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Now that the MCAT is in...what did everyone use to study?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by gabbers22, Jun 24, 2001.

  1. gabbers22

    gabbers22 Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 11, 2000
    Hey all--
    Just had a question for you that the MCAT scores are in...maybe you could comment on the materials that you used to study, how much time per week that you studied, etc...
    Just thought that this info would help some of us who are studying for the August MCAt! :)
    ALSO--if there is ANYONE out there who used the BETZ guide or the FLowers and Silver Review book...let me know what you thought of it.
    --gabbers22BETZ guide
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  3. MDgonnabe

    MDgonnabe your royal travesty 7+ Year Member

    May 26, 2001
    in the state of insanity
    I crammed the week before with the Kaplan review book and CD (though the CD didn't work for me because after I took the first practice test it kept giving me an error message and never told me what my strengths and weaknesses were :mad: ). In a way I'm glad I didn't obsess over the test all semester because I ended up sick on the test date. :( It would've been a shame to have wasted all that time and sacrificed my GPA for one test. And in case you wonder, I still mananged a decent score. Good luck! :)
  4. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    I took all the Kaplan review books and fit all the information in one to two pages.... Meaning, I summarize everything.... I got so good at it that one picture can tell me all the information.....
  5. moo

    moo 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2000
    Used old practice materials from TPR and the KAPLAN REVIEW BOOK, which I bought for ~100. Also bought old AAMC tests and practiced out of those. For the science sections, what I found useful was to try and do questions out of the Science Workbook (review one section at a time). If you are stuck, look up the relevant section(s) in the KAPLAN (or other) review book and answer the question, but DO NOT LOOK AT THE ACTUAL SOLUTIONS/ANSWERS UNTIL YOU HAVE ANSWERED THE QUESTION. You learn actively this way and is a lot more interesting than just reading boring old review notes. I have no advice for verbal except to just practice, practice, practice and try different techniques and find one with which you are comfortable.
  6. Kazzar

    Kazzar Psychiatrist 7+ Year Member

    Jun 17, 2001
    Ventura, CA
    I used Kaplan's Comprehensive Review book (to learn stuff about Physics I hadn't taken yet and overview on everything else). I also bought AAMC practice tests 1-4. I got this MCAT test book by REA, but I only did one test out of there. I bought the stuff 3 months in advance, but I didnt end up studying very much until the week before. I say I only got in about 20 hours of real studying total. But I did pretty good, 34R, but I showed little to no improvement from the first AAMC practice test I took to the real test. I think if I did some real studying, I would have done better, but I am happy with what I got.

    I think, from what all my friends did and how much they improved, I think you can expect 1 point for every 20 hours of studying. <Very rough estimate> (Unless you are not good at problem solving, where no matter how much studying you do, you will not be able to see through their trick questions and reasoning). Unless you aren't very good at remembering what you learned in all your chem and bio classes, all you really need to do is take tons of practice tests to see what kind of thinking it takes to ace the MCAT.
  7. fishtolive

    fishtolive Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    here's the wacko rant i gave to TXMike a while back...

    posted June 19, 2001 12:27 AM
    the following is a bunch of ramblings but please read and heed! may be a bit philosophical at times but trust me it will work!

    dude, the TPR materials are great so just keep plugging away they are meant to be harder. I just spoke to one of my MCAT study partners who got a nice fat 35 back (which beat my 32 but oh well) and we were talking about how happy we were to have used the TPR materials. I don't know what books you actually have but here's the rule(s) we followed...if I can learn all the stuff in the science review cover to cover (this means you will know EVERY bit of material covered..I'm serious)...I can get a great science score..if I can get through 9 passages in 65 minutes instead of 85 minutes, the real verbal exam will be cake...if i can get less than 15 wrong with consistency on a givedn verbal section i'm set...these were the stupid little things we would say and ya know what, it all worked out. we got fired up every time we sat down to teach each other out of the science review and got really seiked when we were flying through bio passages in less than 5 minutes...time yourself abusively--shave minutes and laugh at the generous 100 minutes they give you (say,"Hmmph. All I need is an hour!")... the MCAT does not test how smart you are (well, maybe somewhat), but you are obviously smart (i.e 4.0)so that's alrady taken you as far as is possible, which, you realize, has little to do with your, just get fired up and treat the MCAT as your enemy or as I liked to look at the ocean--you must respect it, but with twin 150 yamahas on the back you gotta kick its ass a little now and then...the MCAT is to be respected, but it's a frickin test and has nothing on you...start to think of yourself as an MCAT machine...prafctice problems in 3 verbal passages in 21 minutes EVERY morning when you are tired, groggy, and you're least will begin to thrive on this crap within 2 weeks...tell your girlfriend to leave you alone for a bit..she'll understand...divorce yourself of all things negative...never change your routine...exercise to stay sane...and traumatize your brain by thinking only about MCAT...i spent all of last semester in this insanity and came out fine...this was on top of biochem, advanced molc bio, and independent study, plus two gen ed classes...i ended up with a 3.9 and a good MCAT and now i can deal with anything that comes my 35-40 hours every week and never take a day off...and then what?
    go into the test laughing and talking trash to an inanimate object (MCAT) as those around you shake in their boots during test day, wishing they had prepared better...this seves to a) scare the crap out of your peers, lowering their score and hiking up the curve (bad, yes, but true) and b) puts you in a state of confident are now in control....oh yeah, and take the week before as a semi-retirement week--don't even study the day before and...kick the MCAT's @ss.

    i realize i'm being somewhat ridiculous here but this is called intensity and it's what got me that i'm done, it's in my nature..and why i want to be a help others as much as possible...if you want any tips or whatever please ask cuz i'm glad to help and hope you do well...we don't need to go through this junk repeatedly..once is bad do it right and then get on to the real school...i'll see you at the top!
  8. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    I used the Kaplan book, the Peterson's book, and the 5 practice AAMC exams. I studied (or took practice tests) for a few hours each week for about 5 or 6 months -- nothing too hardcore. I ended up with a 35M. Interesting to note that I often skipped the writing section when I did my practice tests and received a writing score much lower than I desired. Serves me right for thinking that I was a decent writer.
  9. USeF

    USeF sunny L.A. 10+ Year Member

    as the poster that gave us the play-by-play of his technique with this study friend said, I too want to contribute my knowledge and experiences in any way possible. I looked at practice tests over the course of the summer, but didn't do any real studying until July 22, when summer session ended and I went home for the last 4 weeks. COLUMBIA REVIEW INTENSIVE MCAT guide: if you learned your stuff the first time, I have yet to find a more concise review of the material and succint strategy. I had a week to master each section, so I had no time to waste and it was just right for me.

    The final week I met up with some good study partners and did tests during the day and drilled each other on science at night. This allowed for each individual weakness to be tapped into, as you forced yourself to get it right and not forget. We became real vicious about wrong answers, but hey its tough love! It paid off for the ones that put the extra effort into it, as 3 of the 4 broke 30.
    The take home points (as they tell us Kaplan instructors to do): learn the science down pat, read like a machine and practice until you DREAM about the MCAT. You guys and gals on this board have already put the extra effort by finding us and asking for advice, so go out and get those 90%+ scores!
  10. cm7b5

    cm7b5 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2001
    Washington DC
    The review book by Flowers and Silver is archaic and has numerous errors. I would not reccommend it. I like Kaplan's books. They were a nice outline. The ultimate and most comprehensive way to study is by using the published AAMC student guide book as an outline with your undergrad text and Kaplan as a supplemental. Yes, the AAMC has an outline on exactly what TOPICS are discussed! However, I just used Kaplan and it worked just fine ( I got a 36R.)

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