Has Kaplan actually been helpful?

Sammy1024

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Dec 12, 2013
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    I was wondering if Kaplan has been useful for anyone? I was recently told that if I have access to any of their section tests, I should practice with them because they will prepare me for the MCAT. Section test meaning it's like a ps section where you take 52 question test in 70 minutes, or the same for bs.

    I was wondering if it is worth my time to take these or just stick to doing TBR passages?
     

    TheAnonymous

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    Jan 19, 2014
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      I was wondering if Kaplan has been useful for anyone? I was recently told that if I have access to any of their section tests, I should practice with them because they will prepare me for the MCAT. Section test meaning it's like a ps section where you take 52 question test in 70 minutes, or the same for bs.

      I was wondering if it is worth my time to take these or just stick to doing TBR passages?

      my personal experience: their BS section tests are superb ! I would personally stick with TBR for PS but use Kaplan for Bio
       

      TheAnonymous

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        Oh really? Thanks! I only have 2 weeks left until my test date so I wanted to do practice with things that were good. I will be sure to use bs section tests :]

        I haven't written the MCAT yet and what I said is based on what I have been reading on SDN and my personal experience on AAMC CBT + Self-Assessment.
         
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        TheAnonymous

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          I understand. :] Thank you for replying anyway. Tbh I think a lot of sdn is personal experience because EK works for one person who took the mcat but not for another. It's all subjective i guess. haha. :]

          true ! that's why I always say you should try everything yourself... take a BS section test and compare it to the AAMCs :)

          my pleasure, good luck !
           

          Jepstein30

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          Jun 29, 2011
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            I understand. :] Thank you for replying anyway. Tbh I think a lot of sdn is personal experience because EK works for one person who took the mcat but not for another. It's all subjective i guess. haha. :]

            It definitely is largely personal experience from studying.. but a lot of posters here are very well versed in the MCAT because of post-test experiences (teaching/tutoring). I personally think that I learned much, much more about preparing for the MCAT by being on the other side of things than I did while I was preparing for the MCAT myself.

            Different resources definitely work for different people.. but there are trends there you can explore. Overall though.. it's important to just choose a resource and stick with it. The differences between them all aren't significant enough to spend valuable studying time worrying about the grass on the other side.

            As for your question in the OP, Kaplan's online materials are superb. Their books aren't. The two most valuable resources from Kaplan are the topical tests and the section tests. The topical tests are great if you perceive a weakness in a certain topic.. here's a test that's going to force you to think about the topic in every which way possible. The section tests are good opportunities to develop test taking skills (critical thinking skills) in a more MCAT like environment. I'd advise making heavy use of both of those.

            With two weeks to go, (hopefully you are already taking full-length exams and this is just additional).. I'd probably go with a combination of section tests and TBR passages. I really would need more info to say what exactly I'd do.. like how you are doing in practice tests, your goal score.. how you're doing with TBR, etc. In general though, the section tests should give you a nice, broad practice experience. From there, I'd figure out where your remaining weaknesses are and then use either the Kaplan topical tests or TBR to do some passages in that topic. Content review, at this point in the game, should be avoided but if you're really confused about a topic.. then definitely spend some time with it. Your goal is to identify and eliminate weaknesses.. because the MCAT is too broad of a test to go in and hope you get a good mix of topics.
             

            Sammy1024

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            Dec 12, 2013
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              In TBR i'm scoring roughly somewhere in the 60%'s more than likely around 65%.

              My goal is 32 on the MCAT (started at 16) and I just took AAMC 9 yesterday morning and got a 28. (10 - 9 - 9).

              Looking over my results I seem to be having trouble in the following "Skill Categories":
              Identification of Components in a Situation and Relationships Among Them
              Seeking Clarification
              Evaluation Process
              Reasoning Using Quantitative Data

              It's the same in PS and BS, exactly! The BS tends to have lower %'s for those section because of my so-so Ochem but i'm working on it. Hoping to knock out 1 or 2 major topics. I went from around 30% (previous %) to a 46% on AAMC 9 for ochem.

              I'm currently watching Chad's videos because I feel that he really breaks down some of the topics to simple terms that make it easier in an effort to improve my %'s on the topics above. I feel a lot of them are about relating things and I get A and get B but when i'm trying to connect them i'm having trouble.

              I'm hoping that improving on the Skills above will help me with my goal.

              I'm working on verbal and worked my way up from a 5 with a consistent 9 on 2 or so AAMC's so i'm almost there.

              If you have any tips for me I would greatly appreciate it. :]

              Looking over my AAMC book:
              #1 is more about hypothesis, assumptions, conclusions, supporting evidence, rationales and experiment variable.
              #2 Identifying relevant info, translating useful information into simple terms
              #3 judging is conclusion follows necessarily from given info/ set of premises
              #4 much of the same as these

              I think, looking over these, it's kind of like I'm taking the passage at face value, but when they are asking about the passage itself, if it's overly complicated, I don't know how to figure out the answer because sometimes they put tricky sentences in the passages that give the wrong answer. Ex: I did some passage about wave movement and the passage said that air pressure is a factor in the wave, and when the question asked which of the following forces is a factor in the wave, I picked air pressure because it was right there in the passage, but the answer was gravitational force because that's an actual force and air pressure isn't.
               
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