Aug 29, 2009
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Kansas City
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OK, so I have been doing home study for the MCAT using EK and doing a lecture a week in each subject. I have been taking the 30 minute exams after doing the lectures and listening to the audiotape lectures from AudioOsmosis or the next day and I have seen little to no improvement. I am averaging around a 10 or 11 on all of the EK 30 minutes (including the verbal 101). I have also taken the 3 AAMC practice exams and scored between 27 - 29 composite (I took these months ago before I was really studying hardcore). I just can't seem to improve. I have been working on changing my pacing in order to read the passages more and figure out what the questions are really getting at, but that doesn't seem to be working.
After each exam I am checking the solutions and trying to figure out where I am having problems. It seems like my problem is either interpreting the question wrong or I am just making stupid mistakes like messing up decreasing versus increasing or something like that.
I know that getting 10s on each section is not bad, but it is really frustrating that I have seen no improvement with all the time I have put in.

Are there any tips on how to not make these mistakes. Does it seem like I am just rushing through the questions? What would be a better method to review missed questions? Anything that has helped you would be awesome if you could share! Thanks!
 

FollowTheMoney

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Apr 7, 2010
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I talked to an instructor about this recently. There are two types of problems people have when taking the MCAT, (1) content issues and (2) style issues. First, you need to figure out if you truly understand the content presented on the MCAT. Once you feel confident in the content, take a practice test. Then, you will find out if it is a style issue, which you can identify if you are getting most of the discretes right and many of the passage based questions wrong. If that is the problem, then you need to get as much practice as possible taking practice passages and reviewing your results. Once you've done enough practice passages you will begin to improve and get your timing down as well. If you talk to most people who've taken the MCAT (not me) they'll tell you practice is the most important ingredient for doing well. That's why I just ordered TBR even though I have EK and Kaplan. TBR gives you so much practice in a passage based format that its almost ridiculous. EK has great techniques and little tricks, but I found those books to be for people who only need a "light brush up" and test taking strategies to do well on the MCAT. They don't offer a great deal of practice IMO. Kaplan just flat out sucks. Period.
 
Aug 29, 2009
69
0
0
Kansas City
Status
Medical Student
I talked to an instructor about this recently. There are two types of problems people have when taking the MCAT, (1) content issues and (2) style issues. First, you need to figure out if you truly understand the content presented on the MCAT. Once you feel confident in the content, take a practice test. Then, you will find out if it is a style issue, which you can identify if you are getting most of the discretes right and many of the passage based questions wrong. If that is the problem, then you need to get as much practice as possible taking practice passages and reviewing your results. Once you've done enough practice passages you will begin to improve and get your timing down as well. If you talk to most people who've taken the MCAT (not me) they'll tell you practice is the most important ingredient for doing well. That's why I just ordered TBR even though I have EK and Kaplan. TBR gives you so much practice in a passage based format that its almost ridiculous. EK has great techniques and little tricks, but I found those books to be for people who only need a "light brush up" and test taking strategies to do well on the MCAT. They don't offer a great deal of practice IMO. Kaplan just flat out sucks. Period.
Yeah, I think maybe my problem is that I just need to practice with more passages. I found the TBR orgo books, but I don't have time to get all the rest of the books directly from the company so I am kind of SOL. Would TPRH substitute for TBR?
 

BerkReviewTeach

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May 25, 2007
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Yeah, I think maybe my problem is that I just need to practice with more passages. I found the TBR orgo books, but I don't have time to get all the rest of the books directly from the company so I am kind of SOL. Would TPRH substitute for TBR?
Your test is in two months, so your time frame is not as rigid as you think. Find TBR books used in the classified here at SDN. It may take a week to get them, but they are so worth it for the physics and gneral chemistry. It's better to wait a week and get the best materials than to use something not as good.
 
Aug 29, 2009
69
0
0
Kansas City
Status
Medical Student
Your test is in two months, so your time frame is not as rigid as you think. Find TBR books used in the classified here at SDN. It may take a week to get them, but they are so worth it for the physics and gneral chemistry. It's better to wait a week and get the best materials than to use something not as good.
Ugh, I think I stress out too much about this, but I went ahead and bought the TPR off Ebay before I read this post. Anyway, now that I am down 300 bucks am I just screwed? Will I really see no improvement by using TPR? I mean I guess I just have to use them..oh well? I just felt like it was either TPR or nothing. Does the TPR have any advantage over TBR?
 
Sep 14, 2009
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I was having the problem with BS and PS my scores were not improving. But I noticed over time that I had to improve my content review much more thoroughly before I move on to the next FLs. I would take only one FL a week and during the week I would heavily review the questions I got wrong and the ones I got right. Also, I referenced the PR books for clarification for any concepts I wasn't 100% on. PLUS, I also have a notebook to write brief notes on the troubled concepts and review them before a day before taking the nest FL. More, importantly do not rely on one particular company, some companies are better in explaining certain concepts than others. Lastly, do tons of practice questions from different sources, such as PR, Kaplan, BR, EK and GS. Be confident, and careful when answering questions, the concepts they ask are basic, and you know the material. Anyways, I hope this helps with BS and PS, cant help with verbal since I would be of no help with that section. Best of Luck.