Originally Posted by VisionsFinest
Thank you all for your detailed responses. I really can't explain how much I appreciate it. So how should my studying schedule go, if let's say I take the Kaplan in-classroom course which is from 06/11/2012 - 07/30/2012, Monday and Wednesday for 7 weeks? I am thinking about also incorporating the OAT destroyer along with the Kaplan course as practice questions. So if you guys were to set up a study schedule, how would it look like?
I would like to take my exam around the 2nd week of September for the 2013 application cycle. Is this still considered early into the cycle?
Kaplan will actually give you a study schedule to follow during the class. I would follow that while you are in the course, but remember not to take the full length tests or the section tests, since you only get to use those once. I was taking the Kaplan course while enrolled in a number of pre-req's, so I couldn't keep pace with their schedule and my other classes. I kind of did bare bones or next to nothing during the course (probably a piece of why I came out thinking it was rather useless
). But if you do all the reading they tell you to do and follow along with the quizzes, that will give you a really good first run-through of the material.
What I did when I started studying hard core leading up to my test (months after I took the course) is that I dedicated a week or two to a particular subject. So let's pretend you go in the order Biology, Chemistry, OChem, Physics (I didn't really do much with the reading or math....hit those hard during the in-person course...maybe set aside a week to study math on your own, but I think your reading will improve by using Kaplan's methods for that section). During the first week of studying on your own, you read and reread all the biology sections in the big book (you should have already read these while you were taking the course, so this is complete review, but read it like you're reading it for the first time). Take all the quizzes in your book. Do all the workshops online. Take all the subject tests online. Take them day after day until you're getting a perfect score because you KNOW the material, not because you have memorized the answer. Do the flashcards over and over again until you have them memorized (Separate out the cards you know well from the ones you are missing, and concentrate on the ones you are not doing well on). At the end of the week, take a full-length test. Spend a lot of time reviewing your score report and looking through the explanations for all the questions you missed. Identify where you are lacking and write those subjects down. Spend one more day reviewing those sections again and see if you have learned the material to answer the questions you missed. Then move on to Chemistry and do the exact same thing.
Example: (let's say you have 6 weeks of studying on your own)
Week 1: Biology (chapters in book, flashcards, online workshops, online subject tests)
Week 2: Gen Chemistry (chapters in book, flashcards, online workshops, online subject tests)
End of Week 2: Take a full-length test
Week 3: Biology and Gen Chemistry again (because these were your lowest sections - reread chapters, continue with flashcards, redo online workshops in your weak areas, take all online subject tests again. Look for outside resources on any subjects that continue to be hard. Textbooks can be helpful for this, but they contain a lot more information than you need. Skim for some good information, but don't dive too deep into textbook stuff. Google can help here too)
End of Week 3: Natural Science Section Test (this includes OChem, which you haven't started on yet, but no worries...it's good preview for what you will be studying in the next week)
Week 4: O-Chem (chapters in book, flashcards, online workshops, online subject tests)
End of Week 4: Natural Science Section Test 2, take a full-length test (if you end up using any of your full-length tests during the classroom course, skip a full-length test here)
Week 5: Physics (chapters in book, flashcards, online workshops, online subject tests)
Half-way through Week 5: Physics Section Test 1 (use feedback here to help your studying through the rest of the week)
End of Week 5: Physics Section Test 2, take a full-length test
Week 6: Review areas where you continue to be weak (what you see on score reports or quizzes where you haven't scored 100% yet), Review math, take Math and Reading Section tests for practice
End of Week 6: Take your last full-length test at least 3 days before your real OAT - you don't want to be TOO burned out, but you want the results in time to still cover whatever material you can.
That schedule only includes using 4 full-length tests...I think they want you to take your diagnostic test at the beginning of the course, which is one of your full-length tests. You should take that one then, because it will help you see your weak areas where you need to focus during the course. You've already taken one practice test and have that score report too...so feel free to take the 5th full-length test at any point during the course. Maybe you want to save it until half-way through the course or do it at the end of the course to see your progress so far...whatever!
Hope that helps! I made a million study schedules and always revised it because I would need more time in one area or another (or I got lazy and got behind). I ended up with very little time to study Ochem and Physics and felt very weak in those areas going into the test. But ehh...it is what it is! Your fine taking your real OAT in September, but be ready to enter the scores that day and hit submit on OptomCAS - and make sure to budget time to finish your personal statement and the online app...it's very time-consuming to enter all your classes into the system one-by-one.