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MCAT

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Premed315U, Oct 30, 2001.

  1. Premed315U

    Premed315U Senior Member

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    I'm starting to study for April MCAT. I have lots of MCAT books to prep from. I'm starting by doing a few passages/day from Barrons since I've heard these are the absolute worst passages to use? I decided to save my best passages for closer to the test. But, how bad is Barrons? Are they totally unrealistic? Are verbal passages good to use? Should I not waste my time and just do Kaplan and PR passages?

    Thank you for any and all advice. This board is so amazing. Much appreciated.
     
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  3. Premed315U

    Premed315U Senior Member

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    thanks for your info

    Do you think there is any use in doing 1 passage/day just to practice verbal/science, etc? I'm worried about wasting my kaplan and princeton review fat book passages for so early in the game. any advice would be much appreciated. do you consider barron to be a total waste of time, or do you think the passages might help a little with verbal or science? are verbal passages completely as ridiculous as science?
     
  4. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    I think that any type of verbal comprehension (or even vocabulary is helpful) practice would be beneficial before taking the MCAT. Get a hold of some GRE, GMAT, DAT, OAT, and LSAT prep books (you can buy cheap used ones on e-bay sometimes). They all have verbal sections that are somewhat similar to MCAT and will give help in doing this type of timed exam -- learning to pick out main ideas, infer meaning, etc.
     
  5. DNALadder2002

    DNALadder2002 Senior Member

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    If you want to score well in the MCAT, you've gotta take those practice exams over and over. Forget about reviewing and reading over notes, just take the practice exams. Doesn't matter if you took that one particular practice exam 100x. Take it for the 101th time. The more practice you have, the more familiarity you'll have of those questions. I hope this helps.
     
  6. dtreese

    dtreese Caramel Gollum

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    Okay, listen carefully. Go to the fireplace and start a nice, toasty fire. Now when the fire gets low, chuck that Barron's in. That's about all it's good for.

    As for "saving" your other tests, don't. Take at least a couple, even three or four. Reviewing the content in an undirected fashion is not good preparation for the test. Direct yourself toward your weaknesses by discovering them early. Build your test-taking stamina up. Don't burn yourself out by cramming all those tests in at the end. One a week is good to start with. Get up early (yuck) on Sat and take it when you would really take it. You lose your weekend day, I know, but it's worth it in the end.
    If you do run out of tests, try to find some more at the library. I actually found oodles of books at my local library.
     
  7. Epi

    Epi Fuzzy Tiger

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    I think the Kaplan book was good.
    Yes, also keep on doing practice problems. that will help you the most.
     
  8. Dylann FMD

    Dylann FMD Senior Member

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    Um, I used Barron's to study from, and I thought I did pretty good on the MCAT. I never really got bogged down by the number, name, etc of the materials I used to study from. AAMC II, IV, Kaplan, Barrons, etc. I actually used prep materials cheaper and older than Barrons. I used your theory--save the "best" for last. But I wasn't really motivated to study, and basically the Kaplan (or whatever the big fat book is I paid $60 for)served as a really authoritative paperweight because I never actually got to it. I found the best preparation for the MCAT was taking courses that prepared me for them. I have said this numerous other times, and no one really believes me, but I overloaded myself spring semester with classes because it "made me think smarter." I took literature, philosophy, and art classes to help me read and write better, I took advanced calculus courses to help me analyze better, and I took science courses where i knew the tests were similar to the MCAT. And I made sure to take the April MCAT. It was the best thing I ever did--I was completely in the mindset, and I didn't worry a bit. Honestly, you have six months to go. Don't worry about it for at least another two or three, but strategically plan your spring semester. Its just my two cents. And don't burn Barrons; at least sell it back to a used book store!
     
  9. gooloogooloo

    gooloogooloo Senior Member

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    Dylann sounds like he has a very good plan for studying MCAT. Hmm, i am planning to take the Aug. MCAT. Will it be the most helpful if I take some literature, philosophy and art course to improve my verbal?

    I bought this MCAT prep book called Peterson's Gold Standard MCAT, THe Ultimate Comprehensive Science Review, by Brett L. Ferdinand, MD. (LOL) It's $45 bucks, the thickest and the priciest I could find in BN bookstore. Has anyone ever heard of this book? I briefly read some of its biological science section. Gosh, are all these prep book look like that?
    It says,
    Compact bone contains HAVERSIAN SYSTEM (osteons), interstitial lamellae and circumferential lamellae. Lamellae are usually a concentric deposit (circumferential) of bone matrix around tiny tubes called Haversian canals. Haversian system are the structural units for bone. Haversian systems consist of extensively branching haversian canals that are oriented chiefly longitudinally in long bones. Each canal contains blood vessels and is surrounded by 8 to 15 concentric lamellae and osteocytes.

    Ok, what the heck what that? Firstable I don't remember I have EVER learned these craps. It's interesting that all materials from chem, ochem and phys tested in the MCAT I have learned already. But these bio section's detail questions just drive me nuts. Did you guys really learn all these things in your bio course? Cause I totally do not rermember! (In fact, we didn't learn it.)

    By reading this book, passage like the one I cited above, really taught me nothing. Do you think this is a problem with the book, or the problem with my insufficient biology knowledge? If it's the later one, how will you recommend me to improve it? Study my biology textbook?

    Thanks
     
  10. lamyers

    lamyers Senior Member

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    No, the Haversian system is pure and simple anatomy. You'll get to it in med school, many do it in undergrad. I am an undergrad and I'm in my third course of having it! )anatomy, physiology, histology)
     
  11. Joon Lee

    Joon Lee Junior Member

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    The MCAT is supposedly able to sift through people by presenting them with material they had never seen (stuff they would see in medical school). The prep courses are bright, and just figure they'll teach it to you anyway, and you would have an "unfair" leg up on the competition. Now, the competition prepares as well, and the intent of the designers of the test are shot. So, the party line is that you don't have to know about Haversian systems and their like in the MCAT. However, do YOU want to be ill prepared when you know that amongst the three dudes/dudettes around you and yourself, one of you are getting in (uh....that stat might not hold this year...we'll wait and see). Probably not, so study the book or take the prep course...that's what you figure to do. It's your choice, but the party line is the party line, and I do know people that have scored remarkably well despite this fact. Don't fret over people who took all the stuff as an undergrad...you could score equally or better than them based on these courses or those books. Taking a course and studying will help you lap them on the MCAT, and when you get in, the real test begins. Those undergrad courses become jokes really fast (taking Gross, Histo, Physio, and Biochem together will do that to you...although only ******ed schools seem to put these four together in the same semester).
     
  12. gooloogooloo

    gooloogooloo Senior Member

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    Sorry, but I need to take physiology and anatomy or histology in my undergrad? I don't even have those courses offered in my college! (I am in the college of biological science.) Can you believe that? (They are offered in the college of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences)
     

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