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My MCAT Bio Journey Using Campbell's (a daily journal)

YoungProdigy

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7+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2012
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Hey guys,

I plan on beginning my journey to MCAT Biology mastery by almost re-reading Campbell's from the beginning to about chapter 22, and then some select chapters after that. I know many of you will be against this idea, but I think it's important for me to go back and at least understand the key points of each of these chapters because I really want the MCAT review books to actually be a review for me. I think this key point really separates those who do well on the test from those who don't. And since I'm almost certain that I'm going to feel like giving up multiple times, I'm hoping a combination of this "journal" and your comments will help me to keep grinding.

A little about me: I have a pretty packed schedule with work and school, but I'm determined to find time to get this project done in a decent amount of time. I'm going into my second year of uni, so while I do understand that time is on my side, I'm going to make damn sure that it doesn't silently slither away from me, hence this project. Hopefully, by the time I complete my goal, I will truly be able to review any and every MCAT biology book without breaking a sweat (or shedding a tear...). So wish me luck and feel free to chime in with any opinions/advice on what I'm doing, and/or letting me know what you're up to.

If you've made it this far, I know I can count on you to keep grinding with me, so let's get it. :diebanana:
 
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YoungProdigy

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Feb 17, 2012
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I've already gone through chapters 1-4, so I'm going to begin this journal with chapter 5. Whiteboard and I are best friends, so almost all of my notes are going to be on there. Therefore, I will be posting images of whiteboards with my handwriting, so here's to hoping they're legible!

I'm also debating writing side notes on the PDF textbook pages via Surface Pro 3 in conjunction with whiteboard notes so that you'll really be able to see what I'm doing, but I'm not sure if that will break any copyright laws...anyone know?
 
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YoungProdigy

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Feb 17, 2012
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So frustrated. I've been able to only finish chapter 5 and start chapter 6. Work is killing me. I've decided to get a head start on my upcoming courses this semester, so I expect my review pace to be even slower, but it is what it is, I guess... Someone please tell me that I should continue to do this. There's just so much damn info, I feel like even if I re-learn some material now, I'll forget it after a couple of months.

Also, thinking about just solely using Anki as my primary means of content learning and using whiteboards as my secondary review, which is the opposite of what I'm doing right now.
 
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El-Rami

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Jun 6, 2015
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Why not stick to content review books and divide up your schedule to do practice passages and questions consistently? The questions will let you do the majority of your test-related review by making you actually understand concepts while the books will serve as a nice, succinct refresher and also as a go-to whenever you miss a problem and realize you need to focus on a certain concept more. It's far more efficient than systematically trying to understand every last nugget of knowledge. I am personally someone with an excellent memory (others would describe it as 'photographic' even) yet I simply cannot do what you're doing and be successful for the MCAT. Focus more on succinct content review divided over a reasonable amount of time (at least 3 months) along with consistent working of practice problems (discrete AND passage-based) and detailed review of explanations. Chances are you'll become more familiar and develop an intuitive grasp of everything much quicker than reading and rehearsal alone. In behavioral sciences (which you'll study for the MCAT) you'll learn that analyzing information rather than rehearsing it will allow more efficient storage of information in LTM.
 
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basophilic

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May 30, 2015
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Agree with the above.
If you're far off from your test, practice thoroughly analyzing research articles in the bio and social sciences and carefully work through as many experimental passages as possible. Then when you get to dedicated study, do the TBR Bio books with all their passages. Learning to think in and enjoy the scientific process is a way better skill in the long-term than knowing little details in bio
 
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