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HELP: Prep for mcat...cant choose...horrible first mcat score :(

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Streamline, May 2, 2007.

  1. Streamline


    May 2, 2007
    I know this has been posted a million times in different scenarios so here goes a million and one.:(

    I took the MCAT Aug 2006. I think I received the lowest score on the planet. YES, THAT BAD!! I definately ran out of time studying. Even though I knew I did horrible, I didnt void the MCAT score because my apps were already out.

    One of the many problems I had last time I was preparing was trying to pick books. I was going back and forth from every single book imaginable. I was taking a TPR class... But, I soon gave up on TPR books because I found them to be a bit unstructured and TMI for BIO for my lack of time. I bought EK books hoping I could pull off all the material on time, but, soon discovered that I was having difficulty following since its been several years since my pmeds. I had kaplan books my friend handed down to me.

    At the end, I really didnt feel comfortable knowing I was going into the test blind so I went back to TPR books.

    I ended up doing Kaplan Bio and Gchem+Phys w TPR. Orgo I did EK since I was taking orgo at the time. Mind you, I crammed PHYs in a weekend. BIG NO!! Fried my brain...it shows in my score (which is too embarrassing to post)

    Here I am picking my books once again. BTW, I have AO too and I have access to Nova Physics if need be. I just really need help in choosing already.

    So with my stats considering the following: pre-meds years ago, studying habits=outline based...What would you recommend? I really want to stick to one set of review books..

    In my journey I have found that: IMO

    Kaplans material is outlined and structured...which I liked because it correlated with my studying habits as I do take notes and focus on my memory of outlines and notes. But, the material for the phys I wasn't too fond of...

    TPR had more 411, especially for genetics, which my exam had a lot of. Actually, I think my whole BIO section was almost exclusively genetics!! :(
    Also, since I have the syllabus, I know if I sit down with TPR I have that to fall back on.

    EK I keep reading how great it is, and I will def use for verbal. However, I am unsure if I should use this exclusively, even though I have reviewed material once for the first MCAT, I am quick to forget. So I am considering myself as starting from scratch again (yet having some really good review notes I never ended up getting to look over).

    I think in essence, content wise I liked TPR but structure I like Kaplan. Which is more important? I would assume content, but, structure IMO facilitates with memory.

    I know it all comes down to practice, but, I can't start AAMCs until I know the material well enough to understand what I did wrong.

    Should I do the same as I did before Kaplan bio and rest TPR and just use the old reviews. OR should I start all fresh with one review as if the first MCAT never happened?

    Sorry for the rambling. This indecisiveness even goes beyond what I am making for dinner tonight. Please help!

    Thanks in advance!!:hardy:
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  3. Swiperfox

    Swiperfox 2+ Year Member

    Mar 8, 2007
    I did the EK set, then followed up with kaplan. Of the two I preffer EK primarily because it stresses relationships and critical thinking more than Kaplan, but the combo was definitely helpful. It has been about 3 years since many of my premeds, but I found these two more than plenty. The key is to do as many practice problems as you can to build that "intuition" which is so valuable on the MCAT.
  4. scotties123

    scotties123 GrandMacDaddy 10+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2007
    im using tpr and ek together. primarily ek, and things that i dont understand i look over in tpr. ek is more of a brief overview of things and is really good if ur already decent in the subject. if u have nova, then i say use that for physics because from what i hear it has the best physics wen u need to start from scratch. do at least 3 verbal passages a day. dont concern yourself with wat score it is, just try to get less and less wrong each time. just set a calendar of things to do each day. dont deviate. stay on track. its not meant to be easy so its not going to be. study ur butt off.
  5. MDee

    MDee 5+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2007
    what's "IMO" mean? I've been seeing it all over the forums...
  6. AGDJenni

    AGDJenni William Hung, my antidrug 2+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2007
    I think IMO means "in my opinion". IMHO "in my honest opinion"
  7. Streamline


    May 2, 2007
    Thanks for your responses...Still sorta leaves me undecided btwn TPR+EK or KAPLAN+EK...
    Do you read EK first or EK to reinforce?

    IMO - In My Opinion. Sorry to use so much short hand...
  8. scotties123

    scotties123 GrandMacDaddy 10+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2007
  9. Zantetsuken

    Zantetsuken 2+ Year Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    College Station
    sorry for the late replay. I was wondering when you guys say EK + TPR do you mean taking the prep courses for both simultaneously? Is that recommended during the summer? Or could you mean just getting a book off ebay? Or maybe a mixture of a prep course and extra book is what would some of you do.
  10. merlinwall

    merlinwall 5+ Year Member

    Oct 4, 2006
    I did only Kaplan the first time....

    Second time: kaplan review notes, then EK texts, EK1001, EK audio osmosis.... I wouldn't do ONLY EK; I would suggest doing TPR or KAPLAN first to get all the info in, but then follow up with EK to pound home the main ideas. Then do EK 1001's to really make sure you know it while listening to EK AO for the triple review... by that third go-round you've got it! (Finally AAMC AAMC AAMC's like crazy)

    Best of luck.

    (I thought IMHO... was in my HUMBLE opinion??? maybe I just made that up)
  11. scotties123

    scotties123 GrandMacDaddy 10+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2007
    im studyin for august mcat right now, and as i stated before i use tpr AND ek. wat i do is learn from tpr, then review with ek. im not taking any prep course nor do i plan to in the future. i feel they are only good for people that either 1) learn best hearing something spoken or 2) cant make a study schedule on their own (and stick to it).
  12. raptors

    raptors 5+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    Lol your post sounds exactly the situation that I am.

    I've got princeton books, ended up buying some examkrackers, have access to the kaplan. So many materials, how does one go about studying?

    Well, by the time I actually have a game plan down, it's like one month before the test :cool:. From reading the boards I thought the key to problem was buying examkrackers books because they seem to be the popular choice in the forum. However, having just ordered and received them, you know what? They're just the same as the princeton. They just tell you to read the materials three times and do the in class lecture. Well, I truly believe if you did the same for the princeton materials, of course using the science work book because there are no in class lectures, you'd come out the same. I'm gonna return my examkrackers books, with the exception of the biology one because I think its more condensed and straight foward then the princeton.

    So all in all, I think it really doesn't matter what you have. You just have to study, study hard, and do practice questions. Too much material confuses me at least.

    Not sure if anyone agrees with me, but anyways it's time for me to study hard. Good luck.
  13. LuoYing

    LuoYing 5+ Year Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    I fully agree. I took a Kaplan online course, and I would never have done well on practice exams if I hadn't figured out a way to take the info out of the books and put it into my brain. Then, AAMC and Kaplan tests for review. While there is a lot to learn, it's not as though they expect you to understand quantum computing or something, so if you can learn the material with a given program, I say just go with it and take practice tests.
  14. Drewsuf

    Drewsuf Senior Member 2+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    For those who study a combination of books like kaplan and EK and you say you go through one set and then the other or read one set multiple times, I was wondering how long it takes you to get through one set?? do you do like 2 chapters a day or what?? i just want to get a feel for how i should go about things. thanks.
  15. desidon

    desidon 2+ Year Member

    Mar 4, 2007
    I am new to this, so plz help me out. What is TPR and EK??? I am soo lost!
  16. ronehh

    ronehh in the original position 7+ Year Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    TPR = the princeton review EK = exam krackers... and for future reference TBR= the berkeley review. All are major test prep companies. :thumbup:
  17. wasvsdal

    wasvsdal 5+ Year Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Kap - Kaplan
  18. Streamline


    May 2, 2007
    Thanks for everyone's replys!

    Anyone care to share how many chapters do you typically try to take on a day?
  19. crx7

    crx7 7+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    San Antonio
    I took the princeton review course and only began seeing significant improvements in my practice scores once I had read the review materials and done the majority of the homework getting most of the problems right. Yes, this takes a LOT of time but hopefully it has paid off. Cross your fingers as I get scores back in 3 days.

    EK: I bought these before I began TPR course and never opened them after that. I feel these may be good once you are done with the TPR material just to do a quick review the week before the test, but otherwise these don't cut it as a primary study source.

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