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Ace the MCAT! Yeah...but how?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by humarathumara, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. humarathumara

    humarathumara 2+ Year Member

    May 18, 2007
    Okay, so I took the PR course last summer, but after lookin at my practice exam scores, decided not to take it, and study for it again this summer. Unfortunately, I am not exactly sure how to go about this. I have done a number of searches, but still would really appreciate a lil more specific advice. So, I don't want to use the princeton review practice problems since a.) i have already done most of them and b.) they are all marked up so I would know the answers.

    My thoughts:

    For Content Material
    Physics - PR
    Bio - EK
    Verbal - EK
    Ochem - EK
    Chem - PR

    For Practice
    The EK 1001/101 series for all of the subjects

    Is this a wise decision to set it up as I outlined above? I already have the princeton review and ek content books so I figured Id just make do with those for content.

    Then for practice, I would buy all the 1001 problems, should that be sufficient, or should I get something else to practice problems with?

    One issue: If I study a chapter out of PR and then try to do appropriate problems out of the EK 1001 books, then won't I run into the problem of paralleling the right practice problems with the material I just learned? I mean let's say I just learned about the respiratory system, I don't want to be doing problems about the kidney yknow? Last year, it was simpler since the PR course I took just outlined the appropriate problems I should look at in the PR practice books according to specific PR chapters in their content books.

    Thanks for the advice guys, much appreciated
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  3. humarathumara

    humarathumara 2+ Year Member

    May 18, 2007
    any advice would be great, thanks!
  4. SN2ed

    SN2ed Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2007
    Why not do the PR chapter, then do the chapter that is roughly the same in the EK book and finally do the practice problems?

    In regards to books:

    Originally Posted by TheBoondocks [​IMG]
    This question gets asked like every three days. In short, EK series are stripped down with the basics you need to know. Get EK bio, it is by far the best for bio, all the responses on SDN say this. Know this book cold. If you don't believe me, type in EK bio in the search function. Personally, you learn the best from passages, If you have time and the cash I highly suggest purchasing Berkeley Review Gen Chem and Ochem. There physics is good too, but with PR it may be redundant. You will thank me later. You'll probably want EK biology review and EK 101 biology passages and EK verbal 101. PR is good, however, if you want to kill the MCAT you have to be able to integrate material. That's what BR does better than anyone else. Like, be able to answer questions if you see the circulatory system wired in parallel series.

    bio - 1. EK bio and 101 bio passages 2. Kaplan 3. PR/BR however, these don't suck, they're just detailed which turns off many people.

    Physics 1. BR/Nova 2. PR 3. Kaplan I really think BR but they're are a lot of people who swear by Nova on this site

    Verbal 1. Ek verbal and 101 passages 2. PR 3. BR 4. Kaplan (read stay from)

    Gen Chem 1. BR by far 2. PR 3. Kaplan/EK

    O Chem 1. BR by far 2. toss up between Kaplan/PR/Ek

    That is a general list of what i have read on SDN for the past 4 years, i came here and lurked throughout highschool. Good luck and hopefully this will help. EK is for people who KNOW the material and want review. If you are weak in something BR is the best since it's the most detailed and PR is detailed too, Kaplan is in the Middle, and EK is the least detailed but that doesn't mean it's bad. Just depends on the person. If you can I would buy the BR Chemistry books and Physics book. If you complete the PR science workbook along with BR passages and EK bio, you will kill the sciences. Ek Verbal should help you out with verbal.

  5. humarathumara

    humarathumara 2+ Year Member

    May 18, 2007
    ya, so i was looking at the chapter comparisons between EK and PR and they seem pretty similar so I probably shouldn't have too many problems it seems going between the two.

    So, do you think this is an adequate study technique in general though? Read the PR and do problems from 1001? Does this approach have the potential to get me to 40 (I'm not saying I will get there, I know a lot of it is luck, but do I at least have the possibility with this approach)

    My other qualms are that the 1001 do not have passages (at least not in the chemistry and ochem 1001 books I just purchased), is this going to be an issue? Can you do well without doing practice problems in passage form? Also, on the first page of the EK content books it says "stop read this", and one of the lines says in reference to their 1001 series "if you are already scoring 10s or better, these books are not for you". Is this true? Can the 1001 series not really help you once you've hit the 30 mark? And if not, then what practice problem books are out there (other than PR) that can? I am taking some summer courses as well, so I don't have loads of time, so I need to get the appropriate books quickly.

    Thanks so much again.
  6. TheBoondocks

    TheBoondocks StreetFighter 4 Virtuoso 10+ Year Member

    Jul 17, 2006

    Brilliant advice. This is definitely the way to go. TPR will give you in depth analysis which is good. Ek will summarize and give you big picture. The key to chem and physics is doing problems. The EK 1001 let you hammer away concepts through problem solving. You'll see that a lot of the Mcat physics and chem questions are discretes in disguise. Great advice. It's what I'll do when I go hardcore. Once you finish the 1001s, then I would start practice tests and use the TPR workbook for passages. Do the EK quizzes after 1001 as well. You're on your way to a 40 with this plan. Don't be so shy, a 40 is a great goal. It's mine was well, as long as i get 36+ I'll be happy but to get that I need to set a higher goal. Good luck man.
  7. tncekm

    tncekm MS-1 2+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2006
    If you feel like spending more money, Kaplan's online course materials are awesome. I spent money on TPR and stopped going b/c it was a waste of my time to drive that far for stuff that really wasn't that helpful. Their books are great, though. But, if I could do it over I would DEFINITELY prefer to spend the money on the online Kaplan course, just so I could get all the materials. The one thing I wish I had done differently is spend MUCH more time doing difficult practice material, like Kaplan provides. It makes you understand the concepts and how they apply to the equations.
  8. DaTruMD

    DaTruMD 10+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2008
    I heard that in general Kaplan goes into detail with basically no test taking strategy... TPR and EK should do it, IMO.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2008
  9. tncekm

    tncekm MS-1 2+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2006
    I've never understood "strategy" in the MCAT. The only strategies I can think of that would be beneficial are: 1) not wasting time on single difficult questions, and 2) making sure you use the strikeout option to eliminate bad answers. (1) is especially important. Very often I can mark a question that I just didn't understand, skip it and come back to it at the end of the test and realize "oh, that's simple, how come I didn't see that before?" Other than that, it doesn't seem like a test that requires strategy, it requires a strong understanding of concepts and basic application of relatively simple formulas.

    IMO the only EK 1001 book worth a damn is the Bio book, and even then its not very MCAT-like b/c its not very passage based, its just a great way to keep up on and apply your content review.

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