Originally Posted by VisionsFinest
Your detailed response is really motivating me to use Kaplan. So the advantage of the Kaplan course is the timed 5 full length exams that you can only take once via computer. Then at the end it gives you a score report and lets you know what are your weakness/strengths. This is what I need and am thinking now in pursuing.
However, you mentioned that the lecture classroom was not that helpful. Did you feel that during the classroom you didn't learn the material well from the instructor or was it just that you teach yourself better on your own? I have the Kaplan laminated flashcards, the Kaplan Review Notes and the Kaplan subject flash cards with me, so would you recommend that I use these Kaplan materials on my own since the lecture classroom was not that helpful? Then I can use the OAT Achiever for the timed practice tests.
I see that you were using Kaplan for the concepts. I was using Chad's Videos for the concepts. I just want the right organization and the right material to study from and do well the second time around. I don't see the money as an issue but would hate wasting my time and not doing well.
You can't get the Kaplan online resources without purchasing the class, so that kind of stinks. I think the classroom was helpful for a couple things, but there's just way too much information to cover in those short classes. I mean, I think it's maybe a total of 6 classroom hours on biology - with how much studying you put in for yoru first OAT, you can appreciate how little time that is in the long run. The benefit to the class is that your instructor will often have good tips to share about how to remember certain big point-getter concepts. All instructors had to get at least in the 90th percentile I *think*. Anyway, I went to all of the classes except the math one and I don't regret going. I just feel like I learned a lot more on my own.
The 5 timed tests are definitely a big advantage. I think having it in the real OAT interface was another really helpful thing. Because on test day, I freaked out less since I had already seen that a ton of times. Also, I forgot to mention that there are some "workshops" - like slide shows with audio - for various subjects. I guess that's akin to Chad's videos (it sounds like at least, but I never used those). I think Kaplan dumps a lot of money into researching the exam, so I feel like you get the closest experience to the real thing by using them. I did have a couple questions that threw me for a loop on test day, but it was mostly things I had already seen. Yes, the score reports are also amazingly helpful. It saves you lots of time from trying to track your own progress on practice tests or try to figure out your weak areas. Also getting to take the subject tests over and over again helped me....especially when I was taking one a couple weeks after I learned a topic and that was helping refresh the most important concepts.
I still think getting the Kaplan course is worth it, even though you have lots of the hard copy materials right now. I spent so much time on the computer-based resources that I don't think it's the same experience to use just the hard copy stuff. I have no idea how Chad's videos or OAT destroyer are. Lots of people on here loved them, but I still think Kaplan is the best overall package. I feel like if you put the same amount of time into the Kaplan materials (online stuff included) that you put into your first round of studying, you can't help but significantly improve. You've got the right study habits going as far as how much time you need to spend on it. Just make sure to cover the same material over and over again so you don't forget it once you move onto something new!