klownzo

2+ Year Member
Nov 5, 2015
193
228
Hi SDN,

My wife has been out of undergrad for 5 years and wants to do a career change from a speech language pathologist to a future MD/DO. She has a B.S. (3.75 oGPA 3.9 sGPA) and an M.S. in speech language pathology (3.96 GPA). She's first generation college, URM (hispanic), bilingual, grew up disadvantaged, tons of EC's including research, self studies, volunteering, etc etc. Basically she has a great chance if she does decent on the MCAT. She wants to start studying for the MCAT but is not sure where to begin. Since it's been 4 years since she took her chem's/bio's/biochem, she needs to do a full content review to relearn everything. Doing a post-bacc is not an option. I've tried looking for the ideal review strategy for her but I find so many conflicting opinions. She is currently considering watching Chad's videos to get a foundation of g-chem,o-chem, bio, and physics down. I've seen people recommending TBR for in depth review but others say its overkill no matter what your current knowledge it. A friend of mine suggested Kaplan for her and another friend suggested TPR... so I'm not sure where she should begin. She simply wants to test at any point before the next cycle so there isn't a time constraint. Any advice/suggestions is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 

Zenabi90

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
593
433
Status
Medical Student
It's great to hear you're so supportive. Her app sounds complete. The only thing is she needs is recent LORs. If she needs new LORs, it would be great to go to the state college and sign up for an upper div physiology course, cell bio course, genetics course, or intro to psych or intro to sociology course. They would be great for MCAT review as well. It's not a formal post-bacc and you only need 2-3 courses for LORs.

Also, double check to make sure she has completed all of the prereqs. Sometimes a course may not qualify as a prereq because it is missing the lab part, or isn't rigorous enough. For example, my university had two sets of org chem courses and only the more rigorous one would qualify for medical school prereqs. I fell into that misstep so I took org chem twice.

First thing I would recommend is to purchase the Complete Official AAMC MCAT Prep Bundle.
Then I would have her take a Saturday, get up at 7, and take the AAMC Sample Exam at 8am. It's far from being a perfect diagnostic but its a great first step. It gets her a feel for the test and timing of it, and the minimum depth of understanding required. The general consensus is that the Sample Exam is easier than both FLs and the real exam, so the way I see it, it'll ease her into the testing mindset.

Kaplan and TPR are generally on an equal level. Its just different styles of presenting concepts.

If you can mix and match and don't want the full TBR set, here's how I'd go:
Physics: TBR + EK1001
Gen Chem: TBR + EK1001
Org Chem: TBR + EK1001
Bio/Biochem: Kaplan
Psych/Soc: Reddit Khan Academy 100pg/300pg notes
CARS: EK Verbal 101 (the old style), TPR Hyperlearning Verbal workbook

If you want the most possible detail, use TBR for Bio and TPR for Psych/Soc.

If she's going to be studying while working, spread it out over 5-6 months and take the exam in March.
If she has the ability to study full-time (8-10 hours a day, 6 days a week), follow one of the given study plans posted here on SDN and she'll be fine. MCATjelly, SN2ed, KoalaT, etc. Read them all through, pick one, and follow through, take the test in January. Testing dates are typically announced in October.
 
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klownzo

2+ Year Member
Nov 5, 2015
193
228
Thanks for taking the time to get back to me! She was completely supportive of me when I decided to do a career change and go to dental school so I'm more than happy to repay her the support.

She is missing a couple of the pre-reqs for a lot of schools but her number 1 choice (University of MN) has told her not to worry about it and just take the MCAT if she's capable of self-studying those subjects. I believe her current plan is to take the MCAT, apply next cycle to a few schools with the competency based prereqs and if she doesn't land any interviews she'll take night classes and get the prereqs done. I know not having all the prereqs will make the MCAT more difficult to study for but she is truly extremely smart and capable of self teaching a couple of the topics.

Thanks for the recommendations, I'll purchase those for her and have her go through them. She works full time so a March MCAT would be a good goal for her. I'll show her those study plans and see if she wants to just do a drawn out version of them since she can't commit the 8-10 hours a day. Thanks again for the help!
 
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Zenabi90

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
593
433
Status
Medical Student
Thanks for taking the time to get back to me! She was completely supportive of me when I decided to do a career change and go to dental school so I'm more than happy to repay her the support.

She is missing a couple of the pre-reqs for a lot of schools but her number 1 choice (University of MN) has told her not to worry about it and just take the MCAT if she's capable of self-studying those subjects. I believe her current plan is to take the MCAT, apply next cycle to a few schools with the competency based prereqs and if she doesn't land any interviews she'll take night classes and get the prereqs done. I know not having all the prereqs will make the MCAT more difficult to study for but she is truly extremely smart and capable of self teaching a couple of the topics.

Thanks for the recommendations, I'll purchase those for her and have her go through them. She works full time so a March MCAT would be a good goal for her. I'll show her those study plans and see if she wants to just do a drawn out version of them since she can't commit the 8-10 hours a day. Thanks again for the help!
Before you go and buy books, I would recommend using Amazon to compare Kaplan and TPR. They have such an amazing return policy, you can get them both and she can see how the material is presented so she can make a choice.

The TBR set you can probably find here on SDN second hand for much cheaper than new.
 

Zenabi90

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
593
433
Status
Medical Student
Also if she is working full time, she's going to want to keep the studying down to a few hours a night. SN2ed recommends one chapter a day for dedicated reviewers, so I would probably stretch it out to 2-3 days per chapter for her. Like day 1, read and learn the material, day 2 would be to review again and do the associated passages and discretes, and then day 3 would be to go over the completed passages and discretes thoroughly, completely with analysis and error logs.

I also suggested night classes merely for academic LORs. I'm sure if she is capable of a Master's, she is capable of self teaching undergrad level material. Best of luck. If you have any other questions, feel free to message me directly.
 

Ad2b

SDN Gold Donor
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2014
2,875
2,691
Status
Pre-Medical
Sn2 was for the exam pre-2015, fyi.

Her pre-reqs are somewhat newer than mine (I took upper division stuff that relied on older pre-req materials so that probably helped).

I'd skip the whole buying any package except AAMC materials. ALL of them - get the bundle pack including the flashcards (they are AAMC flashcards and... helpful!) The q-packs in the bundle are from the pre-2015 exam though it's been said that some times those questions show up again in odd places and even if not, the materials help guide where the weak points are.

If I had to start all over again, I'd probably have gotten the tests from EK ($50 a piece) the bundle pack from AAMC (unsure price... $300???); do all of those, sign up for the question of the day from Kaplan, Varsity Tutors, and everywhere else (they come in email; you can answer online and get the responses)...

It'll probably be helpful since you're a dentist (did I read that right?) since you'll have to somewhat know physio pathways for anesthesia and impact on bp/pp/etc.

Very cool she wants to pursue this... have her sign up here as well!
 
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