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just do as many practice tests as possible....... do every single one you can find.....

and do all the problems in the text books during class....
 

studiddy

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I think it depends. If you know the material, you are probably right. If you don't, I think everything one might need to know is probably in the EK books.
 

chad5871

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Like the previous poster said, prep books can be invaluable for reviewing the content. Going back through and reading your textbooks for Intro Bio, General Chemistry, Organic, and Physics would be a huge waste of time. Prep books attempt to condense the information to what is only necessary for the MCAT. I think it all depends on how you use the resources you have - don't rely too heavily on the prep books/courses and make sure to take lots of practice exams, and you should be alright.
 
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brianoflee

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Everyone studies differently. Some need little to no guidance, some need much more. For some, taking practice tests alone wouldn't be enough practice to do well on the exam. What if you took all the practice exams and got nothing but sub-20 scores? You'd be best served by going back to prep books to build a more solid base of knowledge before taking the test. Text books can work too, but prep books are great because they often contain only the information you need to know for the test, ideally maximizing your study time.

But some people won't need them at all. That's fine -- more power to them. And I'll definitely agree that the pricing on some prep packages is absolutely ludicrous. But trashing all prep courses goes a little too far. Many have done exceptionally well because of them.
 

Quix

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I bought Kaplan's Comprehensive Review, Physical and Biological Flashcards, and then photocopied the chapter summaries from my BCP and Physiology textbooks to review. I managed to do just fine on the Beast (11 PS, 11 VR, 10 BS, T); I encourage my students to look into the review books, but I caution them about the review classes (I've heard too many mixed-bag stories to endorse them without qualification).
 

Nikki2002

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HONESTLY i think review classes are such a waste of money. come on--you can do it on your own--just get some review books and practice tests. people drop 2K on those courses out of fear--i mean i guess that's fine if you've got plenty of money to spare but otherwise--save that $$ for the app process.
 

mindquick

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i agree with the OP that the best way for most people to study is to do practice exams and review their pre-med textbooks. if you want to do really well on the MCAT, it is best to know the stuff in detail. Otherwise you'll find yourself low on time trying to figure things out from the passage, whereas if you already knew the answer you wouldn't have to analyze the passage as much.
 

studiddy

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i agree with the OP that the best way for most people to study is to do practice exams and review their pre-med textbooks. if you want to do really well on the MCAT, it is best to know the stuff in detail. Otherwise you'll find yourself low on time trying to figure things out from the passage, whereas if you already knew the answer you wouldn't have to analyze the passage as much.
It was my understanding that using outside knowledge was the exact wrong way to answer MCAT questions, meaning it's better to forget what you know and base your answers on what is presented by them. Also, aside from a few questions that required one to know an equation or two, a general knowledge of a topic and an ability to recognize right (or more often wrong) answers seems like it would be far more useful than fretting details.
Reviewing pre-med textbooks would have you wasting too much time on things you don't even need to know. A set of prep books is what, $150? Who cares. Sell your old texts back and you've got it.
 

mindquick

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It was my understanding that using outside knowledge was the exact wrong way to answer MCAT questions, meaning it's better to forget what you know and base your answers on what is presented by them. Also, aside from a few questions that required one to know an equation or two, a general knowledge of a topic and an ability to recognize right (or more often wrong) answers seems like it would be far more useful than fretting details.
Maybe for the Verbal, but definately not for the science passages. You need as much outside knowledge as you can get, both conceptual and trivial facts will be needed if you want a high score. taking the MCAT cold, i remember all the conceptual stuff but forgot all the little details and got 11s. But going back and rereading my textbooks, i get 13s on the practice tests with a lot of time left over. i'm still waiting for my August 14 scores though. but yeah, if you're aiming for higher than an 11, you'd want to know your textbooks like the back of your hand. there's always a few questions on every test that require weird esoteric information. this is what separates the 11s from the 13s.
 

RPedigo

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Maybe for the Verbal, but definately not for the science passages. You need as much outside knowledge as you can get, both conceptual and trivial facts will be needed if you want a high score. taking the MCAT cold, i remember all the conceptual stuff but forgot all the little details and got 11s. But going back and rereading my textbooks, i get 13s on the practice tests with a lot of time left over. i'm still waiting for my August 14 scores though. but yeah, if you're aiming for higher than an 11, you'd want to know your textbooks like the back of your hand. there's always a few questions on every test that require weird esoteric information. this is what separates the 11s from the 13s.
This post is 100% accurate. You of course need to take every diagnostic that you can get your hands on, but a solid foundation of science understanding is essential to performing well on the science sections of the MCAT. It is true that many of the questions have their answers in the passage, but that is most assuredly not true for every question. Numerous questions require outside science knowledge, and understanding all the science concepts is imperative to scoring high on these sections.

I personally used the books from The Princeton Review, and I found them adequate in covering the relevant material that I was tested on.
 

greg1184

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I took the Kaplan Class and my MCAT score went up from 26 last year to a 32 this year. Kaplan gave a plethora of practice tests for the CBT test. In addition, I had an outstanding teacher for the classes. All in all, it was definitely worth it.
 
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