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How are you guys studying for the MCAT?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Auron, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. Auron

    Auron Cruisin' the Cosmos
    2+ Year Member

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    I bought all the Princeton Review materials (the ones used in their class) so I can self study for the MCAT. However, because I'm not taking a class I don't know how to structure my studying. I've just started studying this break, and plan on taking the exam in April.

    Should I review all the bio, then do some problems, or do verbal first then some problems etc. I have a massive "biological sciences review book" and work book for this book. So should I read the entire review book and then do the whole work book?? Should I spend 3 hrs on verbal, then 3 hrs on bio etc? Whats the best approach?

    For those of you who are self prepping with the Princeton Review materials, how did you study using their materials?

    I'd really appreciate any help, thanks everyone.
     
    #1 Auron, Dec 27, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
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  3. Marjan Islam

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    Hmm, I haven't used PR at all, but I'd definitely suggest sitting down and really taking the time to make out a doable schedule for yourself. Obviously, begin out doing content review, and test yourself initially anyway the book allows you to (practice problems?), although PASSAGE-BASED practice is the best, hands down.

    Once you've done content review hardcore, focus only on passages, and begin taking practice tests. You want to take atleast around 10 to 15 before actual test day. Whether you wanna do it across 2 months, or 1.5 months, your call.

    Also, for verbal, don't chuck it together like you would on content review for the sciences. Space Verbal out throughout the ENTIRE study process. This one takes time to get better at, if you don't start strong. Good luck!
     
  4. akademix

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    talking to friends whove scored well, ive been told that if you JUST do what the class tells you to, you'll probably be status quo--unless you are really bright. Moreso than anything, the mcat is a time commitment, for me, Ive been studying the last 4 months the following way: 1.5 months thoroughly reviewing content (it had been 4 years since i had taken some of these classees) via EK and Kaplan books..Then i started a more rigid schedule. The kaplan online materials i bought gives you access to sectional tests as well as 10 FL's in addition to the 8 aamcs...what i started to do is take a real test, break for two days, then take a mock test made up of three sectional tests...during the off days, i would spend 1 day reviewing the test by creating an excel spreadsheet and keeping track of every error, and every right answer i got lucky on/guessed, and tried identifying my thought pattern and why I thought it was right, and what they were actually trying to test...Then in the other off day between tests, I would do my second round of content review which means re-reading all the material again. With 30 or some odd days to go till the test, I am now on my third round of reading the EK and kaplan again (granted by the third time im spending ~3-4 days per subject). I have 1 fresh aamc and 1 fresh kaplan that im saving for the week before the exam. Im now testing every other day and using the offdays to go over tests and have had the goal to do every test a second time around. With 20 days to go to the test I am going to test everyday until 1 week prior at which point ill take one test three days before the exam and keep myself rested. I know people might think im crazy or think that its a way to burn out, but after having taken so many tests, I look at the mcat kind of like a fun challenge lol, and i try and ahve the mindset of enjoying the test--or atleast the part where u get the scores back... its a pretty rigorous schedule, and for me, im not a quick learner and started off with a horrible diagnostic--so well see if it works.

    akademix
     
  5. meliora27

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    I'm starting to study for the MCAT today actually. My plan is to use the EK books as my primary source along with some tests that I'll purchase. I have all of the Kaplan books so I may use those from time to time to supplement. I have Audio Osmosis which I may use as well. Hopefully it will work.
     
  6. TheBoondocks

    TheBoondocks StreetFighter 4 Virtuoso
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    Read the chapter and then do the corresponding passages in the TPR workbook. That seems to be the best way. As far as schedule, It takes me 2 hours to read and comprehend a chapter. I haven't started passages yet, but that will take anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on the passages. YOu should time yourself. It sucks at first, but you'll get better. Give yourself 7-9 minutes depending on the number of questions. Check out the 30+ forum, lots of people use TPR. In general, most took 3 months. Months 1 and 2 were spent reading and doing passages. Finally, month 3 was spend doing tests. If I recall, there are 37 chapters: 10 physics and chem, 11 bio, and 6 orgo. So, some will take longer and some will be less. There are 83 bio passages, 60 physics, 91 gen chem, and 43 Ochem. So, I'm not sure of your time frame. However, lets say you average 8 minutes a passaged, that's 277*8=2216 minutes= 37 hours. However, you should spend twice as much time going over them, so 74 hours. We'll assume you spend 2 hours reading each chapter, 74 hours. You'll want to do a second pass, but this time it should be faster 1 hour=37. I will add another 15 hours for the discretes in the book. If you add this up, its 237 hours for content and passages. This is a rough guess and depend on you. If you're strong in the subject matter it will take less time. So, you should divide 240 by how many days you'll be studying to make a schedule. Note, this doesn't include practice tests which you'll have to do. The minimum for mcat for most people should be 300, however, many high scorers put in 500+ hours. I hope this helps.
     
  7. kmb1908

    7+ Year Member

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    This information is great guys!

    I'm currently an MPH student that is going to start studying for my MCAT for the (third:() time. Can someone give me an example of a schedule that they used? For example, if you dedicated 3 hours a day to studying, did you read just one subject? Did you vary what you did from hour to hour?

    Thanks!
     

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