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Need help on a MCAT study plan

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by fastfingers, May 17, 2008.

  1. fastfingers

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    It's summertime, so now I feel obligated to start studying for the MCAT already. I read a lot of threads about how to study, but it seems like a lot of it is based on what they personally need. I was hoping somebody could suggest some books for me to read on to study for the MCATS.

    I just finished taking general biology, so is it the right time to practice on biology? I feel like a lot of my biology is very shaky (especially how energy is metabolize and transports). Is there a good book that can cover a lot of general information and also provide good practice? There's a lot of biology that I tend to forget, so should I buy a book for more concept and another for practice? If so, what books? I heard the 1001 bio EK book is good, but has lots of errors. Would it still be recommended?

    I also finished intro chemistry. I felt the course was very in-depth, but we might not have covered every topic. What book might be good for me to make sure I know everything I need to know and also work on chem.

    As for verbal, I bought the 101 verbal book. It looks great. However, I was hoping for a section of strategies. Do I need another book for verbal strategy or should practice be sufficient.


    I have plenty of time till the MCATS. I basically have an entire summer to work on just gen bio, chem and verbal, so my study plan doesn't need to be a speedy one.

    Any plans?
     
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  3. SN2ed

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    Regardless of what set of books you end up getting, you will have to get more practice material. I suggest getting EK's set of books for content review, those helped me the most. They have some practice problems as well. Again, you need far more practice material they what is offered.

    Verbal strategy is a tricky thing and there's no one style that's the best. Read the verbal threads around here for advice.

    I would still recommend the 1001 Bio book. I don't think there are that many errors and I don't remember reading about 1001 Bio having more errors than usual.

    What I did was do content review for 2 months while doing tons of practice problems. Then in the third month I only went through practice MCATs and studied up on my weaknesses.
     
  4. fastfingers

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    Is the 1001 Bio book for content review or just practice? If it's just practice, which is the EK bio content review book.
     
  5. SN2ed

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    The EK 1001 Bio book is composed solely of practice problems. The EK bio book is the content review book, but it also has a set of questions and passages per lesson. However, the EK bio book does NOT have enough practice problems.
     
  6. fastfingers

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    alright thanks. I think i'll get both EK bio books. What about for chem? is the EK book for chem good?
     
  7. fastfingers

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    also, has EK updated their books for the new MCAT?(the shorter test). My verbal book is still an 85 min test.
     
  8. rocuronium

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    I just bought the verbal book, and it still has the 85 min tests.

    I have bought all of the EK stuff, and I think it is all very helpful. I am currently working through the 1001 books for chem and physics, and it's really teaching me a lot.

    Good luck with the studying!
     
  9. Bond03

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    Hey SN2ed,

    So I basically want to have a similar study schedule to yours ( I have 3 months left till my MCAT). Learn material for 2 months and do tons of practice during that time and spend the last month doing only MCAT practice exams. So how would you recommend the learning part, did you read one lecture/day and do practice Q's right after or did you read a couple of lectures/day and then spend the next day doing just practice Q's? Ihave access to PR, Kaplan and Examkrackers, which would you recommend?

    Thanks :)
     
  10. SN2ed

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    No, I don't think the EK books have been updated to reflect the CBT, but I haven't personally seen the newest versions. Even if they don't, it doesn't matter. When using the VR 101, I did ~40 questions at a time with a 60 min time limit. A good thing about going this way is that you'll have more practice FL verbals. Trust me, that is always a good thing. For practice material I used the EK 1001 series, EK mini-MCAT, and Kaplan's online resources.

    Bond03: Well I didn't do exactly what I'm about to tell you, but this is what I came up with after analyzing how the MCAT went. Literally right after the MCAT, I took about a week and analyzed everything I did right and wrong just in case I had to retake. Here's my new plan:

    I suggest using EK's books for content review. To me, EK's books were far better than the Kaplan books. I never looked at the TPR, but from what I've heard, they sound similar to the Kaplan stuff. The first thing you should do is go through and find out how many lessions/chapters there are per EK study book. Next, design a schedule so that you finish the content review in two week. Make sure you follow you schedule. After that, plan to do 1 FL worth of verbal everyday or every other day if you don't have enough material. If you still don't have enough material for every other day, you need more verbal practice material. Remember, do NOT use any of the practice material from the AAMC practice tests until you take them.

    At the start of the day, do a VR FL. Next, go through your lession and do all the problems that are associated with it. Take a short break. Review your lession problems. Pound practice problems until your hand is immobile. Grab something to bit down on and do more practice problems. Make sure these practice problems are ALL TIMED. You should review your VR the day after, i.e. not the same day. Plug in the VR review after you review your lesson problems. Also, make sure you THOROUGHLY analyze all your practice problems (it should take 2-3x longer than doing the problems). Over the weekend, reread all your lessons on one day and continue doing practice problems. The other weekend, skim through the lessions for the coming week and practice problems. This should go on for about 2 months.

    The last month is crunch time. Take a couple day break from studying enitrely. I mean absolutely NO MCAT material. Once the break is over, alternate between taking an MCAT one day and break another. On your break day, analyze the MCAT you took. Again, on both days, do more practice problems.
     
  11. fastfingers

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    Sorry I'm not familiar with abbreviations. What does FL stand for? When you say VR lessons, do you mean the EK verbal book with lessons in it?
     
  12. fastfingers

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    So right now, is it best for me to use the 101 MCAT verbal and the EK Verbal book?
     
  13. futuredoctor10

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    FL = full-lengths... referring to full-length practice exams
     
  14. juelz721

    juelz721 Junior Member

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    Hi!!!
    ExamKrackers for content!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Practice test online for practice. I liked to take those 2 x each. Review all your right and wrong answers after each test as well.

    :) stop stressing out
     
  15. fastfingers

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    great. i think i'll get the examkracker complete study package. should i get the audio osmosis also?
     
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  17. sistahnik

    sistahnik Senior Member

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    I am so confused also as to how to go about studying. It seems as though a lot of ppl see errors in EK which scares the heck out of me since I want to use the study package. They also have a schedule that I have seen and it outlines what to do each day right up until the exam week. Does all this stuff (books) you guys are suggesting come in the study package (FL tests, content review, etc.)? It just seems like so much to put together and I feel like I'm missing something. I already took the exam once and the second time is going to be the last for me. :eek: I just don't want to have unnecessary materials.
     

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