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A Small Kaplan Dilemma

Kangaroo Paw

Sha-boing, BOING.
5+ Year Member
May 29, 2010
647
1
  1. Pre-Medical
    Hey guys!

    So I have a small question about my Kaplan course/the ExamKrackers books. I own the Complete Study Package and the 1001's from EK (I bought them before I realized I would be taking the Kaplan MCAT course), and I've just started a Kaplan MCAT course preparing for the MCAT on 9/2.

    I'm a little bit unsure as to which to follow: SN2ed's approximate schedule (just using a combo of EK and Kaplan), or just follow Kaplan's given schedule to the tee for each class? SN2ed's method seems super legitimate, but I am so far liking Kaplan's approach as well (except to Verbal, I'm just kind of winging it and it seems to work better than anything I do for PS or BS judging by the ever-reliable Kaplan diagnostic).

    Any thoughts on which plan I should approximately use? Any input would be really, really helpful!! Thanks guys :)
     

    zeppelinpage4

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    May 17, 2009
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      The kaplan review books are terrible, but if you like them, then use them. The EK books are better for review and you have the 1001s for practice and all the resources available from kaplan. So just go with the one that feels best.
      Could you elaborate on the Kaplan review notes?

      I know we had some discussion about them in another thread. I'm considering buying EK books and using those instead of the Kaplan review notes. However I don't know if it will be an improvement or not. My biggest concern with the Kaplan books is that they seem to leave out some topics and not really explain concept too well.

      I really want to try and adapt SN2's schedule around the Kaplan classes as well.

      For TS, I am doing something similar. Right now, following Kaplan as best as I can and using EK101 for verbal. If I get time, I want to try some verbal passages from Kaplan's Q-Bank too. It's working alright so far but I would like to try some other review books beyond Kaplan's.
       

      Preciouzgeek

      Full Member
      Jun 12, 2011
      22
      0
      1. Pre-Medical
        I took the Kaplan course and I have all their materials. Personally, I didn't like how they jumped from subject to subject -- so I stopped going to the classes and started studying on my own (reviewing one subject at a time).

        The Kaplan notes are VERY detailed...

        Pros - A lot more things will make sense as far as looking at the bigger picture.

        Cons - Sometimes less (and getting to the point) is worth more. Their explanations can sometimes confuse you -- especially in some solutions to problems.

        As far as studying... although it is better to know a wide variety of methods for solving a problem -- that can sometimes backfire. So stick with the methods that you feel comfortable with. AND, it's definitely OK to mix course materials (i.e. jumping from Kaplan to EK) -- just as long as you're understanding the material. :)
         
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        Kangaroo Paw

        Sha-boing, BOING.
        5+ Year Member
        May 29, 2010
        647
        1
        1. Pre-Medical
          Thanks for the input, guys! Yeah I'm just a bit torn: I do like knowing a bit beyond what you have to know and really understanding topics deeply, but the EK notes seem like a shame not to use. Maybe I'll use the Kaplan notes as a backbone for studying for each lecture, and supplement that studying with EK notes as needed? I'm just finding it a bit difficult to follow a standardized schedule where I do X amount of chapters per day with X amount of practice questions, since SN2ed's schedule and Kaplan's are quite different. I'm just not sure if I can trust Kaplan's schedule to give me as good preparation as SN2ed's, to be honest.

          Any opinions on how solely following the Kaplan schedule to the teeth actually prepares you for the MCAT, maybe with a little EK supplemental reading?

          Thanks!
           

          tman5890

          Fiery Devotion
          7+ Year Member
          Dec 11, 2009
          6,157
          3
          On an island, in NY
          1. Pre-Medical
            Could you elaborate on the Kaplan review notes?

            I know we had some discussion about them in another thread. I'm considering buying EK books and using those instead of the Kaplan review notes. However I don't know if it will be an improvement or not. My biggest concern with the Kaplan books is that they seem to leave out some topics and not really explain concept too well.

            I really want to try and adapt SN2's schedule around the Kaplan classes as well.

            For TS, I am doing something similar. Right now, following Kaplan as best as I can and using EK101 for verbal. If I get time, I want to try some verbal passages from Kaplan's Q-Bank too. It's working alright so far but I would like to try some other review books beyond Kaplan's.

            When I started reading their review books I noticed they jump from subject to subject very frequently and aren't very detailed. For Phys/chem they concentrate on calculations too much and the concepts are more confusing for me. I've been using the TBR books and I feel they help me a lot more, especially in phys/chem. They have lots of good passages in the books and also detailed review. They make sure to go over the concepts to the equations and material in a way that appeals to me better and everything flows. I think the EK books would be better than the kaplan ones, as well. Hope this helps.
             

            zeppelinpage4

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            May 17, 2009
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              When I started reading their review books I noticed they jump from subject to subject very frequently and aren't very detailed. For Phys/chem they concentrate on calculations too much and the concepts are more confusing for me. I've been using the TBR books and I feel they help me a lot more, especially in phys/chem. They have lots of good passages in the books and also detailed review. They make sure to go over the concepts to the equations and material in a way that appeals to me better and everything flows. I think the EK books would be better than the kaplan ones, as well. Hope this helps.
              Thanks, yeah I was looking into trying other review books. Are you taking the Kaplan course also? If so how are you incorporating those books while taking the Kaplan class?

              I really want to use TBR and/or EK (the review notes have been alright, but I like detail and concepts more). I don't know whether to completely drop the Kaplan books and use EK instead, or just use both. I thought about following the Kaplan syllabus but reading EK or TBR chapters instead of the review notes. Do you think that would work out? cause I know the syllabus and classes are based around the review notes.
               

              tman5890

              Fiery Devotion
              7+ Year Member
              Dec 11, 2009
              6,157
              3
              On an island, in NY
              1. Pre-Medical
                I'm reading about 1/2-1 chapter of TBR everyday while following along with the kaplan material. As of right now, I've learned a lot more from the BR books than the kaplan course. Hopefully the kaplan course ends up being worth it in the end, but I'm not gonna risk spending too much time on the kaplan material since it's not that great. The resources kaplan provides online are pretty good though. If I were you I would use the EK books and read them whenever you can and to follow along with the kaplan course at a leisurely pace making sure to do whatever is required and hopefully it pays off big :)
                 

                zeppelinpage4

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                May 17, 2009
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                  I'm reading about 1/2-1 chapter of TBR everyday while following along with the kaplan material. As of right now, I've learned a lot more from the BR books than the kaplan course. Hopefully the kaplan course ends up being worth it in the end, but I'm not gonna risk spending too much time on the kaplan material since it's not that great. The resources kaplan provides online are pretty good though. If I were you I would use the EK books and read them whenever you can and to follow along with the kaplan course at a leisurely pace making sure to do whatever is required and hopefully it pays off big :)
                  Wow, that's a fantastic plan. :D
                  I was actually considering doing this, but thought I'd give the Kaplan books a chance. Anyhow, I've already put almost a month into studying and feel like I haven't gotten much out of it. If I had realized earlier, I would have ordered TBR books, but by the time I get them I might only have a month left to study. I think I might give EK a try and see if I can use it in place of the review notes.

                  I also hope the Kaplan class ends up paying off in the end. When you're putting several hours each day into studying, you want to know that your studying is worthwhile. Let's hope for 30+!:)
                   

                  tman5890

                  Fiery Devotion
                  7+ Year Member
                  Dec 11, 2009
                  6,157
                  3
                  On an island, in NY
                  1. Pre-Medical
                    Wow, that's a fantastic plan. :D
                    I was actually considering doing this, but thought I'd give the Kaplan books a chance. Anyhow, I've already put almost a month into studying and feel like I haven't gotten much out of it. If I had realized earlier, I would have ordered TBR books, but by the time I get them I might only have a month left to study. I think I might give EK a try and see if I can use it in place of the review notes.

                    I also hope the Kaplan class ends up paying off in the end. When you're putting several hours each day into studying, you want to know that your studying is worthwhile. Let's hope for 30+!:)

                    Yup! I'm hoping for the best! I think EK will be an excellent supplement. TBR is mainly for passages imo, so with kaplan online resources, you'll do great!
                     

                    Kangaroo Paw

                    Sha-boing, BOING.
                    5+ Year Member
                    May 29, 2010
                    647
                    1
                    1. Pre-Medical
                      Hey guys!

                      So I'm unfortunately still kind of confused as to my approach (blahhh).

                      I've done a bit of EK and a bit of Kaplan, and I have to say that I'm not really getting anything out of EK (at least with Physics): they don't really explain concepts in detail, and sort of skim over everything. I really love getting maybe a bit more detail, but having the bigger picture explained to me with examples, etc. For some reason, I think I'm finding Kaplan to be decent!

                      Would it be legit to follow Kaplan's general schedule of reading the review notes, and do a mix of EK practice questions/passages and Kaplan questions/passages each day?
                      Why do people say that the Kaplan review notes are of poor quality? I don't have TBR books (I've already spent so much money on Kaplan and EK...), so I'm just wondering what the ideal study schedule is for me with the resources I have. I'm a little worried that the Kaplan review notes seem to get such a bad rap: I wonder why?

                      Thanks! Sorry for the incoherent, rambling nature of the post, I'm just getting a little worried about my study plan :(
                       

                      Ravizzle

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                      Mar 4, 2010
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                        i am starting my kaplan course in the end of july, planning on taking sept 8th. for now i have been getting head start by doing examkrackers and doing tbr passages. im just trying to get through as much of sn2ed's plan as i can b4 kaplan starts for areas i am weak on such as physics and gchem. im pro at bio and ochem so not focusing on those yet. also working in a bit of verbal every day and reading some philosophy books so i can have some nice insights on the essays, and also doing mavis beacon bc i cant touch type (yet... i will hopefully be legit by the time mcat rolls around)
                         
                        Mar 12, 2011
                        137
                        0
                          Hey guys!

                          So I'm unfortunately still kind of confused as to my approach (blahhh).

                          I've done a bit of EK and a bit of Kaplan, and I have to say that I'm not really getting anything out of EK (at least with Physics): they don't really explain concepts in detail, and sort of skim over everything. I really love getting maybe a bit more detail, but having the bigger picture explained to me with examples, etc. For some reason, I think I'm finding Kaplan to be decent!

                          Would it be legit to follow Kaplan's general schedule of reading the review notes, and do a mix of EK practice questions/passages and Kaplan questions/passages each day?
                          Why do people say that the Kaplan review notes are of poor quality? I don't have TBR books (I've already spent so much money on Kaplan and EK...), so I'm just wondering what the ideal study schedule is for me with the resources I have. I'm a little worried that the Kaplan review notes seem to get such a bad rap: I wonder why?

                          Thanks! Sorry for the incoherent, rambling nature of the post, I'm just getting a little worried about my study plan :(

                          I'm currently about halfway through the Kaplan course, but I've just finished reading all the Kaplan review notes. (excluding the Writing section in Verbal. Also I started a month early.) I don't have any of the other review notes, but I felt Kaplan helped refresh a lot of concepts for me. I really loved it. The quicksheet/flashcards are great after you've finished the material. :cool:
                           

                          zeppelinpage4

                          Full Member
                          10+ Year Member
                          May 17, 2009
                          1,341
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                          1. Medical Student
                            Hey guys!

                            So I'm unfortunately still kind of confused as to my approach (blahhh).

                            I've done a bit of EK and a bit of Kaplan, and I have to say that I'm not really getting anything out of EK (at least with Physics): they don't really explain concepts in detail, and sort of skim over everything. I really love getting maybe a bit more detail, but having the bigger picture explained to me with examples, etc. For some reason, I think I'm finding Kaplan to be decent!

                            Would it be legit to follow Kaplan's general schedule of reading the review notes, and do a mix of EK practice questions/passages and Kaplan questions/passages each day?
                            Why do people say that the Kaplan review notes are of poor quality? I don't have TBR books (I've already spent so much money on Kaplan and EK...), so I'm just wondering what the ideal study schedule is for me with the resources I have. I'm a little worried that the Kaplan review notes seem to get such a bad rap: I wonder why?

                            Thanks! Sorry for the incoherent, rambling nature of the post, I'm just getting a little worried about my study plan :(
                            I'm in the same scenario, except I can't get a hold of the Examkrackers books because they're out of stock everywhere and the one place I ordered online never shipped it out. So pretty much I am here with only the Kaplan review notes.

                            BUT, having just finished the Unit 2 readings and being almost two thirds of the way through the Kaplan books, I'm feeling pretty okay with them. I don't like how some of the material is presented or the format of the chapters, but the actual info. seems quite solid and it goes into a lot of detail which I also like. Unfortunately I've never seen a Berkley Review or EK book, so I have nothing to compare with and am also a little confused about why the review notes get such a bad rep. However my Kaplan instructors have said that all the info. we need should be in those books and having spent hours just trying to read through them once, I think they were right.
                            If it works for you and you feel that the books are helping you with content, I say stick with them. Right now I hope to only focus on the Kaplan review notes and then take some full lengths. Afterwards if I feel like I need to refresh on the older content or have some weaker areas, then I want to get a hold of the Examkrackers books. Reading through the EK books once through may help refresh all the material covered in the Kaplan review notes. Since the EK books should be shorter and less in depth, they might be good to help recall what you've learned.

                            Two cents, hope that helped.
                             

                            Kangaroo Paw

                            Sha-boing, BOING.
                            5+ Year Member
                            May 29, 2010
                            647
                            1
                            1. Pre-Medical
                              Hey guys! Thanks for the awesome advice, I've decided to just stick with Kaplan Review Notes as they seem to be helping me out (I really like how it goes into just a little too much detail), and maybe brush over EK for concepts I'm shaky on after reading Kaplan.

                              I'm feeling kind of bad, though, since my self-studying has been horrendously lacking, and I've only been going to my lectures :eek:. This is not good.

                              Is 2 months before the MCAT enough to do well?

                              I'm glad a few people actually praised the Kaplan books, I also totally don't understand why they have such a craptastic reputation :(
                               
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