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Do MCAT without Kaplan?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by nerd88, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. nerd88


    Jun 14, 2008
    I will be entering my 3rd year (junior year). I want to do my MCAT after the 3rd year is over (August 2009), and I plan on doing it without Kaplan (it's so freaking expensive!). I'll study for 3 months & then give the test. Side question: when should I register to take the MCATs if I want to take it in August 2009?

    If I get a bad score, then I'll retake after my 4th year but with Kaplan's help (brokenheartedly pay the money).

    Sound like a ok plan? I would like to get others' thoughts on this. On the forumns so far, most people did take Kaplan's help.... Did anyone get 32+ without using Kaplan/TPC? If so, what was your study method? And those who did take the Kaplan/TPC, is it worth the money?

    I'd really appreciate your suggestions! Thanks!
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  3. LikeClockWork

    LikeClockWork Guest

    Jul 23, 2007
    It is VERY possible to do well without taking a course. Just be sure to purchase some good MCAT review books (like Kaplan, EK, or TPR) to work from. I studied alone the first time, but my biggest mistake was not doing enough practice. The AAMC tests are for sale online for about, what, $35 a pop? That'll get expensive quick, but it's better than the cost of a Kaplan course.

    As far as registering for the test, if 2009 will be like this year, then there will be a few days in August that will be availble for you to sign up for. Registration for August exam days this year opened up on March 11, so it's likely that'll be the time frame for next year. Just visit aamc.org to look at their MCAT scheduling stuff once they get the stuff for 2009 posted.
  4. Dak747


    Jun 15, 2008
    It is definitely possible to do without the course.

    Here's what I studied (I also reviewed my course notes, prior to picking this up):
    Kaplan MCAT 2008-2009 Premier Program

    I felt that the book was excellent, some of the "MCAT favourite" margin notes were on the test nearly word-for-word.
  5. paranoid_eyes

    paranoid_eyes 2+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    this is the best startegy:

    1) try to find the classroom set of TPR online (every book that is given when you take the class).

    2) study every page, and do every problem

    3) buy the AAMC exams and do all of them

    **you may not be able to find the set online since i think TPR doesn't allow this material to be public; if so, find a friend who has taken the course....
  6. nontrdgsbuiucmd

    nontrdgsbuiucmd 2+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2008
    my own little world
    I concur in general, have had good luck with EK material rather than Kaplan, myself. AAMC tests are the best indicator of readiness for the test, but a review book is needed because the test covers some things in great detail (hormones, for example) and other important areas (photosynthesis) are not covered at all.

    Just took a Kaplan full length recently, score was similar to the AAMC tests but there was a fair amount of material that was not familiar at all, and was not on the 4 AAMC tests (i.e. a 'hygroscopic' molecule? that is not even in the index of my ochem textbook, but it was a definition question on the Kaplan test)
  7. HopHurdlerXXS

    HopHurdlerXXS 7+ Year Member

    Jun 19, 2008
    Hella Norcal
    In all honesty, the class itself is not worth it. I took a princeton review course (so it should be similar) and the lessons just regurgitated what the review book had, so that was a waste.
    The online resources that princeton review offered (computerized practice passages and exams) are worth it. I don't know if it's possible, but see if you can only purchase the online resources.
  8. mhockey14221

    mhockey14221 2+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Completely agree. The classes more or less seemed like wastes of time. The only classes I found helpful were the Bio classes with stuff I havent seen in 2 years. The practice stuff online is the biggest plus for Kaplan. Is it worth the 1800 dollars? Not entirely sure.

    A slight digression: I've been somewhat disappointed by Kaplan's online service. They make a big deal about their smart online reports for tests, but they essentially break down the scores by "easy, med, hard, v hard" and right or wrong. Also, the web app they use is slow and frequently acts weird.
  9. physics junkie

    physics junkie 5+ Year Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    I'm in Kaplan training and not one of the instructors I've talked to so far took a prep course and all did well.

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