Doc.Holliday

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so whats BS and what is really helpful?? with all of you studying for this april's test, shed some light as to which materials are sitting unused at your desk, and which ones are falling apart from incessant page turning!

im just starting to get prepared for my 3 month mcat study binge this summer. so far i only have Kaplan's comprehensive review. what else is absolutely needed? the aamc tests i'm sure, but any more? which company, kaplan, tpr, or ek has the most accurate material, but absolutely wouldnt underprepare. id rather learn too much than too little, so which books are spot on. im thinking of getting a book for each section. (and i personally think any sort of flash card or audio stuff is a waste of my time, so leave that out if you were thinking of it.) thanks so much.
 

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Doc.Holliday said:
so whats BS and what is really helpful?? with all of you studying for this april's test, shed some light as to which materials are sitting unused at your desk, and which ones are falling apart from incessant page turning!

im just starting to get prepared for my 3 month mcat study binge this summer. so far i only have Kaplan's comprehensive review. what else is absolutely needed? the aamc tests i'm sure, but any more? which company, kaplan, tpr, or ek has the most accurate material, but absolutely wouldnt underprepare. id rather learn too much than too little, so which books are spot on. im thinking of getting a book for each section. (and i personally think any sort of flash card or audio stuff is a waste of my time, so leave that out if you were thinking of it.) thanks so much.
i think the EK 1001 questions are good for pounding the information in your head. i suggest that after studying a particular chapter in the review book... use the EK 1001 book and do the corresponding problems to help solidify the info. you don't have to necessarily use the EK review books... that's a matter of preference. However, the EK verbal review is vital since they go over a couple of great strategies on how to approach the verbal section.
 

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I think EK has the best material...and it only gives you the material required for the MCAT. I looked into both EK, Kaplan, and PR before starting to study last spring and definitely EK was the best choice. It seems that Kaplan and PR include extra information that you probably will not see on the MCAT...for me, the less information to cram with, the better. Anyway, I think EK all the way.

The only problem with EK is that it doesn't really EXPLAIN things in detail...you kinda have to know what you're doing (i.e.--if you paid attention during bio, inorgo chem, orgo chem, and physics you should know what's going on). Sometimes EK doesn't explain at all so I had to figure it out on my own...anyway I self studied with EK and AAMC tests only (not EK practice tests...too 'unlike' the real thing) and scored in the 96% percentile on MCAT. Good luck to you! :luck:
 

danielle53181

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Hi there,
I agree with the others about this -- EK is definitely the way to go. I have both Kaplan materials (the review notes from the class prep) and EK material, and EK definitely shows you how you should be thinking about the science -- how to make it more intuitive. Kaplan reviews the basics, but these are things you probably already learned but still may not have developed the intuition needed for MCAT-style testing. Also, some of the practice questions in the EK review books are quite challenging (probably more so than you will see on the real test), which is how I like to test myself. Either way, as long as you don't mark on them you can always resell them on ebay, so I would say definitely get the study package. Good luck!
 
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Doc.Holliday

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EK kinda already had me sold on their specific subject books. but what would be better to get first, the subject reviews or the 1001 Qs? i figure i'll get one or the other for every subject and buy the second only for subjects i need extra work on.

also, which company's tests are most realistic? and i suppose whose explanations are more thorough?
 

danielle53181

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Doc.Holliday said:
EK kinda already had me sold on their specific subject books. but what would be better to get first, the subject reviews or the 1001 Qs? i figure i'll get one or the other for every subject and buy the second only for subjects i need extra work on.

also, which companies tests are most realistic? and i suppose whose explanations are more thorough?
Hmm... I would definitely get the subject reviews as they have 30-minute MCAT-passage style exams for each of the lectures presented in the book (I think they test your understanding fairly well) -- there are also quizzes at the end of each lecture that test whether you really understand the lecture in more than just a superficial regurgitate to me what I just told you way. The 1001 questions range from "gimme questions" that test your basic basic knowledge to questions that will actually gauge your understanding fairly accurately (in my opinion). I have both 1001 questions and the subject reviews so anything that I didn't feel was practiced with enough questions in the review I can reinforce with the 1001 q's. As for tests -- I can only give an opinion based on what I have heard -- AAMC tests, of course, are the only tests that can claim to be truly accurate (although the earlier ones(3R) are easier apparently). Kaplan claims their tests may be a bit more difficult than the actual MCAT might be -- not sure about examkrackers as I have not used their full lengths yet (i have 2), but I plan on using them and their mini mcats as I think their practice questions are substantially more challenging than Kaplan's review note practice questions So, I would say based on my review experience with examkrackers questions so far, their full lengths are likely more difficult than the real MCAT as well. However, I actually prefer practice materials to be more difficult than the real thing. Perhaps someone who has taken the real test could give more insight to that question.
 

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The most realistic tests are those from the AAMC...those are the only ones I used when I studied for the MCAT. Kaplan and EK are typically too hard, and Princeton is typically too easy (I tried all three). Again, your best bet is to go with the practice tests made by the people who administer the MCAT, the AAMC. Good luck to you! :luck:
 

myodana

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- kaplan comprehensive (OR examkrackers subject reviews - depends on personal preference)
- 1001 questions for your weaker areas
- ALL of the AAMC tests (just pay the $$$ and get the full membership - then you can have all the tests, answers, and get your tests scored immediately)
- your notes from college if they're any good. someone else's if they're not.
- flash cards that you MAKE YOURSELF. then you have a good review writing out the cards! don't buy cards, that's silly.
- a timer (i used the alarm on my cell phone to time most of my practice tests)
- a pencil and a good eraser
 

medanthgirl

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i'm taking the august mcat and I went crazy a few months ago on ebay and got everything, PR, EK, Kaplan, and Berkeley. basically b/c i thought i was going to have so much time. anyways, now that i've been studying for about 2 months i find myself using EK and PR 95% of the time. EK is so concise and quick and straightforward, and then PR just feels more well rounded to me. PR's books are easy to read i think, and i like that aspect.

and no, i'm not an mcat study freak, i work 60 hrs/wk and only have maybe 5-6 hours a week to devote to mcat, so i had to get started now. :(
 
4

44466

I'm also self-studying for the August MCAT, and I recently got the Kaplan Comprehensive Review. The thread has been pretty helpful but I was wondering if you guys had any tips on how you spent your time studying for it and how you divided your time up on the sections, etc...
 

aamartin81

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#41 Grey Street said:
I'm also self-studying for the August MCAT, and I recently got the Kaplan Comprehensive Review. The thread has been pretty helpful but I was wondering if you guys had any tips on how you spent your time studying for it and how you divided your time up on the sections, etc...
I would make it a 14-15 week program. I followed the EK 10 week schedule with an extra four weeks for review. During the 10 weeks of study, I reviewed each lesson and completed the accompanying chapter problems. There is a week break in the middle. I took a few days off after the 10 week schedule and then began to do 2 sections of 1001 questions per day while reviewing each section after completion. My practice scores have recently gone up significantly following the 1001 sections. I will finish about a week and a half before the MCAT. Whatever you do, be sure to create a schedule and stick to it. The downside... being a hermit for a 3 month period (thankfully the winter for me)!

Good luck,

Adam
 

tank you

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also, if u can, try to get the kaplan topicals from someone. they are very difficult, comparable to the 30-min EK exams, but are great practice. my PS score has improved by 3 points since i started using the topicals.