rockettt

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For those who have taken the MCAT and prepared using Altius Tests (or Next Step, Kaplan, etc), could you tell me how similar your FL practice test was to your actual score. Did you feel like Altius/NS/Kaplan were good representatives of the actual MCAT? How were they different? Any other comments regarding these are welcome as well. Thanks!!
 
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CJhooper123

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I am not sure about Altius - have never used any of their material.

I personally felt that NextStep produced the most representative tests with EK coming in afterward. My NS scores were about the same as my MCAT score - although most people do report scoring 3-5 points higher than their NS averages. For Kaplan, I saw a 4 point increase on my actual MCAT - many people on SDN will report scoring 5-7 points higher on their MCAT when compared to their Kaplan tests.
 
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DNC127

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Altius had the best practice tests I feel like. They were just like the real thing (I thought kaplans were garbage). I also have hear your score might go up +2-3 on the real test as compared to atlius tests.
 
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WineLover777

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Hello there, I took Altius a few years ago (I am almost an MS3 now! Whoo!) and I felt that the Altius tests were very similar to my real MCAT. In some ways, I thought the Altius exams were on average more difficult than my actual exam. This isn't to say that the passages or questions are more difficult than any given MCAT question, but rather, there were more difficult passages and questions than fluff questions. They may have made some changes recently to make the difficulty more similar, but I didn't mind the difficulty. I have had friends who scored 3-4 points higher on their actual exams compared to the Altius exams. I felt they were a great prep for the MCAT, and extremely realistic and invaluable.

I second this comment. However, I would say that just doing the Altius exams wouldn't be enough - you need to follow their whole program. Their whole program is fantastic and I would really recommend it to anyone.
 
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I would HIGHLY recommend Altius. I did the program last year and they got me a score that I never would have thought I could have gotten. However, it is an extremely rigorous prep course, so only for serious pre-meds. Also, a few of my friends took Kaplan instead of Altius, and they all had to retake the exam because they didn't do well. I have heard that Kaplan is a waste of money and that's what it seems like to me after what my friends experienced.
 
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Haven't taken the real MCAT yet.... May 13th is my test date. I have taken Princeton review/next step/Altius full length exams. Princeton review was very difficult and there were typos. Next step was okay... Altius has been by far the best IMO. I liked their tests so much I signed up for their prep course. I would say Altius>NS>Princeton review. Can't comment on Kaplan as I have never used any of their material. Also, I got 10 Altius tests for $300 as well which is about the cheapest out there.
 

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What's the name of the prep course you signed up for? Reason why I'm asking is because there are multiple courses they are offering.
 
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What's the name of the prep course you signed up for? Reason why I'm asking is because there are multiple courses they are offering.

I originally signed up for the bronze course. I upgraded to Silver because I got a solid tax return and figured why not. Bronze was great, Silver is better because you get a bunch of 1 on 1 tutoring sessions. The tutor sessions help motivate me to study so I don't look like a fool when I meet with the tutor.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
 

TheCurryman

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I originally signed up for the bronze course. I upgraded to Silver because I got a solid tax return and figured why not. Bronze was great, Silver is better because you get a bunch of 1 on 1 tutoring sessions. The tutor sessions help motivate me to study so I don't look like a fool when I meet with the tutor.

Let me know if you have any other questions.


Ahh alright. I've been debating whether or not I should take classes to prepare for the MCAT cause most of them are expensive, and they don't really help. But I've heard good things about Altius
 
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Ahh alright. I've been debating whether or not I should take classes to prepare for the MCAT cause most of them are expensive, and they don't really help. But I've heard good things about Altius

Yeah... I was in the same boat. Decided to study on my own, then when my test date came up I realized I hadn't studied well enough at all. I ended up voiding my score and signing up for a prep course to help keep me on track. I have been happy with Altius, they focus on a lot more than just content. That's what has helped me the most. They have organized the MCAT topics (https://aamc-orange.global.ssl.fast...a-4c00-83dd-c17cee034c47/mcat2015-content.pdf) into a pretty sweet study guide as well. They use ANKI as well which has been a life changer for me... look it up if you haven't used it, its an awesome program.

If you are an effective self study person it may not be worth it. For me it was definitely worth it.

P.S. The program requires A LOT out of you (8 hrs a day minimum to get everything done). I am having a hard time keeping up, but I'm hoping it pays off.... we'll see....
 
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TheCurryman

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Yeah... I was in the same boat. Decided to study on my own, then when my test date came up I realized I hadn't studied well enough at all. I ended up voiding my score and signing up for a prep course to help keep me on track. I have been happy with Altius, they focus on a lot more than just content. That's what has helped me the most. They have organized the MCAT topics (https://aamc-orange.global.ssl.fast...a-4c00-83dd-c17cee034c47/mcat2015-content.pdf) into a pretty sweet study guide as well. They use ANKI as well which has been a life changer for me... look it up if you haven't used it, its an awesome program.

If you are an effective self study person it may not be worth it. For me it was definitely worth it.

P.S. The program requires A LOT out of you (8 hrs a day minimum to get everything done). I am having a hard time keeping up, but I'm hoping it pays off.... we'll see....


See that's what I did last year, just studied on my own. However, I over-studied so by the time I was going to take the MCAT I felt burnt out. That's why this year I want to change up my game plan, and perhaps take classes. Yeah I've been using ANKI for the past year now and it's been very helpful. Someone on SDN and reddit were able to lend me there decks and I am very grateful for that.

I'll definitely look into Altius. 8 hours a day does sound pretty rough, but it'll be worth it. Is the course 2 months long?
 
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harkas

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If you guys have taken the Altius FLs, can you post your scores?

I've been in the 503-505 range, and I'm trying to figure out if I should postpone my exam or not. I'll me taking the AAMC ST, 1 and 2 later this week and will know more
 
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If you guys have taken the Altius FLs, can you post your scores?

I've been in the 503-505 range, and I'm trying to figure out if I should postpone my exam or not. I'll me taking the AAMC ST, 1 and 2 later this week and will know more
1/2 Length: 506
FL 1: 502
FL 3: 503
FL 2: 509
FL 4: 507
FL 5: 505
FL 6: 506

In that order. I take the real one Saturday I'm hoping for a 509+ but based on my practice tests I'll probably get in 505 range...

Sent from my Moto G (4) using SDN mobile
 
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harkas

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1/2 Length: 506
FL 1: 502
FL 3: 503
FL 2: 509
FL 4: 507
FL 5: 505
FL 6: 506

In that order. I take the real one Saturday I'm hoping for a 509+ but based on my practice tests I'll probably get in 505 range...

Sent from my Moto G (4) using SDN mobile


Nice, good luck! From what I've found on the internet regarding Altius, people have gone up in there scores on the real thing so that shouldn't be too hard for you. i would take the AAMC FL 1 and 2 if you haven't already.
 

aromatic substitution

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1/2 Length: 506
FL 1: 502
FL 3: 503
FL 2: 509
FL 4: 507
FL 5: 505
FL 6: 506

In that order. I take the real one Saturday I'm hoping for a 509+ but based on my practice tests I'll probably get in 505 range...

Sent from my Moto G (4) using SDN mobile
Have you taken any aamc fl? I only ask because I have invested in altius fl's and I wanted to know if your practice scores were similar between the two.
 

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Every week I get together with 20-30 other Altius tutors to share notes. We were comparing how our students this year have been doing on Altius FL vs. the real thing and vs. AAMC Scored 1 and 2. There is definitely a little variance, which is to be expected, but I'd say it was very consistent in the range of +2 to +5-6. I'd expect something like 2-3, and be happy if you can go up by 5. Anything else is an outlier.
 
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1/2 Length: 506
FL 1: 502
FL 3: 503
FL 2: 509
FL 4: 507
FL 5: 505
FL 6: 506

In that order. I take the real one Saturday I'm hoping for a 509+ but based on my practice tests I'll probably get in 505 range...

Sent from my Moto G (4) using SDN mobile

If you want a 509, you're in good shape. FLE1-5, also FLE9/10 have been the most predictive for my students. You show an upward trend, and I'd look most closely at FLE2 & FLE4. FLE3 is the hardest of that group for my students, so it's not too bad you went down a little on FLE3. I'd say you're solidly in the 507-509 range on Altius-level stuff, so you're in great shape for a 510 or so come test day.
 
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Just finished taking the MCAT. As a heads up it was at least as hard as the Altius tests if not harder. I feel like I got creamed by CARS and BB. I heard lots a rumors that Altius tests were more difficult but this was NOT true. This thing is hard be prepared!

Sent from my Moto G (4) using SDN mobile
 

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Hey Johnny,

Congrats on reaching the finish line. I've been noticing your posts and have appreciated your feedback. Would you be willing to PM me a few specifics on how you thought the real exam compared to your Altius exams? We have indeed been dubbed as "harder" than the AAMC and everyone seems to realize our exams are very SB-like, but over the last year most students have seen that as a bad thing, preferring NS or other exams that are easier. My fellow tutors and I meet every week and give our combined feedback to Altius curriculum team, so I'd love to pass along your insights.

Personally, I think that the SB is where the AAMC has been going for a while. Not that it will be 100% SB, but the trend is more and more SB, and generally a little harder than the AAMC practice tests they release. That's what I tell all my students, and they almost never come back "surprised" by test day.

After acknowledging that, I think it is important to recognize that the AAMC is 70-90% predictable, plus 10-30% outliers. The one thing they ALWAYS do is include a few outliers; those surprising elements on exam day no one quite expected. That's why I teach my students to EXPECT a crazy passage or two. I fully expect one exam form to be heavy in physics and another light in physics, for calculations to go way up and sometimes way down, I expect that each exam usually has one section that seems "killer," that CAR passages may feel normal one time and INSANELY long the next. I don't think the exams actually vary quite as much as it FEELS like they do, but adding a couple of ACRONYM CRAZY SB-like cell-trafficking passages to your standard MCAT-2015 exam form that already has a few SB-like passages can make it seem like armageddon!

P.S.- I still think that you are on track for something in the 510'sh range, maybe more. My students who were scoring similar to you are still going up a few points in MOST cases. Good luck!
 
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Hey Johnny,

Congrats on reaching the finish line. I've been noticing your posts and have appreciated your feedback. Would you be willing to PM me a few specifics on how you thought the real exam compared to your Altius exams? We have indeed been dubbed as "harder" than the AAMC and everyone seems to realize our exams are very SB-like, but over the last year most students have seen that as a bad thing, preferring NS or other exams that are easier. My fellow tutors and I meet every week and give our combined feedback to Altius curriculum team, so I'd love to pass along your insights.

Personally, I think that the SB is where the AAMC has been going for a while. Not that it will be 100% SB, but the trend is more and more SB, and generally a little harder than the AAMC practice tests they release. That's what I tell all my students, and they almost never come back "surprised" by test day.

After acknowledging that, I think it is important to recognize that the AAMC is 70-90% predictable, plus 10-30% outliers. The one thing they ALWAYS do is include a few outliers; those surprising elements on exam day no one quite expected. That's why I teach my students to EXPECT a crazy passage or two. I fully expect one exam form to be heavy in physics and another light in physics, for calculations to go way up and sometimes way down, I expect that each exam usually has one section that seems "killer," that CAR passages may feel normal one time and INSANELY long the next. I don't think the exams actually vary quite as much as it FEELS like they do, but adding a couple of ACRONYM CRAZY SB-like cell-trafficking passages to your standard MCAT-2015 exam form that already has a few SB-like passages can make it seem like armageddon!

P.S.- I still think that you are on track for something in the 510'sh range, maybe more. My students who were scoring similar to you are still going up a few points in MOST cases. Good luck!
I will PM you this week. Just an update I got a 512. I'm very pleased with my score. It was higher than any score I got on the Altius practice tests. I will say I couldn't tell a difference between the real test and he altius tests. They were by far the best practice tests I used.

Sent from my Moto G (4) using SDN mobile
 
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JustinM88

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Hey Johnny,

Congrats on reaching the finish line. I've been noticing your posts and have appreciated your feedback. Would you be willing to PM me a few specifics on how you thought the real exam compared to your Altius exams? We have indeed been dubbed as "harder" than the AAMC and everyone seems to realize our exams are very SB-like, but over the last year most students have seen that as a bad thing, preferring NS or other exams that are easier. My fellow tutors and I meet every week and give our combined feedback to Altius curriculum team, so I'd love to pass along your insights.

Personally, I think that the SB is where the AAMC has been going for a while. Not that it will be 100% SB, but the trend is more and more SB, and generally a little harder than the AAMC practice tests they release. That's what I tell all my students, and they almost never come back "surprised" by test day.

After acknowledging that, I think it is important to recognize that the AAMC is 70-90% predictable, plus 10-30% outliers. The one thing they ALWAYS do is include a few outliers; those surprising elements on exam day no one quite expected. That's why I teach my students to EXPECT a crazy passage or two. I fully expect one exam form to be heavy in physics and another light in physics, for calculations to go way up and sometimes way down, I expect that each exam usually has one section that seems "killer," that CAR passages may feel normal one time and INSANELY long the next. I don't think the exams actually vary quite as much as it FEELS like they do, but adding a couple of ACRONYM CRAZY SB-like cell-trafficking passages to your standard MCAT-2015 exam form that already has a few SB-like passages can make it seem like armageddon!

P.S.- I still think that you are on track for something in the 510'sh range, maybe more. My students who were scoring similar to you are still going up a few points in MOST cases. Good luck!

What does SB stand for?
 
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