Gladiolus23

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Anyone score well on the new MCAT by just practicing exclusively from AAMC (Q-packs, OG, mini-test, FL), Khan passages and practice tests (not more than 6 total from TPR/Kaplan/EK)? Assuming that all content review is done of course…

This is all I will probably have time for :unsure: and I want to know if it's enough. I'm not looking for discouragement in the form of "you should postpone your test." I'll definitely do so if my scores are not up to par. I just want to know if there is anyone who did minimal practice such as the above, but still managed to score well. Thanks!
 
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ChrisMack390

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No one has ever done "minimal" studying for the MCAT and succeeded.

The MCAT is really not a test of intelligence as much as it is a test of discipline.
 
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Anyone score well on the new MCAT by just practicing exclusively from AAMC (Q-packs, OG, mini-test, FL), Khan passages and practice tests (not more than 6 total from TPR/Kaplan/EK)?

This is all I will probably have time for :unsure: and I want to know if it's enough. I'm not looking for discouragement in the form of "you should postpone your test." I'll definitely do so if my scores are not up to par. I just want to know if there is anyone who did minimal practice such as the above, but still managed to score well. Thanks!
I don't see how anyone could. You would need a basic understanding of many concepts that you may have forgotten in the past. Unless you can open a random page in a content review book and have a decent understanding of what the topic is about, you should probably review the content.
 
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Gladiolus23

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I don't see how anyone could. You would need a basic understanding of many concepts that you may have forgotten in the past. Unless you can open a random page in a content review book and have a decent understanding of what the topic is about, you should probably review the content.
Oh no that's not what I meant…of course, content review is a part of it. My question is after all content review is done, can someone do well on the MCAT by only practicing from the above sources (Assuming that they are good with pretty much everything on the AAMC outline, and have a good conceptual understanding)
 

p0gono

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It's possible I think. I had success doing only EK 30m exams from bio & chem, AAMC FL, and a few khan and q-pack sessions. It's all I had time for after content review, too - I got >520

Edit: I also went through the OG pretty carefully.
 
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Gladiolus23

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It's possible I think. I had success doing only EK 30m exams from bio & chem, AAMC FL, and a few khan and q-pack sessions. It's all I had time for after content review, too - I got >520

Edit: I also went through the OG pretty carefully.
Wow…congrats! Did you only use EK for content review? Are you a well-experienced researcher or something? Also, may I ask what you used for Biochem? I'm planning on going through my class slides and studying from Kaplan Biochem. only…do you think this is enough?

Would appreciate your input!
 
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Whether it's enough will be entirely dependent on how fast you're improving on them. Some people need more practice, some less - no one can tell you where you will fall on the spectrum. Make sure you get the practice you need before taking it; going into a career-determining test underprepared just because you didn't want to postpone it won't get you any forgiveness from adcoms.
 

p0gono

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Wow…congrats! Did you only use EK for content review? Are you a well-experienced researcher or something? Also, may I ask what you used for Biochem? I'm planning on going through my class slides and studying from Kaplan Biochem. only…do you think this is enough?

Would appreciate your input!
I do have quite a bit of (non-biochem) research experience, so that was certainly a factor in how I did.

For content I used EK for all topics, supplemented with TPR for Psych/Soc (carefully) and Bio (when needed); as well as BR Bio#2 for Biochem (+ self-study for amino acids). I haven't seen the Kaplan Biochem book, but I've heard good things. I looked at TPR passages and did a couple per section, and although they were tough and highlighted some good content, ultimately I found them to be too different from MCAT2015 and I stuck with EK for time reasons.

Edit: Practice questions were helpful for me to do in the middle of content review, to reinforce what I just read. That's part of the reason I appreciate the EK 30m exams - they are short enough to spread a few out throughout a day of content review.

Whether it's enough will be entirely dependent on how fast you're improving on them. Some people need more practice, some less - no one can tell you where you will fall on the spectrum. Make sure you get the practice you need before taking it; going into a career-determining test underprepared just because you didn't want to postpone it won't get you any forgiveness from adcoms.
With a growing number of Khan passages, more AAMC materials coming out soon, and relatively large question packs, I think it's possible to use only these for practice, but like @EverStriving said, it's not necessarily a good idea for you. I recommend taking the AAMC FL under timed "library" conditions as soon as you can after a basic content review and then cross-reference your %s with the spreadsheet floating around. See where you are compared to others who have already gotten scores, then you can decide how to proceed with the time you have (if it were me).
 
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mcatjelly

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No one has ever done "minimal" studying for the MCAT and succeeded.

The MCAT is really not a test of intelligence as much as it is a test of discipline.
Eh, my best friend studied for 6 weeks using only Kaplan flash cards, EK1001, and TPR/AAMC FLs, and got a 37. :p
 
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bearintraining

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OKay -- so I'm going to be the outlier here. i did nearly *no* practice tests (I sort of half-assed the AAMC FL), I did content review twice (Total study time was 2.5mo, during which I did research also), except for Physics which I didn't get to twice. Used EK and I did do their practice Qs (didn't get to the 30min practice exams) as well as the the AAMC guide practice questions. I did some Khan Academy for Soc/Psych, but not nearly enough.

I sat the June exam because it was too late to cancel when I realized I wasn't going to get through all the material once, but I was about to lose my money anyways... so I voided.

I wrote in July..scored 132 / 130 / 132 / 128 = 522

The point here is you have to do what works - for me, content review was enough.

*note: I am used to the new research style -- I have a PhD. Also, I wrote in 2011 and scored 33.
 

p0gono

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You have a PhD,took the test in 2011 which I'm sure you also studied for, and did 2.5 months of content review. I think this is pretty close to opposite of what OP is trying to do.
Sounds like OP isn't trying to skip studying, just hoping to minimize the practice materials per se to those that are free/online.

Edit: or that's how I understand it
 

bearintraining

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Pilot: My point is really just that there is no recipe that works for everyone. Does familiarization with the exam help? yes! Does incessant practicing over more content review? Depends on the person.

and P.S.: I don't think my 2011 studying helps much 4 years later. Especially given huge changes to content (both the new psyco/soc as well as lots of traditional OChem no longer present). Memory retention is pretty low long term also.. I think its on the order of less than 40% for most people.
 
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I did a few TPR and EK full lenghts in addition to the AAMC FL. I don't think you need to take 12 practice tests to do well on the exam. I guess in total I did 6 FL's including the AAMC one. I also did not really use the question packs, but I scored a 522. Do as much as you have time for/can afford. If nothing else it might make you feel more confident on your test day.
 

bearintraining

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Well I also took the test after minimal practice (only AAMC OG, Q-packs, and the one FL) and did well. My point earlier was that whether some people here were able to do should not be used by the OP as justification for trying it him/herself.
I agree EverStriving.
I think the best advice to the entire exam is: don't get bogged down in the details of passages, but DO use them carefully when answering. There are trick questions in this exam, albeit not all that frequent. That said, I think the "simplify what is asked for" worked particularly well for CARS for me. I didn't do any CARS practice but I tried to follow the EK strategies. Ask yourself what they're really asking you, and try to simplify answer choices.

This may sound stupid, and maybe it didn't help at all, but at the beginning of the exam I wrote down: "532: 132 132 132 132". Whenever I started feeling panicked, I looked at that, took a deep breath, and continued. Do not get hung up on questions. Decide on **A** answer by 3 minutes and move on; if nothing else, pick what you recognize - mark them for review. I had several questions marked on every section. I was able to review all, except in Chem/Phys. Lastly, I personally felt the exam was rough and was feeling pretty down about it after - don't let it get to you too much. It's very difficult to predict how you will do. In fact, I *know* for a fact I had questions wrong in the hard sciences (I looked up some of them after the exam) and still scored 132's.
 

bearintraining

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Just to expand on the "don't get bogged down on the details" part. I think this is a key thing you learn when you do extensive research. The details matter (basically nothing in a research paper is written just for eloquence), but you need to understand the gist of the paper first before the details matter. The other thing that helps with this is knowing the subject matter -- you can only really do this if you have knowledge beyond the basics for the MCAT, but knowing your science well helps a lot in getting through a passage.

Some examples in the real exam: I've seen phrases, even paragraphs of things that are required knowledge for the MCAT, and you go "sweet, I know this" and then realize there are ZERO questions on them.
 

StudyLater

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Anyone score well on the new MCAT by just practicing exclusively from AAMC (Q-packs, OG, mini-test, FL), Khan passages and practice tests (not more than 6 total from TPR/Kaplan/EK)? Assuming that all content review is done of course…

This is all I will probably have time for :unsure:
I don't get why you consider this to be like a bare bones plan. It's actually quite solid.