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Advice for rusty pre-med student, I have lots of questions

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by ziggyd0c, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. ziggyd0c

    7+ Year Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I am beginning my MCAT studying to take a test in the spring/summer (I'm pretty flexible). I graduated from undergrad in Apr 2008 with a BS and major in Philosophy. However, most of my science pre-reqs were taken during sophomore and junior year and as a result I'm pretty rusty. I've been looking through my study book (Barron's 2009) and a lot of the material is stuff I never even learned before. I excelled at organic chem in undergrad, but I've forgotten almost everything... I'm hoping doing chem again will be like riding a bike. I recently took a physics class so I'm not as worried about that, but I get very nervous thinking about the biological sciences part.

    I know that these books are intended to be a "review", but will they be adequate for someone who essentially a first-time learner? How much time do I need to prepare? I'm not doing much else right now so I can devote several hours a day to studying if need be. What methods would you recommend? Right now I'm basically going through and putting everything onto flash cards, but I don't know if that's going to help me in the long run. I can't take a classroom course (there aren't any in my area) but I wouldn't be opposed to an online course. Are they useful? I am just worried that I won't be prepared in time with my current pace. Study planning has never been one of my strong points :oops:

    Thanks everyone!
     
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  3. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    If you say that you never "learned" much of this material, then you can't review what you haven't learned in the first place. You would be better served taking a classroom course rather than attempting to prepare for this very important test with a review book.

    Purchase a couple of the retired MCAT exams from the AAMC website (MCAT section) and take them under actual testing conditions. See where you are and adjust from there. If you are not scoring well, you may even need to audit some of that material in coursework.

    The important thing is not to take the MCAT without thoroughly preparing. This means figuring out what you need to do and getting the job done. If you are not well prepared, don't take the test. There is too much riding on this one to make prep mistakes that you could have not made by taking a more thorough approach.
     
  4. mouseben

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    If you have taken the prerequisites during college, I don't think you need to retake the classes again. You probably forgot the details in the review books, but you are not really a "first-time learner". If I were you, I would pick up some good review books, like examcrackers, and some college science books for reference. For each topic listed in the review book, go back to the College book, review it in depth and do some exercises. Try to take notes and do lots of practice. For the questions you got wrong, go back and learn the topic again.
     
  5. punkiedad

    punkiedad punkie's dad
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    1.) get the examkrackers complete study guide set. It has all the stuff for PS, BS and VR. Great books that kinda dumb stuff down a bit and focuses on real life MCAT stuff versus memorizing formulas.

    2.) Get examkrackers Audio Osmosis. It is basically the books but on audio where you can listen to it over and over. I raised my BS and PS scores 2 points each the second time I took the MCAT (VR was still on oddball for me though)

    3.)purchase as many of the old MCAT tests online and take them under real testlike conditions.

    All this is of course given that you have the discipline to study on a schedule. If not a course is a good idea, but the above worked for me as I, like you, couldnot find a class around where I lived.

    best of luck.
     
  6. JulyMorning

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    I generally shy away from recommending that a person spends extra money, however, I quite agree with punkiedad's advice, especially regarding examkrackers complete study set. Even if you've never learned the material, the books will teach you what you need to know. Take the practice CBT exam (available through AMCAS once you register for the MCAT).
    Also, if you would like to save some money, buy the previous edition of examkrackers (ebay?), as it is certainly a lot cheaper and they generally do not update/change a lot of things (although I haven't seen the latest edition to guarantee that), and while typos and errors do happen, you may look them up online. Good luck!
     
  7. ziggyd0c

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    I actually already got Audio Osmosis. After reading about it on this site it sounded like something that was really worthwhile. Do you think I still need to get the book that goes along with it though? I have the Barron's MCAT review book, as well as a book of extra problems (by Princeton Review, I think). Does Audio Osmosis really cover EVERYTHING I need to know on the MCAT? If it does, that's perfect. I have no problem learning something that I am sure I need to know, I just was confused as to how in-depth the MCAT will really expect me to go.

    Another question for you in particular, how long after your first MCAT attempt did you take it the second time?
     
  8. punkiedad

    punkiedad punkie's dad
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    good call on ebay. I forgot to mention it. I recently (sorry) sold my full set and audio osmosis for something like under $200.00 You can find similar deals on ebay. just look.

    also julymorning is right. You can learn right from the EK books. I took the MCAT without having taken any BIO courses......funny thing is I scored best in BS section???? I dont know if that is good for EK or bad from the college I took my PS classes at (got As in all)??

    Either way, it can be done with those two things (EK books and audio osmosis), but dont cheap out when it comes to getting the old online MCATs. I think you get #3 for free when you register, but I would recommend getting at least one or two more. Those were really a help in getting you prepared to how you will see the information preesented (tricky) and experiencing real life conditions.

    Good luck.
     
  9. gman33

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    Check out the MCAT forum. All these questions have been discussed many times.
     
  10. punkiedad

    punkiedad punkie's dad
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    The Audio Osmosis is pretty much just reading from the EK books, just you can do it anywhere, especially driving. So, yes it couldbe done without the books, BUT the EK books also have mini knowledge tests and end of lecture tests that are valuable (though they are general knowledge questions, not mcat like questions)

    I BOMBED my first MCAT on January 31st (I think) and retook them at the end of MAY.

    I took the first time with having Chem I, II, Physics I,II and OChem I. Retook them after having O Chem II, Audio Osmosis and taking like 7 of the retired MCAT online tests under timed conditions.

    PM me for more specific quesitons, or check out the MCAT threads.

    Best of luck
     

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