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How soon after Kaplan prep should I take the MCAT

Discussion in 'Kaplan MCAT Forum' started by ratherbesleepin, 03.26.11.

  1. ratherbesleepin

    ratherbesleepin

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    I hear people say you should take it asap so it is fresh in your mind, but that others feel the need a few weeks of prep on their own.

    Opinions?
  2. zeppelinpage4

    zeppelinpage4

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    I'm glad this was brought up, I was wondering the same thing, as I am trying to sign up for a class with the right dates.
  3. ratherbesleepin

    ratherbesleepin

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    ya. I'm signing up for a kaplan class that ends july 3 but i cant decide which mcat to take (July 6th, 16th or 28th)
  4. apumic

    apumic Oracle of the Sheet

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    IIRC, they suggest 2-3 weeks. Give yourself time but not more than a month.
  5. Hoya2009

    Hoya2009 ASA Member

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    I tell my students ~3 weeks after the class ends. That is what I did when I took the MCAT post-Kaplan.

    3 weeks gives you time to take 6-9 full-length exams and review them on your own time. More time than that and you start getting diminishing returns on your time. Less, and you may feel rushed.
  6. LaurenMCAT

    LaurenMCAT Elite Kaplan Instructor Exhibitor

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    I have nothing substantial to add except that those who posted before me are correct!

    [As an aside, it also depends on your personal schedule. I finished my own MCAT prep course in the beginning of August (a few years ago) and took the exam about a month later in mid-September. I needed all that time to catch up on my content mastery THEN complete at least 10 practice exams. As I as working full time all summer around my Kaplan classes, I really put that extra time to use. It's not for everyone though!]
  7. arcc14

    arcc14

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    It depends on whether you will have time to keep up with the course assignments during the regular progression of the course. Most of my students from my most recent class are pretty far behind. They will need a month or so to catch up on the material. Take a look at your other obligations during the time you intend to take the course. There's a fairly significant amount of reading/homework. I wouldn't take it right after the course, but I wouldn't give myself time to burn out either.
  8. Hoya2009

    Hoya2009 ASA Member

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    This is often the case.
    BUT, you will be better off not falling behind in the course and trying to play catch up afterwards....
  9. mcarrick

    mcarrick

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    Hi,

    I am taking a Kaplan MCAT course and the last day of content (Biology 3) will be July 14, and MSCT 3 will be July 19. I tried to sign up for the August 23 MCAT but I couldn't get a seat - the available seat filled up in a few hours before I could pay. Thus, I signed up for the September 2 MCAT. This is nearly 6 weeks from the end of my Kaplan class to my MCAT. Am I waiting too long to take the MCAT? I realize I don't have much of a choice but if worst comes to worst I suppose I can reschedule it and take it in another city.

    I was planning on doing 2 FLs and a few section tests a week during those 5 weeks. Does that seem too much to you folks?

    Thanks!
  10. LaurenMCAT

    LaurenMCAT Elite Kaplan Instructor Exhibitor

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    Hi Mcarrick :hello:

    What is too much for someone else may be just right for you!

    Here are some questions to ponder...
    * Do you have a lot of commitments between the end of your class and Test Day? [Anything that will significantly distract you is not a good idea.]
    * Are you good about keeping yourself on track with studying? [If not, don't let too much time pass between class and the exam.]
    * Can you sit down with your Kaplan instructor and plan out your post-class schedule, including full-length exams? [If so, that's awesome! If not, PM me.]

    If you need to change your exam date, be OPEN to the idea of traveling somewhere else for a seat. Think about what relatives or friends you have in cities with open MCAT seats. Or take along a family member for a mini-road trip and make a fun excursion out of it! (My students have done all these things.) Also, keep an eye on the local sites to see if seats open up...they always do!

    Best of luck :luck: mcarrick :)
  11. mcarrick

    mcarrick

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    Thanks for your reply Lauren!

    I am free for the next few months except for my MCAT and I am generally on top of things with my studying - I can sit down and study without distractions if necessary. However, I am scared of the burn-out if I do this for 6+ (45 days) weeks after my class.

    My Kaplan instructor and I decided on a schedule of 2 FLs a week where I spend the two days after each FL reviewing my mistakes and doing 2 subject tests each day. This comes out to 12 FLs and around 15-20 subject tests in those six weeks. At first I didn't mind doing it but now I think it may be a bit too much. I like the schedule of 2FLs + a few subject tests every week but I think I can keep that up for 3 or 4 weeks - anything more and I will probably get sick of it.

    The reason this is a problem is I don't want to back off in the end because that will mean that I am not peaking in time for my MCAT. This is why I am considering taking the exam in a city 2 hours away from me. I can get an August 19 test-date for that, is that what I should do? Or should I look for an even closer test-date?

    Thanks so much for your help!
    M.carrick
  12. LaurenMCAT

    LaurenMCAT Elite Kaplan Instructor Exhibitor

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    You are VERY welcome ;)

    I totally understand the concern about "peaking." The biggest problem is that students begin to OVERTHINK the exam, or get sloppy, or get frustrated with themselves when they don't get more questions right in proportion to their extra efforts.

    BTW, 2 hours is NOTHING. Drive over the day before and stay in a hotel to be safe (FUNNIEST typo ever: I just wrote "hospital" instead of "hotel." PLEASE DO NOT stay in the hospital the night before!).

    Look for a Test Date that feels comfortable to you mentally! And yes, I understand how non-committal that sounds...but it's true. The idea has to resonate with your own hopes and expectations.
  13. Djuobah

    Djuobah I'm on my way!

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    For those of use who are playing catch up: what is the best strategy? To complete all the preview work and then start FL and do review work for weak areas? Or to complete full preview & review work before starting with FL.

    I recently completed my classes, and I have 2 units to finish. I was able to read most of the chapters before classes, but was never able to finish ALL preview work (review work has not been touched). To date I only have all of Unit 1 preview work completed. My test date is June 21st, but depending on what strategy I choose, I might postpone it to July. I appreciate any advice you can give!
  14. Belle Melodie

    Belle Melodie

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    bolded-- really made me laugh!
  15. eelzeftawy

    eelzeftawy

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    I have a question along those lines.

    Is it really a horrible idea to take a 2.5 month MCAT prep course, let's say, Summer 2012, but take the actual MCAT in the Spring 2013. That way I'd have the fall semester to really help me study more.
  16. KaplanPatrick

    KaplanPatrick Elite Kaplan Instructor Exhibitor

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    eelzeftawy,

    I have had students in the past do that, however, I don't full recommend that. I think the best use of the course is to treat it as if you are going to take the actual MCAT within 2-6 weeks after the course ends. This is the norm that most successful students tend to follow. When you extend your prep time well beyond 4 months it tends to lead to burnout and inefficient studying.

    Pat
  17. eelzeftawy

    eelzeftawy

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    I'm taking practice test and am not scoring above a 25 even. I also have a severe weakness in Biology (as in, I basically never learned it.) So being that I can't postpone it to Sept 1 because that won't really make a difference, I think I'm going to take it early next year. I have many resources and can study consistently for 7 months.

    I didn't want to have to wait that long, but I don't have a choice now since my score isn't acceptable lol.

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