How do I properly use the study material?

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magician7772222

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I have the kaplan books, AAMC stuff and will get uworld and would like to start studying over the break. Should I read through all of the kaplan books first and then do uworld/aamc or should I be utilizing everything at once?

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Use them in whatever way helps you the most. The test banks will help you identify where your weaknesses lie, giving you topics to focus your time on instead of reviewing material you're already very strong on (which you should still do, but this shouldn't be an equal amount of time as the areas you struggle with). As you go through, take notes of the ones you know very well, kinda well, a little, or not at all.

If it works for you to go through each topic with the individual materials, do that. If it works better for you to do one source completely, then another, then another, do that. The most important thing: Don't learn the questions, learn the fundamentals and use the questions to understand how those fundamentals are likely to be assessed

Studying for the MCAT is a highly subjective and personalized approach. Everyone will give you different answers, but figure out what helps you retain the material the best. Practice exams can give you a fairly realistic idea of how much you are retaining. Personally, I struggle with repeatedly taking practice questions, since they don't help me understand the concepts, and it's impossible to run into every single possible MCAT question through repetition. If you find that you are using them all and still not retaining the concepts, look for other resources to augment, such as YouTube or Khan Academy videos.
 
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I have the kaplan books, AAMC stuff and will get uworld and would like to start studying over the break. Should I read through all of the kaplan books first and then do uworld/aamc or should I be utilizing everything at once?
I took 4 months to study for the MCAT (while enrolled full time and doing other ECs though, so was maybe dedicating an average of 20 hrs a week to study when I probably should have been closer to 40). I spent the first 2 months doing content review by reading the prep books and then moved on to practice qs and exams. If I had to redo it, I would spend a month max on content review and give myself another month to grind uworld since there are just so many questions on there. I tried to cram the practice questions into too little time and got pretty burnt out trying to balance everything else. For content review I would skim the table of contents for each book and really focus on what you have no idea or are weakest on. For me this was optics and waves and ochem lol. You'll do a lot of reviewing and learning during practice questions so I think it was wasteful of me to review stuff I already knew pretty well.
 
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like @Dee2daK said, though, only you know what will work best for you. Maybe the GOAT @toastedbutter can drop some MCAT tips for you since he knocked it out of the park.
 
I agree with Pablo about keeping the content review to a month max. And I would still do practice problems during that block. I found that just reading the kaplan books was not at all effective for me. Instead, I would do practice problems and if I encountered a problem with content I hadn't heard of or was weak on, I'd use the kaplan books almost like a dictionary to look up that concept.

I studied for the MCAT for 6 months while working 40 hours/week. I spent the first couple months on content with Kaplan (a mistake), then transitioned to UWorld, and finally AAMC about 6 weeks out. I got a 517. UWorld is definitely a good investment. I recommend Blueprint for practice exams before switching to the AAMC ones.
 
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I agree with Pablo about keeping the content review to a month max. And I would still do practice problems during that block. I found that just reading the kaplan books was not at all effective for me. Instead, I would do practice problems and if I encountered a problem with content I hadn't heard of or was weak on, I'd use the kaplan books almost like a dictionary to look up that concept.

I studied for the MCAT for 6 months while working 40 hours/week. I spent the first couple months on content with Kaplan (a mistake), then transitioned to UWorld, and finally AAMC about 6 weeks out. I got a 517. UWorld is definitely a good investment. I recommend Blueprint for practice exams before switching to the AAMC ones.
I agree with this as well. Pure content review was not enough to keep me engaged and I feel like the few weeks I tried just reading the Kaplan books was nearly a complete waste of time because I retained very little of it. I did a 3 month prep, content review for the first few weeks before abandoning that then I switched to anki + Uworld for the last 2 months and still don't really feel like that was enough time, as I got super burnt out juggling that with my ECs and doing a regular semester. I ended up nearly 5 points below my last few full lengths. I think this was a mixture of being burnt out on it, not doing enough practice problems at the end, and timing.
 
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