I

Imperfectly_Me

Hi guys, I am a recent grad that has taken all her pre-reqs except physics which I will be taking this next year. I want to sign up for a January MCAT, although waiting until after I finish physics in June is tempting as well. I would love any recommendations for a well-paced study plan(4+ months) for someone that needs to do deep reviewing, especially the chemical & physical sciences, I would really appreciate it. I tried to self-study for an August MCAT and failed miserably after being paralyzed with the realization of just how weak my grasp of math and science was, yet trying to breeze through my content review with quick EK books as Kaplan's textbook formatting bored me. I don't just want to review for the MCAT, but I really do want to take the time to relearn things that went over my head in the past and I just don't know how to go about it both thoroughly and efficiently. Any recommendations for plans or maybe even decently priced programs would be highly appreciated!!


Prep books I have accumulated from friends:
EK 9th edition set
Kaplan 2016 set
TPR 2015 set
NS CARS
Nova Physics & Chemistry
 

workaholic181

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2017
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Hi guys, I am a recent grad that has taken all her pre-reqs except physics which I will be taking this next year. I want to sign up for a January MCAT, although waiting until after I finish physics in June is tempting as well. I would love any recommendations for a well-paced study plan(4+ months) for someone that needs to do deep reviewing, especially the chemical & physical sciences, I would really appreciate it. I tried to self-study for an August MCAT and failed miserably after being paralyzed with the realization of just how weak my grasp of math and science was, yet trying to breeze through my content review with quick EK books as Kaplan's textbook formatting bored me. I don't just want to review for the MCAT, but I really do want to take the time to relearn things that went over my head in the past and I just don't know how to go about it both thoroughly and efficiently. Any recommendations for plans or maybe even decently priced programs would be highly appreciated!!


Prep books I have accumulated from friends:
EK 9th edition set
Kaplan 2016 set
TPR 2015 set
NS CARS
Nova Physics & Chemistry
I took the MCAT without Physics 2 and got a 129 C/P so I do think it's possible, although not preferable, to take it without a pre req.

With that said you can easily take next June and still be competitive, at least for DO schools, and likely MD also.

I would caution against using all of the book sets you've collected; it's going to be overkill. I used TPR (I believe the 2015 set) and loved them. I really feel as though they prep you best and are the best for giving you short cuts and tips for the test, especially in C/P.

I also had a really weak C/P foundation and math skills at the beginning.. I think my first AAMC FL diagnostic was a 124 C/P. I improved by 5 points in this area by doing the following:
-I would dedicate a notebook to each subject area, and a page to each a topic in each. So for example, I had a page entirely devoted to isomers where I wrote out the key notes summarized in the TPR o chem book I had, as well as drew out the problems accompanying that section of the book onto the same page. This really helped me sort of file away distinct concepts in my mind.
-Khan academy can help a lot in areas you're really struggling in.. They have too many videos to watch them all, but again they are great for brushing up in areas you are weak in. For example, I had to teach myself circuitry and used Khan academy for that.
-There is no way around MCAT math. You NEED to be able to do it. There will probably be 5-8 questions or so on your MCAT that require you to do math by hand. These problems seem like a huge pain but they are almost always really, really easy in reality and should be lay ups for you if you have practiced MCAT math at all. Leah4Sci videos on youtube helped me, as well as the dedicated "MCAT Math" section at the end of the TPR gen chem book. You simply can't throw away these points!

That's about it all I can think of for now.. good luck OP!
 
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Zenabi90

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
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Medical Student
I don't just want to review for the MCAT, but I really do want to take the time to relearn things that went over my head in the past and I just don't know how to go about it both thoroughly and efficiently.
If this is really what you want, delay until next summer. Implement one of the proven 3 month plans in the sticky threads and you'll be golden. Review the SN2ed main thread in its entirety, the KoalaT thread in its entirety, and then form your own review schedule that takes into account your personal schedule. I find it helps to motivate me to stick to the schedule if I've personally made it for myself, and understand exactly why things are where they are. Save it somewhere in duplicate, order whatever materials you are lacking (EK1001 GChem/OChem/Physics comes to mind).

Then spend the next school year getting 4.0 in your classes and attaining proper mastery (as in, study to understand and master the material, not just get good test grades) of whatever prereqs you will be taking (like your physics class).

In October, check the AAMC MCAT twitter account. Sign up for an appropriate test date 3 months after the start of your dedicated study period. Take out your schedule, and adjust to match the test date you've chosen. Then put it away until its time to begin your dedicated test prep.

Do one CARS passage with questions every day. You should get the TPRHyperlearning Verbal Workbook, TBR CARS, TPR CARS, EK Verbal 101. You also have NS CARS. Study the techniques in the TBR book, find the Golden Rule on SDN, and do one passage every day.

On your materials, I'd generally ignore the EK set. Its too abbreviated to properly relearn things. Look at Kaplan and TPR and see which one you like better and use it. If you can get it instead, TBR is widely recommended for those needing to do heavy content relearning as its the most detailed, you just need to get the Khan Academy Psych/Soc Notes Doc from reddit to supplement your sociology.
 
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