Jul 26, 2019
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Hey all,

I have been dabbling with free MCAT programs for a minute, but I'm going to start hardcore studying soon. So which programs are the best for their price (~300-400) that is actually useful? No way I can afford a $1-4k program. I'm looking for a solid, at-your-own-pace type thing, like UWORLD or something. Also, any other sources for MCAT practice tests besides AAMC? Any advice would be great, especially those who have already taken it! Thanks in advance!
 

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Have you taken a diagnostic test yet? I would recommend starting with that first. That way you know exactly what you need help with.

For example, maybe you only need the most help with CARS and if you only need help with CARS then you can probably look up a MCAT company that only provides CARS help, which could be cheaper than a company that provides help with everything on the MCAT.

To save money on content review books you could maybe find a friend who already took the MCAT and ask to use their books. If you don‘t know anyone who has taken the MCAT you could look into joining a club like “alpha epsilon delta” that is a pre-med club.

You could also look into getting books from Amazon. They usually have the best deals on everything. 😂
 
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GreenDuck12

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If resources are limited, I would buy the following resources in order of priority:
1. AAMC materials - all
2. UWorld bank or 5 Next Step FL exams (ideally both)
3. Passage based prep books (Berkeley review for example)
 
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KnightDoc

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Mar 14, 2019
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Hey all,

I have been dabbling with free MCAT programs for a minute, but I'm going to start hardcore studying soon. So which programs are the best for their price (~300-400) that is actually useful? No way I can afford a $1-4k program. I'm looking for a solid, at-your-own-pace type thing, like UWORLD or something. Also, any other sources for MCAT practice tests besides AAMC? Any advice would be great, especially those who have already taken it! Thanks in advance!
Once you get away from the free stuff, everything is pretty expensive, so you need to reconsider your budget. You absolutely need all the AAMC stuff, and that's $300 right there. If you want to add UWorld, that's another $250 or so. You want extra practice tests on top of that, count on an extra couple hundred. How about review books for content review? More hundreds of dollars, depending on how many and which ones (Kaplan, TPR, TBR, ExamKrackers, etc.).

It's really very easy to spend over $1,000 just doing it yourself without a program. Like everything else, other than freebies that are subsidized by someone (like Khan Academy for as long as it continues to be available), you find you tend to get exactly what you pay for.
 
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LaughingGas10

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Once you get away from the free stuff, everything is pretty expensive, so you need to reconsider your budget. You absolutely need all the AAMC stuff, and that's $300 right there. If you want to add UWorld, that's another $250 or so. You want extra practice tests on top of that, count on an extra couple hundred. How about review books for content review? More hundreds of dollars, depending on how many and which ones (Kaplan, TPR, TBR, ExamKrackers, etc.).

It's really very easy to spend over $1,000 just doing it yourself without a program. Like everything else, other than freebies that are subsidized by someone (like Khan Academy for as long as it continues to be available), you find you tend to get exactly what you pay for.

since the MCAT is no longer purely a content based test, and is based more on comprehension of passages, what is your impression of these premade free ANKI decks ? are they seriously helpful for review for the MCAT ?

I do have my students use it for USMLE step 1 since it is content based, but find it hard to believe they will be that useful for an MCAT test. How about the quality of some of these premade ANKI decks, do they have mistakes in the content, since they are not peer reviewed ?
 

KnightDoc

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since the MCAT is no longer purely a content based test, and is based more on comprehension of passages, what is your impression of these premade free ANKI decks ? are they seriously helpful for review for the MCAT ?

I do have my students use it for USMLE step 1 since it is content based, but find it hard to believe they will be that useful for an MCAT test. How about the quality of some of these premade ANKI decks, do they have mistakes in the content, since they are not peer reviewed ?
For once, I have no opinion, because I didn't use any decks, pre-made or otherwise. I was very uptight going in, and was very seriously considering paying for a live class. I totally dodged a bullet there with the pandemic. I was even considering the TPR boot camp. Ultimately, I realized that, with resources like SDN, a live class would be a waste for me because I didn't need the discipline and I wouldn't be able to focus to on whatever it turned out I needed to focus on.

I used a combination of TPR, TBR and the infamous KA 300 psych document for content review, and the AAMC bundle, UWorld and Altius FLs for practice. It worked for me, but I recognize different things work for different people. I liked the ability to mix and match, go at my own pace, and focus on what I needed to focus on.

I totally agree with you that memorization (other than maybe for psych) was pretty useless, and by the far the most productive use of time was spent answering questions and going over answers, both correct and incorrect. Content review is most important for people who are weak going in. If a person's content is not at a certain baseline, they are going to be spending too much time during review learning it, and not enough time focusing on the nuances of the test itself. IMHO, this is ultimately the biggest determinant someone's score, assuming they are diligent and put in the time.
 
Dec 15, 2020
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My friends all used the Berkley Review books and rave about them. I am currently using them and love them so far. They are intimidating at first but have crazy detailed content review following by passage after passage after passage for each subtopic. I think they are the most thorough review if you have lots of time to study. I'm also looking for someone to have weekly study check ins to keep my going if anybody is interested. Ideally DM message here or email that we actually completed the phase HW assignments and share score (Kinda dumb but I find if I'm competing I do better). I plan on testing August. Let me know :)
 
Jul 26, 2019
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My friends all used the Berkley Review books and rave about them. I am currently using them and love them so far. They are intimidating at first but have crazy detailed content review following by passage after passage after passage for each subtopic. I think they are the most thorough review if you have lots of time to study. I'm also looking for someone to have weekly study check ins to keep my going if anybody is interested. Ideally DM message here or email that we actually completed the phase HW assignments and share score (Kinda dumb but I find if I'm competing I do better). I plan on testing August. Let me know :)
Awesome, thanks so much! Are you taking it this august to apply for this cycle you mean?
 
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