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Best MCAT practice tests?? Prep books??

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BMH

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Hello, I'm considering to take the MCAT for the third time, and I wanted to know where would be the best place to get new practice tests. While studying for my first 2 MCAT exams, I basically used up all the TPR practices tests and all of the AAMC FLs. I've also done most of the AAMC q banks and section banks. Seeing as I have used up all of these, I wanted to know if there were other MCAT practice tests that are really good so that I could use to study for my third exam. For now, I'm signed up for the upcoming September MCAT but depending on how ready I feel, I may push it back to January.

Also, I have all the TPR books, which I keep hearing are pretty good. I also used the 90 page Kahn Academy P/S notes. My biggest struggle is ochem and CARS. If there are other prep books that you guys think are better, I would love to hear your guys' opinions. Any and all advice is appreciated.
 

PlsLetMeIn21

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This questions get asked so often and the answer is nearly always the same. "Do a search." If you look at different threads you'll read what various people have said. In general, here is what you'll find.

Chemistry/Physics: TBR by a long shot over everything

CARS: TPR and EK

Biology/Biochemistry: TBR for passages and physiology review, Kaplan for biochemistry review

Psychology/Sociology: TPR and the 300-page document.

This is what I used except for the Kaplan biochemistry and I could not have been happier with how much I overperformed in C/P, B/B, and P/S (132, 132, and 130). I liked what I used for CARS but I didn't score so well, and my low score is all on me.
 
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MyOdyssey

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This questions get asked so often and the answer is nearly always the same. "Do a search." If you look at different threads you'll read what various people have said. In general, here is what you'll find.

Chemistry/Physics: TBR by a long shot over everything

CARS: TPR and EK

Biology/Biochemistry: TBR for passages and physiology review, Kaplan for biochemistry review

Psychology/Sociology
: TPR and the 300-page document.

This is what I used except for the Kaplan biochemistry and I could not have been happier with how much I overperformed in C/P, B/B, and P/S (132, 132, and 130). I liked what I used for CARS but I didn't score so well, and my low score is all on me.

I hadn't read this about Kaplan's biochemistry review. Does Kaplan have a specific book for biochemistry?
 

Big Tall Doctor

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I hadn't read this about Kaplan's biochemistry review. Does Kaplan have a specific book for biochemistry?
Yes, and actually considering the rest of Kaplan's books, it's pretty concise. Works great if you pair it with the rest of the TPR series, as those tend to have you bring in outside knowledge to see patterns. I say Kaplan's biochem establishes a good base, and TPR helps refine it/ work biochem passages.
 
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MyOdyssey

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Yes, and actually considering the rest of Kaplan's books, it's pretty concise. Works great if you pair it with the rest of the TPR series, as those tend to have you bring in outside knowledge to see patterns. I say Kaplan's biochem establishes a good base, and TPR helps refine it/ work biochem passages.

Thanks for the helpful comment but not sure what you mean by "the rest of the TPR series" or "those tend to have you bring in outside knowledge to see patterns."
 

BMH

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This questions get asked so often and the answer is nearly always the same. "Do a search." If you look at different threads you'll read what various people have said. In general, here is what you'll find.

Chemistry/Physics: TBR by a long shot over everything

CARS: TPR and EK

Biology/Biochemistry: TBR for passages and physiology review, Kaplan for biochemistry review

Psychology/Sociology: TPR and the 300-page document.

This is what I used except for the Kaplan biochemistry and I could not have been happier with how much I overperformed in C/P, B/B, and P/S (132, 132, and 130). I liked what I used for CARS but I didn't score so well, and my low score is all on me.
Thank you. I am constantly perusing through SDN and reddit for the best resources. My biggest concern is for the practice tests because I have literally used up all of the TPR exams and AAMC FLs for my first two MCATs. I just wanted to know which exams would be the next best thing since I know AAMC FLs are basically the closest thing to the real MCATs. I've heard that EK and NS exams may be pretty good. Do you have a take on either?
 

PlsLetMeIn21

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Thank you. I am constantly perusing through SDN and reddit for the best resources. My biggest concern is for the practice tests because I have literally used up all of the TPR exams and AAMC FLs for my first two MCATs. I just wanted to know which exams would be the next best thing since I know AAMC FLs are basically the closest thing to the real MCATs. I've heard that EK and NS exams may be pretty good. Do you have a take on either?

I used exams from EK, TBR, and Altius. I mixed and matched the different sections at the advice of my big sib and her friend, and it was the best thing I could have done for FLs. If I had to rank the ones I used, I'd say TBR is slightly better than EK. Altius exams weren't bad, they just weren't as good as EK or TBR. I didn't use NS, but people seem to like them.
 
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MyOdyssey

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This questions get asked so often and the answer is nearly always the same. "Do a search." If you look at different threads you'll read what various people have said. In general, here is what you'll find.

Chemistry/Physics: TBR by a long shot over everything

CARS: TPR and EK

Biology/Biochemistry: TBR for passages and physiology review, Kaplan for biochemistry review

Psychology/Sociology: TPR and the 300-page document.

This is what I used except for the Kaplan biochemistry and I could not have been happier with how much I overperformed in C/P, B/B, and P/S (132, 132, and 130). I liked what I used for CARS but I didn't score so well, and my low score is all on me.

How is Kaplan’s biochemistry review better than TBR’s? I thought TBR was the gold standard here.
 

PlsLetMeIn21

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How is Kaplan’s biochemistry review better than TBR’s? I thought TBR was the gold standard here.

TBR was definitely the gold standard for me. I only used TBR and did very well in B/B. But to be fair, the one Kaplan book that gets good praise is biochemistry.

My review was built around doing and reviewing passages, which is where TBR stands out. But if you only want to read content and are not looking for passages, that might be the way to go.
 
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MyOdyssey

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TBR was definitely the gold standard for me. I only used TBR and did very well in B/B. But to be fair, the one Kaplan book that gets good praise is biochemistry.

My review was built around doing and reviewing passages, which is where TBR stands out. But if you only want to read content and are not looking for passages, that might be the way to go.

Good stuff!

As far as question banks/practice exams, which did you find most useful for each of the different MCAT sections.

I want to follow in the footsteps of your MCAT success story.
 

ArteryStudyPainting

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    I used EK solely. Found that it had a very concise, almost outline-esque structure. That's opposed to Kaplan, which I read 5 pages of, and couldn't do it. Too kitschy, superfluous, and loved telling you stories that never mattered (imo imo imo).

    I did all those books in a month (~1-2 chapters a day), while rewriting the previous notes. All in all, I think my MCAT outline was about 50 pages long. Then, for 2 months, nothing but practice exams, saving the AAMC FLs until the end. I worked in 3 day cycles: Test, review, break, test, review, etc. until the week before the test. Then, I integrated the FLs into the cycle. Then I used the reddit predictor, which to its credit, was literally perfect at gauging how I would perform.

    PM if any other ?s. Good luck!
     
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    Blueprint MCAT Tutor

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    AAMC materials are definitely the best for practice tests, but I don't think they're solely enough to completely prepare for the exam (unless you are very time-crunched). If you do have time though, implementing third-party exams to work on your test strategy, timing, stamina, and content practice is very helpful. Although I can't comment on other companies, in particular, Next Step offers a free practice bundle (link in my signature) that you can try out and see if you like! That way, you don't have to commit before being able to try out the material to see if it suits your learning style. If you have any questions about our exams at all, please do not hesitate to reach out!
     

    Dochopeful13

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    AAMC materials are definitely the best for practice tests, but I don't think they're solely enough to completely prepare for the exam (unless you are very time-crunched). If you do have time though, implementing third-party exams to work on your test strategy, timing, stamina, and content practice is very helpful. Although I can't comment on other companies, in particular, Next Step offers a free practice bundle (link in my signature) that you can try out and see if you like! That way, you don't have to commit before being able to try out the material to see if it suits your learning style. If you have any questions about our exams at all, please do not hesitate to reach out!
    Can you post the link for the free practice bundle here? I cannot seem to locate it.

    Thanks!
     

    atm14834

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    I used a combination of Kaplan and NextStep books and then AAMC resources. I think I took 8 NextStep practice exams, and all 8 were fairly close to my AAMC practices and my real MCAT score.
     
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