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August 15 MCAT Studying Advice

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by Rdavido, May 28, 2008.

  1. Rdavido

    Rdavido ASA Member
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    First of all, I'd like to say hello to everyone in this community. I'm very glad that there exists a place such as this to research past, present, and future MCAT tests and those who have had success in taking it. With that said, I am here asking what all of you would recommend in preparation for the MCAT which is scheduled for Aug 15.

    I'm a sophomore student who has completed all four fundamental sciences (Bisc, Chem, O. Chem, and Physics). I did best in Biology and Physics, and didn't do so great in the chemistries.

    My current materials for studying are:

    Kaplan Premier 2007-2008 MCAT Book
    EK Biology and Organic Chemistry
    EK Audio Osmosis Series
    Kaplan MCAT Biology
    Kaplan MCAT Chemistry
    Kaplan MCAT Verbal Reasoning
    Kaplan MCAT High Profile Problem Solving

    So, for those of you with experience in studying for this test, could you lay out a plan for me to follow in the coming months as I prepare? I was originally scheduled for the June 13th test, but decided to reschedule. I wanted to just "feel the water" with the test the first time, but now I realized that that isn't a very wise move. I want to blow it out of the water the first time!

    Thanks everyone for your help!
     
  2. SN2ed

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    First off, check out the sticky threads at top. Next, and this is big, GET MORE PRACTICE MATERIAL. You must get at least all the AAMC practice MCATs and possibly the Kaplan FLs if you can manage. I also highly suggest getting EK verbal 101 and their 1001 bio book. Again, if you can afford it, Kaplan's online course gives you a solid amount of practice material on top of their FLs, AAMC tests, and their lessons (which weren't helpful for me). Anyway, I'm just going to copy and paste my previous post on a possible study plan to give you an idea.




    To start, I suggest going through the content review books and seeing which suites your style the most. For me, I used EK's review books almost exclusively. The Kaplan books didn't work for me. Another thing, flashcards don't really help me, but if they help you, review them. For me, it's making the flashcards that count, not looking them over. Last opening note, you might want to get more practice problems. I'm not sure how many come in the Kap Premiere book, Nova, or TPR, but EK's content review books and Kaplan's course books don't provide enough problems.

    Once you pick which content review source, divide up the content review chapters so that you will have all the content done in 2 months. Also divide up all the verbal passages you have excluding the material on the practice MCATs. Do not use those until the final month. I'll try to give you a typical layout for the content review stage.

    When I talk about reviewing refer to my previous post: I spend about 2-3x longer to review my practice problems than it takes to do the practice problems. While analyzing, these are some of the questions I ask:

    1. What technique did I use? Why did it work/not work? How can I improve it?
    2. Was I under any time pressure?
    3. Why did I get this question wrong/right? Was it content?
    4. What was the author thinking when he/she made this problem? How were they trying to trip me up?
    5. Is there any type of problem I miss more frequently?
    6. Why do I miss that type?
    7. Were there any choices I should have eliminated right away?
    8. Did the passage confuse me and if so, why?

    Rough schedule for the content review months (first month and half - two months:
    Starting on Sunday, quickly read over all the chapters you're scheduled to read for the week. Next, put all the MCAT topics onto separate pieces of paper. Put the all the BS topics and PS topics into spearate hats. On Monday, the real studying finally beings. Read the chapter or chapters scheduled for that day. Do any of the problems in that chapter and thoroughly review them. Do the EK lecture exam and review. MAKE SURE TO DO ALL PRACTICE PROBLEMS UNDER TIMED CONDITIONS. Do your daily verbal passages and review them the next day. After you're done with those practice problems, do even more practice problems and review them. Although you want to do as many practice problems as possible, don't run out of material. It may help you schedule out your practice problems as well. Keep this going for the follow days. On Sat, reread all your content review chapters and do more practice problems. Lastly, on Sun, again read over all the chapters you're scheduled to read for the week and do more practice problems.

    Final month and half - month:
    Now that content review is done, time to do all those practice MCATs. I suggest spacing out the tests so you have on either every other day or once every three days.

    On days that you take a practice MCAT: Just do the practice test and use those BS and PS hats. To use the hats, pull out three topics and try to connect them all together. Next, make up in your head what a passage would look like and what kinds of questions you'd see. Lastly, if you feel shaky on one of the topics or you can't connect them, review the topics again in your content review books.

    On off days: THOROUGHLY review your MCAT. Any question you miss, review the content and do more practice problems to re-enforce that topic. Do some more hat practice and additional practice problems.

    Hope that helps. If you have some questions about the schedule, post them here.
     
  3. amar21

    amar21 professional crammer
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    I am also writing on the 15th - how far along are you in studying? I am enrolled in the kaplan prep course and thats about all that ive done thus far... which is equivalent to a few chapters of content review per unit.
     
  4. prudvi

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    I signed up for the 22 August. I am doing the content right now. I just hope that I have enough time to take all the practice tests. I have also joined the Kaplan course and I think it has been useful so far for me.
     
  5. Rdavido

    Rdavido ASA Member
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    Which Kaplan course are you all referring to? I have a bundle of review books, and I'm on the verge of getting all the practice tests. I have begun by taking a calibration practice test to see where I score. So far I'm not doing so hot, so I need to go back and relearn lots of concepts. I still have plenty of time.
     
  6. prudvi

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    I am taking the Kaplan classroom course
     
  7. Rdavido

    Rdavido ASA Member
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    Are all 11 Kaplan FLs included in the classroom course?
     
  8. SN2ed

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Yup, all 11 Kaplan and all 8 AAMC.
     
  9. futuredoctor10

    Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I am also doing content review right now for the August MCAT and was wondering what people's recommendations are on when to start practice tests. I was thinking do content review until around mid-July (when my Kaplan classroom course ends) followed by practice tests for 1 month until the mid-August exam.
     
  10. Rdavido

    Rdavido ASA Member
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    That sounds like a great plan!
     
    #10 Rdavido, Jun 3, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  11. prudvi

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    That sounds like a good plan. I am planning to do the same.
     
  12. amar21

    amar21 professional crammer
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