MCAT/GAMSAT preparation for Non-Traditional Pre-Med Students

Jan 25, 2013
8
0
Status
Hello, I graduated in Computer Science with a 3.68 GPA long in 1995. Currently, after working as a Computer Consultant for several years, I’m a full-time high-school teacher. I always wanted to become a doctor, but for many reasons I couldn’t pursue it. Recently, I’ve decided to finally go ahead and at least give myself a fair chance to get into a Medical School.
The biggest problem I have now is preparing for my MCAT (or GAMSAT) exam. I took 3 courses last semester (Biology, Inorganic Chemistry and Physics), but I see the MCAT material and it seems impossible! I don’t know how to prepare for it.
Has anyone been in my situation? I would appreciate any advise and/or ideas!!!
Thanks
 

Shjanzey

5+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2012
970
635
Status
Medical Student
Hello, I graduated in Computer Science with a 3.68 GPA long in 1995. Currently, after working as a Computer Consultant for several years, I’m a full-time high-school teacher. I always wanted to become a doctor, but for many reasons I couldn’t pursue it. Recently, I’ve decided to finally go ahead and at least give myself a fair chance to get into a Medical School.
The biggest problem I have now is preparing for my MCAT (or GAMSAT) exam. I took 3 courses last semester (Biology, Inorganic Chemistry and Physics), but I see the MCAT material and it seems impossible! I don’t know how to prepare for it.
Has anyone been in my situation? I would appreciate any advise and/or ideas!!!
Thanks
Hello Definately,

I am in the same spot you are. Graduated with a degree in CS and have working as a professional for the last 8 years. Let me see if I can give you a few suggestions.

  1. Getting a Computer Science degree is diametrically opposed to being prepared for the MCAT. What I mean by that is that our degree has none of the prerequisites as a requirement except for Physics. This means that you really need to take the requisite Gen Chem, Organic Chem, and Bio courses before you try to study for the MCAT.
  2. Don't try to rush the exam. I rushed to take it before I completed my prerequisites and my score took a hit as a result.
  3. Once you have a basic understanding of the material I highly recommend getting the Berkeley Review (TBR) study books. The MCAT doesn't just test your ability to absorb information, but rather your ability to critically think and apply the knowledge you should already have. TBR proposes many passages to help you start thinking in this way. There are also other highly recommended preparation books such as Kaplan, The Princeton Review, and Examkrackers. The only reason I don't recommend them is because I haven't used them yet, but I am sure they are all very good.
  4. There is an excellent MCAT section to SDN where you can get advice, or ask for help on tricky concepts that you may not completely understand. That has helped me a ton.
  5. Be prepared to spend every night and weekend for five or six months reviewing material and doing practice exams. It really takes that much work to be ready.
  6. Don't give up! It is hard work, but the results will pay off

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask and I will do my best to help you out.

-S
 

wholeheartedly

Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2009
5,440
3,451
Beyond the Wall
Hello, I graduated in Computer Science with a 3.68 GPA long in 1995. Currently, after working as a Computer Consultant for several years, I'm a full-time high-school teacher. I always wanted to become a doctor, but for many reasons I couldn't pursue it. Recently, I've decided to finally go ahead and at least give myself a fair chance to get into a Medical School.
The biggest problem I have now is preparing for my MCAT (or GAMSAT) exam. I took 3 courses last semester (Biology, Inorganic Chemistry and Physics), but I see the MCAT material and it seems impossible! I don't know how to prepare for it.
Has anyone been in my situation? I would appreciate any advise and/or ideas!!!
Thanks
It definitely looks daunting. I'm someone who took physics 1 &2 my senior year of high school like 12 years ago so I just stare at the page and my eyes gloss over. My plan is just one step at a time through the review books. Staring at the whole stack of review books is intimidating, but one chapter is doable, then the next one, then the next. There are tons of good strategies in the MCAT forum that aren't specific to traditional or non-tradition students.

I haven't started formally studying yet, just getting my materials and plan together. I think the biggest things are to do solid content review, then lots and lots of practice questions and exams based on what everyone says. Then the next biggest thing is when you're going over the answers know why you got something right and why you got something wrong for all of the questions. Some people keep track of the types of questions that they get wrong so they can zone in on problem areas. Another tip I've heard is don't underestimate the verbal.

Lastly, know yourself and what works for you. You'll see tons off different strategies and suggestions in the MCAT forum and you can't do them all.
 

NuttyEngDude

Red-Flagville
7+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2010
2,308
583
Status
Pre-Medical
Lastly, know yourself and what works for you. You'll see tons off different strategies and suggestions in the MCAT forum and you can't do them all.
very nicely put.

Also OP, run a few forum searches, you will see lots of computer people AND teachers here who have succeeded or are in the process of doing so. Good luck!
 

MBHockey

10+ Year Member
Feb 22, 2008
412
0
NYC
Status
Medical Student
non-trad engineer here. If you are a good self-learner (with the appropriate resources) go with the Berkeley Review. I used them a few years back (just ordered their review books from the website) and thought it was really great. Ended up with a 35R and accepted to a US MD school on my first application cycle. Good luck
 
OP
D
Jan 25, 2013
8
0
Status
Thank u all so much for ur input! It's really great to see am not the only one who struggles with mcat. I have the examkrackers review along with their "osmosis" cds. I wonder if I can start reviewing and take the exam in May.
What's the Berkley Review (TBR)? Is it a self-preparation course?
Thanks again for ur input and encouragement. Any of u in med school yet?
 

MBHockey

10+ Year Member
Feb 22, 2008
412
0
NYC
Status
Medical Student
Thank u all so much for ur input! It's really great to see am not the only one who struggles with mcat. I have the examkrackers review along with their "osmosis" cds. I wonder if I can start reviewing and take the exam in May.
What's the Berkley Review (TBR)? Is it a self-preparation course?
Thanks again for ur input and encouragement. Any of u in med school yet?
I'm an MS III right now. I would use TBR for everything except verbal (at least, a few years ago when I took it i didn't like their approach to verbal). Instead, I used EK passages for verbal.

TBR is an actual course taught by lecturers out in California, but they sell their home-study books online through their website.

I used everything here except the CBTs and the Verbal book:

http://www.berkeley-review.com/TBR/home-study.html

Also, look into getting a question bank. After using one for Step 1, I think it's a pretty critical element to have in your study prep for any exam. I believe Kaplan has one for the MCAT. See what's out there now and what the general consensus is.