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My MCAT 2015 Study Schedule

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by mcatjelly, Feb 25, 2015.

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  1. mcatjelly

    mcatjelly Meow 2+ Year Member

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    *Analysis of my May Exam*

    I'm sharing my study schedule
    (<-- link) that I've spent an embarrassing amount of time creating in hopes that it'll help others formulate their own. :) I started studying about a month ago but not consistently as I'm still settling into the study groove, and am working FT until I switch to prn status for two months at the end of March.

    DISCLAIMER: There are no rest days integrated into the schedule. THIS DOES NOT MEAN that I think this schedule can or should be done without taking a break, because I definitely don't think that. Rather, you don't see any break days because 1) I started studying while working full-time and just used this as a guide to determine what order I did things in/pair up the various resources, and 2) I now work on-call so between that and the spontaneity that is life, I wasn't sure exactly when those rest days would be. If I don't feel like studying one day, I won't push it. If I'm really feeling five 8+ hour study days in a row, I'll go with it. And that's why you see what looks like an only-55 day schedule, because of the lack of pre-planned break days. PLEASE TAKE BREAKS!

    These are the primary materials I ended up using (edited 6/8/15 for clarity):
    • 2015 EK set
    • 2015 TPR Psych/Socio book
    • 2012-2013 TBR set, mostly for practice passages
    • AAMC CARS question packs
    • EK FLs
    • Official Guide 120 questions, taken as a half-length
    • AAMC Official Sample Test
    Optional materials:
    • Kaplan MCAT 528
    • 2015 Kaplan set
    • The rest of the AAMC Question bundles
    • Online Kaplan passages
    • Kaplan sectional exams for CARS, Biochem, and Behavioral Sciences (3 each)
    • 3 Kaplan FLs
    • 3 TPR FLs
    Note: I rarely supplemented an EK chapter with other readings, it was just an option in case I needed the extra review.

    A typical study day: I aimed for 6-8 hours a day, one EK (or TPR for Psych/Socio) chapter each day. After I read EK chapter #1 of the day, I would do all of the respective TBR practice passages untimed. (Warning: this can take awhile--sometimes even a day's worth of studying--depending on how many passages there are. Don't feel obligated to complete all of the relevant passages. Also, for the physics and ochem books, the passage numbers refer to those in the 52 question exam, not the 25 question exam.) I liked to review my answers after each individual passage so that I could apply the knowledge I gained from wrong questions on one passage to subsequent passages, rather than keep making the same mistakes. Then I moved onto the next EK chapter + TBR passages + review.

    As for the 30 minute exams: I found that I did much better on them when I didn't take them immediately after reviewing the relevant TBR passages. Instead, I took the 30 min exams the following day to allow for the material to sink in overnight. Once I started taking them the day after instead of the day of, my scores increased.

    Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!

    SCORES ON STUFF (in order by date of completion):
    (order: C/P | CARS | B/B | P/S | TOTAL)

    Official Guide Half-Length: 21/30 (70%) | 29/30 (97%) | 21/30 (70%) | 23/30 (77%) | 94/120 (78%)

    Official Sample Test: 37/59 (63%) | 47/53 (89%) | 42/59 (71%) | 52/59 (88%) | 177/230 (77%)

    CARS Sample Pack 1a: 43/60 (72%)

    EK FL 1: 38/59 (64%) | 41/53 (77%) | 43/59 (73%) | 49/59 (83%) | 171/230 (74%)

    CARS Sample Pack 1b: 55/60 (92%)

    EK FL 2: 38/59 (64%) | 38/53 (72%) | 37/59 (63%) | 49/59 (83%) | 162/230 (70%)

    CARS Sample Pack 2a: 53/60 (88%)

    EXAM SCORE: 125 | 130 | 125 | 128 | 508
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
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  3. aspiringdocO

    aspiringdocO 2+ Year Member

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    Amazing! Thanks for sharing. :)
     
  4. DrAfrika

    DrAfrika

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    My schedule is very similar to yours.
    Another thing you can do is use TBR for extra practice questions as well if you don't want to use it for review since all these book sets have the same information. So instead of being repetitive, I just use them for extra practice
     
  5. xxabi

    xxabi 2+ Year Member

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    Hi, thanks so much for posting this! This is very similar to what I plan to do, so you're schedule as a guide is super helpful!
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
    mcatjelly likes this.
  6. mcatjelly

    mcatjelly Meow 2+ Year Member

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    Yeah, that's primarily what I'm using them for as well! I picked out various TBR passages that corresponded with Kaplan chapters and put them on the schedule.
     
  7. DrAfrika

    DrAfrika

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    @mcatjelly Yeah thanks for doing that. Saved me the hassle
     
    mcatjelly likes this.
  8. Medaholic Dr

    Medaholic Dr Houston, we've a problem ! 2+ Year Member

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    Vacuum of Space
    You forgot to mention KHAN ACADEMY free online practice questions which is made available by AAMC themselves.
     
  9. mcatjelly

    mcatjelly Meow 2+ Year Member

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    Well, I didn't mention them because I'm not planning on using them haha.
     
    RN->MD and aspiringdocO like this.
  10. Levrone

    Levrone 2+ Year Member

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    After aamc 2015 questions and EK 9th,khan is the next best source of practice passages. IMO you're really missing out not doing them.
     
    Dr. Trenb and RN->MD like this.
  11. mcatjelly

    mcatjelly Meow 2+ Year Member

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    Huh, really? Thanks for letting me know--I'll add them to my study plan, then. :)
     
  12. DrAfrika

    DrAfrika

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    Yeah I definitely agree with @Levrone and @Medaholic Dr . Khan Academy is in collaboration with AAMC. So its in your best interest to use them as much as you can.
     
    mcatjelly likes this.
  13. xxabi

    xxabi 2+ Year Member

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    One question though - how did you get access to the TPR FLs without purchasing their content review set? Only asking cause I have the Kaplan set but would love to get my hands on the TPR FLs without having to throw down another $200 for their set!
     
  14. mcatjelly

    mcatjelly Meow 2+ Year Member

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    TPR provides 3 FLs when you buy even one of their books. :) So I chose to buy their Psych/Socio book for the 3 FLs and then extra practice on that section.
     
    RaspberrySlushy likes this.
  15. tvjclr

    tvjclr

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    Thanks for sharing! I'm still trying to work out my schedule so this will help a lot!!
     
    mcatjelly likes this.
  16. xxabi

    xxabi 2+ Year Member

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    Oh that's great news, that's what I was thinking of doing! Sorry for the multiple questions about exams/FLs, can't tell from Amazon what the books actually come with! I'm assuming you got the Kaplan exams from the respective content review books and the FLs from that as well?
     
  17. mcatjelly

    mcatjelly Meow 2+ Year Member

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    Haha no problem. That would be correct! Each Kaplan book comes with one FL and a small online component (a few passages and videos). The CARS, Biochem, and Behavioral Sciences books each come with 3 section exams for their respective topics. Buying the entire set gives you all of this and 3 FLs.
     
  18. Khaleesi3

    Khaleesi3 2+ Year Member

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    Where can I find the 3 section exams for CARS, Biochem, and BS books? I don't see them in the books and I cant find them online (I only see the videos, two passages/subject, and the 3 FLs).
     
  19. dboyhaaan

    dboyhaaan 2+ Year Member

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    Saw your post on /r/premed. Just wanted to let everyone know this schedule is the real deal!
     
    mcatjelly likes this.
  20. drkobebryant

    drkobebryant 2+ Year Member

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    Nice schedule. I too work in the hospital so I completely understand the variance in productivity for the days you work.

    Overall very strong content condensed schedule. I find that even though if I'm working or am on a rest day, I think it is extremely beneficial to getting in a routine of spending at least a couple minutes to half hour running through hormones, physics formulas, and some bio notes. This way it could help with retention without it feeling so painful. Its been working for me thus far, just thought it might help others! Should work very nicely in conjunction with this schedule.

    Sent from my HTC6525LVW using Tapatalk
     
    theaiskey likes this.
  21. mcatjelly

    mcatjelly Meow 2+ Year Member

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    Weird--I thought I had already answered this, sorry! When you go to the kaptest site, under "My Courses" on the left-hand side, there is a list of the books you registered. Make sure you registered the three books individually (CARS, Biochem, and Behavioral Sciences), not just the set as a whole. So, click on the *individual* books' "courses" and that should be where the section tests are located. If you still don't see them, call Kaplan.

    Thanks! I find that I'm still fine-tuning it as I go along, as I'm starting to prefer different books for different subjects.

    And thanks for pro-tip. Helpful because there are days I get home from work and know I don't have the energy/mental capacity to study, but I really should be doing *something*. How exactly are you doing this review/what are you using for it?
     
  22. allantois

    allantois 2+ Year Member

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    I'm sorry I'm having a hard time understanding here:

    If each Kaplan book comes only with one section FL, how do you get 3 FL total?
     
  23. kittycat007

    kittycat007 2+ Year Member

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    Hi where did you get these things?
    • 3 Kaplan CARS exams
    • 3 Kaplan Biochem exams
    • 3 Kaplan Behavioral Sciences exams
    I am also confused as to how you get a 10 on your CARS section. You mean old verbal tests?
     
  24. Rozayy

    Rozayy 2+ Year Member

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    When you buy the Kaplan full set you get three full length tests and 3 sectional tests for cars, biochem and behavioral sections. If you buy for example the cars book only then you get only the cars section exams
     
    mcatjelly likes this.
  25. Khaleesi3

    Khaleesi3 2+ Year Member

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    Ah ok, I only registered the books as a set, instead of doing them individually. Thanks for your help!
     
    mcatjelly likes this.
  26. drkobebryant

    drkobebryant 2+ Year Member

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    I have flashcards through all the hormones and I go through those every day. I also memorize all the physics formulas on a little word doc I made earlier. In addition, I took notes on all the ek bio books. So I just read those in the morning or night. Takes about 45 min-hr. But I don't like to call that studying lol.

    Sent from my HTC6525LVW using Tapatalk
     
    FCMike11 and mcatjelly like this.
  27. mcatjelly

    mcatjelly Meow 2+ Year Member

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    That would be because I didn't make any sense. Let me revise: If you buy their Advanced MCAT 528 book, you get one FL. It's actually the only book that comes with a FL. If you buy a CARS, biochem, or behavioral sciences book, you get 3 of their respective section tests. When you buy the entire set of books, you get 3 FLs and all of those sectional exams.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    Refer to above.

    And yes, I mean that I got a 10 on old verbal tests (I was contemplating taking the MCAT this time last year). There are no huge differences between the old and new verbal sections.
     
    allantois likes this.
  28. mcatjelly

    mcatjelly Meow 2+ Year Member

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    If anyone's curious, I reworked the schedule a bit... edit's in the first post.
     
    theaiskey and allantois like this.
  29. allantois

    allantois 2+ Year Member

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    Thank you for the update to the schedule.
    I am a little bit wary of using TBR passages since they are written for the old test, what other resources do you think could be good to use instead of TBR passages or am I being unreasonable here?

    Also, did you throw out Kaplan 528 book out of materials that you are using?

    Another question :)
    For someone who is taking MCAT for the first time and just finished all pre-requisites: what would you say is the ideal time for content review? I know there are study schedules advocating for doing FLs from day one, but I'm not convinced that's the best way to do it for me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
  30. hey thanks for the schedule! I've been trying to set up one for myself but I was struggling.
    Anyways, I'm taking MCAT in Fall 2016, should I start study this summer? or should I start now?
    I just bought Kaplan set but should I buy EK and TPR too? Any ideas which one is better?
    Oh and if anyone's planning to have a study buddy online to be motivated, please pm me!
    Wish you guys the best!
     
    OiMama likes this.
  31. mcatjelly

    mcatjelly Meow 2+ Year Member

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    I definitely see where you're coming from re: the TBR passages being written for the old MCAT. My stance is this: The best way to learn content is through doing timed passages, not discretes, because you need to maximize the amount or practice you get learning how to quickly glean information from a passage and applying it to what you already know. Right now, the only passages we have are from KA, TPR (which isn't even that many), Kaplan (again: barely any), EK's 30 minute exams (which I think are awesome), and AAMC's question packs (also written for old exam). That doesn't leave us with many options for applying content from a lecture we just read to an MCAT 2015 passage. So for the sole purpose of working out equations and theories I just read, I think using TBR is fine. But that's just my opinion!

    I didn't throw out the Kaplan 528 book... yet. We'll see how I feel about strategy once I'm done with content review. Having now converted to EK, I'm thinking I won't need it as their books are rife with strategy, but who knows.

    What exactly do you mean by ideal time? Personally, I don't think I would spent more than 4-6 (solid) weeks on just content review, depending on your comfort with the content and time left before test day.

    As for FLs while reviewing content... I do think it's important that you get early exposure to the exam. I didn't include any FLs early on because I've already taken two back when I thought I was going to take the old one a year ago. So I would recommend taking a diagnostic within the first few weeks of studying. However, as long as you're getting practice with timed passages throughout your content review, I think it'd be a waste of what few good FLs we have available to take them too early on. Just my opinion. though!
     
    newbeginnings and allantois like this.
  32. mcatjelly

    mcatjelly Meow 2+ Year Member

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    Oh my gosh, DO NOT start now. Wait until the semester is over, and then dive in.

    EK vs. TPR depends on your comfort level with the content. TPR is very dense, EK is very concise, and both have pretty good strategy.
     
    KurlySueIsWho and docwannabe1008 like this.
  33. newbeginnings

    newbeginnings

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    Just a note, many people are saying that the AAMC question bundles are pulled from the old FL's/SA's.. so might be a bit repetitive if you're doing both.
     
  34. mcatjelly

    mcatjelly Meow 2+ Year Member

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    True that. I think I included the old FLs in my study plan before I had found that out--thanks for pointing that out!
     
    newbeginnings likes this.
  35. _Nymeria_

    _Nymeria_ 2+ Year Member

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    Hey Everyone. I procrastinated some studying and updated my schedule to include the SN2ed and @mcatjelly's plan. I tried to eliminate some of the physics not covered in the new MCAT and am open to suggestions! I'll probably combine some of the days if I can get through the chapters quicker than expected.

    Good Luck Everyone!
     

    Attached Files:

  36. mcatjelly

    mcatjelly Meow 2+ Year Member

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    Damn, this looks great!
     
  37. _Nymeria_

    _Nymeria_ 2+ Year Member

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    Haha thanks! Yours was really helpful. Mine has been a work in progress for awhile! I've been meaning to combine the SN2 and Kaplan stuff for a bit since I had the SN2 stuff before the new test and now have the Kaplan materials.
     
    mcatjelly likes this.
  38. dboyhaaan

    dboyhaaan 2+ Year Member

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    I really like your setup but can it be done with the 2015 EK set?
     
  39. _Nymeria_

    _Nymeria_ 2+ Year Member

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    I'm sure it could! I just went with the materials I have now. @mcatjelly has hers set up for the EK2015 series (just click the second tab at the bottom of her excel document). Which, honestly might be better. I personally need a more in depth review than the EK series.
     
    dboyhaaan likes this.
  40. _Nymeria_

    _Nymeria_ 2+ Year Member

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    I made some answer sheets for the EK1001 and Bio In-Class exams too, so you can resell the books.
     

    Attached Files:

  41. mcatjelly

    mcatjelly Meow 2+ Year Member

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    Also, to anyone using my schedule, I updated my first post with my actual day-to-day schedule now that I'm no longer working full-time.
     
  42. Can I ask a probably dumb question. For example, for EK physics chapters 1 and 2, your corresponding TBR sections are as follows:
    EK Physics 1: TBR Sections 1-2
    EK Physics 2: TBR Sections 2-4

    However, for the TBR Passages on those days, you have
    EK Physics 1: Physics Section 1: all; Section 2: I-V; Section 4: IV
    EK Physics 2: Physics Section 3: all; Section 2: VI-VII; and Section 5: IV and VII

    Why are you doing TBR Passages in section 4 for EK Physics Chapter 1 when the only corresponding TBR sections you have are 1-2? And why are you doing TBR passages in section 5 for EK physics chapter 2 when the only corresponding TBR sections you have are 2-4? Not sure if this makes sense or I am missing something. Any info would be greatly appreciated. GREAT schedule by the way :)
     
  43. newbeginnings

    newbeginnings

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    Just wanted to say thanks again @mcatjelly for sharing this to everyone here. I like the Kaplan to TBR conversion table. Hope good karma comes your way :)
     
  44. mcatjelly

    mcatjelly Meow 2+ Year Member

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    Lolz, not a dumb question at all--I guess I didn't pay enough attention when I was crossing over from Kaplan to EK. I've been noticing that, but I've been too lazy to change it. :p
    I'll look over it again tomorrow.

    I can say that for EK Physics 1 you do need to read the last half of TBR Section 4, which talks about torque and rotational equilibrium (skip the part on momentum). Hence the practice passages for that chapter.
     
    KurlySueIsWho likes this.
  45. allantois

    allantois 2+ Year Member

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    This schedule makes me feel bad for not getting TBR set.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
    dakoney likes this.
  46. dboyhaaan

    dboyhaaan 2+ Year Member

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  47. I was just curious. I haven't gone through my old TBR books to match with MCAT so in all honestly they might all match up. Thanks for the response though and thanks again for your schedule!
     
  48. I think doing a few FL's before finishing content review is a great idea. It gets you a feel for how the test will be early on and (imo) doing FL's teaches you the importance of doing problems. I am using @mcatjelly's schedule and modifying it to add a few FL's in the beginning. I am also spreading it out so I only have to do 1 chapter a day.
     
  49. Medicine4The3rdW

    Medicine4The3rdW

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    Hi guys,

    I made a schedule based on SN2ed's original 4 Month schedule but modified it for ExamKrackers:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8v7kM09WRqsdWl6RWdLcVBlcDA/view?usp=sharing

    In addition I will also be using GS tests to fill the last FL's out towards the end (or maybe sprinkle throughout?)

    Please check it out and let me know if you would change anything or add anything! I will be supplementing the chapters with Khan Academy's videos throughout to get a visual of everything being worked out/written out.


    Main Review Content:
    EK 9th Ed. 2015
    BR (doesn't matter the year, I am using them for additional questions/passages)
    Khan Academy
    1001 EK Series + Khan questions + BR questions/passages

    Tests:
    4 TPR tests
    Maybe some GS tests (they sell a bundle of 10 for 150...not bad o.o)
    AAMC Tests and some tests that have been suggested on this thread.

    and the MCAT date will have to be modified based on the actual MCAT date xD

    Cheers! :)

    Edit* I forgot to mention that the passages/questions will also come from TPR Verbal and Science workbooks. <-- these two books are VERY important! I think EK is enough for the content review, but never skimp on questions, get familiar with as many questions as you can and as many tests you can afford as you can.

    Edit2* Based on the great schedules submitted above I made another for people using EK/TBR/TPR (No Kaplan):

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8v7kM09WRqsRUtfUkxpM2VaVTQ/view?usp=sharing

    please advise me if I should be doing anything else?
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
    Amara101, ant_lyn, diegomsong and 3 others like this.
  50. Medicine4The3rdW

    Medicine4The3rdW

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    Sorry for the double post, but SN2ed talked about this in one of his posts:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/why-diagnostic-tests-are-worthless.557231/


    Thank you!!!
     
    BoomBoom1232 likes this.
  51. dboyhaaan

    dboyhaaan 2+ Year Member

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