Is there any point in doing MCAT work when I've only learned half the material

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the antihero

10+ Year Member
Dec 29, 2008
Hello all,

I did search but I didn't find similar topics created however if this is a previously answered question please link me to it and feel free to delete this topic. Thanks.

Moving on..

I'm a sophomore at wake forest u. Based on this past summer experience (working at a hospital) I had a really life changing experience and while I was initially a finance major I know now more than anything else I want to be a physician. Hell you could not pay me and I'd find some day job and be a doctor at night, just for the hell of it. So I know that med school is something I want.

The problem? I'm about a year behind on classes however I want to start doing mcat stuff.

Here is the typical premed class load:

- chem I & II
- orgo I & II
- physics I & II
- calc I & II
- biology I & II
- biochem

Out of that at the end of this year (finish sophomore year) I will have finished physics I & II, biology I & II, calc I & II. However I've done NO chemistry and no organic chemistry. I'm thinking of knocking out chem I and orgo I this summer.

The thing is I want to start doing MCAT stuff. How can I approach the MCAT seeing as I haven't learned all the stuff I need to learn yet?

I'm assuming the immediate answer is "dude stfu and go do well on your science classes" I get that, I really do. I'm catching up and doing just fine (B+ and As) However I really want to get a start on the MCAT and any advice anyone can give me is appreciated..


I just wanted to add, I consider the MCAT basically the SAT for med students by far, far more difficult. I remember that when I was studying for the SAT the studying was done in 3 parts:

1. learning material (learning the english and math)
2. reviewing the material (being able to recognize different types of problems and how to best solve them)
3. drilling (the longest and hardest part where I did ungodly amounts of problems) so I basically showed up on test day and it was like another day at the office. I ended up doing alright (1440/1600)

I guess what I'm getting at here is I do need to focus on learning material. So I have a new question: Are there any good MCAT books that focus on the particular subjects (physics, chem/orgo, biology) that I can order and learn/review from separately?

Last edited:


Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2007
Resident [Any Field]
Don't start studying or thinking about the MCAT until you have all of your pre-med classes finished. The only work you should be completing towards preparing for your MCAT is learning the material in your pre-med classes down cold. Aiming for an A doesn't always achieve the aspiration of accomplishing that ambition. Yeah sorry....I tried to see how many As I could get in there. Well, you could also make some progress for verbal by reading various articles, books, etc. Any MCAT studying beyond those two is completely worthless. Also, if you start taking practice problems, it will be BOTH worthless and a waste of resources.

Originally Posted by TheBoondocks
This question gets asked like every three days. In short, EK series are stripped down with the basics you need to know. Get EK bio, it is by far the best for bio, all the responses on SDN say this. Know this book cold. If you don't believe me, type in EK bio in the search function. Personally, you learn the best from passages, If you have time and the cash I highly suggest purchasing Berkeley Review Gen Chem and Ochem. There physics is good too, but with PR it may be redundant. You will thank me later. You'll probably want EK biology review and EK 101 biology passages and EK verbal 101. PR is good, however, if you want to kill the MCAT you have to be able to integrate material. That's what BR does better than anyone else. Like, be able to answer questions if you see the circulatory system wired in parallel series.

bio - 1. EK bio and 101 bio passages 2. Kaplan 3. PR/BR however, these don't suck, they're just detailed which turns off many people.

Physics 1. BR/Nova 2. PR 3. Kaplan I really think BR but they're are a lot of people who swear by Nova on this site

Verbal 1. Ek verbal and 101 passages 2. PR 3. BR 4. Kaplan (read stay from)

Gen Chem 1. BR by far 2. PR 3. Kaplan/EK

O Chem 1. BR by far 2. toss up between Kaplan/PR/Ek

That is a general list of what i have read on SDN for the past 4 years, i came here and lurked throughout highschool. Good luck and hopefully this will help. EK is for people who KNOW the material and want review. If you are weak in something BR is the best since it's the most detailed and PR is detailed too, Kaplan is in the Middle, and EK is the least detailed but that doesn't mean it's bad. Just depends on the person. If you can I would buy the BR Chemistry books and Physics book. If you complete the PR science workbook along with BR passages and EK bio, you will kill the sciences. Ek Verbal should help you out with verbal.


10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 13, 2008
here's my advice
get a series of review books (do some research, see which ones sound best to you)
then utilize them along side the classes you are taking during the semester. For example, if you're taking physics I, read the section of the physics review book that covers what you're learning in school at the same time (ie projectile motion, forces, w/e).

I would advise against trying to read/study stuff out of mcat review books you haven't learned yet because review books are just that, review. They don't go into detail because their not trying to be your typical, 1000pg thick science textbook.

Bottom line is, you said you already knew this, but i can't emphasize this enough, study your ass off in the basic science courses, and you will thank yourself a million times over once it comes to studying the "review books."

if you follow this advice, i think you'll be in great shape, because 1 youll ace your semester courses 2. youll get great detail (from semester courses) 3 youll be able to use the knowledge you learn in class to solve mcat style questions, which are far different than your typical midterm/final exam

=) hope that helps
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10+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2008
I haven't had physics 2 yet but I've had everything I'm definitely studying everything pretty hard now. If you have more than a semester or so missing I would just focus on your classes though

Zona Pellucida

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2008
Medical Student
I haven't had physics 2 yet but I've had everything I'm definitely studying everything pretty hard now. If you have more than a semester or so missing I would just focus on your classes though
Same here.. Just Physics II to go...

(Minus Calc 2... but who needs that :thumbdown: )


Premed 2: Electric Bugalo
10+ Year Member
Oct 6, 2004
Resident [Any Field]
I haven't had physics 2 yet but I've had everything I'm definitely studying everything pretty hard now. If you have more than a semester or so missing I would just focus on your classes though
qft. Phy 2 is probably the least important class for the test, so if you are missing any more than this for the "cores" I would not advise taking the exam.
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