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Is the Kaplan prep course worth it?

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by vornskr1030, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. vornskr1030

    vornskr1030 Member
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    I was talking to a second year at UCBSO, and he said it'd be a waste of time. He recommended just buying Kaplan's MCAT book instead, along with the topscore pro cd. What do you guys think? I don't know if I can make myself sit down and study the book on my own though...
     
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  3. ariel winter

    ariel winter Senior Member
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    for sure. if you are willing to spend the necessary time to study independently, you will be fine. the only book basically that i studied out of was the DAT prep guide. i studied for 2 months, no more no less. i did fine on the oat. good luck! :)

    \
     
  4. bellaluna

    bellaluna Junior Member
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    The class was useless, but the materials (the online tests and workshops, the huge book, and the flashcards) were key. I doubt I would have done as well without all of that.
     
  5. gioiarioia

    gioiarioia SCO Class of 2010
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    I used the Kaplan MCAT Comprehensive Review book. I have not taken the course, but everyone who saw my book said "Don't waste your time with Kaplan courses". I couldn't afford the course even if I had wanted it, so it was just as well.
     
  6. optogirl2010

    optogirl2010 Junior Member
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    The Kaplan course is extremely expensive and not worth it. I used the Top Score Pro CD (worth the $40) and I also bought some cheap Schaum's outline review booklets on chemistry, organic chemisty, physics, and biology. I did fine on the OAT and only had to take it once, and some of the people I've talked to who paid for the Kaplan course said it wasn't worth it (and are retaking the OAT).
     
  7. JC1984

    JC1984 ICO Class of 2010
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    I think it ultimately comes down to good courses and notes that prepare you the best for the OAT.. I'm sure all those CD's will help you.. but for me, the stuff I took from school I found more than sufficient..
     
  8. Honestly, don't waste your money on any Kaplan courses. $1,000 is just too much. Just buy that huge Kaplan MCAT book and you should be fine. Make sure you practice a lot of problems and just use your old textbooks as reference as well.
     
  9. JC1984

    JC1984 ICO Class of 2010
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    Holy [email protected]%^! $1,000 bucks??? No way I'd take that.. :eek: That gets me at least 2 courses at my University, which I'd at least get a credit for.. lol..
     
  10. Rusunn

    Rusunn Member
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    Hi there,

    To get a second opinion, SEE this LINK here: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=183386&highlight=kaplan
    Read the two posts by al-majhul

    In addition, in my opinion (now remember this is my opinion) I believe the Kaplan course was worth every cent. It was VERY helpful. HOWEVER, you MUST do the assignments on your own at home. You CANNOT only attend class and expect to get a higher score. Some students think that if they pay the 1200 for the Kaplan course, it’s an automatic higher score. It does not work like that. The Kaplan course is useful for the fact that they have unlimited resources that your can use. For example, in addition to the flash cards and a 1000 page review book that reviews everything in physics, chem., orgo, bio, you have an UNLIMITED about of practices tests and practice questions. There is so much that is impossible to finish everything. (I probably did 70%). I took the test SOON after the course and did so well on the test that Kaplan asked me to come teach for them! I start monday.

    But again, its very expensive! If you are strong in the sciences already, you can do well on the OAT w/o the course. I think (again my opinion) this is because the OAT is just a composite of multiple choice questions that tests what you already learned and not critical thinking, like what the MCAT does. OAT does not compare to the MCAT, and I believe the OAT is an easy test.

    Hope that helps!
     
  11. pre_opt_sku

    pre_opt_sku 2010 O.D.
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    I second that!
     
  12. wilmc

    wilmc New Member
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    I did take the Kaplan course and I found it useful for the following reasons:

    1) I'm 7 years out from undergrad, and I was in serious need of a refresher course.
    2) I'm working full time right now, so the class-room type setting helped me stay on top of things.
    3) The instructors really knew the material, and they were very helpful when I had questions.
    4) Not being in undergrad with other pre-opt students, the classes introduced me to several other students to whom I could turn for assistance.
    5) They overprepare you for the test. If you can stay on top of (or close to it) all the reading assignments, practice tests, quizzes, and reviews, you'll be in great shape for the OAT.
    6) They suggest several test taking tips that actually worked for me on test day.

    Here are the things I didn't like about the class:

    1) Some of the material was pretty shallow when I thought a more in depth review would have helped us retain the information better.
    2) Not all instructors are created equal. I think they all knew the material well, but some were much better than others when reviewing for the class. We occasionally had no-show instructors and class was cancelled. The classes were always re-scheduled, but for $1000 you expect more. And one instructor inserted his religious beliefs into the evolution review. I am in Alabama, so I probably shouldn't have been surprised.
    3) This is a minor quibble, but the reference materials for the OAT frequently and incorrectly mentioned the DAT and the MCAT. I can understand that there's a lot of cross-over so they wouldn't really re-write the book for each test, but a quick find-and-replace would keep the materials consistent.

    There are some aspects of the review course that were less that wonderful, but overall I thought it was money well spent.

    Speaking of money, consider the return on your investment. If you really keep up with the course work and it pays off with OAT scores that will help you get into optometry school, then is $1000 really that much? Also, I think Kaplan does offer reduced rates if you can demonstrate need.

    So, if you would like structured review course with knowledgeable tutors, a large amount of focused study materials, and numerous additional reference materials, then Kaplan might work for you too.

    Oh, and here are my scores:
    TS: 360
    AA: 360


    *not a paid advertisement, just one guy's opinion*
     
  13. jcaco

    jcaco Member
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    i think that the Kaplan books are very useful. as far as the course goes, it really depends on the instructor(s) that you get at your local Kaplan center.
     
  14. vornskr1030

    vornskr1030 Member
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    Thanks for all the input! I'll have to consider it some more...

    Oh yea, for the people who studied on their own, did you guys do that during the school year or over summer/winter break? I'm going to be taking biochem next semester, but I've filled the rest of my schedule with easier classes. Would it be manageable to study the OAT at the same time? How much time per day/week did you put in and for how long?
     
  15. ariel winter

    ariel winter Senior Member
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    yup, i studied for the OAT at the same time i was taking a full course load (i was taking anatomy, physiology, biology, botany, and philosophy of all things!). it wasn't easy, but i worked hard and it all turned out alright. good luck! :)

     
  16. gioiarioia

    gioiarioia SCO Class of 2010
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    I used the MCAT Comprehensive Review. I spent a few days during the summer (about one month apart) to cover 1/2 of the material. I divided the sections of the test up and spent a full day on one individual subject (2 days if not finished in the first), reading the subject matter and making notecards. I did this first with Biology, then with General Chem. I finished the rest of the book while I was in school... but followed a similar method. It seems odd because I spent just a day or two on each section several months apart from each other, but I had a ton of notecards that were great for reviewing before I took the test.

    Keeping a study log of some sort I think is helpful too. It keeps you accountable to yourself and, if done properly, will show you both have far you have come and what is left to study in the amount of time remaining. *Note: I have been accused of being TOO organized, but my methods appear to work!*

    The most important aspect is to have a plan and stick to it! Better to study early and study lots than to wish you had been better prepared. You want to present your personal best during the interview, but don't forget that your scores help you to get that interview!!! Good Luck!



     

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