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Kaplan Prep Students will Do BETTER Than EK Students

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by swifteagle43, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. swifteagle43

    swifteagle43 Lover- not a fighter
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    Before I start naming my reasons I will say straight off the bat that Audio Osmosis is a MUST HAVE for ALL students as well as the Examkrackers books. They should all be read atleast once.

    However:

    1. Kaplan Offers 11 CBT Kaplan Exams
    2. Kaplan Offers 7 AAMC Exams in CBT Format
    3. Kaplan Offers Verbal, Biological and Physical Science Sectional Tests IN CBT
    4. Kaplans Topicals IN CBT
    5. Kaplans Stress Management Workshops / Study Groups....
     
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  3. killinsound

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    this is going to turn into a flame war
     
  4. Funky

    Funky This space is for sale
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    ok, tell the truth.
    How much are they paying you?
     
  5. meds2008

    meds2008 Junior Member
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    First of all, if you are trying to compare everything you get with a $1600 Kaplan course with the $300-$400 you can spend on EK stuff (books/AO) then clearly you're comparing apples and oranges. Students who have EK are not prevented from getting anything else they may feel they need to improve their prep including AAMC CBTs, Nova physics, GS CBTs, etc. One stop shopping is convenient but who wants a car stereo made by Ford?

    Secondly, the only "must have" in MCAT prep are the AAMC practice MCAT CBTs. There is no perfect building, house, textbook nor jeans. There is simply what is best for the individual. Take a look at threads with advice from students who aced the MCAT: prep methods vary like personalities.

    And lastly, and admittedly the least logical point, an expression I once heard: most people take Kaplan and most people have an average MCAT score. Hmmmm.

    :rolleyes:

    PS Despite the fact that a "flame war" will start, I'm sure most people will be happy that you found something that makes you happy.
     
  6. swifteagle43

    swifteagle43 Lover- not a fighter
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    Checkmate
     
  7. wisguy

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    Whoa...why not just say that you are happy with the service that Kaplan is providing for your money?? Of course you can list the reasons why you think it is the best study method for you, but there is no need to attack everyone in sight because something else worked for them. It sounds like you need to take a break from studying and have a beer.
     
  8. dr.kicia

    dr.kicia Senior Member
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    rediculous thread:rolleyes:

    DO some search on the forums and you will see that many ppl did amazingly good on the MCAT studying on their own while many flamed prep companies for getting scores in the teens.
    Before you post something rediculous like that try to use your wiseness to read FAQ section and figure out first what ppl say about each thing before jumping into narrowminded conclusions and attacking other members (which by the way is a TOS violation).
     
  9. kstreet

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    ******ed OP
    ******ed Thread

    :thumbdown:
     
  10. dr.kicia

    dr.kicia Senior Member
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    we all tend to not agree with OP but calling him "******ed"???:eek:
     
  11. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    Guys, please keep it civil here. There's no need to call one another names.
     
  12. Mark84

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    I am finishing my kaplan prep course right now and am taking the MCAT shortly. While I agree you are provided with a wealth of material from Kaplan, what only matters is how much of it you actually utilize and whether or not you learn from it. Judging from the effort put forth by some of the people in my class its safe to say that they will not perform better than someone who doesn't take a Kaplan class but devotes time and effort into studying the materials they have. The Kaplan course is not a "magic pill" for MCAT success. Just like any other means of studying for the MCAT, the amount of time and dedication you put forth into studying will ultimately determine you how well you do.
     
  13. swifteagle43

    swifteagle43 Lover- not a fighter
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    Agreed- it is more that the materials are in CBT format... I bet you the Examkrackers people will be a little bit worried since they only have a limited number of AAMC exams that they can practice one while Kaplan students have been pounding on the computer since day 1. Thats all....
     
  14. BeatrixKiddo

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    i'm in kaplan and it sucks, you're only going to do as good as the amount of effort and time you put in. i'm putting in um T minus 4 hours so yeah
     
  15. sexyman

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    Lately I've been feeling as though preparation for the mcat is overrated...I have put in countless of hours and am still not scoring high while a friend of mine scored a 30 on his kaplan diagnostic a few weeks ago and is now scoring high 30s and low 40s and will be taking the test in April.

    If I had to do it all over again I would make it a point to not only do well in the classes I took but to fully understand the material and retain. I think mcat preparation starts way before you buy an EK or Kaplan book.

    With that said I hope I can study for the mcat and get into med school!
     
  16. Richter915

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    that's ur own fault.
     
  17. Richter915

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    great great point.
     
  18. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    I know of a regular SDNer that used EK and got a 41. I'm sure there are some who used Kaplan and PR that also did well. It's what works for YOU.
     
  19. wisguy

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    From someone who took both versions of the test, the format doesn't make much of a difference unless you have no clue how to use a computer mouse. You'll have the same question types, the same material, the same problems making time to study. And all the aamc exams are available to take online. some of them are not shortened, but if you need to practice the format they are available.
     
  20. CTtarheel

    CTtarheel Senior Member
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    Apologizing in advance for the following rant. I do not have a high opinion of test-prep companies and I really think they take advantage of applicants worries to make a TON of money.

    SO . . . .

    The Kaplan practice tests are total BS, they really don't mimic the real thing. They rely WAY to heavily on remembering formulae and minute details that really just aren't important on the MCAT unless you've consistently been hitting 36 on your practice tests and are pushing for that 40 (and at that point you could be using your time to fix other parts of your app).

    PLUS, they also stress "test taking strategies" more which is mostly common sense and simply tries to skirt the issue that the best way to do well on the test is to KNOW THE DAMN ANSWERS!

    Unless you can't motivate yourself enough to study on your own, any prep course is completely worthless and you'd do just as well simply buying a prep book and studying on your own. What do you think another college student who just took the test last year is going to tell you that's so earth shattering?

    Honestly, buy a review book (preferably last year's you could buy off someone for cheap), get the REAL AAMC tests to practice with, and you'll do fine. Don't listen to those Kaplan reps who tell you that EVERYONE is taking prep courses and you're at a disadvantage if you don't.
     
  21. dr.kicia

    dr.kicia Senior Member
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    they shortened all of them recently so they are in the right format now.
    There are also free TPR, Kaplan and Gold Stnandard exams available on each company websites.
    So all free onces plus all AAMC CBTs and EK 1g that is included in a package this will add up to 12 FLs you can take. And unlike kaplan it will cost only 300 bucks if you get EK on ebay. I was acctually thinking about Kaplan and then about Ek classroom course but i couldn't afford it and am studying on my own. I even had Kaplan course books which were honestly crap (i lasted thru about 15 pages of bio book and then wanted slam my head against the wall).
    EK is amazing if you are visual learner which i am.
    I think it is just what works for you and how much time you put in. Your success depends on one person and that is you not on the prep company you use to be ready for the test.
     
  22. wisguy

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    It sure would have been nice to have those for the jan test. Oh well, i'd taken most of the lower numbered ones before, but I bet others wish they would have been formatted.
     
  23. Anastasis

    Anastasis caffeinated for safety
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    I'm sorry to hear they weren't shortened for you guys :( That was the point I was going to make: Because the CBT (for everyone) is a relatively new system, Kaplan might be worth it only for the practice materials. But then again, you could just go through e-mcat.com.

    I ended up taking 13 practice tests but looking back that *might* have been overkill.

    In general, just the review is comparable between the two. I honestly don't like Kaplan's format (but that's just my personal opinion) - but Q does like it. It's really just up to you and how you learn. I did very well on my own using EK (but also Kaplan wasn't an option because I live in the Boondocks, Texas).

    I think making any kind of generalization (either way) will rest on some faulty logic.
     
  24. killinsound

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Although I do agree different strokes for different folks, I strongly disagree with the statement that Kaplan's FL's are worthless.

    I think Kaplan's FL's prepare you extensively. They hit every single topic and they are general much more difficult (PS and BS) than the AAMC and really force you to think critically.
     
  25. Mark84

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    Agreed ^^^^^ The people that do the most hating on the Kaplan full lengths are probably the ones who found them too hard.
     
  26. sexyman

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    True, I hated them and found them way too hard.
     
  27. AnEyeLikeMars

    AnEyeLikeMars Member
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    I hate to sound like a shill for Kaplan, but according to them, "every test question they give is designed to teach you something." The point of Kaplan practice tests is not just to give you an approximate score, it is to help you improve your score. That's the goal, whether that actually happens is debatable.

    Personally, I took the Kaplan course but really had to pick and choose what I was going to do. I didn't take all the full lengths (only 2), ditched their timing method (I don't want to waste time evaluating passages, ranking them, then skipping around, especially since I found that the harder a passage was, the easier the questions were), and avoided their test-taking skills (the green dot BS). However, the lectures were helpful in reinforcing basic concepts and there were plenty of practice problems. To each his own...the best advice is to find out what works for you.
     
  28. Anastasis

    Anastasis caffeinated for safety
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    I didn't think they were too hard, just "different" - which meant they didn't accurately mimic the real deal as far as scores go(at least not for me). But any practice is good practice as long as it looks and feels like the real deal (regardless of content) - I think this has only become more important with CBT.
     
  29. swifteagle43

    swifteagle43 Lover- not a fighter
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    CBT is the thing that gives kaplan a major advantage over their competitor in testing materials
     
  30. Anastasis

    Anastasis caffeinated for safety
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    I still believe that the 11 more CBT exams that are avaliable via the Kaplan course and not available outside of it (I'm excluding the AAMC exams because you can buy those no matter what) are not worth paying the extra $1200 unless you also need to structured format of the classroom experience.

    Maybe Kaplan students do do better ON AVERAGE (I'm doubtful and you haven't provided any real evidence to back that up) but it is NOT necessary to drop that much money to do well. There are other testing materials out there that do just as well for much less money. And I think the AAMC CBT exams are enough practice for the average test taker.
     
  31. estairella

    estairella Senior Member
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    swifteagle43

    Of the people I know in real life who have taken the MCAT, here are the highest scores
    43 - someone who mainly used EK
    41 - someone who mainly used EK
    38 - someone who took the Princeton Review course
    37 - someone who took the Princeton Review course
    36 - someone who took the Kaplan course

    So your comment about Kaplan and EK being the only good ways to study - *yawn*.

    Also, you're still studying for the MCAT - are you kidding me? God forbid you're going to be giving out prescriptions as a medical student.

    /41R using EK
    //It's pretty obvious you're a) trolling, b) trying to justify the $1600 you spent on Kaplan, c) working for Kaplan or d) some combination of the above
     
  32. estairella

    estairella Senior Member
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    The Kaplan full lengths are pretty useful for "hitting all the topics", but the ones I got my hands on were full of errors and in the upper ranges, when you can miss up to 7-9 in PS and still get a 14, it really shows how the topic level is too hard.

    *took all except Kaplan 9*
     
  33. swifteagle43

    swifteagle43 Lover- not a fighter
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    Alright the two highest people I know in real life were a 37 and a 38 and both used Kaplan and I am taking their advice. They said to sit down and do all the problems Kaplan has and that is what I am doing.

    I read through all the EK books but they didn't boost my score at all....i mean by the time I finished EK I was getting PS 8, V 8, B 8 which is not really that great. Prepping with Kaplan and using the EK method I boosted my Verbal to a 10, my Physical Science is now a 10/11 with Kaplan problems and my bio is still hoovering in the 8/9 range. EK is really good for basics but Kaplan has a LOT more problems and they are CBT problems. That was my only point.

    I guess I don't know too many people that used EK so I can't really say.
     
  34. Anastasis

    Anastasis caffeinated for safety
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    Badass - congrats on finding something that works for you!! :) That's what everyone on this forum is looking for. That's an impressive Verbal improvement, guess something must have clicked for you.

    I was only taking to exception to your statement that this would be true across the board. What works for you, might not work for everyone. Obviously EK didn't work for you, though it does work for many people on this forum.

    For anyone else reading this trying to decided between Kaplan and EK: Swifteagle is smart in taking advice from people she knows who scored relatively high on the MCAT. But please, as with any advice both from people in real life and people on SDN, take it only if you see it working for you. No advice is law and all advice is only as useful as it relates to your life and situation.

    (Example: I have the highest score at my current institution. Everyone came to me asking for advice. I could see that some people needed the structure of a classroom course so I suggested they take the free school run prep class. But then they'd ask what I did, I'd tell them EK, and they would ignore my suggestion about the course and consequentially did rather poorly on the MCAT. Again, advice is only as good as it relates to you. Using materials that require good test taking skills and an internal motivation to study are not good for a person who learns better when taught by a person and is not a great test taker in the first place)
     
  35. dr.kicia

    dr.kicia Senior Member
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    first of all Kaplan scores are not representative. Take an AAMC exam and you will see the difference. Secondly it is normal that you will improve over time. The more FLs you take the more improvement you will see. Sometimes ppl improve even 8 points from their first FL to their second. It's abbsolutely normal.
    and congrats on the improvement
     
  36. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    I chose to use Kaplan because I was employed by them and could get access to their materials for free. I had never heard of EK and didn't learn about it until after joining SDN, which was about two months after I had already taken the MCAT. So I really did not make an informed decision to choose Kaplan over EK; I just used what I had available to me.

    I honestly believe that it doesn't matter what test prep materials you choose to use, as long as you actually USE them. Kaplan gives people access to tons of practice materials, a high yield book, etc., but most people use only a tiny fraction of the materials available to them. Whatever materials you pick, you cannot do your test prep half-a**ed, and then cry that the *materials* must be no good because your score didn't go up as much as you would have liked. My suggestion would be to pick some form of prep, whichever one you like, and really use the crap out of it. Consistent, focused practice is what will make your score go up. Buying materials only to let them collect dust on your shelf does nothing for you except to lighten up your wallet a bit.
     
  37. MSTPbound

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    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

    "...and the TRUTH shall set you free!"


    Everytime I read one of Q's posts, somehow I come away just a little bit smarter.:) :idea:
     
  38. ssquared

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    amen to that!

    I'm surprised at how everybody in this thread is under the impression that Kaplan is paying people to start posts saying "woo kaplan is the best." Come on people, they make way too much money to give a crap about an internet forum. I work for Kaplan but I don't go around saying it's the be-all end-all of prep courses. You need to identify what works best for yourself, not what somebody told you to do.
     
  39. swifteagle43

    swifteagle43 Lover- not a fighter
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    Full Disclosure: I am a Kaplan Public Relations Manager. Kaplan pays me 30 grams a year to sit on this forum and post stuff so people like YOU take their course. lets be real....why wouldn't kaplan put people like me on this forum to post stuff for them?
     
  40. Shrike

    Shrike Lanius examinatianus
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    Strange, strange thread. According to the OP himself, Kaplan classes are bad (actually, he says they suck) but the product is still great because the company gives you lots of materials, much of which he acknowledges is not as good as the competition's. Also, he claims there are only two major (his word) ways people improve their scores, when another company (Princeton Review) helps several thousand students per year (heck, several hundred in my office alone), and offers more classroom hours and so on. (Last year, I had several students exceed 40 with my help -- in fact, three in one class alone; this sort of thing doesn't count?)

    Apparently, Kaplan worked for him. Oh frabjous day.

    Also, anyone who doesn't think that Kaplan, whose marketing prowess and resources are well known, would pay people to give testaments on the forums, is a little naive. Not saying the OP is in that group, just saying we know it might happen. The idea that they're too big to care about this sort of marketing is pretty amusing -- this is how they got and stay big. (At the university at which I teach, we sometime have difficulty speaking to pre-professional organizations because Kaplan has bribed the club officers to keep us out. You think a company that does that wouldn't plant a few props?)
     
  41. Shrike

    Shrike Lanius examinatianus
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    Indeed. How 'bout that.

    Know many who took TPR? BR? One of the boutiques?

    If you freely admit that you don't know what you're talking about, uh, ... Oh, never mind. Troll on.
     
  42. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    :laugh: Actually, I'd say that people who think that Kaplan WOULD pay people to post on SDN are a little paranoid. ;) I started working for Kaplan in 1996, several years before SDN even existed, and I'll be the first one to tell you that Kaplan really is a marketing juggernaut. I have helped with multiple marketing events over the years, and I even volunteered to give them a FREE testimonial after I took the MCAT; I went up nine points using their materials which I didn't have to pay for, so I was pretty d*** grateful. The marketing people basically thanked me for the offer, and I never heard back from them. I can't swear on my life that they have never done something like this, but to my knowledge, they don't ever pay for testimonials....it's not a bad idea though. :smuggrin:
     
  43. Shrike

    Shrike Lanius examinatianus
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    Q, my impression, from having dealt with your firm in various ways over the years, is that as a company they play straight but hard, but there seem to be rogue outfits in some areas. (This is true of TPR, too.) A lot of the arguments I hear about Kaplan marketing methods, and also about Kaplan's training of teachers, seems to come down to differences between stated policy, which I believe many or most Kaplan offices and outfits follow, and actual practice, which seems to vary quite a bit. This is one thing that makes sensible discussion of differences between companies so difficult to arrange.

    Given that this is a national forum, paid shilling would probably be through national marketing, so I doubt it happens on here. Same for TPR (except in our case it's not that we think it's a bad idea, it's that we as a company barely bother with marketing at all, particularly not marketing that actually costs money.). Most people on SDN are pretty up-front about whose axes they're grinding. (I think there is paid shilling taking place, but not for Kaplan or TPR.)
     
  44. Trevethen

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    I am having problems finding any valid reasoning in this guy's posts. Thankfully, the MCAT also tests the ability to reason and will hopefully accurately weed out those who can't.

    Also, the CBT isn't that big deal. The science didn't change. Each question is weighted more and an argument can be made that EKs focus and strategies play well into the new format.
     

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