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MCAT prep

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by dsportsdc, May 4, 2000.

  1. dsportsdc

    dsportsdc New Member

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    I would like to hear some opinions on proper prep for the MCAT. I am familiar with the plethora of possibilities available classes, books, etc). It seems that most take a prep course of some sort. I am particularly interested in hearing some results from any of you who did self study, what specifically it entailed, and how you fared (as well as what you would do differently if you thought it didn't go so well). Also, anyone who took a study course, what are the goods and bads with that method? HELP!
     
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  3. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member

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    I graduated from college in May '98, and took the MCAT in April of '99. So it had been like 5 years since I'd taken general chemistry, and when I did I got a C! So I knew I needed a review course. I took the Kaplan class beginning in January '99. On the first day, they give you a sample test to see how you do with no preperation. I got a seven and two sixes! But at the end of the class, and after three months of studying I got three tens, and start med school this fall.

    I highly recommend Kaplan's course. They provide textbooks for each of the five subjects (chem, bio, o-chem, physics, verbal/writing) that contain only the info you need to know. Plus you have classes taught by first year students who can tell you first hand what the MCAT is like. But the best feature is the Kaplan library, where you have resourses like practice problems, sample tests, and video reviews that really help. I agree with people who say you should take as many full-length practice tests as you can. They really help. And most of the people I talked to agree that the actual MCAT is EASIER that Kaplan's practice tests! So you feel really smart on the real test day! Good luck.

    [This message has been edited by Mango (edited 05-04-2000).]
     
  4. DO NOT TAKE PRINCETON REVIEW- TAKE KAPLAN!

    PR SUCKS!!!- just my exp. though

    keep on practicing and getting your hands on as much practice material as possible- esp. the back exams- try to see if u can take them w/ others taking the MCAT - that helped me alot

    GOOD LUCK!!
     
  5. rufus

    rufus Member

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    I graduated in May '95 and took the MCAT in April '99 so, like Mango, it had been a long time since I'd had the material on the exam. Frankly, I didn't want to afford a review course so I decided to study on my own. Beginning in mid-January, I started reviewing from the Betz guide and old notes & textbooks about 3-4 hrs/night, 4-5 nights/wk with an occasional study ttime on the weekends thrown in. I also began taking the practice tests from the AAMC starting about 6 weeks before the actual exam, which I think helped the most. The end result was a 32 N (12,10,10). I didn't practice for the writing sample and wish I had spent some time on that. Hope this helps a little. Good luck to you!
     
  6. 12R34Y

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    I had heard from several on this board that the hyperlearning from Princeton Review was excellent. I know from first hand that PR works with you on a flexible payment plan. YOu only need a $250 deposit(?) to hold a place in class and then can pay the rest off sometime before class starts. Kaplan does not do this. I had also heard from others on this board that PR teaches more relevent material and Kaplan teaches you way too much stuff that you don't need to know. PLease respond and let me know your opinions. thanks
     
  7. Djanaba

    Djanaba Senior Member

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    I couldn't take the Kaplan course offered in my area -- I had another class that conflicted. I graduated in '99 and took the MCAT in spring of '98. I did prep completely on my own with the Silvers MCAT review/prep book. Really, it's all you need if you are motivated, a good student, and have at least a decent grasp of *most* of what you learned in prereq courses. If you need more help, need structure, and have the money, I'd recommend Kaplan. But you don't NEED it. I didn't graduate at the top of my class, but I was a good student. I did fine on the MCAT, had my pick of more than one school. Don't think that if you can't afford or otherwise take a course that you're sunk.
     
  8. doctor_sig

    doctor_sig Member

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    Are there a lot of pre-med students taking the MCAT with you this time? If so, go badger one of the professors (young ones' work better) into organizing a review course. Mine was set up for 10 weeks (almost all semester), but helped immensly. Schedule worked out like this:
    8-4, every Saturday
    1st--Practice test
    2nd--Verbal review from Eng Dept. prof
    3rd+4th--Inorganic chem review
    5th+6th--Physics review
    6th+7th--organic/biochem review
    8th+9th--bio sciences review
    10th--another practice test

    Then one week off and then the MCAT. We had different professors come in to do each review, and all had one MCAT book to work on (we used Columbia, which I liked just fine). Every other week, we'd practice a writing sample right after our 1 hour lunch break, randomly selected from the list the put out. It helped to have a prof there to answer questions, but the biggest advantage is setting up a specific time to study only the MCAT with other people, rather than "fitting it in" when you don't have stuff to do. As you know, there's ALWAYS stuff to do at college. Anyway, best of luck.

    Dr. Sig
    PM3
     
  9. rangers1

    rangers1 Member

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    I took both Kaplan and Princeton Review. I found kaplan to be far more information intensive. It was a great review of all the relevant topics that could possibly be covered on the MCAT. It has been mentioned that it is possibly overkill. This is true. If you have been out of the classroom for a while, it might be the better bet.

    Princeton Review's approach was more "here are the tricks you need to know to do well with what you know." They did cover a lot of material, but not to the extent that it was covered by Kaplan. I think if the information is fresher to you, this might be the better option.

    I know its not probable for most, but the combination of the two raised my score 9 total points. Taking as many practice tests as you can, both abridged or full length, make all the difference in the world. The class is the LEAST valuable part of either program. The resources are what you are paying for, so you better use them.

    Good Luck.


     

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