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Kaplan or Princeton and general questions

DaveinDallas

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    Ok, here goes:

    Non-traditional student here, just finishing up a fast track O-Chem series (i.e. OChem I and OChem II in one semester - it hurts). I'm thinking of taking an MCAT prep course over the summer and trying to hit the MCAT in August so I can apply this year. I've got a couple of questions, if anyone can help:

    1) Is that schedule too aggressive?

    2) What are the differences between Kaplan and Princeton?

    3) I'm from an engineering background but my undergrad was 15 years ago (so physics is way back in the dim recesses, before the mists of time parted, when darkness was upon the face of the deep and we listened to (insert music crescendo here) vinyl albums ..... How much physics in on the MCAT?

    4) Also, I've been told something that I'm questioning. Someone mentioned that pre-med coursework at a community college will not prepare you for this fun and games session called the MCAT? Can anyone out there speak to this?

    I'm just starting this so any feedback or advice on test preparation would be much appreciated.

    Cheers....
     

    Bad Mojo

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    Jul 12, 2003
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      Some answers in no real order...

      Since you're very far removed from your undergraduate coursework, you're really going to have to hit the books one way or another. If you are a very self-motivated person, you could get by without taking a professional prep-course. I teach for one and think that prep classes have both merits and drawbacks. The big drawback is the money. Dropping 1000-1500 on a course is a big financial commitment. The two major advantages is that course offer a very structured study plan, and they provide excellent and numerous practice materials. The MCAT is both knowing the content and being good at applying the principles in new situations, so both the content and practice are important. These courses offer excellent resources for both.

      As far as differences between the two big ones, I don't think there really is one. They're going to be really comparable in price and materials. This might be a stretch, but see if you can meet some of the MCAT instructors from both. MCAT science isn't the most exciting topic (especially in 3 hour blocks), so dynamic and energetic teachers can really make a difference.

      The August MCAT is still far enough away to get ready. If you're taking summer classes and/or working a whole lot, it could get rough. I'd say aim for it, though.

      On a side note, I see you're in Dallas. I'm starting up at Southwestern in the fall. I'm moving up to Dallas before the summer and am looking to pick up some teaching time at the Dallas location for my company.
       

      DaveinDallas

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        Actually, I'm just now finishing up my O. Chem II class. I've taken most (with the exception of physics) of the science prereqs within the last two years. The Gen. Chem and O Chem were done in an accelerated manner (i.e. both Gen Chem I and II in 1 semester - it hurt - doing the same for O Chem).

        What sort of biology classes do I need to be successful at the MCAT. I've recently had Bio. 1406 (basic eukaryotic/prokaryotic - major cell organelles and function, some light Mendalian genetics thrown in) and Anatomy and Physiology I (tissue types, muscles bones, joints and the histology of those).

        I need to run now, but would be interested in chatting with you about classes. I know a few others that are going to make the leap.

        Typically, how much do the reviews help the scores?
         
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