123987PHX

2+ Year Member
Mar 21, 2017
20
0
Hi everyone,
I am planning to take the MCAT in January. I am a non-traditional student and have taken the old MCAT with no good results. I have studied on my own for the new MCAT and have used the material from both Kaplan and the Princeton Review. I am doing pretty good with CARS and Psychology/ Sociology Sections but am struggling with the science portions a little bit and believe that I need motivation to put more hours into it. Hence, my decision to enroll in a class. I would appreciate it if you could share your experiences. I have taken the Kaplan class for the old MCAT. Essentially there was a lesson book that the class was based on. I am looking for a class that is engaging and can get back on track on the science portions of the test. I am not sure if I should enroll in Kaplan, Princeton Review, NextStep or Examkrackers or anything else.
Appreciate your advises.
Thanks


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

Zenabi90

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
593
431
Status
Medical Student
Hi everyone,
I have studied on my own for the new MCAT ... but am struggling with the science portions a little bit and believe that I need motivation to put more hours into it. Hence, my decision to enroll in a class. I would appreciate it if you could share your experiences.
My advice is to look within, not without.

Why are you going to pay for something you've already half done yourself? CARS and P/S is half the battle score-wise, so reassure yourself that you are capable of putting in the effort.

If you need to put in more hours, put in more hours. Write up a physical schedule that does so and follow up. You said you're doing well in P/S so try to consider about where you're placing your locus of control at the moment. I think developing an internal locus would benefit you more than trying to rely on an external locus to motivate you. Try to look less into outside motivators, and more toward inside motivators and strengthening your inner self-discipline and strength. You've proved you have the capacity for inner motivation because you're achieving results on CARS and P/S. Now build that capacity up and extend it to CP and Bio.

Those courses and instructors use cookie-cutter approaches that target the common denominator for their students. So either you get lucky and you're part of that, or you get unlucky and you will get subpar returns on your investment. You know you better than anyone, use that to your advantage.

Instead of paying for a class, why not get a study buddy? You don't even have to be with them physically, online study buddies can help keep each other honest and even explain things to each other via PMs or Google/Skype chats or Discord.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tobyobi
OP
1

123987PHX

2+ Year Member
Mar 21, 2017
20
0
Zenabi90: thank you for your advise. You are very much right. However, I do not do well with online study buddies. In general, study partner is the best way, however, I have not been able to find any in Arizona, where I reside. I have tried twice here and once on an app StudyPal. Do you happen to know where I can look for a study buddy other than these two?
Thanks


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

Zenabi90

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
593
431
Status
Medical Student
In general, study partner is the best way, however, I have not been able to find any in Arizona, where I reside.
Try contacting some Pre-Med committees at your local universities, maybe they will have some people who are looking for study buddies as well.
Try here again after Sept 9, when the last MCAT has passed, maybe post in the Pre-Med section, or in the Wanted section.
Try the MCAT subreddit as well. Maybe even your app again.
Try try try. It doesn't hurt to try multiple times. Best of luck.
 
OP
1

123987PHX

2+ Year Member
Mar 21, 2017
20
0
Zenabi: yes I was contacted by the one member who is in the area. Thank you for sharing this. My other half for you is, if I don't register for classes, which company would you advise for me to buy practice tests from that have good explanations and resemble the MCAT the most? I heard Princeton Review is way harder and the AAMC is way easier. What do you say?


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

Zenabi90

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
593
431
Status
Medical Student
Zenabi: yes I was contacted by the one member who is in the area. Thank you for sharing this. My other half for you is, if I don't register for classes, which company would you advise for me to buy practice tests from that have good explanations and resemble the MCAT the most? I heard Princeton Review is way harder and the AAMC is way easier. What do you say?


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
Quick search would have netted you the answer to that one.

AAMC Sample Exam, AAMC FL 1, AAMC FL 2, AAMC Sample Exam, Next Step 1-5 (ignore 6-10), Altius
 
OP
1

123987PHX

2+ Year Member
Mar 21, 2017
20
0
I read that post. The author has not received her/ his score yet. However, I wasn't sure if Kaplan and Princeton Review are better or these Altius and NextStep are better. Thanks again for your response.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

Zenabi90

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
593
431
Status
Medical Student
I read that post. The author has not received her/ his score yet. However, I wasn't sure if Kaplan and Princeton Review are better or these Altius and NextStep are better. Thanks again for your response.
No problem. There are actually many posts both on SDN and Reddit that favor NextStep and Altius. Generally what I've read is once you start doing FLs after your content review:
1. AAMC Sample Exam: despite no actual scaled score, you can guesstimate using the reddit calculator. This is more to get a feel of the format and timing of the exam. You are encouraged to work on your FLs with 90% of the usual working time.
2. Altius/Next Step
3. AAMC FL1 to check your true progress
4. Whatever you didn't do in 2
5. AAMC FL2 1-2 weeks before your exam
 
  • Like
Reactions: hkdude97