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Can you start studying for the MCAT too early...?!?

SailCrazy

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Can you start studying too early...?!?

More specifically, can you start taking practice tests too early and run out of good materials that should be used in the months before the exam?

Here's my situation: I will be taking the April 2005 MCAT and would like to start studying now. I'm afraid that I'll use up the "good" materials too soon. I'm planning to take a lot of practice tests in January - March 2005.

I recently purchased the ExamKrackers Complete Set, and will also likely take the Kaplan class beginning in January 2005.

(I know that reviewing my textbooks is a good way to review as well, but I just can't get much enthusiasm for spending more time with them...)

What would you suggest?

Thanks!

P.S. Sorry to double post (here and in the MCAT discussion forum) but after I posted there I noted that there were only 4 other people on the board!!!
 

Alexander99

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I don't think you can ever start too early. I mean, this is the way I approached studying for the MCAT: go over all the practice tests and be able to answer every type of problem on there. If you've "run out" of tests because you know how to answer every type of problem quickly, you're ready for the test.
 

Please!

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I think that it IS possible to start studying too early. If you mean studying with practice materials. I think that if you have the time, you should prepare for the MCAT now. I think that this should be done by reviewing concepts and brushing up on things that are unfamiliar to you.

It is worthwhile to start reviewing and preparing now. I have found that practice exams are useless if you don't have a sufficient understanding of the material. The MCAT is not like the SAT, you can't just practice and practice to improve. There are actual facts and concepts that have to be mastered first. If you master these, practice tests will be more useful. Save the practice tests for the Kaplan class.
 
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Wednesday

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If you want to start studying so early, I would suggest that you take the extended Kaplan course. There should be one that starts around October or November 2004. Kaplan has TONS of materials, which is actually the good part of paying for the course. If you start it in Jan, you won't have time to finish all of them.
 

coldchemist

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Man, this thread should have been a poll. The poor OP is probably more confused than ever! Well, might as well throw in my opinion, too.

Go to any bookstore and look in the reference section. There is certainly know shortage of practice tests, and no way that you could do them all before next April. That said, a lot of these tests are far from the real thing--but they will still help you learn concepts and apply knowledge. Save the AAMC practice tests for the beginning of next year.
 

GTea

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I'm no genius, but I thought the AAMC's practice tests were too easy. They're good for getting your confidence up, but I thought non-AAMC tests were much closer to the real (current) ones in terms of difficulty.
 

jlee9531

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Originally posted by GTea
I'm no genius, but I thought the AAMC's practice tests were too easy. They're good for getting your confidence up, but I thought non-AAMC tests were much closer to the real (current) ones in terms of difficulty.

tho i think most would agree that the best predictors of your scores on the mcat would be the aamc 4, 5, and 6. (i think those were the numbers...)
 

celticmists18

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YOU CAN DEFINITELY START STUDYING TO EARLY. I took the August 2003 test, started my Kaplan class in early June (very normal situation). I am usually a very cool under pressure kind of person, but two months of nearly constant studying (with the exception of a trip to the Caribbean) almost pushed me over the edge . . . example: one week before the MCAT I was walking up the stairs with a glass of ice water. I'm staring at the water going "there is something wrong here . . .wait the density of water in its solid state is less than that of the liquid state. Those ice cubes should NOT be sitting on the bottom, there must be impurities . . . " I relate this story in hopes that others may learn from it!
 

DrBodacious

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Theoretically you start studying for the MCAT when you take your science classes. So just work hard in those and it will pay off on the MCAT. I think you can start browsing over test prep books whenever you want, but obviously there should be other things in your life besides the MCAT, it isn't that bad really. ;)
 
Yes, you can. You only have so many neurons to burn for the MCAT. Don't waste them too early.

No, seriously, the MCAT is stressful and sitting and stressing out about it for many months will only wear you down and lower your score. I blame my drop from about a 35 to a 30 on stressing for no reason and getting selfish and trying to raise the score even higher when clearly it was not possible for me.
 
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