Kaplan Topicals

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2006
Reaction score

Members don't see this ad.
Hello All

I have been quite a lurker on SDN, with a few posts on my record. I am taking my MCAT in Jan for the second time. I am taking Kaplan and while I was doing subject tests, they are atleast bearable. But the topicals are just killers.

My question is that, for the people who have followed kaplan for studying before, how do they use the kaplan topicals to their benefit? Do you guys read the explanations and see where you went wrong, or do you first review the concept in the review books and then go back to the question? Do you redo the topicals, is it beneficial to do so?

Thanks! and good luck to everyone studying for Jan! Hang in there, some more days of torture ):):luck:


Full Member
10+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2006
Reaction score
Hey 5moreminutes:

I expressed a similar frustration about those crazy topical tests to my Kaplan teacher yesterday in class. I am taking the Kaplan course for the 3rd time. I am also taking the MCAT for the second time in April (my 1st taken yeeears ago in the pre-CBT days, scoring above 90th percentile).

I recently struggled with some of the physics topical tests. For those tough passages, I referred back to the material first to see if I could work through it. If still unsuccessful, I went to the explanations and then worked through the problem. I definitely found it useful to retake it weeks (or months) later to test retention and cement my understanding of the material. I always try to explain it to someone else. Once I can explain it, then I know I really understand the topic.

My teacher has suggested using the High-Yield Problem Solving green book for working on those "weak" areas, identified through the topical tests. My fellow classmates and I have decided to tackle the topical tests collectively in the upcoming study groups.

A side note.....My teacher mentioned that subject tests just test for content. He recommended to me to take some section tests, which are more MCAT-style like the topical tests, for a better comparison and gauge of performance. He did hint that topical tests were much harder than the actual MCAT. I know there are Kaplan teachers out there, is that really true?

I would love to hear suggestions and any other feedback from other Kaplan students or teachers! Hope I didn't ramble on too much.

Best wishes and good luck on your January MCAT!