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ExamKracker Confusion...

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by Dr_Jay_wannabe, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. Dr_Jay_wannabe

    Dr_Jay_wannabe Junior Member
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    Hello everyone,

    I just ordered the EK Complete Study package, and it is confusing the hell out of me. I understand the lecture quizes and answer explanations, but when i read through a lecture chapter, I have NO CLUE what they are saying. I think it's because I learned the material in a different format, and trying to relearn something in a different "language" is just confusing to me.

    Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else had a similar experience. I was also wondering if I would be better-off just taking the EK practice quizes and reviewing in my college text books. I find it alot easier to read through my college text because I remember learning it previously.

    I also found that the aamc website posts an outline for each subject. Maybe I will just go through my textbooks and highlight the material presented on the outline. Do you think this is a good idea?

    I guess I am a little frustrated because I bought the EK complete study package thinking it would be a great review, but I found it just confused me even more. One thing that is a positive about the material is their pictures, mneumonics, and highlighted equations (but the equations confuse me a little because they use different symbols and forms).

    Anyway, sorry for the long post. I was just wondering if anyone has any suggestions.

    Dr_Jay_Wannabe

    p.s. this information only pertains to the chemistry book, because that is the only one that I have begun to read through.
     
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  3. blz

    blz Senior Member
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    You have to realize that the books are REVIEW books...meaning they are review only if you have a pretty good background in the material. What I suggest you do is supplement using your textbooks any areas that seem strange in the EK books (and you will need to on some topics). I wouldn't suggest just reading your textbooks only.
     
  4. An Yong

    An Yong Senior Member
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    EK is notorious for being barebones when it comes to MCAT prep. You might want to try some of the other companie's material like Kaplan and Princeton Review, they're stuff is much more lengthy and filling explanations. For physics I recommend Nova's book, that book turned physics from my worst subject to my best. I wouldn't recommend using your textbook because usually they go in way too much detail that you probably won't need for the MCAT (i.e. you don't need to know about Kirchoff's rules because its unlikely the MCAT would make you solve a linear system of equations, it just takes too long). Don't get rid of your EK books though because they are useful if you need a quick review. You can get through EK in like a week or two, which was really nice for me because I often found I needed a quick review now and then when I was doing the practice tests.
     
  5. Jonathan13180

    Jonathan13180 Senior Member
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    Where can i purchase the nova physics book?
     
  6. MeowMix

    MeowMix Explaining "Post-Call"
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    Everything on the AAMC list (except chi-square and other completely useless topics) is covered in the EK books. Do not be distracted by the thickness of the Kaplan books; no more necessary material is covered (I know, I worked through both sets of books in excruciating detail), and the paper quality and page format only make it appear as if much more useful stuff is covered. The only bonus of the K material is the chapter-end problems to test your understanding of the content.

    Here's my suggestion: go through the EK books to give you the framework and outline for the MCAT topics (better than AAMC, and with practice problems). If you get stuck, go to your textbook.

    You need to be able to recognize the principles no matter what "language" they are written in, and you need to recognize the equations with different symbols, formats, etc.. Remember, the MCAT-writers love to confuse and intimidate you.
     
  7. Dr_Jay_wannabe

    Dr_Jay_wannabe Junior Member
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    Thanks MeowMix!

    That's a really good point. Although, I think I'll just read through the bold words and highlighted material (Equations, tables, etc.) and if it confuses me even if I read more into it(from the EK lecture text), then I will refer to my textbook.

    Thanks again.

    Dr_Jay_Wannabe
     
  8. MD Rapper

    MD Rapper Senior Member
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    Dr jay,

    I agree with everyone here when they say that you must have some good science knowledge before you start any kind of review.. but the EK books are great. I studied with them for the April MCAT and had a great time. Yes, their style is a little different and takes a while to get used to... but no one has ever helped me so much to UNDERSTAND the material. They are also very precise, in that they basically cover 99 percent of what you WILL see on the MCAT. I've never had any other test prep that could do that so concisely.

    I was sort of confused when I first started their review, but after reading very actively and reading a chapter more than once, things really came together. So though they are unorthodox, their stuff is not wrong by any means. EK review seems to work best when you do it the way they prescribe at the beginning of each review book. Their lecture questions and in class exams are excellent LEARNING material. As the MCAT gets closer, you should probably do several AAMC exams... and be sure to review them thoroughly.

    By the way, I took Kaplan the first time and they were very off as far as what I should be focusing, what is absolutely vital to know etc...

    Just my $0.02. Everybody is different I guess...
     
  9. fun8stuff

    fun8stuff *hiding from patients*
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    As was pointed out above, because EK does not go into much detail, you must already have a good grasp on the material. If you did not retain much from your classes, it will be tough using EK. I would suggest buying the NOVA physics and the big Kaplan book. I used Kaplan and my text books for certain things that I did not understand in EK.
     
  10. gdk

    gdk Senior Member
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    while going through the ek review books i had to go back to my biology book (campbell) and organic chem notes, most of the time because i either wasn't familiar with the way they draw/explain/present organic chem reactions or because i was unfamiliar with the subject matter (like replication vs. transcription vs. translation and the actual mechanisms of each).
    i think the ek books are good but remember that a text book will have a whole chapter devoted to something the ek review books cover in one page. once you get the concept down and get a mental picture of what's going on, you'll find the ek books do a pretty good job of review
     
  11. bgreet

    bgreet Dopefish Lives!
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    I find EK to be awesome. Granted, I agree that you have to have a solid background in all the sciences, but if you have such you should be at the top of your mcat game after going over them. I honestly believe EK have the best material out there.
     
  12. Dr_Jay_wannabe

    Dr_Jay_wannabe Junior Member
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    Yeah,
    I'm starting to agree with you guys the more I read the Exam Krackers Complete study package. I have to flip through my old text and notes (while initially reading each chapter of the EK books) every once in a while to remember the concepts, but once I do that, the EK books serve as a good review.

    Dr_Jay_Wannabe
     
  13. daelroy

    daelroy Senior Member
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    Exam Krackers are not the best books for understanding and learning concepts. They are the Cliffs Notes versions of MCAT review books, but many people love it for that reason. They get to the point; they teach you short cuts; their instructional style is very efficient. But they aren't the best teaching books. The best book for teaching MCAT material concept wise is the Princeton Review Flowers and Silver book. I don't know if they still make it. That was a great book. The examples were a little light but if you supplement that with the Kaplan review books which are comprehensive, you will do fine.
     
  14. MrTee

    MrTee Senior Member
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    That's funny, I took Kaplan last summer and the books I got were the junkiest quality newprint paper you could imagine. Maybe it was because I signed up 2 days before the class started and they had to rush some books to me that I got low quality ones? The EK books I had have really heavy, high quality glossy paper. My opinion was that the EK was definitely good to go thru for quick review, and in fact was complete enough to review the materials needed to answer most mcat questions. If further depth was needed, the Kaplan books or textbooks filled that role.
     
  15. IndyZX

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    i think its kind of a myth that EK does not go into detail. other than ochem, i found their other material very thorough.
     
  16. JohnB79

    JohnB79 The Dragon Reborn
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    I'm using the EK books to study for the Aug MCAT and the Audio Osmosis and I am finding it is a great combination. I put all the cd's onto my iPod and take the lessons with me. That way I can have some sort of review material with me all the time and I can study while I walk to and from class in the car etc...
     
  17. synapse lapse

    synapse lapse tokyo robotic
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    yeah john, isn't it great having them on your ipod. I did the same thing and i gotta say it rocks. :)
     

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