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EK 30-minute lecture exams

Ibn Alnafis MD

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Dec 26, 2008
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  1. Resident [Any Field]
    Hello MCAT gladiators,

    I was wondering how well/not so well you guys are doing on the ek 30-minute tests. Are they that challenging, or am I lacking basic knowledge? I feel many questions are not related to the lecture material.

    So far I have taken the following tests:

    Bio 1 (13 :)), Bio 2 (7 :()

    Physics 1 (9), Physics 2 (8)

    Gchem 1 (8), Gchem 2 (8)

    I am getting super frustrated since I spend about two hours studying and dissecting the chapters, and then end up performing poorly on the corresponding exams.

    Please share your experience.

    Thanks
     

    Ibn Alnafis MD

    Full Member
    10+ Year Member
    Dec 26, 2008
    5,228
    3,636
    Where the past and the future intersect
    forums.studentdoctor.net
    1. Resident [Any Field]
      Hello MCAT gladiators,

      I was wondering how well/not so well you guys are doing on the ek 30-minute tests. Are they that challenging, or am I lacking basic knowledge? I feel many questions are not related to the lecture material.

      So far I have taken the following tests:

      Bio 1 (13 :)), Bio 2 (7 :()

      Physics 1 (9), Physics 2 (8)

      Gchem 1 (8), Gchem 2 (8)

      I am getting super frustrated since I spend about two hours studying and dissecting the chapters, and then end up performing poorly on the corresponding exams.

      Please share your experience.

      Thanks

      C'mon, no love for EK here?
       

      TheShaker

      Full Member
      Jan 31, 2012
      2,672
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        I haven't bothered to take them yet but from what I've heard, the 30 minute exams are designed to be difficult and have a harsh grading scale. It's not indicative of your actual score. With that said, I think another reason would be that EK has terrible wording on its content review AND its questions. I don't know, something about reading the things it writes just doesn't click with me and leaves me really confused.
         

        Ibn Alnafis MD

        Full Member
        10+ Year Member
        Dec 26, 2008
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        1. Resident [Any Field]
          I haven't bothered to take them yet but from what I've heard, the 30 minute exams are designed to be difficult and have a harsh grading scale. It's not indicative of your actual score. With that said, I think another reason would be that EK has terrible wording on its content review AND its questions. I don't know, something about reading the things it writes just doesn't click with me and leaves me really confused.

          I really hope that they are harder than the real thing. I did two more chapters this morning, and still performed significantly less than what I think I deserve.

          Although I agree with you that their wording in the content review is tricky, I still prefer their books over TBR. They go straight to the point and trim lots of the unnecessary details.
           
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          Apr 18, 2012
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          1. Medical Student
            I've done about 15 of the 30 minute exams and I've started to notice the problems they put in as tricks.

            Some questions I don't know the answer too but I can just "sense" what answer they are hiding as the right one.

            That's what makes me mad about EK is that they are purposefully trying to be tricky on A LOT of questions. I guess this helps you focus and delve through the layers of a question.
             

            TwinsFan

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            Aug 9, 2010
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            1. Medical Student
              I did most of the EK stuff as a refresher, I'm now using BR to nail it all down. I just would read through the chapters and do the in chapter questions. No other note taking or studying. It definitely hurt in bio on some chapters because I didn't have the hormones memorized and other similar details. Also, I took O Chem chapters 3 and 4 after working through 1/3 of the EK 1001 O Chem and near the end of my EK studying so I was more solid on the material and a bit better at passages.

              Physics:
              #1-11
              #2-11
              #3-12
              #4-10
              #5-12
              #6-13

              Biology:
              #1-12
              #2-9
              #3-13
              #4-7
              #5-9
              #6-7
              #7-14

              Chemistry:
              #1-13
              #2-13
              #3-12
              #4-9
              #5-13
              #6-10

              O Chem:
              #1-8
              #2-7
              #3-12
              #4-12

              EK were the first passages I have done. As a point of reference to the EK scores I have posted my BR scores below. I now have more experience with passages and am studying the chapters some as I read them in BR so I definitely feel more comfortable and have a better understanding. This is part of the reason my BR scores are better.



              BR Scores (through 20+ passages each):

              Physics- 82% (~13)
              Chem- 85% (~13)
              O Chem- 85% (~13)
              Bio- 72% (~11) all passages from the second book, these are very tough!
               

              Caitlin0206

              Full Member
              May 2, 2010
              254
              0
              Florida
              1. Pre-Medical
                Hello MCAT gladiators,

                I was wondering how well/not so well you guys are doing on the ek 30-minute tests. Are they that challenging, or am I lacking basic knowledge? I feel many questions are not related to the lecture material.

                So far I have taken the following tests:

                Bio 1 (13 :)), Bio 2 (7 :()

                Physics 1 (9), Physics 2 (8)

                Gchem 1 (8), Gchem 2 (8)

                I am getting super frustrated since I spend about two hours studying and dissecting the chapters, and then end up performing poorly on the corresponding exams.

                Please share your experience.

                Thanks

                Read the first couple pages of the book. They talk about te 30 min exams and explain that they are intentionally very difficult. I think I got a 4 on like 5 of them in my really weak areas and I reviewed why I or every question wrong and looked up different explanations on the EK FORUMS and I took practice tests through AAMC and almost all of the ones I did poorly on were the passages I ended up doing well on on the practice tests. EK 30 min in class tests are intentionally difficult on purpose. I learned a lot from my mistakes on those. The only section I got 10+ on for everything was bio. Everything was always significantly lower. I'm probably going to tank my mcat regardless but just my two cents
                 

                Saf1

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                May 3, 2008
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                1. Pre-Medical
                  Yeah I thought they were extremely difficult too. The biggest help with them, and all stuff EK related, is when you're reviewing a question and you really don't get how you could've gotten it correct even after looking at the answer, go to the EK website and look at their posted answers. They explain them thoroughly and make you feel much better about the question.
                   

                  smiley27

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                  Mar 28, 2011
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                  Bosstown
                    Anyone else think a substantial amount of questions in EK physics (and possibly other subjects) are very poorly worded? Some of their explanations involve very specific inferences that the reader must pick up and I don't like the wording of their questions and the left out key information to solve the problem.

                    I do like that the problems are challenging but do you guys feel like the problems on the real thing are worded better than EK problems?
                     

                    TheShaker

                    Full Member
                    Jan 31, 2012
                    2,672
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                      Anyone else think a substantial amount of questions in EK physics (and possibly other subjects) are very poorly worded? Some of their explanations involve very specific inferences that the reader must pick up and I don't like the wording of their questions and the left out key information to solve the problem.

                      I do like that the problems are challenging but do you guys feel like the problems on the real thing are worded better than EK problems?

                      So much better. Maybe it's just me but the EK author's writing style just seems somewhat strange to me. It's not like I can pinpoint it either, there's just something about it that makes it harder for me to understand than any other book.
                       

                      PanRoasted

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                      Mar 29, 2011
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                      1. Medical Student
                        oh thank god. I just started studying from the EK books (these are OOOLD books from 2003) and I was tanking even though I knew most of the material!

                        These books really suck, I would never have purchased them (even though they were dirt cheap on amazon...) if I had known that the author was so unclear and the editor was so lazy as to not catch some very distracting typos. I've had questions in the 30 minute lecture exams that required previous knowledge that was NOT in the passage (it wasn't even in the chapter!). Very very sloppy.

                        by the way, does anyone know if the 1001 questions books from EK are any good? I really hope so, because I have all of them...
                         
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                        smiley27

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                        Mar 28, 2011
                        585
                        2
                        Bosstown
                          Yeah the EK lecture exams for physics are tough. My scores off the top of my head are:
                          EK physics-

                          1 - 12
                          2 - 9
                          3 - 6
                          4 - 10

                          The 1001 physics book is very challenging and yes there are some very curveball/questionable type questions but i'm sticking with it even though it's frustrating. I'm not looking for a book to stroke my ego but a book that's going to break me down which is why I decided i'm gonna plow through all of the problems. Currently on 500/1001.

                          I actually am very weak on mechanics, first semester topics so i'm not surprised at my low ek exam scores so far.
                           

                          smiley27

                          Full Member
                          Mar 28, 2011
                          585
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                          Bosstown
                            Just finished all of the EK physics and verbal lecture exams. Freakin tests are really hard, especially verbal. Here are my scores in order.

                            Physics lecture exams 1-8:

                            12
                            9
                            6
                            10
                            9
                            9
                            10
                            9

                            Verbal lecture exams 1-3:

                            6
                            5
                            4

                            This was the very start of my verbal prep. Anyone do the verbal lecture exams? How indicative are they of your actual range? I thought the verbal was super hard.

                            How are the physics scores?
                             

                            MCATminion

                            New Member
                            Jun 27, 2012
                            5
                            0
                            1. Pre-Medical
                              Well I am glad to see this thread and know that I am not alone in getting owned by some EK 30 min lecture exams. I have completed all the physics, bio and general chem EK 30 min exams and also the first 4 EK verbal 60 min exams.

                              Chem lectures 1-7:

                              12
                              9
                              8
                              4
                              8
                              12
                              11

                              Physics lectures 1-8:

                              9
                              11
                              7
                              8
                              7
                              9
                              8
                              10

                              Biology lectures 1-9:

                              all 10+ except lecture 5 on hormones :-(

                              Verbal 101 test 1-4:

                              7
                              9
                              11
                              12
                               

                              argama

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                              1. Resident [Any Field]
                                would you recommend doing all of them? I have EK Orgo, GChem, and Bio and did a few Chem yesterday and will prob do Bio today. In the GChem, I fell for a few tricks but conceptually, I understood the questions and passages, but that was only based on 3 In-class Exams. So obviously still can't say.

                                I was going to do more, but was wondering if I should finish my BR passages (esp in Bio) or do these and then resume BR ones? Ive been doing mostly BR passages for everything. Except Verbal.
                                 
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                                StraddleHand

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                                Aug 6, 2011
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                                1. Pre-Medical
                                  I just began my MCAT studying and have taken EK Bio. 1 and 2--30 minutes. I scored an 8 on each and was pretty disappointed, but again, I just started studying, and also I agree that the questions are worded really awkwardly. I feel like I know the answer to what their asking once I can finally figure out what their asking LOL. Hopefully, AAMC words questions much better.
                                   
                                  Jun 19, 2011
                                  1,168
                                  4
                                  CA, USA
                                  1. Non-Student
                                    I just began my MCAT studying and have taken EK Bio. 1 and 2--30 minutes. I scored an 8 on each and was pretty disappointed, but again, I just started studying, and also I agree that the questions are worded really awkwardly. I feel like I know the answer to what their asking once I can finally figure out what their asking LOL. Hopefully, AAMC words questions much better.

                                    It takes some getting used to, that's for sure. EK passages are all very similar and answering the questions is more about building your MCAT intuition and reading comprehension than actually knowing the information cold.

                                    You'll improve.
                                     

                                    Ochempwnsme

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                                    Oct 21, 2010
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                                      EK Bio

                                      #1- 11 (raw score 18/23 - ~78% correct). Screwed myself out of a 12 (19/23) because I had one question down to 2 answers and waffled back and forth, eventually psyching myself out of picking the correct answer even though I knew it was correct and could justify it, simply because it required a slight inference. I'm trying to not approach science passages in such a verbal-esque way, and it backfired here. I feel like some EK lecture exam questions do require critical thinking and are not just content based, and this was one of them in my opinion.

                                      Planning on doing the remaining 8 bio in-class lecture exams as well as the 8 EK physics ones, and 7 EK gchem ones. My MCAT is 2 weeks from today.

                                      I am off to a decent start at least, but can anyone tell me if the EK Bio lecture exams may get tougher as you go up in number. I feel that the passages in exam #1 were really good at testing bio content which is my biggest weakness. I hope what others have said on here is true: namely that the EK in-class lecture exams for science are tougher than the real MCAT because most of the easy questions has been removed. That is also what the EK writers state in the beginning of the EK bio book, and if that's true, and if I can get a strong grasp on contnt from the other 8 lectures as well by test time, maybe I can actually get 80-85% of the bio questions right on the real thing. That would be nice because it would set me up for my goal score of 11 on BS, which would be much better than my BS score of 8 on AAMC 11.

                                      I am planning on finishing up the reading for EK bio #2 later tonight (have about 10 pages left), then I'm going to take EK bio exam #2 without reviewing answers afterward. After a short break, I'll read chapter 1 in EK physics then take the EK physics #1 exam without reviewing answers. I'll review both tomorrow. The plan is to doing 2-3 of these lecture exams a day for bio, physics and gchem after reviewing the content, with the goal of finishing them up by next Wednsday. I'm doing TPR passages for bio content and I'm using a mix of TPR passages and EK 1001 for both physics and gchem. Maybe I'll throw in a couple EK verbal exams as practice but verbal is my strong suit so really focused now on nailing down content weaknesses. Then I'll do the AAMC self-assessments next Thursday and Friday and see where my content weaknesses are, and supplement with some EK 1001 ochem questions on the Saturday and Sunday before the exam to fill in the holes.

                                      I'm not sure why so many people trash EK on here for content review for non-bio science subjects. It got me trashing it a bit too, but I think I've changed my mind. EK bio is good even if you're learning the material for the first time. My bio background is incredibly weak but I feel like I'm learning so much from EK bio that I never learned from gen bio I and II that will serve me well on the MCAT. I'm halfway through the EK lecture 1 for physics and I think it's phenomenally written and is really helping me to see the important points. I'm making sure that I know the meaning of EVERY word written in brown and bold in the EK bio book, and that I can connect it to the relevant subtopic. From looking at the EK physics book, it seems they hit every concept listed on the AAMC outline and show you cool shortcuts for solving problems.
                                       
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