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I've been scoring 35/36 on the Kaplan exams, and I took an AAMC exam for the first time (test 7) and scored a 29! I've never scored below a 33 before either... So i'm getting really worried.

Anyone experience a similar phenomenon, or even recent test takers (last few months), did you feel like the actual MCAT was a better reflection of the Kaplan exams or the AAMC exams. If so, which tests?

Thanks for the feedback!
 

NYR56

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Unfortunately the Kaplan exams are way off in terms of replicating what the actual MCAT is. That said, the material is usually harder but the curve is easier, so it shouldn't be too hard for you to fix your AAMC scores. I only took a couple Kaplan sectional exams but the scores pretty much matched what my AAMC scores were, so I'm kind of surprised you see such a big difference. Take a look at what you got wrong on the AAMC test and make sure you know why. I'd imagine many of them won't be wrong from a lack of knowledge.
 

Drexon

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i agree with NYR56.
kaplan tests are harder than the aamc practice tests. because these tests are harder they curve it accordingly as well. however aamc tests aren't that hard .. well the material presented on it is a lot easier than kaplan so thus their curves are much higher.

don't be too discouraged from the 29. consider it a new format of a test your not familiar with. Aim for a higher accuracy and you'll eventually get use to the aamc tests.

best of luck !
 

Doodl3s

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yep, i noticed the same thing... i started low on kaplan, moved up on the science sections (btw, ONLY care about the sci. sections on kaplan, cause they're harder than AAMC, but in a helpful way i believe, unlike their verbal which is just horrendous)

so once you jump to AAMC's you will do bad immediately, but i found that to be mostly format issues. As the questions are easier, once you get used to what they ask and how they ask it, the AAMC sciences should be a BIT easier overall. As for verbal, my verbal jumped from kaplans, i almost knew there was something wrong there lol
 

J ROD

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Then, Kaplan tends to be overinflated some by the generous curve.

What I did was take Kaplan sciences and used EK verbal 101 for verbal and used the AAMC conversion chart....an average of them.

That way you have a harder test and a harsher curve....

real MCAT!!

TBR CBTs are good too IMO....
 

Doodl3s

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First, Kaplan verbal is crap!!
yes, i dont know if i made that clear on my last post, when i said i "jumped" after kaplan, i meant kaplan's SUCKED so bad, that AAMC was a lot more realistic in comparison
 

Oncoloman

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Kaplan test are truly way off.I think Kaplan should be left for review material and not taken as a model for the actual MCAT.I would continue with the AAMC's because you also just want to get used to the computerized format and the syle of questions.
 

OneTripAcross

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Kaplan test are truly way off.I think Kaplan should be left for review material and not taken as a model for the actual MCAT.I would continue with the AAMC's because you also just want to get used to the computerized format and the syle of questions.


I know several people who have done all the kaplan tests and I have talked with kaplan teachers who have just taken the mcat and all say their real MCAT score was about their average for kaplans. Most people on this site don't know the meaning of a "curve" in its MCAT sense. It is indicative of difficultly, whether large or small curve your scores should be about the same. I'd take as many practice tests as possible, reguardless of which ones. I actually prefer the harder ones with a larger curve, those hard as hell passages will really help you understand basic priciples and also expose you to them so you wont freak on test day if you get some god awful passage.
 

NYR56

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Although I agree the Kaplan tests can be used for content practice as you say, the difficulty and type of questions is simply not the same as the real MCAT, hence it is poor practice. Just because the arbitrary curve makes your score accurate doesn't mean the test itself is an accurate model of the MCAT.
 

OneTripAcross

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"Just because the arbitrary curve makes your score accurate doesn't mean the test itself is an accurate model of the MCAT."

Well if the scores are accurate then isnt that the definition of a good model? Both tests test your knowledge of the topics covered on the mcat. How they ask questions or any other factor doesnt make a lick of difference because of the curves associated with each type of test. Hence Kap scores are as close to real deal as any test out there.
 

NYR56

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How they ask the questions doesn't matter? Really? I don't care if Kaplan tests estimate your score well, they ask questions very differently than the actual MCAT. That is not good practice. Are they completely useless? No but there are MUCH better practice sources out there that actually replicate the MCAT feel accurately. A good model will give you an accurate score as well as give you an accurate feel for the real thing.
 

PhilIvey

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How they ask questions or any other factor doesnt make a lick of difference because of the curves associated with each type of test.
Yes it does. Kaplan questions are convoluted, at least the later ones were. I was going to do them but after examining them I decided they weren't worth it. I feel if you want to get challenged that they could be invaluable because they would let you learn from your mistakes. Learn your content and take AAMCs. If you find yourself struggling, then you could use the kaplan tests as a test bank perhaps. The AAMC scores are where your score really is. A lot of kids drop from Kaplan to AAMC because the curve is so unforgiving. AAMC punishes you severely for dumb mistakes. If you are missing questions on Kaplan due to insane questions then you're find. However, if it's due to dumb mistakes then you Kaplan may have you scoring a 14 when on AAMCs you'd be at an 11 which is likely what happened.

In closing, for some kids, the Kaplan tests are inflated due to their bad verbal. Their verbal sectionals are good though. Definitely do the Topicals though. Those were cash money.
 

KhaoticKarma

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Def do the topicals and sectionals......best materials Kaplan has in my opinion.
would you recommend doing the verbal sectionals? I hear mixed things about those. People say that the passages are nice and dense, but they don't have great questions. Thanks