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Can you start studying 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?
     

    UCLAstudent

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      It's too early. I started out as ambitious as you. I started studying last summer (I'm taking it this April). It was the biggest waste of time... it did not help at all. I stopped studying in September and started up again over winter break, and it's working out just fine.
       

      superdevil

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        i wouldn't say that its too early to start reviewing, but there's no point in doing practice tests until a month or two before the exam--and people tend to overdo that as well. i don't think you're spending your time wisely if you're doing more than 7 or 8 COMPLETE tests before the exam anyway. if you find that you have a weakness after a diagnostic test, take a few days (maybe even a week or two) and really cover the hell outta that topic...then take another test. if you take more than ten tests, you may risk MCAT-burnout.

        that's just my take on it so far, though. just try to work past the boredom of reviewing. you'll be happy you did.
         
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        willthatsall

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          Just a thought, if you are going to start studying for the MCAT now, why not take it in AUG 04? If the reason is that you haven't taken the pre reqs yet, how are you planning on starting to study this early if you haven't completed them yet? It would be difficult to learn a subject for the first time by reading review books.
           

          IndyZX

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            I agree with the above poster, there is little reason to start reviewing the science now. I suppose if you an infinite number of practice tests, then I think that taking one every month or so will get you to the point where the structure of the test is comfortable to you -- but even that is overkill.

            Why would you review the science a year before the test? The stuff is not that difficult provided that you did well in those classes the first time through. For example, I was strong in biology and the first half of physics, and reviewing that stuff was a breeze. I am taking OChem II right now as I study for the MCAT, and it totally sucks going over carboxylic acid derivatives and such when we have just barely started covering them in class.
             

            apar01

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              Originally posted by indyzx
              I agree with the above poster, there is little reason to start reviewing the science now. I suppose if you an infinite number of practice tests, then I think that taking one every month or so will get you to the point where the structure of the test is comfortable to you -- but even that is overkill.

              Why would you review the science a year before the test? The stuff is not that difficult provided that you did well in those classes the first time through. For example, I was strong in biology and the first half of physics, and reviewing that stuff was a breeze. I am taking OChem II right now as I study for the MCAT, and it totally sucks going over carboxylic acid derivatives and such when we have just barely started covering them in class.

              Agreed. Focus on your core classes right now, and start studying for the MCAT around 3-4 months before the actual test date. If you start studying too early, you will definitely be burned out and lose all motivation to study. You don't want that happening the week of your MCAT. What would be beneficial for you to do is to just take a practice MCAT. Both TPR and Kaplan offer these mock mcat's all the time at schools, so take one of those. From this, you will know what you need to focus on more for the actual test.

              If anything, you can do the most to prepare for verbal right now. I don't mean start doing 8 passages a day, but just start reading...anything. Subscribe to your local newspaper, Time magazine...whatever. Read average sized articles (600 words) to get used to reading for the MCAT.
               
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