Originally Posted by VisionsFinest
Thanks for your response. There is way too much material out there. The Kaplan course, Kaplan books, Princeton course, Princeton Books, Chad's Videos, OAT Destroyer, OAT Achiever, MCAT Exam Crackers and I bet there are more resources out there to do well on the OAT.
I heard that if you subscribe to the Kaplan course, you get like 10 full length practice exams. So are these exams worth it or the OAT Achiever?
Money is not an issue for me, but I feel that if I have too much materials, I will feel overwhelmed and absolutely unorganized. It is best to stick with one set of material and to master it. Authors have different ways of instructing the concepts in different books.
I think the Kaplan course is the best investment if money isn't an issue. That's what I did. I think the classroom part is only minimally helpful, but the only things are fabulous.
You get 5 full-length tests that are timed and use the same interface as what you see on the actual OAT. There are also Section Tests and Subject Tests beyond the full-length ones. The Section Tests are like an isolated Natural Sciences or isolated Quantitative Reasoning - each one the same time and difficulty as one section on the actual test, but you don't take them back-to-back like a full-length test. You get 2 of those per section, so it's like having 2 more full-length exams broken up into pieces. The Subject Tests test the depth of your knowledge on different parts of each subject. So for example, there might be one about photosynthesis for the Biology section, or one about nomenclature for O-Chem. There isn't one of those for EVERY subject of every section, but it covers the big ones. You can only take the full-length and section tests ONE TIME each. The subject tests you can take over and over again. For everything you take, Kaplan gives you a really detailed score report that shows your areas of weaknesses (like maybe it's elimination reactions in Ochem or respiration in biology or electricity in physics). So every time I took one of those tests, I spent a lot of time looking at my weak areas and then went back and studied those again.
I think one huge key is to cover a subject over and over again. It's not enough to cover it once and then move on, because you will forget it fast. I took the subject tests like 5 times each...maybe more! I read all the chapters in the big Lecture Notes book they give you *multiple times* (especially if I continued to be weak in a section). I spent about the same time studying as you, but I think the Kaplan resources give you lots of good feedback in order to really direct your studying to the areas that need it most.
I used Kaplan almost exclusively. I didn't use it as much for O-chem, but rather used some other random book that wasn't associated with OAT prep because I liked the format better. O-Chem was tied for my worst section in the end though, so maybe I should've used Kaplan more! I also think Kaplan's flashcards are wonderful. I memorized all the physics, biology, and chem ones forward and backward and that helped lots with the random facts you have to know (like equations, definitions, etc.).
I got a 390 TS / 380 AA and hadn't even taken Biochemistry, Microbio, or Physics 2 lab yet. So I think the Kaplan resources are well worth the time and money! Plus I felt like they really prepared me well for the exam by the time I had really exhausted the information in both the books and online resources.