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Just an honest question. I reviewed the thread and I was blown away by the level of detail and analysis put into that study plan. It seems like a surefire way to prepare for the mcat. My only question is, "With all due respect, is SN2ed's study plan still relevant/effective nearly 4-5 years laters?"
Thanks in advance!
 

MedWonk

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The test hasn't changed. Not yet, at least. It'll be relevant until 2015. After that, it'll likely require modification, but the general flow will probably be the same. I took my test earlier this year. Follow this plan (somewhat modified to suit my own preferences/schedule) brought me from the upper 20s initially to a 35, so I would say it's effective.
 

SN2ed

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Yeah, it should be fine and people have still been using it with success. As MedWonk wrote, the test hasn't really changed drastically since I wrote my schedule. Additionally, the core concepts will be applicable to the new MCAT, though it will require switching the books and passages around to match the new material.
 

Next Step Tutor

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Additionally, the core concepts will be applicable to the new MCAT, though it will require switching the books and passages around to match the new material.
I think this is one thing that many folks may not realize. With all of the hub-bub about how the test is going through such a big change, I'll say this: if the passages given during the experimental sections last year are anything to go by, the test isn't going through such a big change at all.

Without giving away any specifics, what I saw taking the test three times last year was a lot of the same: passages and questions. Sure, the content had shifted over to the stuff that we know is coming, but the basic mechanics of dissecting a passage, focusing on main ideas, and then analyzing questions is all the same. My sense of it so far is any good study plan now will be perfectly applicable to the 2015 test, just accounting for the fact that the plan will need to be anywhere from 15-30% longer to incorporate the new content.
 

Next Step Tutor

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With all due respect, is SN2ed's study plan still relevant/effective nearly 4-5 years laters?
Relevant: yes
Effective: yes

The only argument you could make against that structure would be if the quality of the available materials had shifted so dramatically as to change your prep choices. While I don't agree 100% with what's in the SN2 plan, everything there is fundamentally sound.

One of the additional prep choices I've been recommending lately has been these guys: http://www.mcatquestion.com/qbank.php

Mind you, I have nothing to do with that company. I don't get any kickbacks or whatever for recommending them. I bring them up here just b/c it's an example of a resource that wasn't available when the SN2 plan was put together.

Having said that, that QBank is just a nice little add-on to your prep, not a substitute for full exams or for prep books.

EDIT:

Oh and I just quickly re-skimmed SN2ed's post and I'll add another thing that's a smidge out of date. He mentions that there are no good free websites for learning MCAT content. I think that's something that has definitely changed over the past several years. At this point, wikipremed, mcat-review.org, and khan academy are all excellent, all free, and are nearly good enough that they could supplant traditional prep books as a way to learn science content.
 
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BerkReviewTeach

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I believe wikipremed and Khan Academy were both available when that list was made. I'm not sure about mcat-review.com. I personally am a big fan of wikipremed because it is specific to the MCAT and operated by someone very familiar with the exam. Khan Academy is helpful for a quick reference on a subject that might be troublesome, but I think it's caps out as a supplement to other materials. It is not MCAT specific and while it's great at reviewing the basic concepts, people need more in terms of learning how to apply that information to the MCAT.
 

lalax

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I condensed SN2ed's study schedule into a month (didn't change anything, just took out practice problems and condensed several days into one to fit my time constraints). I took the MCAT in January and got a 39. The schedule works... it's still relevant and effective.
 
OP
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Thank you all for your responses. I figured the same, that the structure and plan of attack is completely relevant, just that the material may need an update. I'll look into those sources, the next biggest question is whether I'm taking a prep course or not. I'm leaning towards not taking one because $2000 is a lot of money!
 

1TB4RKSB4CK

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mcatreview.org is very useful for getting through what is needed in the outline because it takes what it has in their notes directly from the AAMC guideline. I usually add on notes to my printed sheets corresponding to the chapter.
 

valkener

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No it does not matter, his study guide is still current.

Recent medical findings (like in genetics) take years to find their way into MCAT questions and the fundamentals don't change much.

The only notable difference will be seen when the MCAT takes up more humanities-related materials.
 

petyr_baelish

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I condensed SN2ed's study schedule into a month (didn't change anything, just took out practice problems and condensed several days into one to fit my time constraints). I took the MCAT in January and got a 39. The schedule works... it's still relevant and effective.
lol wut.

How does that even work? Studying 12+ hours per day with no break days?

Mad props.
 

lalax

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lol wut.

How does that even work? Studying 12+ hours per day with no break days?

Mad props.
I was studying 8+ hours per day with no break days. I pretty much just locked myself in a room over winter break and did nothing but study. I also had just taken Physics I and was confident with Orgo so I did not have to spend a lot of time with some of the material.

For most topics, I did a third of the assigned practice passages/questions in order to save time. I also did not study for the Verbal section (at all), so that was definitely a time saver.
 
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