Dec 25, 2020
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Hey everybody!

Two weeks ago I started my MCAT prep and I have been trying to figure out a rhythm to get content review down in a timely fashion and move on to practice questions and exams. My current MCAT review day consists of flashcard review, read a chapter while creating my own flashcards and complete associated quizzes in each section, watch associated videos for said chapter, take end of chapter exam, review answers and finish with review of flashcards again. After completing the week I take a half-length exam. Daily time to complete this strategy is about 9 hours.

Now I took a diagnostic exam and did poorly due to several classes being taken a few years ago and forgetting the material which is why I am putting in the work but it had crossed my mind that maybe a different approach might be better? I want to get through content review as fast as possible but in an effective manner. My question for anybody looking to share their thoughts is... should I put the flashcard review aside and just create them for now so I can get through the readings and videos which will take about a month or so based on the books and videos I've chosen or should should I continue this strategy?

Appreciate any feedback:)
 
Aug 16, 2019
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This is just my two cents, and you may learn best in a different way so YMMV, but none of my content review stuck until I started doing flash cards (specifically Anki). Before then, I got super frustrated by the fact that I’d just forget everything and it felt really inefficient.

Once I started doing the flashcard reviews, I retained info way better. To save time, I took one of the popular premade MCAT Anki decks from reddit, and added/modified it with my own personalized cards as I went through the review books, although making every card from scratch would probably have been more useful. I still took notes and supplemented with videos (which I took notes on) as well.
 
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Dec 25, 2020
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  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
This is just my two cents, and you may learn best in a different way so YMMV, but none of my content review stuck until I started doing flash cards (specifically Anki). Before then, I got super frustrated by the fact that I’d just forget everything and it felt really inefficient.

Once I started doing the flashcard reviews, I retained info way better. To save time, I took one of the popular premade MCAT Anki decks from reddit, and added/modified it with my own personalized cards as I went through the review books, although making every card from scratch would probably have been more useful. I still took notes and supplemented with videos (which I took notes on) as well.
Writing my own cards has certainly helped me! The strategy I have now works great but I won’t be able to continue it once the semester starts. I definitely have to condense it down somehow but I’m not sure how to do it yet. Thanks for your feedback:)
 
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Dec 25, 2020
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Okay, here's an update on my mcat prep and I have another question as well. First off, I have discovered that as of right now, completing a large amount of practice questions is not very helpful as much of the content I don't have down yet and I see poor scores so unless I want to make myself super depressed, maybe I should hold off :rofl: .Therefore, I have decided to only do the questions from the exam kracker books until I have more material down.

I have strategically set up my remaining classes so that I am taking biochem, microbio and orgo II this semester right before I take the exam. That being said, I'd like some feedback on whether any additional studying in these subjects would be necessary so close to the exam. Have people done a similar strategy? I will say this, I plan to review a few important concepts from biochem such as metabolic pathways, all the amino acids and their characteristics as well as everything enzymes but besides that, I'm not sure other material would definitely be necessary.
 
Dec 25, 2020
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Has anyone heard anything about MCAT prep courses? Especially Blueprint?
I’m not familiar with the inner workings of blueprint, I’ve only browsed the site.

I am using Mcatselfprep.com to do my Mcat prep. It has a basic free course with YouTube videos and chapters lined up together (need to purchase books separately) so you don’t have to randomly search YouTube to find specific videos for each topic in your own. There is ten content modules total for the basic free package covering all you need to know. They also have packages for $10, $100 and $1000 that incorporate additional study courses for specific things such as amino acids.

If you buy the $10 package you get a study guide template on excel that keeps track of your progress via algorithms to help refine your focus and the $100 gives you 5000 premade flash cards divided up between the content modules and each lesson.

If you’re good at studying on your own, this is a great site! They also have tutoring but I haven’t tried it out.
 
Nov 19, 2020
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Would anyone know about MCAT detailed books? My pre-reqs are easy, and the typical MCAT review books condense everything. I feel like I'm missing the in-between. Anyone know of "in-between" knowledge books/resources?
 
Dec 25, 2020
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Would anyone know about MCAT detailed books? My pre-reqs are easy, and the typical MCAT review books condense everything. I feel like I'm missing the in-between. Anyone know of "in-between" knowledge books/resources?
From what I understand, the MCAT doesn't require a student to understand the intricate details of much of the material, just the "basics". Hence the reason most books geared towards the MCAT are condensed. I'm new to the MCAT prep myself but I'd recommend hitting the library if you want more specific details on a subject or topic. Is there particular topics you're looking to understand at a deeper level?
 
Nov 19, 2020
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Thanks. I'm actually a career-changer, so I haven't really looked into the MCAT yet. I don't necessarily need the finer details, just whatever will yield a high score. I'm just trying to understand what the MCAT is about if it's just the basics. My initial plan was to learn the details so I can grasp that 'basic' topic from different angles, but if there is a better way please let me know. The other option I had with a Feb. 2022 test date was to proceed with questions, and learn along the way. But I'm hesitant on starting questions early.
 
Dec 25, 2020
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Thanks. I'm actually a career-changer, so I haven't really looked into the MCAT yet. I don't necessarily need the finer details, just whatever will yield a high score. I'm just trying to understand what the MCAT is about if it's just the basics. My initial plan was to learn the details so I can grasp that 'basic' topic from different angles, but if there is a better way please let me know. The other option I had with a Feb. 2022 test date was to proceed with questions, and learn along the way. But I'm hesitant on starting questions early.
I couldn't really say if there was a better way for you, we're all different in how we learn. I started my MCAT prep a month ago and I'm still trying to figure out what works best for me. I started doing practice questions from the beginning but than decided against it because I was getting low scores and realized that I was struggling with passage breakdown as well as some content. I figured I'd just practice the book questions and passages and once I have a better grasp on content and develop a passage breakdown strategy, I'd put it into play. Signed up for some tutoring too so we'll see how that goes.

In terms of your prep, I'd say as long as you're confident, a few passage questions a day wouldn't hurt. Most people don't need a year for prep but I guess it never hurts to get an early start. Up to you on that one. I'd recommend trying a diagnostic test to see where you stand. I thought I had a good amount of content down and my results said differently, lol. Also these passages are unlike anything I've come across in my studies and they definitely require practice but you can't practice them well if you don't understand how AAMC writes them as I've learned haha.
 

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