MCAT Low cost resources

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andii

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Hi! Hoping to take the MCAT early next year and apply next summer. I am non trad in that I have a corporate consulting career but was a biology major and have taken the prerequisite classes (graduated in 2022). I am overwhelmed by the amount of posts and threads and was wondering if any non trads have any word of advice for what resources to get, where to start (particularly if there are high quality low cost resources). I am really trying to hunker down and do well the first time. I think I am going to need a refresher for a lot of concepts in biochem and orgo.

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Many people self-study and do very well. I got a set of Kaplan books for free from a friend, and you could probably find a used set for cheap.

Free online tests include Princeton Review, Blueprint Prep, and Kaplan. Jack Westin has free CARS questions. Khan Academy has free Psych/Soc materials. I won't post the links here for fear of breaking forum rules but you can easily find them on google.

I would highly recommend getting the official AAMC materials and buying UWorld even though it'll be a few hundred $. If you want to do well, it's worth it.
 
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Many people self-study and do very well. I got a set of Kaplan books for free from a friend, and you could probably find a used set for cheap.

Free online tests include Princeton Review, Blueprint Prep, and Kaplan. Jack Westin has free CARS questions. Khan Academy has free Psych/Soc materials. I won't post the links here for fear of breaking forum rules but you can easily find them on google.

I would highly recommend getting the official AAMC materials and buying UWorld even though it'll be a few hundred $. If you want to do well, it's worth it.
By AAMC material do you mean the full lengths?
 
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I believe all four FL's and the section bank are 100% mandatory if you want above a 515 (just my opinion). Some say to skip the AAMC question pack, it was helpful for me but I could see you getting by without it. FYI the section bank is very difficult and should not be done at the beginning of your studies
 
If you qualify for FAP, you can get the AAMC practice pack and practice tests for free upon approval for FAP.

Shared Anki decks are also free. Two popular ones are MileDown and Jack Sparrow. You can get those from Reddit.
 
Do you have savings from your job? If so this is not the time to pinch pennies...like you said, you want to do the MCAT right and do it once. I was a non-trad as well and purchased UWorld, Blueprint full length exams 1-6, and the AAMC resources (full lengths, Q banks, etc). The total cost was under $1000 and I considered it money well spent since I scored well and got an acceptance on my first application cycle. As others have said you can get prep books free from the library and Anki decks off the internet. Anki works best if you do it every day and do cards that compliment whatever units you are working on.

Are you going to be studying while working full time? That is what I did and having a set-in-stone study routine was necessary for me. I started studying ~3 hours every evening after work 6 days per week, but what ultimately worked best was getting up at 5am and studying ~3 hours 5 days per week before work, and taking a full-length exam on a weekend day. I took 10 full-lengths total, 6 from Blueprint and the 4 AAMCs. You are going to have to test out various study strategies and figure out what works best. I found that I learned nothing from reading book chapters, and if I had to do it over, I would skip the "content review" and just do practice questions, using the prep books as reference materials for things I got wrong.
 
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The ONLY thing that you need to buy is the AAMC study bundle. Everyt subject you need to study/review can be found for free Youtube. There are some amazing videos out there.

For review books, they are all basically the same. Some have better explanations than others, but it's all going to come down to how you master the AAMC approach and not content absorption. Whatever you can find for free is fine.

Do EVERY AAMC question at least twice. Reverse engineer their questions from every one of their materials. I've heard of students using AI programs to simulate AAMC-style questions. No commercial materials quite get AAMC's style right, so there are no 'must-do' materials except for AAMC.

If you get anything else besides AAMC, find materials that match your learning style. Material choice is trendy, and just because a lot of people do one thing for a while, doesn't mean it's best. SDN had a thread on materials used by 510+ scorers going strong for a while, and having thoroughly analyzed the material people listed, it ends up that there was no obvious choice. No materials exceeded 25% of the recommendations, which means no materials have cornered the market on preparing people best.
 
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The ONLY thing that you need to buy is the AAMC study bundle. Everyt subject you need to study/review can be found for free Youtube. There are some amazing videos out there.

For review books, they are all basically the same. Some have better explanations than others, but it's all going to come down to how you master the AAMC approach and not content absorption. Whatever you can find for free is fine.

Do EVERY AAMC question at least twice. Reverse engineer their questions from every one of their materials. I've heard of students using AI programs to simulate AAMC-style questions. No commercial materials quite get AAMC's style right, so there are no 'must-do' materials except for AAMC.

If you get anything else besides AAMC, find materials that match your learning style. Material choice is trendy, and just because a lot of people do one thing for a while, doesn't mean it's best. SDN had a thread on materials used by 510+ scorers going strong for a while, and having thoroughly analyzed the material people listed, it ends up that there was no obvious choice. No materials exceeded 25% of the recommendations, which means no materials have cornered the market on preparing people best.
 
When I study
The ONLY thing that you need to buy is the AAMC study bundle. Everyt subject you need to study/review can be found for free Youtube. There are some amazing videos out there.

For review books, they are all basically the same. Some have better explanations than others, but it's all going to come down to how you master the AAMC approach and not content absorption. Whatever you can find for free is fine.

Do EVERY AAMC question at least twice. Reverse engineer their questions from every one of their materials. I've heard of students using AI programs to simulate AAMC-style questions. No commercial materials quite get AAMC's style right, so there are no 'must-do' materials except for AAMC.

If you get anything else besides AAMC, find materials that match your learning style. Material choice is trendy, and just because a lot of people do one thing for a while, doesn't mean it's best. SDN had a thread on materials used by 510+ scorers going strong for a while, and having thoroughly analyzed the material people listed, it ends up that there was no obvious choice. No materials exceeded 25% of the recommendations, which means no materials have cornered the market on preparing people best.
thank you! When I am doing content review, what aamc material should I use? The q pack or the SB?
 
When I study

thank you! When I am doing content review, what aamc material should I use? The q pack or the SB?
Start on the Q pack earlier in your studies and save the section bank for a little later. The section bank is much more difficult, so you should have more content review under your belt before you start on it
 
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Start on the Q pack earlier in your studies and save the section bank for a little later. The section bank is much more difficult, so you should have more content review under your belt before you start on it
Is the q pack still relevant? Or should I do khan acad instead?
 
Q pack is helpful to get accustomed to AAMC’s style of how they ask questions, but it isn’t really useful for content review per se.
 
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