IceDuchess

2+ Year Member
Sep 10, 2015
106
30
Status
Pre-Medical, Medical Student
Hello everyone,

I am taking the MCAT in 13 days. I would appreciate any advice you may have on how to effectively study for the remainder of the time I have. I am asking for advice because I thought I had a good study plan, yet the full-length practice test I took last week was extremely discouraging, so I am not sure I have been using the correct study method. I'll write out the details below.

I am currently going through an online Kaplan course. I started this course in July. I have gone through most of the Kaplan books (all except for Psych/Soc and the High-Yield problem solving guide) and their online videos. I took a total of two practice exams. The first was a 4 hour diagnostic exam which I took before starting the course (I got a 493). The second was the Kaplan FL1 practice test (I got a 495... 124 Chem/Phys, 124 CARS, 125 Bio/Biochem, 122 Psych/Soc) which I took last week.

On average, I study about 5 hours per day. I go through each chapter at a pretty slow pace so I can focus on understanding the main concepts of the material, and I take notes as I go along. I haven't had time to go back through my notes yet as I am still in the process of reading through the last 2 Kaplan books.

I have 13 days left. I'm not sure how I should prioritize my time. I know that everyone HIGHLY recommends to go through practice exams. However, I am doubting if it's worth going through practice tests for 3 reasons:

1) I don't think I know enough material to do well on the exams. Like I mentioned, I haven't reviewed my notes or spent much time on memorization.
2) My parents are both doctors. They both insist that I do not actually "take" any practice tests, but ONLY go over the correct answers on each problem in each test so I can fully understand why they are the correct answers. They both believe that solving problems incorrectly will just make me remember the wrong answers and confuse me during the actual exam. (not entirely sure what to make of their opinion...)
3) When I took the diagnostic and FL1, I found that I finished each section about 5 minutes ahead of time. Except for CARS. So, it seems that pacing is not a problem.

So... what would you recommend I focus on these last 13 days? And what do you think I should do about practice tests?

I would tremendously appreciate any advice you may have!
 

theonlytycrane

5+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2014
1,956
1,687
Status
Medical Student
I am still studying myself so I'll hold off on any real advice, but from what I gather from the forum it will likely be most useful to take full lengths, go over the answers to every question to make sure you are answering things correctly using the right reasoning, and review a few high yield topics that you are less confident in.

How have you liked the Kaplan online course, btw?
 
OP
IceDuchess

IceDuchess

2+ Year Member
Sep 10, 2015
106
30
Status
Pre-Medical, Medical Student
I am still studying myself so I'll hold off on any real advice, but from what I gather from the forum it will likely be most useful to take full lengths, go over the answers to every question to make sure you are answering things correctly using the right reasoning, and review a few high yield topics that you are less confident in.

How have you liked the Kaplan online course, btw?
Thank you for your reply! When are you taking yours and how are you prepping? I don't like the material review videos or the overall recommended schedule, but I found the Activity book videos very helpful. At the start of the course, Kaplan gives you a recommended schedule to follow. Based on the schedule, they really jump around between their books. They have you read 1-2 chapters of bio, then move on to CARS, then psych, etc. I like sticking to one subject and going through the full book without interruption, so I haven't been following that schedule. The material review videos cover the simple concepts of each chapter and don't always follow along with the material that's assigned.

BUT, their videos that go along with the Activity book are helpful because they do a wonderful job of teaching the tricks that are thrown out at you during the MCAT. They explain how the test takers come up with their questions, and what they do to try to stump you. The videos helped me become much more attentive when going through each problem. Then again... based on my FL1 score so far... it's probably best not to rely too much on what I've said. :(
 

GrapesofRath

2+ Year Member
May 5, 2015
5,320
3,803
Status
Non-Student
Hello everyone,

I am taking the MCAT in 13 days. I would appreciate any advice you may have on how to effectively study for the remainder of the time I have. I am asking for advice because I thought I had a good study plan, yet the full-length practice test I took last week was extremely discouraging, so I am not sure I have been using the correct study method. I'll write out the details below.

I am currently going through an online Kaplan course. I started this course in July. I have gone through most of the Kaplan books (all except for Psych/Soc and the High-Yield problem solving guide) and their online videos. I took a total of two practice exams. The first was a 4 hour diagnostic exam which I took before starting the course (I got a 493). The second was the Kaplan FL1 practice test (I got a 495... 124 Chem/Phys, 124 CARS, 125 Bio/Biochem, 122 Psych/Soc) which I took last week.

On average, I study about 5 hours per day. I go through each chapter at a pretty slow pace so I can focus on understanding the main concepts of the material, and I take notes as I go along. I haven't had time to go back through my notes yet as I am still in the process of reading through the last 2 Kaplan books.

I have 13 days left. I'm not sure how I should prioritize my time. I know that everyone HIGHLY recommends to go through practice exams. However, I am doubting if it's worth going through practice tests for 3 reasons:

1) I don't think I know enough material to do well on the exams. Like I mentioned, I haven't reviewed my notes or spent much time on memorization.
2) My parents are both doctors. They both insist that I do not actually "take" any practice tests, but ONLY go over the correct answers on each problem in each test so I can fully understand why they are the correct answers. They both believe that solving problems incorrectly will just make me remember the wrong answers and confuse me during the actual exam. (not entirely sure what to make of their opinion...)
3) When I took the diagnostic and FL1, I found that I finished each section about 5 minutes ahead of time. Except for CARS. So, it seems that pacing is not a problem.

So... what would you recommend I focus on these last 13 days? And what do you think I should do about practice tests?

I would tremendously appreciate any advice you may have!
Do not take the MCAT if you don't even know the material well enough. Period. That's just asking for trouble. No harm in post-poning the MCAT; it's not like you are applying this cycle anyway.

The advice of your parents is one of the strangest things I've ever heard. Needless to say there are all kind of studies, testimonies, prior experiences from people that say that is not a very wise way to go about preparing. You learn by doing. Going over correct answers isn't doing.