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Need ADVICE: Januray MCAT or March MCAT?

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by Marjan Islam, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. Marjan Islam

    2+ Year Member

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    So I'm in Kaplan, and have been doing their course fairly thoroughly, and my goal is to complete everything they have to offer (online material primarily, though I have read their books thoroughly as well). My dilemma now is... I didn't fully RESEARCH the books before studying and don't know if I've been slighted. I heard EK was good, and went through the EK sets (not the 1001 questions, the regular) about twice or three times, and then am doing all Kaplan.

    Ever since joining this forum however, I learned that Berkley/TPR are best for physics and gen. chem, while Verbal is best with EK 101 Passages. Now I didn't use any of these, and I feel slighted for missing out on them by using other books!

    My plan is to complete all the Kaplan work (I have all the Physical Science/Biological Science/Verbal Reasoning Tests they have ALL the the END of the course to do) and see how I fare and THEN decide to take the January MCAT (which I'm already registered for).

    I feel fairly confused with complex Physics passages, even after doing EK and Kaplan, which is why I feel like I should go back and do a TPR review of it. But, with the test only 2 months away, I'm not sure I'll have enough time doing the review, while aiming to take 20 practice tests prior, and some 20 PS/BS/VR sections (combined). Time seems to be an issue I suppose, I don't know how well I'll do on these... I'll find out soon. I've been doing fairly well on the topicals/subject tests/quizzes etc. (but these aren't timed!)

    So why do I want to take the January test so bad? Well, if I screw up, I'll be able to retake it March and still get my scores in for early application. I know people say take the test when you FEEL ready, which I have not yet acertained, but will fairly soon. I plan to study some 8 hours a day for the next 60 days, haha. Don't know how that'll go down, but I'd love to come close (winter break + very light class load next semester). I'll decide whether or not to push the test back to March, and then if I screw up THEN, I guess I can take it May and still just barely cut it for early application. It all depends on how I fare when doing these practice tests in the coming weeks. Another reason I want to take the January test is because I plan to do some heavy volunteering/shadowing this coming semester (last one before I graduate and apply!!) so it'd be great not to have to study for the MCAT while doing that.

    What do you guys think of my plan? I know it looks like I've made up my mind, but it's always great to hear other people's input/advice. How fast does the March seats get booked? I don't want to feel like I'm not ready and then realize it took me too long to realize it and not have the chance for the March exam :(
     
  2. bjb305

    10+ Year Member

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    hey i'm actually a kaplan teacher so maybe i can help ya out..
    one thing you said was that the march one you could still get your score out for early applications.. well don't worry about that.. you can take the MCAT in june and july and your application will still be early. reason being is that you can send the primary in BEFORE you get your MCAT score back so taking the test in june or july WILL NOT hinder your chances anywhere.. HOWEVER, if you are using your score to determine where you are applying, then yea you'd wanna take it earlier..
    anyway, as for the kaplan material, it's quite impressive that you are trying to get everything done because that's a LOT of stuff so i commend you on that.. my question is this, have you done the AAMC practice tests?? what i've noticed with kaplan is that while the question styles are the same and they are testing the same concepts, the questions that kaplan creates on average will be a bit more difficult than what the AAMC will give you on the real thing. benefit of this is that if you can do the kaplan ones, you can do ANY of the questions you'll see on test day. now with this, i am not saying you will see a big score jump from your kaplan test scores to the real thing, it shoudl be pretty accurate (first time i took it, my best kaplan score was 33 and i got a 34)
    as for the timing, you may be spending too much time on the calculating questions.. i had thsi problem and was always rushed in the physical section. try and be more conscious of how much time you take to calculate a problem and if it's a lot, just save those for last
    so when should you take it? personally i think it's best to take it ONCE and do the best you can that one time.. so don't go into the january test with the attitude of "eh well if i don't do great i will just take it again" cause you'll just be setting yourself up for failure.. just take it when your practice scores are around what your goal is
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Marjan Islam

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    Thanks for the input. Yeah, the AAMC tests are something I haven't gotten to yet. With around 60 days to go, I'll start taking many more Kaplan and AAMC practice tests in the coming weeks (around December 20th) and see how I do after I take a good few. The scores on these will let me determine if January is the right date for me. I only took one Kaplan FL and made a 31, which is around what I want to make, but I got 20 wrong on the PS section and still managed a 10. I felt the scores were inflated a bit more, but I'll take many more to get a general consensus.
     
  4. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    If you do a search for Kaplan Vs AAMC as far as predicting real scores.....youll find that an overwhelming consensus is that AAMC is WAYYYYYYY better at predicting scores. To the point where most people recommend that the only test you use to gauge your predicted score is the AAMC tests.

    I took kaplan tests for practice questions, but completely ignored the scores that I got. THe only thing that I cared about was the AAMC and the scores I got on there. It ended up being very accurate. My last AAMC scores were around a 27 and i got a 28 on the real thing.

    So yea, i would recommend taking the kaplan ones just for practice, and the AAMC in real conditions and use those outcomes as a way to gauge your score on the real deal.
     
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  5. alibai3ah

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    Yes the kaplan tests are far more inflated, so don't take those for the score, just take em for practice. The AAMC will tell you what you get on the real thing. As far as practice. Yes I used BR/Kaplan for the sciences, and that helped alot. And for verbal, I have heard EK 101 is great. So if you can get a hold of BR books (especially PS) go for it! more practice is better. If you cannot get a hold of these books, don't fret, you are still diong alot with kaplan, and they do prepare you well.
     
  6. OP
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    Marjan Islam

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    Yeah, I rescheduled to March 28th. Also ordered the BR Physics and Gen. Chem. books, and have the EK 101 passages. I think I made the right choice, now to get through!
     

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