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Official TPR August 2004 Thread

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JDAD

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I did a search on previous threads like this and it seems like a good idea. Everyone taking the TPR course for the August MCAT or anyone who have experience with TPR please don't be afraid to post. I need all the help I can get. So voice your opinions, concerns or questions regarding TPR for this August MCAT.

I took 4911 today as the first official MCAT Diag. I don't know what I got on it but I will post and let people know. I haven't looked at anything for the last two months. I took the practice MCAT that they offered on April 17 (4902) and scored 12p 8v 8b. This was after attempting to prep for April, but I gave it up two weeks before and just drillied physics. I was thrilled about the PS, it just goes to show you that learning the formulas really helps.

Today I took 4911 and I heard the average is usually around 18. If you have taken it let us know how you did.

Keep this thing going.

JD
 

JDAD

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I guess I am the only one taking tpr this summer. Maybe it's just that everyone else is studying while I am wasting time on SDN. Anyway, I have fallen way behind on my work and I have paid the price. I have spent all day on this. If you have taken the course before, are you saving any of the homework? Does it make sense to do everything in chapter 1 and then not touch it again?
 

chopper

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I took it last year and am teaching this summer. Keep some of the practice problems 'untouched' for review near the end. I'd say do about 2/3 of them or as many until you feel comfortable with the topic. Since the summer is compressed, you won't forget as much as those who take over 4 to 6 months preparing for the April Exam.

don't worry too much about the ICCs. Especially at first - they are designed to be hard for even the 'more gifted' students to get you thinking about TACTICS. And definately harder than MCAT. That first GCHEM is a BITCH, I know. They should be teaching you how to answer questions with as little 'knowledge' as possible on the ICCs - so you learn these on the MCAT if you get to a question you have NO idea how to solve. Things like "See, A+C are really the same answer, and B is out of scope, so the answer has to be D. Now, if you HAD worked it out, this is how you do it . . . ." and work it out from there the right way to show that you COULD have gotten the right right answer by working it out, but you can save tons of time by using process of elimination.
 

JDAD

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Congrats to all who are happy with their mcat score. Hopefully you will post your results and opinions of TPR
 

MoosePilot

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JDAD said:
Congrats to all who are happy with their mcat score. Hopefully you will post your results and opinions of TPR

Only because you asked :D

36Q 13V/11P/12B

Love Princeton Review. Can't say enough. Had pre-reqs 92-96 and still improved over my previous MCATs taken during undergrad. TPR rocks. They can't give you anything, but if you study their material obsessively, it works.
 

Kazema

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I took the TPR course last spring and was thrilled with the result: 14V 14P 12B. My PS score went from an 8 (was a 7 on my third diag) to a 14 once I finished studying the material. My overall score jumped 12 points (13 from my third diag).

Advice: Don't get too frustrated if you score isn't improving during the first few diags. They are designed to be more difficult and usually you won't have encountered everything by that point yet. Just keep hammering away at the material; don't let yourself get held back by the pace of the classes if you feel like they're too slow - study ahead and definitely do as many practice problems as you can. If you get confused by anything at all, get help immediately. There's a certain approach to answering questions that you'll find yourself slipping into as you get more and more practice, and the time it takes you to answer each question will decrease. I finished the verbal section half an hour before time was up, and the bio section 20 minutes before the end of the test, because of the test taking strategies I learned in TPR.

Get plenty of practice using all the physics formulas. That's the best way to memorize them.

On verbal, practice TPR's strategies and pick out the ones that work for you. I found that writing out main ideas and such slowed me down too much, but that circling and identifying question types helped me a lot without taking much time. It may be different for you, but get lots of practice to find out what works best.

And second what chopper says about the process of elimination. There were more than a few questions that I didn't really know the answer to, but using the POE I narrowed it down to 1 or 2 choices. There is some truth in the idea that the MCAT is a lot about test taking strategy. Of course the knowledge is necessary too, but having the strategies down to a point where you don't have to think about them can only help.
 

leiface

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Hey guys,
I'm just posting to also let you know that TPR did a great job prepping me for the MCATs. My first diag I had a 21 and my final diag was a 32, but I got a 38R on the real thing! I'm still amazed at the 17 point jump, but I guess the money was definitely worth it. So if you didn't get such a great diag score, even in your last practice test, there's still hope!
 

JDAD

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Thanks for the info. I am trying to work on my technique daily. I have learned that a lot of information does come from the passage and I don't have to learn every little detail. But spending too much time on the passage will not give you time for the questions. So when reading the passage, read for the main idea, and then go back for the details. I know this fact is written in every book, but without actual experimentation I didn't trust it.


Also, poe is another underutilized technique.

Does anyone have experience with test 4209? I took it last april and I am not sure what others thought about the level of difficulty.
 

Kazema

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JDAD said:
Does anyone have experience with test 4209? I took it last april and I am not sure what others thought about the level of difficulty.

Do you mean TPR 4902? I took that last September and scored a 28. At that point I hadn't begun seriously studying though so I don't know how reliable that score is as far as assessing difficulty. I got a 29 on 4911 and 27 on 4921 with when I was 1/3 to 1/2 prepared, so if you've taken those tests that might give you an indication of 4902. I remember 4911 and 4921 being quite difficult, and thinking that they were more so than 4902.

But thinking about it logically I would expect that 4902 would be more difficult than the real thing, since their goal is to make you want to sign up for their class, and if you score really well you may decide against spending all that cash.

I remember almost nothing about the actual diag though, it was too long ago.
 

JDAD

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Yes, thats the test i meant. I took it in april of this year. I also got a 28, but that was after some sutdying. (About a month by myself, and then two weeks before the test, I drilled physics hard.) It broke down to 12ps 8v 8bs.

I then stopped doing anything mcat related because i knew i wasn't going to take it in april. I took 4911 cold, well i didn't look at anything between march and june. I got a 23. 7ps, 6v, 10bio. I am confident i can bring up the ps, i had forgotten pretty much everything i cramed for before the last one. Verbal was a mess. Bio was average.

So I am taking 23 as my starting off point.

Anyway, what is the deal with the verbal in the verbal review. Do you think it is similar to AAMC? I looked at EK101 and it seemed the passages were too easy to read and the questions were too vague. I will continue to use it though. What did you think about the TPR verbal material. I am not talking about the strategies, but the actual verbal practice tests?
 

Kazema

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I personally thought the TPR practice exam verbal sections were pretty close to the real thing. Occasionally a test will focus more on specifics than others but I suppose the real MCAT probably has variation like that too. The compendium passages of course were very difficult, much more so than the actual MCAT, but it's designed to be that way. The topics were also very similar, maybe one or two science passages, a psychology passage, an art or music-related passage, an environmental science passage, a passage about law or logic or something like that, a passage about history, etc etc.

My TPR verbal teacher told us there were 20 or so sources that the MCAT draw from very heavily. If you're interested you can ask your instructor about that list too; he or she should have that available somewhere. You can go check out those books/authors at your library to get a sense of their writing style as well as their theories.
 

JDAD

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Thanks man, you have been a big help.

Do you have any other pointers that I should know? I am still missing around 1-2 questions a passage. This is on everything, PS,V and BS.
 

jon0013

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anyone else taking 2nd diag tomorrow? i've managed to plow through all the material and i'm feeling good about physics. bio has me concerned though, just an enormous amount of reading that i've only gone through once. as for verbal, whats up with this annotation ****? seems like it only slows you down and is confusing. hope to crack 25 tomorrow...
 
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Kazema

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JDAD said:
Thanks man, you have been a big help.

Do you have any other pointers that I should know? I am still missing around 1-2 questions a passage. This is on everything, PS,V and BS.

This applies mostly to verbal, but try to identify the types of questions you tend to miss. Then identify what your tendency is in picking the wrong answer; do you go for strongly worded questions, weakly worded questions, right answers to the wrong questions, etc.

I found doing that helped me a lot.
 

blebl34

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Just finished up the 2nd diag (4291) and am somewhat satisfied. My only concern is that damn verbal.

10B, 8P, 6V = 24

Had 21 on previous diag.

Anyone else take it and care to share their thoughts?
 

jammin06

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yea, i'm nervous about the 4291 (taking next weekend). Verbal has been the thorn in my side as well. What was your breakdown on the first diagnostic? I only managed a 5 on the verbal on that exam :(
 

jon0013

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just took the diag today. scored a 10PS...9V..8BS...
4911 i made a 7 BS...6PS..4V (fell asleep halfway through)

what i noticed from this exam was that the Bio Sci seemed to be harder. I was intimidated by the first 2 passages from that section and ended up getting frustrated for the last hour of the test. now im just damn tired
 

JDAD

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What are your thoughts regarding the passages and questions in the work book? Is the relative difficulty comparable to the real deal?
 

leiface

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JDAD said:
What are your thoughts regarding the passages and questions in the work book? Is the relative difficulty comparable to the real deal?


I thought the workbook was generally easier than the actual exam. BUT it really really helps just to do page after page of problems in the workbook. I focused a lot of my attention on the non-passage type questions because I thought they forced me to know the material more. However, it's best to do as many as possible. The ICC and the Practice exams A-D had the hardest passages.
 

jammin06

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blebl,
i had the same breakdown as you, but with a 5 on the verbal rather than a 6. I realized that the biggest problem that I have with the verbal section is remaining calm. For some reason (test anxiety, I assume), my mind just doesn't focus very well in the test atmosphere. I try to read too fast and then end up not understanding anything.
 

TiggidyTooth

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jammin06 said:
blebl,
i had the same breakdown as you, but with a 5 on the verbal rather than a 6. I realized that the biggest problem that I have with the verbal section is remaining calm. For some reason (test anxiety, I assume), my mind just doesn't focus very well in the test atmosphere. I try to read too fast and then end up not understanding anything.

I can relate 100%. From now on though, before each new passage I close my eyes and relax...like a 10 sec meditation, following the breath. I hope it works. Others have said it does.

Peace

Tooth
 
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blebl34

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Yeh,

I read a bit of advice in the verbal book yesterday that may help with my problem. It said you "must" refer back to the passage with most questions, otherwise the attracters will get you. I know I need to slow it down, but the thought of not finishing bothers me.
 

TiggidyTooth

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Uhhhh..just got 4291 back 6V 8B 8P...both bio and physical sciences went up which was nice but verbal is stagnant. I'm beginning to worry. I was scoring 8's and 9's on exam crackers passages. Anyone familiar with a trend such as this? Anyway, back to the verbal grind.

Peace

Tooth
 

Shrike

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TiggidyTooth said:
. . . verbal is stagnant. I'm beginning to worry.

Your instructor told you not to expect improvement by this time, right? Of course he did; we all do. (If not, that's very strange.) Whoever taught your first class did so, pointing out that many people drop for the second diag, only to rise substantially later. Your verbal instructor, if you didn't have verbal for the first class, reinforced this.

They said you shouldn't worry about diag 2 because it's true. You shouldn't worry about diag 2.

We've done this before. No one on these fora seems to trust us; OK, I can understand that. It's a commercial venture; the corporations, if not necessarily the instructors, are in it to reap money. Your money. Fine. But if you've signed up for our course, you must have decided we can be trusted to some extent (and the to the tune of about $1500); why not act like it? If we tell you that it's only around the third diag that you can reasonably expect improvement, what good does it do you to worry otherwise? If we advise you to do all the workbook problems as assigned, rather than saving some of each subject 'til the end, why not figure we know more about this than you do? I'm not generally a fan of unquestioning convergence, but damn, folks, we really do know some stuff. More than you, when it comes to preparing for this test; lots more. And more than the other testtakers who post on here, too, including the ones who've been through it before. Each of the posters on here is one person, with one experience. We are, effectively, thousands of data points. Each of our instructors is, in his own personal experience, dozens or hundreds.

We know this stuff. Really. About some things, we lie or at least stretch things, like implying that diag 1 is comparable in difficulty to an actual test and that the average student can improve ten or fifteen points. Bullcookies, with an obvious purpose. But in the case of the sorts of questions you're asking here, where it's how best to succeed within the context of our course once you've actually signed on, we have no reason not to tell you, and every reason to play it straight, and that's what we do. Your instructors are not evil, not stupid, not even uninformed in all but the most extraordinary cases. Also they want you to succeed, usually more than they want the company to. (Pride, morality, whatever -- TPR teachers are not, in my rather extensive experience, a mercenary lot.) If you're teacher tells you something about how to prepare for the MCAT, it is almost certainly true.

yours,
Shrike
[a TPR instructor, obviously; physics and verbal]
 

TiggidyTooth

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Shrike said:
Your instructor told you not to expect improvement by this time, right? Of course he did; we all do. (If not, that's very strange.) Whoever taught your first class did so, pointing out that many people drop for the second diag, only to rise substantially later. Your verbal instructor, if you didn't have verbal for the first class, reinforced this.

They said you shouldn't worry about diag 2 because it's true. You shouldn't worry about diag 2.

We've done this before. No one on these fora seems to trust us; OK, I can understand that. It's a commercial venture; the corporations, if not necessarily the instructors, are in it to reap money. Your money. Fine. But if you've signed up for our course, you must have decided we can be trusted to some extent (and the to the tune of about $1500); why not act like it? If we tell you that it's only around the third diag that you can reasonably expect improvement, what good does it do you to worry otherwise? If we advise you to do all the workbook problems as assigned, rather than saving some of each subject 'til the end, why not figure we know more about this than you do? I'm not generally a fan of unquestioning convergence, but damn, folks, we really do know some stuff. More than you, when it comes to preparing for this test; lots more. And more than the other testtakers who post on here, too, including the ones who've been through it before. Each of the posters on here is one person, with one experience. We are, effectively, thousands of data points. Each of our instructors is, in his own personal experience, dozens or hundreds.

We know this stuff. Really. About some things, we lie or at least stretch things, like implying that diag 1 is comparable in difficulty to an actual test and that the average student can improve ten or fifteen points. Bullcookies, with an obvious purpose. But in the case of the sorts of questions you're asking here, where it's how best to succeed within the context of our course once you've actually signed on, we have no reason not to tell you, and every reason to play it straight, and that's what we do. Your instructors are not evil, not stupid, not even uninformed in all but the most extraordinary cases. Also they want you to succeed, usually more than they want the company to. (Pride, morality, whatever -- TPR teachers are not, in my rather extensive experience, a mercenary lot.) If you're teacher tells you something about how to prepare for the MCAT, it is almost certainly true.

yours,
Shrike
[a TPR instructor, obviously; physics and verbal]


uhh...methinks you took my little worry a bit too personally. I love TPR and have never, nor should I, stated that I do not believe in what my instructors have been telling me. The fact is that I have spent some time on verbal and expected at least a one point incease since my exam crackers scores predicted as much. Anyway, I hope this makes you feel a little less antagonistic towards the lowly and insecure MCAT hopeful, but I do appreciate the words of advice and will accept them as true and genuine. By the way I think that my TPR instructors thus far "rock."

All I was really looking for were some words of encouragment.

Peace

Tooth
 

JDAD

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So what do you think about saving some of the science homwork until the end? I was told by my chem teacher that it was wise to save some of it to the end. What do you think?

If i do decide to save some, i doubt i will go back to it though
 

leiface

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JDAD said:
So what do you think about saving some of the science homwork until the end? I was told by my chem teacher that it was wise to save some of it to the end. What do you think?

If i do decide to save some, i doubt i will go back to it though


I think you should definitely do some problems now. By the last 2-3 weeks, you'll know where your weaknesses are. I knew that mine were in magnetism for PS so I choose to do all the PS magnetism problems in the workbook. Don't spend hours doing basic vector problems and units and things, focus on your weaknesses. On your score sheet for TPR, it should say whether you did well on certain subjects as well. Hope this helps! :)
 

Kazema

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If you follow the homework schedule, there will be some extra problems and passages left over. At least there were for my class, not sure if all classes have the same homework schedule.

And if you need more practice, you'll probably have several compendium passages left over at the end to practice on. So definitely do all the assigned homework, and if you want to leave some to practice later just don't do the stuff that's not assigned.

I also wanted to kind of affirm what Shrike said about immediate improvement. It wasn't until the 3rd diag (after the class had started) that I showed significant improvement, and for some people in my class, not until the 4th. I think everyone in my class did improve by the end, except for one or two who missed half the classes.

I guess I should also add that I too was frustrated by the lack of improvement by the second diag - and I think a lot of students in my class were too. So cheer up, you're not alone! :thumbup:
 

cornflake_girl

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hey everyone-

i'm in my second week of TPR. i've been doing cancer research the last 8 years since college and haven't seen physics, g chem and o chem since i took those classes b/t '92-'94.... so i'm REALLY stressed out and my studying is going so SLOW in these areas.... but at least bio has been pretty good thus far....

i took my first diag on the 12th and did HORRIBLY on the phys sci section..... i mean i could've just written my name and just turned in the test and done better! my overall was a 15!! :(

so i'm re-thinking doing the august '04 and going for april '05.... it's taking me a lot longer to review and plus i've got a full time job.... :scared:

any advice to help my brain "dig" up those old science "files?" do you guys think waiting til april is a better idea? :confused:

if only the exam was on tumor immunology, i'd be fine....
 

leiface

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Hey Cornflake,
I would at least give it until your third diag to give up. You might surprise yourself with your improvement. Luckily, I believe that the physical sciences are the easiest to improve on if you do a lot of practice problems.
 
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JDAD

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i second that, PS is the easiest section to improve upon because bio and verbal are largely comprehension of the passage. I was scoring about 6 on my PS section. I worked hard for three weeks, learned all the fomulas and got a 12 in PS on my last practice test. It is doable.
 

willthatsall

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Not only that, but try an AAMC practice test before you give up. Kaplan PS has been killing me and then I took 3R and did much better. I know people say 3R is a little easier than the real thing, but it could at least give you some confidence or at least a more realistic perspective.
 

cornflake_girl

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hey leiface! thanks for the advice.... i'm just freaking out about the whole thing, i know, but i told myself that i HAD to at least keep taking the diags and doing homework even if it's going slower then i'd like.... :scared:

i do appreciate the help and input..... :)
 

cornflake_girl

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wow JDAD!! I do have HOPE!! That's awesome that you doubled your score! i'm glad to hear the PS can be easier to improve than other sections - i have to conquer those formulas if it's the last thing i do.... :mad:

i'll also go and order those AAMC practice tests.... i have my second diag with TPR this saturday so i'm going to focus on phys sci this week and hopefully get a better score on saturday....
 

jammin06

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for those who have gone through TPR before, how does the verbal workbook compare to the calibre of passages/questions that show up on the real thing. I also have the EK 101 book, and I'll be taking my first exam tomorrow.

(side note/desire to vent: man, it's so draining working a full time job and studying. i have to be up at 5am, to be at work at 6, only to get off of work at 2:30, drive straight to class at 3, stay till 5:30, then go to the library until 8 when i come home, eat dinner, sit online for a bit and then go to bed....arggg! if i somehow do well on this exam, i will never doubt my drive or motivation to succeed. ok, finished venting)
 

willthatsall

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cornflake_girl said:
wow JDAD!! I do have HOPE!! That's awesome that you doubled your score! i'm glad to hear the PS can be easier to improve than other sections - i have to conquer those formulas if it's the last thing i do.... :mad:

i'll also go and order those AAMC practice tests.... i have my second diag with TPR this saturday so i'm going to focus on phys sci this week and hopefully get a better score on saturday....

If you didn't already know, 3R is free on the AAMC website and I believe TPR is going to give you two of the other AAMC tests as your last two officially proctored tests(5R, 6R? or 6R, 7R?) so you might want to decide if it is worth it to pay for the the AAMC tests separately.
 

cornflake_girl

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jammin06 said:
for those who have gone through TPR before, how does the verbal workbook compare to the calibre of passages/questions that show up on the real thing. I also have the EK 101 book, and I'll be taking my first exam tomorrow.

(side note/desire to vent: man, it's so draining working a full time job and studying. i have to be up at 5am, to be at work at 6, only to get off of work at 2:30, drive straight to class at 3, stay till 5:30, then go to the library until 8 when i come home, eat dinner, sit online for a bit and then go to bed....arggg! if i somehow do well on this exam, i will never doubt my drive or motivation to succeed. ok, finished venting)

i am right there with you - i have been trying to figure out my schedule because i too have a full time job and study.... i've got class from 9:00 to 11:30am and then work from 12:30 to 8:30.... i've been trying to study after work from 9pm - midnight and then get up at 5am to work out and study a bit before class.....

vent as much as you like!!! i'll join you..... good luck and let me know how it goes for you!
 

JDAD

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Cornflake, read the post (two above this) by willthatsall. It could save you some serious cash.
 

cornflake_girl

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JDAD said:
Cornflake, read the post (two above this) by willthatsall. It could save you some serious cash.

thanks - i checked with TPR and we do get some of the AAMC practice tests.... not all of them so i'm just going to invest in the ones that aren't provided..... always good to save money!
 

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jammin06 said:
....(side note/desire to vent: man, it's so draining working a full time job and studying. i have to be up at 5am, to be at work at 6, only to get off of work at 2:30, drive straight to class at 3, stay till 5:30, then go to the library until 8 when i come home, eat dinner, sit online for a bit and then go to bed....arggg! if i somehow do well on this exam, i will never doubt my drive or motivation to succeed. ok, finished venting)
You get to eat???? :laugh:

Vent all you want. I did it w/ 12 hours and work and a 150 mi. commute 4 days a week. Oh yeah, and three kids. It's rough, but it will all be worth it. Hang in there (even if you have to retry, like me) :thumbup:
 

txguy

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cornflake_girl said:
hey everyone-

i'm in my second week of TPR. i've been doing cancer research the last 8 years since college and haven't seen physics, g chem and o chem since i took those classes b/t '92-'94.... so i'm REALLY stressed out and my studying is going so SLOW in these areas.... but at least bio has been pretty good thus far....

i took my first diag on the 12th and did HORRIBLY on the phys sci section..... i mean i could've just written my name and just turned in the test and done better! my overall was a 15!! :(

so i'm re-thinking doing the august '04 and going for april '05.... it's taking me a lot longer to review and plus i've got a full time job.... :scared:

any advice to help my brain "dig" up those old science "files?" do you guys think waiting til april is a better idea? :confused:

if only the exam was on tumor immunology, i'd be fine....

Did you take a TPR diag or an AAMC one?

I would study some more and take an AAMC diag before you make any rash decisions based on the (difficult) TPR diags.

My score on the first diag was an 18. (could have easily been a 15, based on questions I got right due to bubbling in "C" all the way down the page)

I ended up with a 30 :)

Don't despair. You'll see the biggest jump from the 3rd diag (TPR) to the 4th diag (AAMC 5R).

-tx
 

jammin06

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TPR diagnostic 2!

ok, so i graded my exam 2nd diagnostic. Didn't go too bad, well, almost not too bad. bio-9, phys- 8, verbal- 4!!! WTF!! I don't really get it. I got a 5 on the first exam, but when i took teh first EK 101 exam i got a 9. What's up with this? Is it that the PR exam is that much harder, or the EK that much easier? gah! 4!!! So friggin frustrating. On the up side, bio and phys are going rather well. just posting the progress
 

TiggidyTooth

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jammin06 said:
TPR diagnostic 2!

ok, so i graded my exam 2nd diagnostic. Didn't go too bad, well, almost not too bad. bio-9, phys- 8, verbal- 4!!! WTF!! I don't really get it. I got a 5 on the first exam, but when i took teh first EK 101 exam i got a 9. What's up with this? Is it that the PR exam is that much harder, or the EK that much easier? gah! 4!!! So friggin frustrating. On the up side, bio and phys are going rather well. just posting the progress

I feel you. I'm in the same position and got the same score you did. According to our instructor, the verbal part of the 2nd diagnostic is by far the most difficult of all the ones we'll take. He also explained to us that typically students get the same score as the 1st diagnostic +- 2 points. Keep your chin up and work hard.

Tooth
 

Yahweh

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Kazema said:
This applies mostly to verbal, but try to identify the types of questions you tend to miss. Then identify what your tendency is in picking the wrong answer; do you go for strongly worded questions, weakly worded questions, right answers to the wrong questions, etc.

I found doing that helped me a lot.

So it was written.
 

rick james MD

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I feel the pain of TPR. My score remained the same between diags 1 and 2. Here's my breakdown: 4911 - 8P, 9V, 11B; 4921 - 10P, 8V, 10B. I was only a question away from a 9 on verbal and an 11 on bio. I was scared at first my seemingly not improving, but TPR does this on purpose. The bio. section had an unproportionate amount of physiology. Coincidentally, we've yet to cover that in class. We will all be fine. Best of luck studying, and keep your heads up!!! woo hoo
 

jon0013

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ur diag score is smokin'..well thats what an instructor there told me. i made a 27 and was kinda sad but he said 90% of students score 20-22 on 4921..i thought verbal was a little easier this test but there are many questions where if u go fast u can easily make idiotic mistakes..biosci i thought was harder at least for me...p sci was i think the same...
 
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