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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by spyyder31, Jun 1, 2000.
Does anyone have some input on any of the MCAT prep courses out there? Has anyone tried one??
Princeton Review. MCAT score went from upper 20's to 38 in 2 months (I also worked quite hard then too, however). Most prep course materials are all the same. So take a class that has many full-length practice exams - those are what made the huge difference for me. Your weekends go to $h!# but it was worth it for me. Good luck.
i took the princeton review. i have not taken the mcat yet though so i will not be able to tell you how it did. but the classes are not bad. they give you a ton of information, about 5 full length practice test and lots of work books. not bad as compared to kaplan. a friend of mine took kaplan and did not really help him a lot on the test. he did not get a lot of stuff to take home with him. i had copies of all my tests and practice workbooks.
these prep coarses are all thought by grad students mostly so be prepared for that, some are good and some are not. ask around at the place you are planning on taking the prep coarse. it might give you an insight on their specific teachers. good luck.
The only thing you get from a review class is info on what is typically on the test, and tests that assume similar format (though often slightly veered off from reality) as the real test. If you actually need the teaching you probably ought to put off taking it until you have a better back ground. if you can learn independently then the course can be great (I went up from a 15 on a diagnostic to a 36 on the real thing and I had not taken any of the premed classes) however your sucess is 100% up to you and if you expect to pay princeton review $1200 bucks (like i did) and they will feed you a 36 intravenously then you are barking up the wrong tree because it will not happen
Mike (Organic Instructor for Kaplan MCAT)
The real value of these courses is in learning what to expect on the test. They tell you what you need to know but you have to learn it on your own outside of class. Plan on investing at least 2 hours every day of the week outside of class for several months to get a competitive score.
I took Kaplan. They sent me detailed review books for each test section several weeks in advance of the course. They also provided workbooks for use in class. I took the 1/2 length diagnostic test plus all five full length exams. We were allowed to keep the test booklets for each. Printed detailed scores were provided within two days for each test. The print outs and test booklets made it easy to review items that I missed. I improved from a 24 to a 34 over the course.
the kaplan course worked well for me, i went from a 24 on the diagnostic test to a 38 on the actual MCAT. however, the course is expensive (about $1000) and takes up a lot of your time (3+ hours 2 nights a week, plus full-length practice tests on the weekends). i still recommend it over any kind of individual study, the price is kind of an incentive to go to all the classes and get as much out of it as you can. it also helps if you take it with some friends. good luck!
It all really depends on what type of student you are: if you can self-motivate easily, and can relearn the stuff yourself, then borrow someone's books and do it yourself! I studied on my own, and picked up my score quite a bit. Since then, however, I have been teaching for the Princeton Review Course, as it's good money! I chose PR because I found their materials to be better when I was studying.
Honestly, what I find is that the students who are able to learn the material (or relearn) on their own get kinda fed up, feel as though they're wasting their time, and will oftentimes just argue answers with me for the sake of it. My feeling is that those people would be better served if they were able to study on their own for the same amt of time that they're sitting in class.
I however know some people who absolutely cannot budget their time wisely enough. For those people, they really should take a course, to ensure that they will keep up and learn it all before the test. Unfortunately, I think I'll have to do that with the boards!
i think that if you have the money to pay for those prep courses, you could just buy some more books and practice tests yourself.
some of the posts here sound like advertisements rather than personal experiences.
i don't think that it is possible for a person to improve 10 points all of sudden.
i took kaplan, they just basically go over the same thing that u have learned in school, and give you whole tests. you could go over those books yourself, and test yourself.
so why bother. i think that a person could just by some mcat prep. books, prep tests, and study him/herself.
I took the Kaplan course, and found it to be a waste of my time. My instructor sucked. The review material was pretty decent, and it was nice to have access to the testing library. I don't feel like I got as much out of it as I could have, if I had a better instructor. It's too bad that kaplan doesn't offer an arrangement for the MCAT like they have for the USMLE, where you could opt for no classroom instruction, but have access to the testing library for a specified period of time.
Good luck to you...