Is Kaplan really that useless?

Cloud 9

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    My mom is offering to buy the course for me but I feel really bad since I keep reading online that the course is useless and I really don't want her to waste the money if it is. But she's insisting it's a good course cause my brother is finishing it up now and apparently he went from a 22 on the Kaplan diagnostic to 30 somethings on the practice exams now. And some doctors that she works with said they took the MCAT course back in the day and it saved them...I have no idea if TBR was around back then though so...but does anyone have any personal experience with taking the course and not doing well and succeeding through a different method? I need to sign up before next week if I'm going through with it and I don't know.

    My aunt on the other hand keeps telling me that if I really want to be a doctor I need to use whatever I can get because it will reap its benefits a million fold later, but I don't know...I'm a motivated studyer (not a word, I know) and I have a good GPA but I will have to relearn quite a bit bc I just forgot a lot of the info after taking prereqs 2+ years ago.
     

    DavetheMD

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      Thanks for your input mariam, that is encouraging. I'm leaning towards not and seeing how I'd score after like a month of content review since they have online courses throughout the year I think.

      I think most people who suggest you put your money towards something like SN2ed's study schedule. It's a sticky thread FYI.
       
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      psychkub

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        I took a KAPLAN class. I thought the study methods were useless. Furthermore, their content review was subpar, with occasional errors and sometimes lacking important information. The highest practice MCAT score I got with them was a 28. When I switched to my own methods, I used EK and TPR and brought my score to a high of 36. So, given that SN2's study schedule includes EK, TPR along with TBR, I'd go with that. It will be cheaper in the end, and you won't regret having shelled out $1900, or whatever it is they're charging now.
         
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        SaintJude

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          Everyone has their own preference. I love Kaplan. Already have moved me from a 20s to upper 30s. But don't take my word for it. There are plenty of people on SDN who have spoken about how Kaplan got them 30s (and 40s). At the end of the day, it's what you put into it.

          Just look to what Louisa88 said about Kaplan:
          http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=905456

          But again, I'm definetely not saying you can't do well without it! I'm just saying it's a great help.
           

          railgun

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            I would also say Kaplan isn't very useful. Although I personally didn't take the course (but did quite well), my friend did take the course and said it was a waste of money. The only reason someone should take a course is if they really need someone to explain concepts.
            Another thing, don't rely on diagnostics... they're not very useful. I got a 24 on the diagnostic... but after studying on my own, i was getting 34's on practice tests (AAMC, not kaplan). I also think they purposely make the tests harder to convince students to take their course... it's a business designed to make $$!
             

            DryHopped

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              I didn't think Kaplan was useless, I got something out of it and it helped me score well enough to get into medical school. If you aren't rusty in any of the pre-reqs then you could save a lot of money and still do well on the test by preparing alone using the materials suggested in this forum though.
               

              Temperature101

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                Any prep company is useless (not just Kaplan) and you can quote me on that...You can buy those books and study on your own. You dont need someone to tell you for instance that Pressure = Force/Area...You can learn that on your own...No prep company is going to show how to analitically think. Follow the 3-4 months SDN schedule and their recommendations and you will be good to go.
                 

                Temperature101

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                  I didn't think Kaplan was useless, I got something out of it and it helped me score well enough to get into medical school. If you aren't rusty in any of the pre-reqs then you could save a lot of money and still do well on the test by preparing alone using the materials suggested in this forum though.
                  You would have gotten a good score even if you did not use Kaplan...
                   

                  vashka

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                    Any prep company is useless (not just Kaplan) and you can quote me on that...You can buy those books and study on your own. You dont need someone to tell you for instance that Pressure = Force/Area...You can learn that on your own...No prep company is going to show how to analitically think. Follow the 3-4 months SDN schedule and their recommendations and you will be good to go.

                    I concur entirely. I too the TPR course thinking it would help explain things to me cause I'm rusty. A course will do nothing for you that a thorough search through youtube cannot. You also have Khan academy and tons of other places to get help online. The courses don't spend enough time on any topic for you to actually learn it enough for the MCAT. Spend your money on exams not a course!
                     

                    ryanjacobs

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                      Something else to consider: it's true that a lot of doctors these days took Kaplan back-in-the-day. But in the 1970s and 1980s, there wasn't the same abundance of resources that there are today. With a few exceptions, Kaplan was pretty much it... so it's not too surprising that a lot of people used them back then.

                      Nowadays, you have a lot of options. The internet has a ton of golden opportunities. Khan is always good, though sometimes a bit dry for my taste. I've been using J Co Review's online animations, and I've been loving them. Don't think that Kaplan is any better than the other courses just because they advertise the most!
                       

                      Bancrofti

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                        I took Kaplan and thought it was a good program. I was retaking the MCAT and the first time around I had used Examkrackers (which I also liked).

                        Honestly, take everything you read here with a grain of salt. I remember going through the same dilemma of deciding whether or not it was worth it, but more than half of the people who badmouth the course were never enrolled in it in the first place.

                        You will get a good review with Kaplan along with possibly the best selling point: a crapload of practice testing material. Can a good or even great score be attained without taking a Kaplan course? The answer is definitely. However, whether or not Kaplan is worth the money is a subjective view. Though there were small things I didn't care for about the program, I personally felt it was time and money well spent. Additionally, as mundane as the classes may be or as bad as the jokes in the review books are, I feel that if you follow their schedule with what they recommend it would prove very difficult to not do well on the exam.
                         

                        g8orlife

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                          Kaplan can be very helpful if you do almost all of their practice questions/passages. They have a ton, so it's difficult to do, but check out the 30+ Thread Sticky and read about the ones who excelled using Kaplan (I don't remember details, but I believe most of them completed the majority of Kaplan's resources.
                           

                          COMedic2Doc

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                            I agree with what has been said in favor of Kaplan, especially if sciences are rusty. However, SN2ED's schedule is also a strong program IF you are a very, very motivated student and don't benefit from audio/visual learning that much. One thing to possibly keep in mind is that 2 out of 3 students will take some type of formal prep course to prepare for the MCAT. Good luck with your decision.
                             

                            angldrps

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                              Kaplan' practice material is GREAT! Having said that, their books for content review is crap. In my opinion majority of your mcat prep should go into practice and kaplan provides you with excellent material. Kaplan provides you with a plethora of material -tropical test, subject tests, 11 FL tests , and the best of them all are the kaplan section tests.
                               
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