down, and new readings were taken; but by the time they realized what was happening, it was too late.
“At first, the teams thought that it was a geyser, which are - were
- a fairly common thing, though there had been no signs that one was building up there. Well, they managed to get far enough away before… The ice where they had been working melted, but there was no geyser. What came out of the hole resembled, well, it most
resembled a machine AI that humanity dreamed up as a monster in a movie. The one I reference here was basically a metal ball with countless metal tentacles from its ‘back’, and what came out of that hole looked remarkably similar.
“And it wasn't alone. About a dozen of those [‘squids’] came out, and made straight for our people. It was… a massacre; our weapons had no effect on them whatsoever. And after they were done killing everyone, they began dismantling and consuming the ships and equipment. And afterwards, they turned their gazes upwards, launching themselves from the surface of the moon with the force of their limbs, alone.
“Judging from the fragments of their bodies we were able to recover after encounters with them in space, we determined that they were iron of the Fe oxidized variety, so the metal of their bodies didn't interact with the water. They were also incredibly light, especially for how dense they were; it took several missiles to destroy each, and we had no other choice, as they were heading directly at the ships in orbit.
“We retreated to a tactical distance, and while we tried so many different ways to communicate, we found nothing. We even captured one alive, and still, there was no way to communicate. Every attempt was met with the utmost hostility. And throughout this process, they continuously sent out others from beneath the ice, most of them sent towards our ships, yet others were sent out towards the asteroids that share Jupiter’s orbit around the sun. We had no idea what they were doing with the asteroids, whether they were mining them for food, or using them as places to reproduce - or both
- so we eventually decided to bombard them with munitions until they crashed into the planet. But this was after
we had exhausted every possible avenue of communication.
“We eventually came to a decision - as a people - to destroy the moon, but we had to be smart about it. The Europans had already proven they didn't need to breathe, as they could survive the cold, irradiated vacuum of space without any external protection, which took blowing Europa up off the table.. So - after much deliberation - it was decided to create a ship that could use tractor beams to move
the planet. For this, we converted another of Jupiter’s moons - Ganymede - into a ship, and once the construction was complete, we renamed it the Europa Contingency.
“From there, we caught Europa, and towed it to Sol, where we cast it in, to destroy the Europans, down to the last one… It's not something that we’re proud of - as a people - but it was what we needed
to do, in order to survive.”
There was a resounding silence after he finished with his speech, and he allowed them the time to process what he'd just told them. He was suddenly very self-conscious, and he felt as if he hadn't explained their plight sufficiently. They were already classified as the most aggressive that their measurement system could register, what must they think of humanity after this. Finally, the Chairwoman broke the silence.
“Though it sounds as if you may have committed genocide on a sapient species… This Council can claim no better. While we have ways to contain FTL travel, this was only put forth as a possible avenue to explore after our predecessors had glassed multiple planets who had turned out to be too hostile to conduct civil interactions with. To have that threat in the same system as you, with no real barrier between your peoples, well, I don't believe any here could truly blame your people for coming to this decision… However, we can't be sure that we face the same threat. Nor can we order anyone to go into the darkness to find out.”
The suul’mahr representative, Grol’Rosh - a solid white coloration to his fur - spoke up, his voice playing out over the speakers, as he was sitting in the topmost row.
“We could send a probe into the midst of it; that
could tell us what we're dealing with. And if they are entirely hostile, we could take a specimen up to the atmosphere, to see if it survives.”
He heard a strangled sound of protest, and he didn't need to look around to see the fearful look on Kyle’s face; he gently held up a hand to assuage the Ambassador, as he knew full well what his concern was.
“We believe that the contents of the darkness are… harmful
to the generally accepted term of ‘sanity’. And not in the sense of ‘it would be dangerous to any non-human
’; as in, to anyone
. If - however - you should need a volunteer, then-”
will watch it,” Grol’Rosh cut him off. Admiral Shane merely looked at him, sighing lightly as he nodded once in acknowledgment to the suul'mahr. Captain Vohr'Doe stepped up at that point, calling to the hangar to release the drone, and to program it to enter the darkness just beyond the leading edge. A small communication satellite was set out after it to retain contact with the drone when the curve of the planet would render it beyond their scope of reach.
It took several minutes, during which Grol’Rosh inserted earbuds into his ears, and had his personal screen connected to the probe's camera. While he was watching
the drone's progress, it was also taking its own readings, and sending them back as text. Which is how they knew when it was breaching the atmosphere, and when it encountered the darkness; Kyle had been right: it wasn't
The reports coming back from the drone were confusing, to say the least; firstly because ‘the darkness’ was actually solid material, though ‘solid’ was used loosely here, as it was more like a ‘dust storm’. Except that it wasn't just
dust - as there were readings of sand, and soil in the mess - because nanoscanners inside the drone determined that each grain of soil was coated in a thick, viscous material that absorbed all light that hit it.
The material was what caused the confusion, as when it was analyzed, it was determined to be… everything
. There were traces of all
genus of races, from canines, to felines, insects, to pachyderms; there was even all manner of aquatic animals, as well. There was no plant life detected in the sludge.
As imagined with readings like that, the drone had more difficulty descending to the surface of the planet than it normally would have, but strangely, not as much as one might expect; it was only when the craft sped up
that they realized it was being pulled
. The altitude of the drone continued to drop at a steady rate, until it was about 50’ from the ground, according to the readings from the expedition team, as it was heading for the exact location they had originally made camp. However, the drone was sending even more
confusing information, as it was now reading the ground to be 25’ away, and moving quickly.
The drone was about 10’ from the ‘ground’ when Grol’Rosh began howling like he’d been stabbed. Looking up in his direction, everyone gasped in horror as he began clawing at his eyes, quickly rending his face, and entirely destroying the delicate orbs within. He wasn't done, however, as he then began clawing at his ears, his Gift obviously activated, as he tore straight to his skull in only a single swipe, the unnerving sound of claw scraping bone filling the room.
Two suul'mahr guards rushed towards him as soon as he'd begun clawing his eyes, and were almost to him when he reached his hands out to the sides, and brought them together - with his head still between them - with obviously tremendous
One of the guards - a dark gray specimen - leapt forward at the last second, tackling him by leverage of his left arm. That still left his right arm free, though it had only succeeded in a glancing blow, which still knocked him unconscious with a sickening /
thud**. There was a stunned silence that followed that ordeal, until Chairwoman Hahss’Chom shakily gave an order for medics, who soon arrived, two kanfi’doe that - after stabilizing his wounds - quickly carried Grol’Rosh down the stairs, and loaded him onto a stretcher they had brought with them.
The silence reigned for a long minute after they’d wheeled him out, broken finally by the Chairwoman’s subdued voice.
“I call a vote: all in favor of allowing the humans to bring their ‘Europa's Contingency’...?” She tapped a few commands into the datapad in front of her, and there was a quiet flurry of movement as the rest of the Council cast their votes.
“It's unanimous: Admiral Shane, we hereby give the Europa’s Contingency permission to travel to this system, and then to return to Sol
when the job here is done. Are we clear on this?”
“Crystal, ma’am. I can have the orders dispat-”
He was cut off as a keen'yohng appeared by his side.
Commodore Vah’Rin came out of subspace, his prey already in his sights. The eight other captains under his command confirmed lock-on status, and his communications officer informed him that they had an opening into their link, though it was protected by an unusually strong defense system.
“Well,” he replied, “We did
intercept the report on humans; they have artificial intelligences. They probably have one with that cylindrical ship that has too many guns to not
be military. Well, this certainly changes things: an a.i. would be by far
more valuable than an entire hold
of drahk'mihn. If we can capture it, and reprogram it to obey us
, we could drop down far enough into subspace that we could make a trip of several months cut down to as many weeks
… Patch me into their communication; I’m done hiding…”
He let a cruel smile play across his face as his entire bridge turned into the Federation Council Hall; his ship would project his
image into their conversation, but not those of his crew around him. And there in front of him were the objects of his focus, as he was certain he appeared before them, wearing his black Commodore’s jacket.
“How nice of you to join us, Commodore
He turned to the owner of the cold voice that ‘greeted’ him.
“Ah, Council Member Toss’Vah,” he replied cheerily to her, “Good to see you again. How are things back home?”
She regarded him coldly, then almost spat
“It was widely believed that you were still alive; I regret to have that theory confirmed.”
“What can I say?” he asked, smiling, “This ship was just too good to not
take it. Give my regards to the president; this ship truly is
state-of-the-art… But, I didn't break into this conversation to speak with you.” He turned to the humans, who regarded him with wary expressions, if his experience with the suun'mahs and kanfi’doe was anything to judge by.
“Greetings,” he began jovially - no reason not to be civilized, “I - as you may have gathered - am Commodore Vah’Rin, and I regret to inform you that you are under the guns of 9 ships, all of which are heavily
armed. Now, this is normally
the part where I tell you that if you cooperate, then we can get through this with a minimal amount of casualties - someone always
has to try to be the hero, don’t they? - but I have a different
proposition for you, today: give me you a.i., and we’ll leave this system - and your ships - without any
hostilities. Refuse, and… Well, I think you get the idea.” He smiled a predatory smile that was more of a leer than anything.
“This is outrageous
;” the current Councilwoman stated, righteous anger evident in every syllable, “We not
stand for-” but he cut her off.
“We’re too far away from any Federation outposts, and the nearest suun’mahs patrol is… well, right here
.” He gestured to Admiral Ree’Scote.
“So, no matter how this plays out, there’s really nothing
that this council
can do about the goings-on here. So - as I said earlier - I’m not speaking to you; this has nothing to do
with any of you.” He turned his attention back to the humans.
“So, what is your answer? And might I remind you, while you may - or may not
- be able to take on our ships at 3-1 odds, one
of your ships is not only not
made to fight, but is also filled with civilians
; are you willing to risk all of their lives?”
“How about this,” the human who was obviously military began, “You choose six of your ships, and use those to square off against us; the other three can hang back, and guard the Golden Egg from leaving. If you win that battle, you can take the A.I. stationed there. If not, then your other ships have to leave us in peace.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name and rank.”
“Admiral Shane of the Sol Defense Force.”
“Ah,” he continued, “Well, Admiral Shane, I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way. It’s all, or nothing, which means that even if you feel comfortable taking on all of our ships at once, we will still
target the civilian vessel. There is no other option; sometimes you only have bad paths to choose from, and you must take the lesser of the evils.”
Admiral Shane stood taller, and defiantly responded with,
“We of the Sol Defense Force cannot - in good conscience - hand over a single soul to slav-”
But he was cut off by the other human behind him, the one he actually recognized. Reaching into his pocket, he retrieved a small blue cube, which he held out as he angrily stated,
“You can have mine
“Ah,” he replied jovially, turning to the smaller human, “Mr. Redding
, I believe?”
.” The defiant little monkey at least seemed
pretty fearless in the face of life-or-death negotiations, so he figured that he deserved at least that
recognition; he certainly seemed to realize the value of diplomacy over fighting.
, then; good to see someone
here has a level head on their shoulders.”
The cube reformed into a small human, as the Admiral rounded on his civilian counterpart; they both started talking at the same time.
?! You have no right to auction me off like some-
“... hell do you think you’re doing?!
you offer up a Sollian to a slaver?! I ought to knock the sh-”
But they were both cut off as Ambassador Redding simply stated, talking louder than both of them,
“Artificial Intelligence Override Code: JKJKLOL69!
The small android stiffened up, and remained rigid, as if it were a simple robot, while the Admiral recoiled, raising an arm slightly as if to defend himself.
you?” he said with disgust to the Ambassador, “That’s only
to be used in the event of a rogue A.I., this-!”
,’ the Ambassador interjected angrily, “Is bigger
than all of us! I know what I’m doing.” He turned to address the Commodore,
“You will take it, and you’ll leave. In peace
. Give me… 12 Standard minutes - I have to collect the memory core - and we’ll meet halfway between the 'civilian’ ship, and your group, ‘cause you sure as hell
aren't coming aboard either of our ships.”
“That sounds acceptable; however, once the transfer is made, you will keep your shuttle in position until we have determined that the package is authentic, at which point, we will leave. If it is
a fake, then I won't hesitate to blow your little shuttle to dust, and then I’ll take everyone
I can get my hands on; and with 9 ships, we have more than enough space to hold you all. And we will both come unarmed.”
“I’ll be accompanying you,” the Admiral said sternly to the Ambassador, “I need to document everything that happens so I can send it back as evidence in your hearing.”
“Yeah,” the smaller primate answered testily, “You do
With a vindictive smile, Commodore Vah’Rin motioned to end the transmission.
Kahv’Hosh sat in the pilot’s seat, having been chosen to transport the humans out to the meeting spot. They were both currently silent, and the air was so thick with emotion that you could cut it with a knife. They were already in place, and were currently waiting on the pirate ‘commodore’ to reach their shuttle, with an estimated thirty seconds until they made contact. With a solid /
, they were connected, and Kahv’Hosh equalized the pressure in the sleeve, and soon heard a slight knock on their door. Kyle and the Admiral had already moved to the door - the large metal cube with the interface screen sitting beside it - and Kyle reached forward to open it.
The keen’yhong walked onto their shuttle, and his eyes immediately fell to Kyle’s waist.
“I thought we agreed no weapons.” The man’s voice wasn’t as hostile as he would have expected, as he stared at the big gun on Kyle’s waist, and the smaller - but still obviously
deadly - pistol on the Admiral’s.
,” Kyle replied sarcastically, “Because you don’t have some hidden weapon on you
The ‘commodore’ simply smiled, and turned to the box.
“This is my a.i., I take it?” he asked, still smiling.
Kyle’s mood seemed to darken further as he reached into his pocket, pulling out the cube that became Kay’Eighty at his command.
“Begin downloading into the core, and commence factory reset.”
He set the cube down on top of an open slot beside the monitor, and a loading screen immediately came up. It only took a few seconds, but it was still a tense few seconds; soon, the box chimed, and Kyle removed the cube.
“I’ll be taking that
, as well,” the ‘commodore’ replied, reaching a hand into his jacket; Kyle simply scoffed.
“No, you want to make your own
mithril, then you figure out how to make it, yourself. You’ve already got the core, that’s all you need. And that’s all we agreed on. If you wanted the mithril, too, then you should’ve said
so; not my
fault you failed to specify that point.” There was no amusement as he said it, though it was obvious that he enjoyed that little stunt. And while the ‘commodore’ obviously had his hand on the handle of his gun, he wouldn’t be able to move faster than two humans; the two suul’mahr lurking just beyond the airlock wouldn’t be much help after he was already riddled with bullets.
The ‘commodore’ regarded him for a few moments, then began laughing a cruel, calculated laugh. He gestured behind him, and one of the suul’mahr - all-brown fur - came aboard, carrying the large box onto their shuttle. After he’d observed its successful transfer of the package onto his shuttle, the ‘commodore’ turned back to Kyle.
“As stated before: you will hold this position until either my flotilla leaves
, or destroys you for trying to trick me. And this
time, I expect you to follow my directions, because you’re already targeted by my lead ship… Well, until next time.” With that, he exited the shuttle, their airlock door closing behind him, both humans remaining staring at the door.
They finally turned away when the shuttle disconnected, moving to look out the viewport to watch the other shuttle go back to its ship. Finally, his nerves got the better of him, and he asked to no one in particular,
“Do you think he will truly spare us?”
“There’s a chance,” Admiral Shane replied, “Depending on what kind of pirate he is; they can have varying codes of honor. He does
- however - self-admittedly sell people into slavery, so I don’t know how strong his sense of ‘honor’ may be.”
They were all quiet for a while as he considered this, until Kyle’s soft voice - filled with sorrow - broke the silence.
“I’ve never killed anyone before. I mean, the mahn’ewe were all in a fit of rage; and while I’d fantasized
about it, I didn’t exactly plan
it. Now, though - with all this time to stop and think about it…” He fell silent at that, watching the shuttle go, though Kahv’Hosh wasn’t sure he was actually seeing
it. To his surprise, Admiral Shane reached up and grasped Kyle’s shoulder, his voice gentle as he replied,
“It’s never easy. And while the mahn’ewe can probably be overlooked by your conscience, this is - obviously
- a different situation entirely. There’s a chance that you never truly
recover from this, but just always remember the innocent lives you’re saving by doing this; they’re
what’s going to get you through the low points.”
Kyle nodded in acceptance, and then his face contorted, and a predatory smirk lit up his countenance.
“Have you ever seen one go off?” he asked, not taking his eyes off the viewport.
“Well,” the Admiral replied, a mischievous note in his voice, “I have
seen a number of tests
; of course, there was that pirate faction that we traced to their base in an asteroid. One on each side, and it was history.”
Kyle let out a cruel snort of laughter, and - not taking his eyes off of the viewport - said,
“Kahv’Hosh, did you ever get around to reading about the women of Weinsberg?”
He wasn’t sure where this was going, but he decided to play along.
“I did," he replied slowly.
“And if you knew nothing else about humans,” Kyle began, a cruel smile on his face, “Would you
have accepted that deal?”
He managed to take a breath in before something in his mind clicked. Something
had seemed off from the beginning, but he couldn’t place exactly what it was. He’d been given clearance to review the transmission from the part where the ‘commodore’ broke in, and he had been replaying it in his mind ever since then, trying to figure out what was gnawing at his mind like a pup with a bone.
But nothing came out at first, as his mind struggled to form words; he managed simply to point out the viewport to the shuttle - that was almost to its ‘mothership’ - and to look back and forth between him and it, before he finally managed to spit out,
“Wh-... you-... why
would the arti-... the ‘override code’: why would it be in Galactic Standard?!
The smile on his face widened, and he was suddenly aware that he was on a small shuttle with two
Class 12 aggressors. Kyle - however - merely pulled the cube from his pocket, and said,
The cube began to dissolve, reforming into the humanoid shape that was her android form.
“Yes, Ambassador Redding
?” she replied in a distinctly… robotic
voice. Kyle merely scoffed, however, and rebutted with,
“Aw, come on
; it’s not like he gave us ample opportunity to talk: I had to think of something on the fly…”
She suddenly became much more ‘sapient’ crossing her arms, and looking off to the side as she sighed.
,” she replied, “Whatever
; what do you want?”
Kyle snorted in laughter, and asked,
“Has he made it to the optimal range, yet?”
Kay’Eighty sighed again, and looked out the viewport.
“Just about, yeah.”
“Then I leave the honors to you,” he finished, holding her up for a better view of the viewport.
“Detonation in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…”
Kahv’Hosh found that though he was sure this was going to be on par with their aggression level, he also couldn’t look away; like watching an asteroid impact a planet: he knew something bad was coming, but he just couldn’t bring himself to break eye-contact with the nine ships in formation, the middlemost one having already received the shuttle. And even as he watched, the ships seemed to draw closer together.
At first he thought that it must be his eyes playing tricks on him, but soon enough, not only were they drawing closer together, but they began to spin around the central ship, as if caught in the gravity-well of some insanely dense celestial body. He saw small explosions issuing from the sides. with little bits breaking off into the void of space, only for the expanding singularity - for that was obviously
what it was - to suck the life-pods back into its center, where everything seemingly disappeared into nothingness. Soon, the ships themselves began breaking apart, still doing their destructive, tumbling dance around the spot where the ‘commodore’s ship used
Piece by piece, the ships began to break apart, ‘falling’ into the center, where they were obviously compressed beyond what physics would normally allow. He tried not to think about the fate of the people aboard the ships, gravity increasing to the point that you were crushed under the weight of your own skin, having to watch - if they could even survive
- as the ship around them broke apart, exposing them to the blackness of space.
He managed a quick look back at the humans, and was granted some small consolation in that the evil smiles had left their faces, and both had looks of somber determination gracing their features. And at that moment, he believed he knew what it was that set them so high on the aggression scale; even they
were appalled by their actions - by their own weapons
- and yet not even the prospect of becoming a monster would stop them from removing a perceived threat.
Soon, all pieces of the ships were gone, and about a Standard minute after that, the anomalous gravity readings disappeared. And suddenly space had returned to ‘normal’, as if nothing unnatural had just happened. Kyle broke the silence in a neutral voice as he said,
“Well, let’s get back to the ship; Cap’m’s gonna tear me a new
one for this…”
Hello Mcat-ter's! I wanted to give my guide to how I got a 524 (132/130/131/131) last year (august 2022). I improved from my diagnostic which was a 497. This sub has been super helpful to me, and instead of writing secondaries I'm procrastinating by writing this post. So, lets get into it!
0) A bit about me.
I'm a mostly traditional applicant (taking a one year research year (like 95% of applicants these days)). I took the test between junior and senior year over the summer. I go to a t20 school where I got pretty good grades (~3.9 gpa). Majored in humanities (not bio) so was a little weaker on the science parts, but really good at reading. Have always been a good test taker (34 I think on the ACT, 5's on all the AP's I studied for et.c.). Tutored students in chem. Tutored my siblings in like every science subject / math. I also REALLY knew my amino acids. 1) Disclaimers
First, I want to start of saying that this technique may not work for everyone. I put in a lot of time into studying, which may not be feasible for non-trads, those who have to work full time, those with families, et.c. Second, as you will see, I bought a lot of resources (like a lot). This was NOT cheap. Fortunately I saved up a lot of money before / during college and had my parents to help me out. Third, I was really determined to get an 99th+ percentile score. While a 520+ score is not going to hurt anyone, the amount of time / energy it takes may not be worth it for your application (another 200-300 clinical hours or volunteer hours may be better for your application)
2) Non-Study Stuff that Set me Up for Success
My total study time was ~8 months. I studied part time during the spring semester, and then basically full time during the summer. I had a three day a week research internship (~20 hours per week). I basically studied 40-50 hours a week when I was studying full time. I deleted all social media. Blocked it on my phone (i think my total phone use per day went down to <2 hours a day (and that included using it for GPS to get places)). While this is probably not possible for most applicants, my internship was in a new city I had never been to / lived in. I therefore only knew like 2 people there (one of whom was my roommate). This meant I had to say no to basically no social engagements because, well, I didn't really have any friends there. While this was definitely super lonely at times, this also meant I wasn't getting pulled to go out and party (I'm usually pretty extraverted, so saying no to social events is hard for me). Obviously, moving to a new city is probably not in the cards for most people, but it was probably cheaper in the end than staying in my college town (where rent is not only higher, but the cost of going out / hanging out with friends).
3) The Resources
As I said above, I used a F*** ton of resources:
- Princeton Review 513+ Guarantee Course (ok, I know people are probably going to think I'm a troll for this, but I really found it helpful (for the most part). Personally, I found their cars strategy to be super helpful (again I know people are going to think I am a troll, I promise I'm not). I also found their science videos / the biology classes to be super helpful (I knew actually 0 anatomy before studying). Our physics instructor was great, the psychology one was kinda meh. This class included all of the princeton review text books + online quizzes + vides + all the AAMC resources+ a couple other things I'm probably forgetting. If I had to do it again, I would probably have done a slightly slower paced class ( I did the five day a week, 3 hour a day class (probably would have done 4 days a week)). I also would NOT have gotten the 513 guarantee .
- Princeton Review Science Workbook (This was also from Princeton Review course). This was probably in the top 2 most helpful resources (besides AAMC). This book is probably 1000 pages of pure practice passages. I legitamately did every single bio / biochem passage and I credit it for 5 points on my MCAT. If you can only get one resource (besides AAMC) this is what I would get.
- Kaplan Review Books. Pretty Self Explanatory. I would rotate between reading these and the Princeton. These are less dense than the princeton ones and are pretty good if you already have a strong foundation. These also came with a qbank and some practice tests which I found super helpful.
- Kaplan quick sheets. This was included in the Kaplan Review Books, but also deserves its own line. This does a great job of summarizing all the major topics. In all honesty, if you are good at test taking and have this thing memorized fully, I truly think you can get minimum 508 on the test
- Blueprint full lengths + qbank. I found this one super helpful. I probably wouldn't have bought 10 tests in retrospect (they were having a sale), but I found that you could do sections of the tests to be super helpful for practicing sections of the test I was weaker at.
- Blueprint half-length diagnostic. It's Free! and a great place to see what your baseline is (don't waste an AAMC test on that)
- Berkeley Review (I got these for free from a friend). I found their cars practice to be super helpful. Their explanations are super in-depth which are really good if you are not getting a topic. I found their physics questions to be super good practice. I leafed through the biochem book a couple times, but otherwise didn't use them too much (mostly because I had so many other resources).
- Khan Academy. These have good videos for when you are not understanding something. The practice questions / passages are also pretty good.
- JackWestin Cars Pretty good to get a hang of timing, but the logic is not super reminiscent of AAMC. I did them for the first couple months of part time studying, but stopped for the most part once I got to full time studying
- AAMC content outline and Jack Westin Content Outline. Probably most underratted resource. The content outline gives you everything that could be on the test. You should at least look at it. Jack Westin has filled the entire thing out for you. It is SOOOOOOO clutch (literally this made up the other 50% of my success on B/B.
- Anki / Flashcards. I used milesdown. Thought it was good overall (didn't get through all the cards). Milesdown also has a review sheet that is REALLY good. 100% recommend. I also used an amino acid deck to really drill them (this I finished, and probably reviewed all the cards 5-10x). I also did a physics / chem equations flashcard deck.
- 100 page psych doc. I thought this was good overall. 300 felt too long / too detailed for me
- AAMC resources. All of them (except for ¾ sections of the sample, but that was because I was too tired, and found resting to be more important for my success). I also reviewed every answer.
What I didn't use:
Given the gigantic list of resources, you all are going to laugh, but probably the only
thing I didn't use was UGLOBE, lol. Mostly, its because I ran out of time + I felt really good about my level of prep. A lot of people like UGLOBE but it wasn't for me. YMMV and it probably is a good resource, I just didn't use it.
I studied about 700 hours total (a lot, I know).
about 1 year before start of studying I took the Blueprint half-length. I got a 497 on this (125/126/121/125). I hadn't taken all the pre-reqs yet so I was pretty content with this score (ngl), but I def needed more content review.
Start of Part Time Studying:
I started part time studying over winter break. I started with a diagnostic test (Kaplan). I got a 506 on this (127/127/125/127). From there I started by reviewing the Kaplan books (reading them through and writing notes). I would take the end of chapter quizzes. I would make a flashcard for any question I got wrong. I also did the Kaplan science assessment which gave me a better idea of my areas of weakness in the sciences (my scores were between 8/30 for biochem and 25/30 for psych). I also did daily jack westin CARS.
When I went back to school, the pace of studying definitely slowed. I studied less. I took another kaplan FL in feburary and got EXACTLY the same score again, which was disheartening. I pretty much took all of march / half of april off, and then restarted studying end of april. I then restarted studying in april, still part time. During this time, I continued reading kaplan, doing Khan academy practice questions, and anki.
Full time studying:
I started full time studying May 1. On average I studied 5hours a day on the days I had work, 8 hours a day on the days I didn't, took a practice test on Saturdays (reviewed half of it that evening (I really think you should review cars right after you take it, otherwise you loose understanding of the reasoning you thought). I would usually review the second half of the exam the following day, and only study 3-4 hours on Sunday.
This was a very succesful strategy for me. The PR class has you take an AAMC practice test as your baseline and I scored a 513 on this (130/129/127/127) which obviously I was stoked about and gave me a ton of confidence.
When my princeton review class started, I did the 3 hour class, the majority of the reading, and about 50% of the suggested practice. Occasionally, during parts of the class I really understood (like gen chem), I would practice other sections. During this time, I took a full length every week, did flash cards, read berkely review for the stuff I didn't understand, did KA practice questions, did the Kaplan / Blueprint Q-Banks. I did this for about six weeks.
For the last 6 weeks of studying, I finished up the PR class, and started AAMC. The other important things I did (which are kinda unique?) which I truly think helped me succeed are 1) I wrote out every single word of the Kaplan quick sheets by hand, 2) I wrote out every single word of the Miles Down quick sheets by hand, 3) I looked up the weirdest mnemonics for everything and texted them to my long distance SO / told them over facetime; Laughing over them and sharing them really made them stick 4) I read every single word of the JW content outline aloud. My roommates definitely thought I was crazy ( I definitely sounded it) but this definitely helped like 1000%. Legitimately, the bio question I am 100% sure I got wrong (and likely the reason I got a 131 and not a 132) was from the one sub-sub-sub section that I said screw it, this isn't going to be on the test.
I continued doing a practice test each week. I reviewed all of the AAMC materials.
For the week before the test I took things pretty easy, I reviewed everything super leisurely. Bio was still what I was struggling with so the only thing I did practice test wise was take the Sample Bio (which I got a 58/59 on so a 132). I didn't do the rest of the sample because I was feeling kinda burnt out.
A note about full lengths:
I took full lengths almost exactly in testing conditions: no referencing notes, wearing the same outfit (down to the socks), eating the same meal, same time of day, same weird whiteboard thing, wore a mask (you had to when I took it, not sure if its still the same) et.c. However, I did practice with certain (distractions). I tried to mimic, what happens if I had five minutes fewer due to a malfunction, what if my pen doesn't work, what if a loud alarm goes off, et.c. This allowed me to prepare incase anything went wrong.
My Practice Tests (in order, including ones where I only did a section):
Blue Print Half Length Diagnostic 497 125 126 121 125
Kaplan Science Assessment N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Kaplan Practice test 1 506 127 127 125 127
Kaplan Practice test 2 506 127 127 125 127
Blueprint Practice test 10 126 127
AAMC FL1 513!!!! 130 129 127 127
Blueprint Bio Only practice test 1 129!!!
Princeton Review FL 1 512!!! 127 129 127 129!!
Princeton Review FL 2 508 :( 126 127 127 128
Blueprint Chem/Phys Only practice test 1 129!!!!
Blueprint Cars Only practice test 1 128
Blueprint P/S Only practice test 1 129!
Blueprint Practice test 2 517!!!!!!!! lets go! 131 (WTF, how????) 128 129 129
Blueprint Practice test 3 515 129 128 129 129
AAMC FL2 519!!!! 130 130! 130! 129
AAMC FL3 519!!!! 130 128 130 131!
AAMC FL4 524!!!!!!!!!!!!! 132!!!!! 132!!!!! 128 :( 132!!!!!
AAMC Sample, biology only 131!!!!!!!!
AAMC average (519)
The day before test day I slept in a motel Literally
in the same strip mall as the testing center. I went there the day before to ensure that I knew where it was and to ask them a couple of questions. While you only need one form of photo ID I made sure I had two just in case. I woke up early, did a couple jumping jacks, chugged an iced coffee (big mistake, I had to pee SOOOOOO badly during C/P (but maybe thats the reason for the 132, who knows)). Got to the testing center early (was the first one). I had pretty good timing for the test (except cars, had only like 4 minutes for the last passage). I finished P/S 40 minutes early, because I was tired and just done. However, I thought I FAILED when I came out of the testing center. No lie, I almost voided (THANK GOD I DIDN'T). I went back to my hotel, cried my eyes out, and went home.
Score result day:
Again, I thought I failed, I was very pleasantly surprised when I got my score back ( I also cried). Was super happy to NEVER have to take this stupid test again.
whew! That was long. Super happy to answer questions you all might have on my (insane, ngl) study schedule.
Wishing everyone 528's
Hi, THRA because I wont reveal my identity, but I make a living exposing shady businesses on YT with my team that makes every part of the process for me.
I had a young employee, who was kinda Ok with his living but not good enough, so I offered to be his landlord, his employer, and also I bought him a 60k car because I have that kind of money to clean my nose with, but he still had to do payments to me for the money.
Well, he was annoying to have around, so an asshole therapist that I recommended him told him to leave the house. What a douchebag.
I had a deadline for a project, but his computer broke so he traveled back home to get a computer, so I went there and got back the car I bought for him. He had a lot of trash in the car like a 4K monitor and a YT play button, I didn't want to have that trash next to my regular trash that my house is full of, so I just throw it away. He tried to trash talk me on the internet but I sent him an NDA.
Now the asshole did a video trash talking me and I'm loosing a lot of views and revenue, but I'm the victim here, so that's not fair.
Oh and I showed his final note because I wanted people to sympathize with me for putting up with a mentally unstable young man, because I'm the one who is mentally well, I'm just kinda messy sometimes but who isn't?
BTW Am I being an asshole here? I feel like I'm being treated unfairly by everyone.
Questions about specific video games, cars, movies, work, lifestyle or whatever. This app created the worlds greatest organizer of information and it's getting smited. I will not be coming back to reddit once this wonderful app is no longer available. If I have to use the official app, I'd rather just not.
ok so i’ve never made a reddit post before and i’m sorry if i do anything wrong here, but this has literally haunted me since i was a kid and i cannot find it ANYWHERE!
i distinctly remember watching muchmusic on tv (i’m canadian, it was like a channel that showed music videos all the time idk if it was in other countries) and there was a music video that creeped me right out as a kid that i can’t find anywhere!! it’s a tad gory, so i’m not sure how to tag it, but just know it’s Very Weird.
the plot of the video goes like this: a guy (i’m assuming the singer of the tune) and his friend are in a car going to a really rich house with a bunch of really stereotypically rich people, (i think it was some family reunion for the friend?) it begins with the friend eating snacks in the car, and feeding one down his collar into his throat.
the next thing i remember is there being a family dinner, in which everyone there is shooting dirty looks at the guy. there is then a puppet show which the family puts on, which the friend enjoys so much he unbuttons his collar to reveal a mouth/hole in the middle of his throat that is singing. everyone there is HORRIFIED, and an old man (maybe the dad) goes over and rips it out of his throat, still singing. the mouth thing looks like a gray eel in it’s entirety, and then the old man puts it in some kind of old-fashioned machine and there’s a massive electrical explosion with a bunch of sparks flying everywhere and i think a chandelier falls?
that’s all i remember, i don’t remember any of the actual song (or this would be so much easier).
thank you guys in advance for your help, this has haunted me for years !!
I reverted to Islam last year, Alhamdullilah.
I've had my ups and downs and wanted to just share some thoughts that may be beneficial to others in my position.
I had been admiring Islam from afar for years. I started watching the Deen Show on YouTube circa 2012. I had been drawn in by a video of Sh. Yusuf Estes. I even tried to pray salah one day when I was home alone!
There I was married to someone who absolutely did not support my religious musings. I felt trapped. And I felt like the only way I could live as a Muslim, or even think about Islam, was to lead a secret life. On one occasion, because of my then wife's work, I was able to attend an open house at a masjid. It was the first time I ever entered a masjid. I wanted to be a part of this. But I had to just appreciate it from afar as an outsider.
Time passed and circumstances changed. Now I was living alone. I have an (adult) brother who hasn't quite grown up. He's much younger than I am. He was around 21 at the time. I was (gently) reminding him that he has the world at his fingertips. He isn't nearly as limited as he was acting. He was only considering paths that were directly in front of him. He could, I reminded him, just pick up and move across the country. He could quit his job and go back to school. He could enlist in the military like I had done when I was 18. He could do ANYTHING. He had no serious ties to the area or his work. He had freedom that he was simply not using.
After I hung up I realized I needed to take my own advice. My whole life I had lived in my head. I imagined scenarios and "what-ifs." So I thought, if I moved anywhere in the world, what is the first community I would tap into. I realized the answer was the Muslim community. No hesitation. I emailed the Imam of a mosque nearby. No too near, mind you. I went further out. I wasn't ready to bring Islam all the way home. I wanted some distance "just in case" this wasn't what I was looking for. It seems silly to me, in retrospect.
I told the Imam I wanted to take Shahadah. He suggested I come to Jummah but arrive a bit early. I did. The prayer room was packed. I didn't know where to go. I didn't know if I should sit or stand. I couldn't find the Imam.
I had a panic attack. I walked out. I went back to my car. I said, out loud, "Welp, that Islamic adventure was fun but I think I'm good now." I sat in my car and started it. I was ready to go home and never look back. But as I saw the families all walking into the masjid I realized that I wasn't "good" without Islam. And I would never be "all good" without Islam. I took a deep breath and walked back inside.
A brother approached me saying "Oh good, you're here! We saved you a seat in the back!" and ushered me to sit with a member of the community. I was so relieved. So glad I came back! Minutes later I realized something; they thought I was someone else. They thought I was a guest speaker from a community development program who was scheduled to speak after services. I wasn't, I explained. I was here to take Shahadah. We all had a good laugh.
I took Shahadah in front of a room full of brothers. I remember looking out at a sea of cell phones recording me as I became a Muslim. What followed were hugs, free Qurans, a monetary gift and many, many well wishes.
And then...I felt alone again. I still did not know what to do. I didn't know how to pray. I didn't know how to navigate the masjid or observe basic customs. I felt like a stranger despite no longer being outside of the fold. This apprehension I used as an excuse to slide into old habits. I had a girlfriend. I went back with her. But the nagging feeling that this wasn't for me persisted. I ended the relationship about a month later and I resumed praying. The bigger issue was that I still had no sense of community. I would go to jummah but I still felt like I just didn't belong.
The first step I took was I found a masjid closer to home. I attended jummah there for a few weeks. But I found that I never even got an introduction in after an initial salaam. Everyone was too busy. It was too crowded. The social circles were set. A few days later I was eating an early dinner with a colleague and I had a realization; I needed to go for daily prayer. I had never done this. The impulse was sudden. I can only give credit to Allah for this insight. I ended the dinner, I jumped in my car. I looked at the clock. I was going to be late for Asr. I was probably going to miss everyone. I arrived five minutes late. A brother greeted me and said "I'm so sorry, brother. We're running behind. The Imam was delayed! We should start in a few minutes!"
And so I joined the brothers for the first time in a more relaxed and less crowded time. A few days later I did it again. Now, they were greeting me by name. By the third daily prayer I was being asked if I knew anything about construction or DIY because they wanted another set of eyes on a broken gate behind the masjid. Less than a week later I was being enrolled as a member. Weeks on and I feel like I am a part of the community and not an outside observer.
I'm writing this because I feel like if someone told me a story like this I would have felt a lot better in those early days. Cultural differences scared me away. Resilience and trust brought me closer and allowed me to feel like I was a part of the community. Everyone's circumstances are different but I hope this story helps some folks in similar circumstances realize that they are not alone and they CAN be a part of this community and that they should play the long game because, ultimately, this is their home too.
I’m looking for a band. I found them in 2018, off of a list article with other bands from different languages while looking for other Russian club music.
The band was a Yakut pop/emo style band and the article I found them in described them as being a band to watch out for in the up and coming “Y-pop” genre. I’ve looked high and low for this with little luck. Their music videos that I can recall involve a woman running and riding in a car through fields with lots of plains/landscape imagery. I believe their name may have also started with an “A” but it’s been so long I’m not sure.
Any help or suggestions would be appreciated greatly!