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kaplan vs real thing vs aamc

giguerex35

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Apr 7, 2017
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    Hey i am getting ready to take the mcat in a few weeks and have been doing mostly kaplan qbank questions which i do fairly well on. I started the AAMC question packs the other day and was pretty much blown out of the water by the difference in difficulty between the two. Does anybody have any input as to what the similarities are between kaplan and the real test and between the aamc question packs and the real test. I know AAMC is the maker so typically their question would reflect the actual ones but even the AAMC FL didnt seem as difficult as those in the question pack. I appreciate the help. Thanks
     
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    rabbott1971

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    Apr 26, 2016
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      People seem to go all over the map on ranking difficulty among the AAMC products. Often I have seen the AAMC Qpacks are supposed to be slightly less hard than the AAMC full length, with the section bank supposedly lining up more with the FL. I am planning to take my first FL this week but have done a lot of AAMC Qpacks and find them plenty hard. p.s. I am noticing as I write this below me SDN is suggesting I read any of six other threads with virtually the same title as yours, so you could look at those, although they're a little dated.
       

      aldol16

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        A test prep company's materials may seem more/less difficult than the AAMC materials and/or the real thing because they don't really test the same thing. Many test prep companies focus too much on the content recall/knowledge and not enough on the critical analysis portions of the test. So if you're good at content recall but bad at critical analysis, you'll do great on the companies' exams but fare poorly on AAMC materials. If you're good at critical thinking and less at straight-up recall, then you'd probably do well on AAMC and less well on the companies' materials.

        In terms of representativeness, I have not actually used the Kaplan QBank (is this new?) but I used their FLs during my preparation last year and they were not representative of the real thing because they focused too much on 1) content recall and 2) obscure details that the MCAT generally does not emphasize. So in terms of best prep, the AAMC Section Bank is the best because it prepares you for the hard questions on the MCAT, followed by the AAMC FLs, followed by the AAMC QPacks, followed by Khan Academy practice passages (for B/BC and P/S sections only), followed by [insert test prep company name here].
         
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        giguerex35

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        2+ Year Member
        Apr 7, 2017
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        1. Medical Student
          A test prep company's materials may seem more/less difficult than the AAMC materials and/or the real thing because they don't really test the same thing. Many test prep companies focus too much on the content recall/knowledge and not enough on the critical analysis portions of the test. So if you're good at content recall but bad at critical analysis, you'll do great on the companies' exams but fare poorly on AAMC materials. If you're good at critical thinking and less at straight-up recall, then you'd probably do well on AAMC and less well on the companies' materials.

          In terms of representativeness, I have not actually used the Kaplan QBank (is this new?) but I used their FLs during my preparation last year and they were not representative of the real thing because they focused too much on 1) content recall and 2) obscure details that the MCAT generally does not emphasize. So in terms of best prep, the AAMC Section Bank is the best because it prepares you for the hard questions on the MCAT, followed by the AAMC FLs, followed by the AAMC QPacks, followed by Khan Academy practice passages (for B/BC and P/S sections only), followed by [insert test prep company name here].
          thanks that is the answer i was looking for. much appreciated
           
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