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Kaplan observations

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Tofurkey, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. Tofurkey

    Tofurkey Senior Member
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    Hello,

    I just started my Kaplan class for the August MCAT, and despite all the bad things I've read here about Kaplan, I'm actually quite impressed. I have all the EK stuff, and while I agree EK cuts to the chase, I really am appreciating Kaplan's explanations--I feel like they dumb the material down in a good way for people like me without strong science backgrounds. I plan to use the Kaplan books as my intitial review--then go to EK for the actual studying so I know more of what's important. But I think the unlimited amount of online stuff Kaplan has is really good--such as the passage based questions for any topic you want to do.

    I just wondered if anyone else out there has had positive experiences with Kaplan, because so far, I feel they've been worth the 1449 I paid. My instructor is also excellent--but I hear I got the best one in the city, just by chance.

    Thanks,

    Tofurkey
     
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  3. lynnier79

    10+ Year Member

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    tofurkey,

    i, too, had a good experience with Kaplan as i studied for this aprils mcat. of course i dont know my scores, but if i get what i got on the last 2 practice exams ill be pleased. more than pleased.

    anyway, im sure that each kaplan center is different, and that the quality of experience probably depends on the actual teachers, etc (even though they try so hard to make things seamless and consistent).

    i live in vermont, yes vermont. we have one kaplan center is the whole state, no EK and no princeton review. in fact, there is only one place in all of vermont to take the MCAT! that said, i think the experience i had with kaplan -- one that was helpful, personal and in tune with me as an individual might be partially because of the small size of the center, the class and the area.

    teachers would read over my essays and grade them for free. the depth of material in the center and online was amazing, and the fact that Kaplan arranged for 4 of the 5 proctored practice tests to be at the actually test site was really helpful.

    i also have the EK books and 1001, and audio osmosis. i liked that stuff too -- but without an EK class i needed the practice material that kaplan provides. and, while EK is more to the point, kaplan also gives good strategies embedded with their info -- it took me a while to adopt some of the techniques, but it really worked for me. maybe if i had been in an EK class i would have learned their strategies just as well, but that wasnt possible being where i am.

    so dont fear -- there is no right of wrong with test prep. kaplan was great for me, and i would recommend it to a friend.

    lynnie
     
  4. bor0101

    bor0101 Membership Revoked
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    i think 1449 is outrageous! Of course i might make my parents pay for it, but my ego will not let me. If i just study on my own and do as well, then my parents will give me the 1449 to go on vacation and they will even say thanks! On the other hand if they spend the money and i still fail, too bad for me.. I am taking mcat next aguust, that is 15 months from now! So far ive bought the kaplan books, but havent studied anything. I plan to start studying for the verbal this summer though. And i guess i could do the general chemistry and the physics. I think that whatever your instructor tells you(even if he's good) is no different then what you'll find in the book. Thats also why going to lectures in college, you rarely hear anything that is not in the textbook. And whatever it is that you hear is just something that is individual from the instructor, its not something that would be on a standardized test.
     
  5. whournameiz

    whournameiz Senior Member
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    your class started already?!!

    Mine doesn't start until June 15th.
     
  6. ridirkulous

    ridirkulous Member
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    As a former Kaplan teacher, I can truthfully say that the quality of your prep course depends entirely upon your teacher(s). It's just like with professors. Sometimes you get lucky and get a teacher who you jive with, and sometimes you would be better off skipping class and learning on your own. I think most of my students would have been better off studying on their own--that's why I stopped teaching.
     
  7. kiahs

    kiahs Senior Member
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    I have to agree with the previous poster ridirkulous, I think the teacher has a lot to do with it. I took Kaplan starting in Oct. I had a total of three teachers. My first teacher was the nicest guy not to knowlegable. The second was real smart but not the most personalble he made you feel dumb if you asked a question. The third A GOD SEND! Really, the smartest guy I have honestly ever met. Heard he went through med school and decided it wasn't for him. He didn't even look at notes when he thought, heck he didn't even have notes he just though off the cuff. I am going to retake kaplan if I don't do well on the april and I'm going to make sure I'm in this guys class, all over the center there were thank you cards for him from people who got 38's! Now back to the topic. I loved Kaplan. You're totally right about it taking it step by step for people who are not to strong in the sciences and TONS of practice that really helps! I would recommend though once you get comfortable with the material to look at the TPR books because they flat out tell you a lot of little tricks you need to know for the mcat. Like -COOH acidity strengths and things in NMR and stuff that you really need to know. Kaplan takes the more subtle approach of asking you this stuff on the practice exam where you're left think what the h---!
     
  8. DaveinDallas

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    Well, I just signed up for the Dallas course that starts on 18 May. It looks like it's going to be a lot of 'fun'. On the Kaplan website, they're doing a promo of offering their QBank free (usually $139 by itself, $99 if you take the review course) when you sign up for the review course in May.

    My books are supposed to be here sometime before the 18th so I can get to it. Here we go.....
     
  9. I am a Finance major and I took Kaplan for April MCAT. Their material is easy to understand and pretty comprehensive. Also, they have tons of practice tests which helped out a lot
     
  10. MD Rapper

    MD Rapper Senior Member
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    The only thing I didn't like about Kaplan was that a lot of their practice materials are not straightforward. Yes, this could potentially help you when you take the MCAT because it makes the real test seem a lot easier. However, I think its better to have material which accurately reflects the actual test. For that reason, I think if you are using Kaplan materials (or any materials for that matter), be sure to practice with AAMC exams. I know some people have a problem with AAMC practice exams not being like the real thing, but I think thats all a bunch of bulsh*t. I took Kaplan and followed their study method perfectly. I was doing awesome on their practice tests but I soon found out that I was good at taking Kaplan MCATs specifically and not the real MCAT.

    I studied with EK and AAMC practice online and I am almost one hundred percent that I did better on the MCAT this time around. I guess only time will tell.
     
  11. Mr Reddly

    Mr Reddly Snowglobe!
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    As someone who took both prepcourses (Ugh), I want to suggest that if you can, get copies of the PR material (E-bay or friends). Their question books are great and the questions,IMHO, were more like the MCAT(but all you need is a used book!). Also, there are some places where PR does a better job, and other places where Kap does a better job. If you have both, you are better prepaired. And as for the actual teaching, It's what you put in for both places.


    Also, I have a question. This was the one thing that really put me off when I was there. I was happy with my score and the profs and everything, but I didn't like this.

    Do they still have the posters on the wall that say something along the lines of "X% of medstudents who trained the Kaplan way got into their top 3 med school!", with small print of "survey of current med students. (ie, we only surveyed those who scored high enough to get in)" I hated it because it used statistics and word play to make you think it meant something other than what it actually said.
     

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