78954bo

2+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2019
56
13
Hi guys. I am really freaking out over the mcat. I have finished all the UWorld and AAMC stuff. However, I am still scoring at a 503 on the MCAT. I'd like to at least get a 508. I only did UWorld and AAMC once. Maybe I should do them 2x? My major problem is time management and accountability. I spend hours reviewing 10 questions, sometimes because I don't know the material, so I do a google search, which leads to multiple google searches for better understanding.



I also feel that I am lacking in C/P and especially B/B content.



I feel that I should use a Prep course to help me improve my studying and strengthen myself. Looking into Altius Test Prep.... Any advice? Please and thank you.
 

Cornfed101

2+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2017
2,556
5,053
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Why are you missing questions? Is it mostly content, trouble finding info in passage, math error, something else? You have to nail down why you are stuck to be able to improve. It sounds like you need to do more content. This can either be done with prep books or videos like KA. You need to figure out what learning style works best for you.

If you think a prep course would be beneficial then go for it. I haven’t heard of a ton of people doing a course with Altius. What made you consider them? I used MCAT Self Prep for structure and it worked well for me. You could check them out without risk cause the majority of stuff there is free.

I would recommend going through the AAMC questions again, but not before doing more content
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

MedSchoolTutors

Top MCAT/USMLE/COMLEX Tutors Answer Your Questions
Vendor
2+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2019
1,323
1,245
www.medschooltutors.com
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
  2. Resident [Any Field]
  3. Attending Physician
It sounds like you need some organization and a method.

Every question you review should be done the same way. Did you get it right? Did you understand the concept? If not, then read the answer explanations. If you are still lost, then you should have a core set of resources that move from review to learn.

For example, if you got a question about cardiac physiology wrong and you do not know why, move to the answer explanation. If that doesn't help, move to your chosen book (EK for example). If that doesn't work, then go to Khan Academy. And only if that doesn't work do you start expanding your searches. Once you've hit that point, you likely require a full-scale review of that topic.

David D, MD - USMLE and MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors
 

PlsLetMeIn21

2+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2017
698
461
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
If you are struggling with C/P and B/B then the best thing you can possibly do is get the TBR books, or if you are in Cali take their class. They are the watermark in those two particular areas.

Doing UWorld is beneficial if you know your stuff well, and that's where TBR will pay dividends. Do their passages and any of the readings you need and then go back and do UWorld if you have time, and you'll be at least three points higher in both C/P and B/B.

And Medschooltutors is totally right about reading explanations. That is how you learn to take this exam and apply the information. Make sure you take good notes on the solutions when you do their passages.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
About the Ads

78954bo

2+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2019
56
13
I didnt like the amount of material covered in TBR. I used TBR for C/P but not B/B. I will stick with Uworld. I will do it again. I felt TBR content was beyond what was needed for MCAT and too much.
 

Cornfed101

2+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2017
2,556
5,053
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I didnt like the amount of material covered in TBR. I used TBR for C/P but not B/B. I will stick with Uworld. I will do it again. I felt TBR content was beyond what was needed for MCAT and too much.

I don't think you know what is needed for the MCAT when you are regularly scoring in the 503 range... TBR is probably on the high side of content, but you still haven't answered my question. Why are you missing questions? We can't really help you until you know the answer to that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

78954bo

2+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2019
56
13
The questions that I am missing are on chemistry lab content, some are interpreting why this experiment needs to be done this way for this experiment to occur (biology), biochemistry metabolic cycles, organ systems, and physics equations. I am not doing very well in CARs either.

My P/S is in the 128 range. C/P is usually from 127-219. BB is 125. CARs is 123.
 

78954bo

2+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2019
56
13
Should I focus on Redoing TBR for C/P, listening to KA videos over B/B and P/S and look over more questions for CARs? When I did the UWorld questions, I felt like I was passively doing it. I would sit on my couch and just do a question and check if it was right or not. If it wasn't right, then I learned why it wasn't right. That was it. I did the same with AAMC practice problems. This next time I review questions, I want to write down all questions I miss and hopefully do well on them.

Do you have any advice for B/B prep? Should I use TBR for B/B prep? I feel like TBR got me up to a 127-129 for C/P..... I just thought the B/B was too content dense and not worth it to do.
 

GreenDuck12

7+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2014
1,974
2,045
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
The questions that I am missing are on chemistry lab content, some are interpreting why this experiment needs to be done this way for this experiment to occur (biology), biochemistry metabolic cycles, organ systems, and physics equations. I am not doing very well in CARs either.

My P/S is in the 128 range. C/P is usually from 127-219. BB is 125. CARs is 123.

did you get these scores on third party full length exams or AAMC full length exams?
 

GreenDuck12

7+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2014
1,974
2,045
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
AAMC FL's

If you have any remaining AAMC FLs that you haven't attempted, set those aside. You're going to need them closer to your test date.

If you feel like you need a prep course for the structure and the reasons you outlined above, go for it! Prep courses can be extremely useful. I would recommend an in person class instead of a video on demand classes simply because video on demand classes are way too passive to be useful for many students. If you can't find an in person MCAT class, look into hiring a private tutor who can give you guidance.

As someone who helps folks prepare for the MCAT, there are a couple things that you've posted above that give me pause:

I spend hours reviewing 10 questions, sometimes because I don't know the material, so I do a google search, which leads to multiple google searches for better understanding.

Taking time to review questions you missed is good. Taking significant amounts of time because you aren't understanding the content well enough to really make the passages/questions useful practice, isn't. Your goal should be to do practice questions and passages when you've reviewed the material. Review does not mean listening to KA or reading a book but really engaging with the material by: making concept maps, practicing flash cards (useful for some things), orally explaining concepts, teaching others concepts, writing a story of a certain concept, etc). All of these are ways to more actively engage with the material. TBR C/P does a great job by forcing you to answer questions as you go. Their BB books, do not do this.


I didnt like the amount of material covered in TBR. I used TBR for C/P but not B/B. I will stick with Uworld. I will do it again. I felt TBR content was beyond what was needed for MCAT and too much

UWorld is not designed to teach you content but rather to give you practice with passages and answering questions. While they have excellent explanations and *can* explain concepts really well, it is really designed to help you identify and fill in content/reasoning gaps. If UWorld is how you're learning content, then you really aren't using it as the most effective tool.

TBR is incredibly dense for BB and goes into content that is too detailed for the MCAT *except when it isn't*. The outline for what can be on the MCAT is incredibly broad. TBR wants to give you exposure to as much material as possible because 1. some people learn concepts better when they have a more detailed picture and 2. the MCAT can ask you those detailed questions on the test (completely fair game). While the MCAT more heavily emphasizes reading comprehension and reasoning, details are important. Does that mean you should memorize every intermediary in the Krebs cycle or make a flashcard for every bolded term? No, that would be pretty low yield. But, understanding the broad picture and having exposure to the details can be very valuable for calming nerves come test day.

When I did the UWorld questions, I felt like I was passively doing it. I would sit on my couch and just do a question and check if it was right or not. If it wasn't right, then I learned why it wasn't right. That was it. I did the same with AAMC practice problems

From experience, this tends to be what happens when folks don't use UWorld effectively. To use UWorld effectively, you should be doing questions under simulated MCAT conditions (59 question sections for CP/BB/PS in 95 minutes) and only review answers at the end. By doing this you will 1. identify content gaps and types of questions you repeatedly get wrong 2. become more familiar with timing and test taking strategies 3. build stamina by practicing under timed conditions.

Do you have any advice for B/B prep? Should I use TBR for B/B prep? I feel like TBR got me up to a 127-129 for C/P..... I just thought the B/B was too content dense and not worth it to do.

TBR passages are useful. If you think TBR is too dense, use another resource for the review phase (Kaplan is pretty condensed) and then attempt the passages. While nothing is as good as the AAMC material, getting as many "reps" or "at bats" is useful for identifying content gaps. But, you also don't have to use TBR. Using KA passages would be perfectly fine as well for getting practice with the material. Regardless of the resources that you use, you really want to put in the time and the effort and be "on."

In terms of taking a more active approach, try to get in a routine that helps you take a more active role in studying. For me, I was working full-time as a teaching while preparing for the MCAT. I found that when I waited till I got home to start studying for the MCAT, I would end up watching a couple hours of KA videos or trying a TBR phase exam, score it, and call it good. After a few weeks of this, I figured out the material wasn't sticking with me and I needed to make some significant changes. For some folks, that means getting into a routine or finding a place to study without distractions. For me, it meant waking up at 3:00 in the morning and studying from 3:30-7:30. I started writing concept stories about biochemical pathways, doing through TBR more thoroughly and really analyzing/retrying my errors. There were days when I didn't have the energy to study in an active way, those were the days when I would switch to KA videos or practice Anki cards for an hour. Those days happen. Long story short, try to figure out what you need to do to make the most of the time you have when studying for the MCAT.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

78954bo

2+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2019
56
13
Thanks so much for the help! After going through all of your advice this is what I plan on doing from now on. Hoping to take the MCAT in September or next January.

Here is my new schedule.

I am currently in a masters programs full time, so it is hard to always keep up with the MCAT along wiht volunteering/shadowing/research.

1) I really like KA videos, so I plan on watching all the B/B and C/P videos while correlating those to content in TBR. I will finish the B/B books and redo the TBR C/P books.

2) After finishing all KA C/P and B/B videos and doing all B/B and redoing all the C/P in TBR, I will move onto Uworld. Actively taking notes on questions I missed and how can I stop myself from not missing them. I need to keep a notebook in the future, do UWorld Questions under timed conditions.

3) Every saturday this summer, I will be taking a time FL test from Next Step and AAMC.

4) Fall 2020: I will redo all the AAMC problems.

5) ANKI using premed95's deck throughout my studies and review my notes. I feel I learn better by writing and highlighting notes and reviewing them vs flashcards.....

I just am afraid of how long it'll take me to finish all the TBR stuff. I remember it took me forever to finish all the C/P 4 books.......
 

GreenDuck12

7+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2014
1,974
2,045
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Thanks so much for the help! After going through all of your advice this is what I plan on doing from now on. Hoping to take the MCAT in September or next January.

Here is my new schedule.

I am currently in a masters programs full time, so it is hard to always keep up with the MCAT along wiht volunteering/shadowing/research.

1) I really like KA videos, so I plan on watching all the B/B and C/P videos while correlating those to content in TBR. I will finish the B/B books and redo the TBR C/P books.

2) After finishing all KA C/P and B/B videos and doing all B/B and redoing all the C/P in TBR, I will move onto Uworld. Actively taking notes on questions I missed and how can I stop myself from not missing them. I need to keep a notebook in the future, do UWorld Questions under timed conditions.

3) Every saturday this summer, I will be taking a time FL test from Next Step and AAMC.

4) Fall 2020: I will redo all the AAMC problems.

5) ANKI using premed95's deck throughout my studies and review my notes. I feel I learn better by writing and highlighting notes and reviewing them vs flashcards.....

I just am afraid of how long it'll take me to finish all the TBR stuff. I remember it took me forever to finish all the C/P 4 books.......

Checkout @Cornfed101's signature for advice for CARS. Good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Cornfed101

2+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2017
2,556
5,053
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I just am afraid of how long it'll take me to finish all the TBR stuff. I remember it took me forever to finish all the C/P 4 books.......

If you are studying part time, that is just the reality of the situation. Expect to study 30-40 hours per point you want to increase. That’s 150-200 hours in your case.
 
About the Ads

78954bo

2+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2019
56
13
If you are studying part time, that is just the reality of the situation. Expect to study 30-40 hours per point you want to increase. That’s 150-200 hours in your case.
@Cornfed101 Thanks for your advice. Do you think it is necessary to use TBR? I saw that you didn't use TBR but rather only used KA for content. Do you think KA videos are sufficient for content? Thanks.

Yes I will be studying part-time. I graduate this year and will have 20-40 hour work weeks.
 

Cornfed101

2+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2017
2,556
5,053
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
@Cornfed101 Thanks for your advice. Do you think it is necessary to use TBR? I saw that you didn't use TBR but rather only used KA for content. Do you think KA videos are sufficient for content? Thanks.

I think KA is sufficient, but you have to be very self-motivated to make it work. TBR provides more structure and ultimately provides more information. I still had some content gaps when I took the test, but I hit what I was aiming for (515+). I wasn't aiming for 520+ so I didn't need to know every single last detail. The main reason I am hesitant to suggest that approach is that you can't just watch the KA videos though and expect to passively learn everything. I made thousands of Anki cards and reviewed them consistently. I was constantly engaging in active learning to break up the passive learning.

Yes I will be studying part-time. I graduate this year and will have 20-40 hour work weeks.

I worked full time and studied 15-25 hours a week for the MCAT. It's definitely doable if you are disciplined with time management.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

78954bo

2+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2019
56
13
@Cornfed101 Thank you for your prompt response. I am also afraid to fall into the trap of passively watching KA videos. Thus I plan to mainly use TBR, and use KA videos as a supplement.

For active learning, do you recommend taking and highlighting/annotating notes and constantly reviewing them? That is how I best learn. I didn't really learn much from ANKI.... I used premed95's ANKI deck, and I didn't feel that it was good prep for me.
 

Cornfed101

2+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2017
2,556
5,053
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
For active learning, do you recommend taking and highlighting/annotating notes and constantly reviewing them? That is how I best learn. I didn't really learn much from ANKI.... I used premed95's ANKI deck, and I didn't feel that it was good prep for me.

I'm a big fan of Anki, but I don't like using other people's decks. I find it much more useful to make my own cards. I don't remember very well when I highlight/annotate notes, but you have to do what works best for you. Read through this post from otterxavier on how to make excellent flashcards and you may change your mind. Flashcards aren't for everyone, and if they aren't for you I recommend trying out a few different things like highlighting, mind maps, making tables, etc.. I don't know all of the methods that people use, but a quick google search should yield some ideas.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 1 users

AMCASTuesdays

I heard vaccines killed Jenny Schecter
May 24, 2019
581
1,583
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
Hi guys. I am really freaking out over the mcat. I have finished all the UWorld and AAMC stuff. However, I am still scoring at a 503 on the MCAT. I'd like to at least get a 508. I only did UWorld and AAMC once. Maybe I should do them 2x? My major problem is time management and accountability. I spend hours reviewing 10 questions, sometimes because I don't know the material, so I do a google search, which leads to multiple google searches for better understanding.



I also feel that I am lacking in C/P and especially B/B content.



I feel that I should use a Prep course to help me improve my studying and strengthen myself. Looking into Altius Test Prep.... Any advice? Please and thank you.

From what you've said, you probably need more content review. I would also say first and foremost that you have to figure out the best way to attack material so that you retain it- do you need to draw metabolic pathways out, or hammer in flashcards? Ask yourself what specifically about the material you find yourself struggling with and work on that first.

I didn't take a prep course, but a lot of premeds at my school did and I've heard they're good primarily for keeping students accountable for the material. If that is your biggest issue, maybe you should look into one. I personally am against the absurd amount of money those courses charge though, so if I were you, I would try to see if you can push your test back and re-attack content review with a clear head. There's no shame in falling short and reassessing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

smurfin57

2+ Year Member
Sep 10, 2016
64
66
Hi guys. I am really freaking out over the mcat. I have finished all the UWorld and AAMC stuff. However, I am still scoring at a 503 on the MCAT. I'd like to at least get a 508. I only did UWorld and AAMC once. Maybe I should do them 2x? My major problem is time management and accountability. I spend hours reviewing 10 questions, sometimes because I don't know the material, so I do a google search, which leads to multiple google searches for better understanding.



I also feel that I am lacking in C/P and especially B/B content.



I feel that I should use a Prep course to help me improve my studying and strengthen myself. Looking into Altius Test Prep.... Any advice? Please and thank you.
If you are looking for those extra points, you’re going to have to find a way to remember the minute details. I recommend Pixorize MCAT because they have fantastic mnemonic videos created by people who score in 99th percentile on the MCAT. It’s only $25 for a 6 month subscription (use code: SARAHMCAT at checkout to get the $25). It’s a cheap and super useful source. Hopefully it will help you!
 

Foggybrain

2+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2017
53
12
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Why are you missing questions? Is it mostly content, trouble finding info in passage, math error, something else? You have to nail down why you are stuck to be able to improve. It sounds like you need to do more content. This can either be done with prep books or videos like KA. You need to figure out what learning style works best for you.

If you think a prep course would be beneficial then go for it. I haven’t heard of a ton of people doing a course with Altius. What made you consider them? I used MCAT Self Prep for structure and it worked well for me. You could check them out without risk cause the majority of stuff there is free.

I would recommend going through the AAMC questions again, but not before doing more content
Could you please share your thoughts on the MCAT self prep? What did you buy?
 

Cornfed101

2+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2017
2,556
5,053
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Could you please share your thoughts on the MCAT self prep? What did you buy?

I got the deluxe package, which was $1000, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I would only recommend the $10 or the $100 package. There just wasn’t much added value above the $100 package. I thought it was great though. My score improved by 17 points so I couldn’t really ask for more.
 

Foggybrain

2+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2017
53
12
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I got the deluxe package, which was $1000, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I would only recommend the $10 or the $100 package. There just wasn’t much added value above the $100 package. I thought it was great though. My score improved by 17 points so I couldn’t really ask for more.
Thank you for sharing. Was the AAMC section bank incorporated into the 10 $ schedule? How helpful were the 5000 quizlet cards?
 

Cornfed101

2+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2017
2,556
5,053
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Thank you for sharing. Was the AAMC section bank incorporated into the 10 $ schedule? How helpful were the 5000 quizlet cards?

Yeah there are “mini exams” at the end of each unit that are like 30 problems from each section using AAMC problems (including the SB). The quizlet cards are good, but I also made a bunch of my own.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 1 year old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.