About the ads

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Check out PREMED.me!
    Offers FREE service to help premeds manage their applications and MCAT study calendars and identify schools to target.

Breaking Down the MCAT: A 3 Month MCAT Study Schedule

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by SN2ed, May 1, 2009.

  1. This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors and sponsors. Thank you.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. cindydean89

    cindydean89

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    11

    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]I don't have BR books.
  2. tman5890

    tman5890 Fiery Devotion

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Messages:
    6,223
    Location:
    On an island, in NY
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    You can use EK or TPR books
  3. luckviii

    luckviii

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Okay I noticed that TBR and ExamKracker (& THP) chapter ones are different in Biology. I was wondering if it makes a difference which chapter I start. Or would it be smarter doing my weaker chapters first? Or chapters that has
    More memorizations?
  4. smile8888

    smile8888 SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Messages:
    264
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Tips from people who are already half way or almost done with their MCAT study plan are greatly appreciated. Do you guys think EK has the best Verbal strategies? I have just started my MCAT studying (preparing for January MCAT) and I have just completed the EK Verbal book. Took all three in class exams and score somewhere around 8-9 each time. I am quite frustrated. Should I be concerned? And I need some tips on how to go about improving my score. Any advice is appreciated!

    Does the "question stem" strategy really help that much? Because even though it seems to work in the chapter they taught it, I find it very difficult to apply to other passages.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  5. alliswell

    alliswell

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Messages:
    65
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Any successful stories of people who pushed their test date to January because their scoring way lower than their target score on their practice tests? I don't really want to prolong my suffering (who does, right?) but I still don't feel ready to take the test. I'm applying next year and thought of studying for the MCAT this summer just to get it out of the way. It sucks but I gotta admit that I was a little bit distracted while following this schedule so partially my fault too.

    Anyways, I have only taken two practice tests so far. And my scores are:

    AAMC 4: 7/6/7
    AAMC 3: 10/6/8

    I'm targeting a 33-35. Verbal is my major concern. I've been scoring 6-8 ever since so I'm really not expecting a huge improvement for the next 3 weeks (scheduled to take the Sept.8 test) especially school starts for me this week. And obviously, my sciences are not that strong as well.

    Anyways, any helpful/inspiring story or advice would be greatly appreciated.
  6. tman5890

    tman5890 Fiery Devotion

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Messages:
    6,223
    Location:
    On an island, in NY
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I'm in a similar situation as you and decided I should probably postpone until January. It's a long time from now, but hopefully it'll give me a new perspective when I start studying again.
  7. rosenk

    rosenk

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    55
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Can someone with the TBR 2008 books let me know whether those books have discrete questions?
    Also, I wonder why the TBR books are recommended over TPR. Do they have better content review or is it because of the passages? I have the whole TPR set, EK 1001+101, should I get TBR books for more passages (if my schedule and my pocket allow) or should I focus on FL tests instead?
  8. alliswell

    alliswell

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Messages:
    65
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    It's nice to finally meet someone that is in the same situation as I am. I'm still gonna take the September test though, just to see how it is, but I'll probably gonna stop taking any more full lengths. Seeing the result of my first FL suck up all my confidence and can't focus properly since then. Seeing my VR score for my second FL just made me wanna raise the white flag. Confidence is definitely a big part of this test and once you lose it, your done.

    Anyways, good luck on studying and thank you!:)
  9. tman5890

    tman5890 Fiery Devotion

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Messages:
    6,223
    Location:
    On an island, in NY
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm probably still gonna take it to get an idea of how test day will actually go. Good luck to you, too! Hope you get the score you want the first time!
  10. dlee262

    dlee262

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    16
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I'm going to be a full time student this school year, and I'll be taking organic and physics for both semesters. I took basic biology and chemistry two years ago. And I plan to take the MCAT the following summer of 2012.

    Since you don't advice hard studying long before the test, is there anything that you recommend that I could do during the first semester and winter break? Would training for the verbal section and reviewing general biology and chemistry be helpful? If so, which books should I use?

    Your assistance will be highly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

    dlee262
  11. tman5890

    tman5890 Fiery Devotion

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Messages:
    6,223
    Location:
    On an island, in NY
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I think it would be in your best interest to read a lot of articles from the economist and other online sources to get you reading for verbal. A lot of the passages can be dense so try to figure out the main idea of the articles to the best of your ability. Keep reading and it should really help in the long run. As far as reviewing gen bio/chem, I think you can wait until you start content review for the MCAT. Hope this helps :)
  12. SA744735

    SA744735

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    SN2ed,

    Is it okay to purchase all of the study materials as PDF files or is it better to stick with the paperback versions? I've found thats its significantly cheaper to get these books as ebooks but I am not sure if it is a good idea to have hundreds of pages of material to look through on the computer screen...
  13. tman5890

    tman5890 Fiery Devotion

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Messages:
    6,223
    Location:
    On an island, in NY
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    From my experience I think it depends on how you learn better. I can read for longer periods of time on the computer, but I retain less than if I read the book :oops:
  14. SN2ed

    SN2ed Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    7,402
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Do I think it's okay to buy pirated material? No, I don't. Buy the actual versions.
  15. Robot Unicorn

    Robot Unicorn

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    36
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Yeah, probably don't do it.

    But if the pirating thing isn't important to you, then your first inclination was right. Looking at your computer screen for that long is no fun at all.

    I scanned a chapter or two to read while I was away so I wouldn't have to take my book, and it was one of the most painful experiences of my life (at least for my eyes). I ended up rereading the chapters when I got back.
  16. pbsky86

    pbsky86

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    I've been using this method for the past 2.5 months, with a few more break days added in so I could pay my bills, haha. The only difference is I didn't use any TBR, just TPR and EK-bio w/1,001's (while supplementing Kaplan chapters for the topics I didn't didn't like in the TPR books).

    I just finished all the chapter reviews this week, and finally at the hat trick. I scheduled to take my test Sept. 10, and I realize I don't have enough time to take all the FLs that are scheduled and still do all the 3rd 1/3's. At this point which do you think is more important: 1.) take all the FLs scheduled and use them to go back and review weak areas or 2.) take less FLs and do the last 1/3's questions in between the FL-reviews? I'll be taking my first FL tomorrow.

    Aside from cutting it close, this study schedule has worked wonders, I feel more confident now than I have ever before (I studied with the Kaplan course, signed up and backed out of the MCAT last minute at the beginning of the year).

    Thanks!
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  17. UnifiedField

    UnifiedField

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    33
    Status:
    Post Doc
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Hey guys I did the majority of the BR physics, bio and chemistry passages as well as the TPR science workbook passages. I noticedthat the BR chemistry,bio and physics passages were much more easier and basic compared to the actual MCAT I took on August 19, 2011. It seemed like the TPR science workbook had more similar passages for the chemistry, physics, and bio section, anyone else feel that way? Any comments? Help a sister out!
  18. tman5890

    tman5890 Fiery Devotion

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Messages:
    6,223
    Location:
    On an island, in NY
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I think you'll have better luck posting this in the 8/19 MCAT thread where others in your situation can help. Wish I could help for.
  19. UnifiedField

    UnifiedField

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    33
    Status:
    Post Doc
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Thanks for the help. I posted it there as well. I was more curious though as to what others thought about this here since the 3 month and 4 month mcat schedule is heavily based on doing the BR science passages as opposed to the TPR passages...for me it seemed the BR passages were way to basic compared to the actual MCAT...the TPR science passages seemed more similar to the actual MCAT :confused:
  20. Samchik

    Samchik

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    75
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Has anyone incorporated entirely TPR materials into 3 or 4-month schedule similar to the BR schedule discussed in this thread?
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  21. BilalL

    BilalL

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Messages:
    112
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    TPR science workbook seems much easier for me. I can 100% almost all their passages. I can't get close to doing that with TBR on which i usually get 1-3 to wrong.
  22. tman5890

    tman5890 Fiery Devotion

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Messages:
    6,223
    Location:
    On an island, in NY
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Maybe it just plays to your strengths. I know most people have trouble with the TBR material..I know I did :laugh:
  23. rosenk

    rosenk

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    55
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I got the paper books. They are heavy and expensive (I bought the whole set from their website) but it's better than reading review contents on the screen ( it hurts my eyes and I can't concentrate)
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  24. AM90

    AM90 I am delta G negative.

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    269
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Someone had made a link where it generated the start date of this schedule based on the exam test date. I've searched and gone through the thread, but I clearly have missed this. Anyone know where it is?

    If so, can you post it in here or PM it to me. Thanks!
  25. PingPongPro

    PingPongPro

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Messages:
    584
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Did you know each of the days are numbered on the first page. Just look at the total # of days for whichever version of the schedule you want to do, and subtract that many days from when your MCAT test date is.

    MCAT = Critical thinking. Some months may have different number of days, but this could have probably been done in like 2 minutes, rather than searching through the thread and asking for it.
  26. AM90

    AM90 I am delta G negative.

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    269
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I was aware of that method, but thanks for your kindness.
  27. BerkReviewTeach

    BerkReviewTeach Company Rep & Bad Singer Exhibitor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,973
    SDN Exhibitor SDN 5+ Year Member
    You do realize that you just asked a respected moderator to tell whether engaging in unlawful behavior is good or not.

    The unethical and illegal aspects of your question aside, a big part of the learning process is writing notes and showing your work as you solve problems. In time you write less and less with each new homework set, indicating you are getting better at the material and questions. A purely computerized review will prove to be less effective, cumbersome in terms of keeping track of what you've done already, and most of all leave you with disorganized notes that will make it hard to look back at target subjects near the end of your review. We learn much better from physical books and readers than online reading. Something about having more than your eyes in motion when working through material seems to help with understanding and retention.
  28. 126990

    126990 Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    L.A.
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Where is the step-by-step instructions for the 3-5-month long MCAT preparation self-study? I'd like to follow that. Thank you.
  29. cindydean89

    cindydean89

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    11
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Thanks a lot.
  30. tierras

    tierras

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Does anyone know if I can substitute the The Princeton Review Cracking the MCAT 2011-2012 for the Berkley Review. I have the Princeton Review MCAT CBT that I used before and I was thinking about borrowing the Princeton Review Hyperlearning from one my friends since two of them took the Princeton Review Course. The BR books are very expensive and I much rather spend 51 bucks versus 245.
  31. SN2ed

    SN2ed Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    7,402
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    This has always been on the front page, not sure why people aren't reading it:

    Possible Book Replacements:

    If you're having a hard time finding the TPR Hyperlearning Verbal Workbook, BR is an okay replacement. Well, there's not much of a choice left. Again, I HIGHLY recommend you hunt down the TPRH Verbal Workbook.

    TPRH is a great choice for content review in all subjects, however, you still need the BR books and EK 101 Verbal for their practice passages. TPRH does not have enough practice passages, though the Workbooks are still great resources.



    Also, since it doesn't look like there have been any new questions pertaining to the schedule for quite a while, I will probably close this soon. I'll be deleting all of the posts that don't directly relate to the schedule to make it easier for people to read through this thread.
  32. tierras

    tierras

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    SDN 2+ Year Member

    I read the first page. I assumed the TPRH is different from the Book at Barnes and Nobles. The question was more directed to the book (TPR Cracking the MCAT) from Barnes Nobles. I'm already but the EK 1001/101 plus the TPR Workbook and TPR Verbral and Writing. I'm assuming you answer is for the TPR Cracking the MCAT.

    I'm just not willing to spend that much money for passages although I understand BR has great passages.
  33. PreMedSeed

    PreMedSeed

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Messages:
    24
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Hi SN2ed,

    I'm a non-traditional student who's been tutoring for years since graduation. I plan on quitting my full time job and committing myself 100% to your MCAT schedule, I was wondering if you could please help answer a few of my questions regarding your MCAT schedule:

    1. From my diagnostic, I scored a 6 PS, 5 VR, 6 BS. I guess my science knowledge base is very very very weak and I feel completely foreign to the MCAT critical thinking process of which encompasses the entire exam. Would you recommend the 3 or 4 month schedule for me? Like I have mentioned, I plan on quitting my job, then study in Oct/Nov till March/April and apply in June if all goes well.

    2. After days of hunting, I finally tracked down a TPRH Verbal workbook. I scored a 5 on my Verbal Diagnostic so I guess Verbal is my weakest subject also given my extreme struggle while doing them! I left the last 3 passages blank due to overwhelming time constraint. Do you recommend me to purchase a BR Verbal book given that I already have the TPRH Verbal workbook + EK 101 Verbal?

    3. I was a biology major (many years ago), thus if anything I'd consider my current limited aging knowledge to be most dominate in biology. I'm contemplating whether to purchase the EK Biology. You mentioned that the EK Bio nails a great majority of the topics tested on MCAT Biology but it lacks depth which I interpret as not sufficient to obtain a good Bio score. My preference between a detailed or non-detailed approach doesn't matter as long as I know the depth of the source can solely help me score a 15. So I was curious if I should buy the EK Bio or should the BR Bio be suffice to obtain a good score?

    4. After finding out that I was changing careers, one of my tutees gave me a EK 1001 Questions Biology for my birthday. It doesn't seem like you recommend pre meds to buy it, but since I already have it, do you suggest that I stay away from it and rather stick to BR Bio Passages?

    5. You mention do passages (Verbal or Science) within 6-7 minutes. I can barely do them within 10. Any strategies/tips you might recommend? I typically read actively through the passage then answer the questions in order; I refer back to the passages frequently.

    Also, I just wanted to let you know that my tutee offered to lend me all her 2009 TPR content books + workbooks. So please let me know if you recommend me using the TPR material alongside the ones you initially recommended, and possibly how I might incorporate them into the schedule.

    Once again, thank you very much for for the time and effort you put into these valuable posts. You've helped sparked a dying flame in my life to pursue career that I've always dreamed of since undergrad.

    Best,

    PreMedSeed
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  34. panoz

    panoz

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I am just posting my thoughts on SN2 method. I followed the schedule fairly closely but made a few adjustments. I didn't use EK or the hatrick and I added 3 additional TBR practise tests to the AAMC.

    I wrote Aug 5th and started studying early May so it was a bit more than 3 months I put into it. I was pulling 8hrs a day for those 3 months roughly. It took me a lot more time than I thought to cover the TBR chapters + passages.

    The schedule is excellent and well made so kudos to SN2. Going into the test I felt I had prepared adequately but the real thing felt much more difficult than any of the practise tests but I still managed to score close to my AAMC average. I scored a 35R 12/11/R/12 and I feel that is due to the schedule that I followed and the materials I used. I am not a natural test taker so it was really the practise that paid off. When I left the test centre I had no idea how it went. After the AAMC tests I could roughly predict my score but with real deal I had no clue. I think when people say that you score your average for the AAMC it is roughly true…or at least it was for me. I say use this schedule if you can't devote the proper amount of time to it, I believe it's the best I've seen.
  35. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Messages:
    2,294
    Location:
    Beantown.
    Status:
    Non-Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Does anyone who used TBR bio vs EK bio have to comment on what worked better with the schedule?

    I'm going to use the TBR bio passages this time, but debating between the content on EK or TBR. Thanks.

    Weak spots for my exam last time were Gen chem, orgo, and verbal.

    Using TBR for both GC and Orgo, and TPR for vr since i burned through Ek101.
  36. AntonFreeman

    AntonFreeman

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    240
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    i am not following the schedule but i have been using both books. i think if you know EK bio book pretty well, you can go through TBR passages. there are a lot of details in TBR bio book. i originally planned for september test but i think i am going to go through all passages in TBR and just try to focus on analyzing graphs/passages rather than focusing on details.
  37. kehlsh

    kehlsh Medic Commando

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,053
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    really hoping to post here in 1 month... i've been close
  38. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Messages:
    2,294
    Location:
    Beantown.
    Status:
    Non-Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I'm a second time test taker and I messed up by not practicing enough the first time so that what I'm trying to fix this time.

    I'm thinking that I'll read and take notes on EK and just read through TBR. That way I'll hit everything.

    Thanks.
  39. BurntFlower

    BurntFlower

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    827
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I'm a current senior who is planning on applying for the 2012-2013 cycle, and want to take the MCAT next year. I've read all your advice, and I find it terrific but I still have one question. If the best time to study for the MCAT is when you're not taking classes (therefore, I would study for the MCAT the summer after I graduate), would there still be enough time to apply for the next cycle if I take the MCAT in August?

    Thank you in advance!
  40. tman5890

    tman5890 Fiery Devotion

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Messages:
    6,223
    Location:
    On an island, in NY
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    You can still apply if you take it in August. Just get everything else on your app ready and amcas will send the scores to the schools. If you finish school earlier, you could try taking it late July, too.
  41. BurntFlower

    BurntFlower

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    827
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    That's good advice, thank you! But one question, when do you normally send your primary application? I'm a new pre-med so I'm a bit lost in this whole application process. :p
  42. SN2ed

    SN2ed Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    7,402
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Thread closed. I'll sort through the posts when I have some free time and only keep the posts that are directly related to the schedule.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page


About the ads