Bad Prep Idea?

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deleted1040417

    I was thinking since the summer plans have crashed, prepare for the MCAT. Thing is I haven't taken biochem.

    I'm contemplating the idea:
    1. Content review everything besides biochem this summer. Do practice on everything outside biochem. Just learn the amino acids for now

    2. During the fall be enrolled in biochem and use MCAT reviewal books while learning. (EDIT: Flashcard the summer content.)

    3. During winter break use 4 weeks to cram in lots of practice and flashcard all the content review I've completed already.

    4. Take MCAT in January week after classes resume. (losing first week of school won't be a critical hit, but will attend the 4 hours of lab I plan on being in on spring)

    Is this a plan that would crash and burn?
     
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    GreenDuck12

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      Thank you... if all else fails I may just push the MCAT off for the following summer. There's really not much else to do this summer.

      I'm not a big believer in taking the MCAT before completing the prereqs. However, you could "take" a biochemistry class through a free platform. Harvard, MIT, and Penn had some really great MOOCs that were free. I went through two of them early on in the pandemic because biochemistry was never my strongest subject and found them to be pretty high quality, especially if you treat it as an actual class.

      There's nothing wrong with doing content review before starting an intensive MCAT preparation period. I find that most folks forget about 80% of what they studied after about 6 months of not using the material. That being said, that 20%+ that you retain is better than not having it at all. If I wanted to do something productive related to the MCAT, I would probably start using the KA free resources this summer. There are several hundred hours of content review videos that you could go through.

      However, for me, I know that I would need to do additional content review before the MCAT. Part of the reason for that is confidence. I do better on exams when I know that I've done as much as I could do to prepare (I spend less time wondering how I would've done if I had done X, Y, or Z). Knowing that about myself, I would do some content review before starting exam / practice sections.
       
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      deleted1040417

        I'm not a big believer in taking the MCAT before completing the prereqs. However, you could "take" a biochemistry class through a free platform. Harvard, MIT, and Penn had some really great MOOCs that were free. I went through two of them early on in the pandemic because biochemistry was never my strongest subject and found them to be pretty high quality, especially if you treat it as an actual class.

        There's nothing wrong with doing content review before starting an intensive MCAT preparation period. I find that most folks forget about 80% of what they studied after about 6 months of not using the material. That being said, that 20%+ that you retain is better than not having it at all. If I wanted to do something productive related to the MCAT, I would probably start using the KA free resources this summer. There are several hundred hours of content review videos that you could go through.

        However, for me, I know that I would need to do additional content review before the MCAT. Part of the reason for that is confidence. I do better on exams when I know that I've done as much as I could do to prepare (I spend less time wondering how I would've done if I had done X, Y, or Z). Knowing that about myself, I would do some content review before starting exam / practice sections.

        I will look into the biochem resources and may just run through KA before ordering materials. Thank you so much for your advice.
         

        la flame

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          Personally, I would take a light courseload this fall with easy classes + Biochem. I would pay darn good attention in Biochem class (have your Biochem TBR/Kaplan,etc book next to you) and I would start content review for other classes around Octoberish. By December when your finals are over, you should have a solid understanding of all the content and you can start taking practice exams + UWORLD + qbanks.

          I just don't see how doing serious content review 6+ months out could be retainied even with Anki. I mean, I couldn't, but you may be different.
           
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          JimKimSlim

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            Definitely use Anki deck to keep your memory fresh. I would also suggest to throw in a few practice problems while you’re enrolled. You will have a better understanding of what concepts are high yield and adjust your Anki setting to focus on those. Also, it’s never too early to start doing CARS practice. Start with free resources, like JW and KA, to practice timing and expand to AAMC materials. Good Luck With Biochemistry!
             
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            skeptastic

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              OP's thoughts parallel my own. I've been planning to begin MCAT prep next week and to take the exam next April. Because I detest the idea of creating a bunch of flashcards and also worry about sacrificing grades while over-studying too early for the MCAT, I am now starting to lean towards focusing on CARS and P/S early, then approaching the dedicated schedule around October. At that point, I will be midway into my biochem course, which will be the last of the prerequisites I need to take. I've been worrying so much about not having enough time to get through the TBR books and then transitioning to the AAMC materials and FL exams. I think it's time to slow down and be logical.

              I like paying attention to trends, consensus opinions from educated/experienced people, and so forth. The overall response in this thread has been to caution the OP, but try to advise them, should they choose to proceed with their intended course. Many responders have done well on the MCAT. I'd rather succeed than focus on my worries about time. I think I may study the TBR physics books arriving tomorrow, as I take physics 2 this summer, and then do the same thing this coming fall while taking biochem. Otherwise, it seems like starting mid-term in the fall puts me in the sweet spot, where I'd have 5-7 months to prepare, with 3-5 months dedicated, between mid-December when the fall term ends and March to May when I should be ready.

              Feel free to let me know your thoughts, any of you. The initial plan was to complete phase 1 of the TBR science series + TPR P/S + CARS passages this summer, phase 2 in the fall, and phase 3 + 3rd party FL exams + AAMC materials between December and April. The more I read valid posts and think about it, the more I worry about forgetting all of the early content review info, and/or just wasting time doing said review during the summer and fall months when I should be more focused on excelling in my classes.

              Anyway, let me know any thoughts you all have. As always, I appreciate your insight and look forward to suggestions.
               
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