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MCAT tips

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Mossjoh, Jan 16, 2001.

  1. Mossjoh

    Mossjoh Mayo Clinic-PGY2 10+ Year Member

    Jan 1, 2001
    Jacksonville, FL
    I'm beginning to really hit the MCAT studying hard now. I have a Flower's and Silver Review book and a Kaplan book of practice tests. Besides reviewing the sections and practice tests, does anyone else have any tips on how to really succeed on the test? I've heard that making notecards can help, but I wouldn't know where to start with the whole spectrum of information covered. Any tips would be appreciated, thanks.
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  3. WingZero

    WingZero Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    The only guaranteed-to-work tip that works for all to improve scores is good, old-fashioned hard work and determination. Other than that, it totally depends on the person's study style. The only other thing I would advise is to do as many practice tests as possible, even at the expense of reading review texts. When I teach for the April MCAT session at Kaplan, I tell my students that since they are in class as well as studying for the MCAT, to skip my class if they are pressured for time and to spend the time in the library doing practice tests instead. Sure, you need to get the basics down, but the MCAT is less of a content-based test that most think.
  4. drgroovespace

    drgroovespace Junior Member

    Jan 20, 2001
    Stony Brook, NY USA
    I'd also like to know what are the best review books around and where can I get them? I heard Princeton Review has a really good review book, but I'm taking the Kaplan course, so I have the Kaplan review books. I'd also like to know if there are any CD - roms out there that help. Thank you, bye guys.

    The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men often go astray
    -- John Steinbeck
  5. fishtolive

    fishtolive Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    I am currently studying as well and have found that the Flowers and Silver MCAT book is pretty comprehensive. There's plenty of practice as you walk through it. I'm also taking the Hyperlearning course with Princeton Review. How many hours every week is every one alotting to studying. I've been trying to put in about 20 at least, anybody have any pointers or want to share some tips? I have also been finding flash cards helpful.
  6. If you can go through the Flower's and Silver Review book without having to reference your textbooks then that is a good sign. That review book did not work well for other people that I was studying with because they forgot all the material and needed to re-learn it. I also didn't find their review questions at the end of the chapters very challenging. In general, this review book is much better than the review books from Kaplan. In defense of Kaplan, I have to state that their practice exams, particularly their subject tests, are excellent. WingZero gave the only answer I could offer: "do as many practice tests as possible." Of course you have to review the stuff, but the last month before the exam you should be spending 85% of your time on practice tests and the rest on reviewing. One piece of advice that I haven't seen posted yet is about getting enough sleep and exercise. I found that to be the big difference in the group of 15 that I studied with. There was the half that was exhausted and panicy, and then the half that was sharp and relaxed.
  7. Ian Wong

    Ian Wong Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 5, 1999
    BC, Canada

    I can't add too much more to what's already been said above. Doing practice tests is absolutely crucial, and you should definitely get the AAMC practice exams, which will be the closest approximators of what the actual MCAT will be like. You can look those up at

    I've also got a fairly extensive section by section approach to tackling the MCAT on my premed website. (shameless plug)

    Ian, MS2
    Premed Advice page
  8. Mossjoh

    Mossjoh Mayo Clinic-PGY2 10+ Year Member

    Jan 1, 2001
    Jacksonville, FL
    Thanks for the advice everyone. I actually took a practice test Saturday and won a free Kaplan course in a drawing, so I'll be starting that this week! I guess someone upstairs must be looking out for me, that saves me over $1100 for the course!
    Anyway, I'll be happy when this is all over and I can not worry about the test anymore.
  9. sanford_w/o_son

    sanford_w/o_son locl jnky-gota thred man? 5+ Year Member


    l3T chA05 Re1gN!
  10. ashabee4

    ashabee4 Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Jan 25, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    Like someone else said, don't rely simply on your kaplan course to prepare. You must do practice tests on your own (AAMC). Kaplan is good at presenting the content, but frankly what is more important is becoming comfortable and familiar with the test so that you will be able to transfer your knowledge to the exam.

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