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MCAT questions, Tricky or Straightforward?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by FSUMED, Jul 5, 2001.


    FSUMED Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    Tallahassee, FL, USA
    OK, I am getting ready to purchase a couple of MCAT study books as my free ones were lost in the flood. I am trying to decide which kinds. I found some Cliffs notes books that seemed really good as far as quick review type material goes. They were somewhat detailed, but they dont really get into the intricate details, esp. w/ biology. Then they had the big MCAT guides that are minimal review material, and lots of practice test. I was really drawn to the Kaplan book($60). I like that it has a CD, and lots of practice tests. (I know practice makes perfect as I took the ACT 4 times before I ever made my 29, but I realize that you cant take MCAT that many times). Anyway, I guess I am going to get the Kaplan book, and a couple Cliffs notes reviews to catch the stuff that kaplan doesnt review. But I would like an idea of just how detailed or tricky the MCAT probs are. For instance, take genetics, all I have had is what I learned in Bio 2. And some of the problems can be pretty tricky. Would one be likely to see a really tricky one, or you basic punnet scquare type probs. I really dont see myself going back and relearning all the stuff again(I am taking 16 hours enxt spring, and I do have a life), so is the quick review that a cliffs notes type book would preview enough? How about the examcrakers series? Thoughts?
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  3. Gotrob

    Gotrob Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2001
    My advice (take it for what you will) is to avoid many of the off the shelf books. I bought a lot of books and took the Kaplan course in my attempt to cram for the april MCAT. I don't believe they really prepared me for the test. Kaplan focused mostly on phy formulas and bio organ systems. I wasted a lot of time remembering a years worth of formulas that did not help me on the test.

    My advice to everyone is to purchase the aamc practice tests and take them over and over until you understand all of the topics which they cover. Use your school books as reference. Not only will you save money, but you will be better prepared for the test than most.

    good luck
  4. dtreese

    dtreese Caramel Gollum 10+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2001
    KY, The Jelly State
    Questions, questions, and more questions. The best way to prep is to do as many test questions as you can. And get ones with EXPLANATIONS. Testing is worthless unless you can learn from your mistakes, but if you can, it rapidly directs you to your weaknesses. Since I'm taking the MCAT over, I'm attending Kaplan right now, & their resources are great if you can swing it. You don't necessarily need to bother with the classes, but going in to work with their myriad of test problems is great. I could probably take the test right now and score higher than I did last time.
  5. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    Agreed, agreed, agreed, and, lastly, agreed. :)
  6. spacecadet

    spacecadet Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2001
    Houston, TX
    I found some of the AAMC practice materials to be good. Work backwards - Practice Test V is the best, and Tests I & II are practically useless. The AAMC Science Practice Items were easier than Kaplan, but more in line with what I saw on the test (easy physical, hard biological). The AAMC Verbal Practice Items are good too. Like somebody else said, make sure you also get solutions because you will need them. Mark every question that you aren't 100% sure about so you can check the solutions to them as well as the ones you got wrong.

    Hope this helps.

    By the way, I took the Kaplan class and it helped me a lot. It helped me focus my studying and they have a ton of practice materials in the library which were great. Taking the five full-length tests under test-like conditions was also extremely valuable. My score went up 14 points between my 1st diagnostic (hadn't studied at all) and my actual score. Don't know if I would have done as well without Kaplan. I did every single problem/test that was available, including all the AAMC stuff. I got a really good score.

  7. 12R34Y

    12R34Y 10+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2000
    I agree with many of the above posters. i think that practicing questions over and over is the best way you can prepare. I would say start at AAMC I and build up to the hardest and most recent AAMC V. Get your confidence up in the beginning. No sense in taking the most recent MCAT and getting slammed by it in the beginning.

  8. kahlil78

    kahlil78 Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2001
    Arlington, TX, U.S.A.

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