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Kaplan Material but Want to Self Study

Discussion in 'Kaplan MCAT Forum (Sponsored)' started by grpink18, May 20, 2014.

  1. grpink18

    grpink18 2+ Year Member

    May 5, 2014
    Hey guys,
    So I have all the MCAT prep from Kaplan including the comprehensive book. I do not want to pay $1900 for a course so I was wondering if anyone had any advise on how to study for the MCAT using this material. Possibly like a schedule guide or something. I realized that the lesson plan book is really hard to follow because there are no answers on that one.

    I even have ExamKrackers, which I will use as well.

    If anyone has any advise on how to study and how to pace myself please let me know. I literally have been staring at my books without finding a starting point.

    Thank you.
    obeythepower likes this.
  2. RussianFrolic


    May 18, 2014

    I actually self studied with mostly Kaplan:
    Kaplan study materials: The premier book, the set of 5 books (forgot the name), the 45 perfect score book, and their Q bank.
    Princeton Review: Cheap book that has two online practice exams, their free exam and subject review.
    Examkrackers: only Verbal
    AAMC: All practice tests and the subject reviews.

    In terms of a study guide, it depends how long you have to study. If you have three/four months like I did then what I would do is follow this generic schedule.

    This is if you already did concept review, if not, add 1-2 weeks to learn topics you are totally unfamiliar with, and review those that you are shaky on. In addition, before completing this study plan I found it helpful to do the free test by Kaplan.

    1st week:
    Mon-Friday: Do the Princeton Review subject test. One per day, review ALL questions and concepts behind missed questions.
    Saturday: Review notes made on material/missed questions.
    Sun: Always do something fun.

    2nd week- half way to the exam:
    Mon: Practice exam + review ALL questions and concepts behind missed questions. (eventually you don't have to review all questions if you are sure you are not guessing on the questions)
    Tues: One or two section tests. Ex: one EK verbal section and one practice section from the kaplan review books.
    Wed: Review material
    Thursday: Repeat Tues
    Friday: Practice exam
    Sat: Review material (meaning all of your notes)

    Note: For the practice exams start by doing the ones you have from Kaplan and Princeton Review and then after say three weeks start introducing AAMC exams. You really don't want to waste those and at first you have to get used to the material/ timing of the exam.

    Half way between I suggest doing AAMC subject tests. I found that these section quizzes (after reviewing all the questions) really improved my idea behind all the concepts being tested and upped my score in the long run.

    As the exam gets closer you might find it beneficial to do more practice exams a week (up to three max I would say), but don't burn yourself out before the exam. Another thing that I think came up while I was studying is the relative difficulty of Kaplan vs. Princeton Review vs. AAMC. I would say while Kaplan tests let you miss more questions, they are in my opinion harder than the real thing. When I did the two Princeton Review exams they honestly kinda bummed me out probably because the scores were lower than my ones on Kaplan, but I also felt that the material was somehow way off in the way it was represented. AAMC exams were pretty representative of the real thing and set me up well for knowing how the exam would go. One other comment is about the Kaplan Q bank, while there are lots of questions (I did all the PS and BS ones, skipped the verbal since Kaplan verbal compared to EK verbal sucks) I was disappointed since there were times when it was obvious the questions were taken from other material of their own. Another thing is that while you can enter the number of questions you want (say 20), the bank will give you sometimes 5 more than you want (25), but give you the amount of time that you should have for 20 questions.

    Hopefully that helps, I will try to add more info as I think of it and also find the names of the books I used. Any questions?
  3. RussianFrolic


    May 18, 2014
    I also used MCAT Audiolearn because I drive a lot to visit my family, so it might be worth the investment for you as well.

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