Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Please Help! How did you study for the MCAT

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Real, Jan 3, 2002.

  1. Real

    Real Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Guys,
    I was wondering if those of you who have succesfuly cracked the MCAT could help give useful advice on how you studied for the exam. Please include your strategy and plans(how did u balance preparing for VR with studying for PS & BS).
    your advice will help those of us currently working on the MCAT evaluate our current strategy and adjust where neccessary.

    Thanks.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. Drako

    Drako Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2001
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I had no strategy. I studied everything. I guess you could call that a strategy too. Good luck!
     
  3. EC

    EC

    Hi Real,

    For Verbal, I just did tons of practice questions/ passages. The AAMC has a booklet of practice questions and several test. Definitely buy those.

    For PS and BS, I studied the Kaplan book, though I did not take the course. I also did tons of questions and practice tests.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Real

    Real Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks guys. Did u studied for certain hours everyday working on all part simustaneously or did u studied different sections seperately? For now I am working on the bio section seperately while I try to keep up with reading materials for VR everyday. How did u studied? Any suggestion if studing all part simultaneously will help. I would like to know what has worked for people. Please, every advice and opinion is valued.

    Thanks.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. dukeblue01

    dukeblue01 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2001
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I knew your pain two summers ago. I approached it this way. I did a few verbal passages every night for two months with full length verbal tests on the weekends. I also read a few articles several nights a weeks out of Time, NEJM, NY times etc. I also split each week studying bio sci and physical sci. Usually 3 nights straight of bio/orgo and 3 nights straight of phys/chem then a day off. I studied probably 2-3 hrs each night and did this for 2 months. It was the summer so I had the time after my hospital internship. It worked for me. I was taking TPR Hyperlearning, and now I teach TPR MCAT Physical Sciences. Just thought it might help.
     
  6. the exam tests your ability to fundamentally understand material. memorizing stuff won't be any good. study a lot and think about the stuff all day long, esp the physics and chemistry. make sure everything you read makes good sense. then just keep studying until you get high scores on practice passages. make sure you do many many practice passages and when you do poorly in one of them, erase all the work and come back to it later on (weeks) and do it again. just keep reminding yourself of the mistakes you're making and focus on improving on them. many times people make stupid mistakes like miscalculations, etc. those cost bigtime. good luck, and start asking yourself that question: "how do you study for the mcat?" the more you ask yourself, the better your answers will get, the more you'll improve. i think
     
  7. UCLA2000

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    2,314
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I focused on my weakest subject, and as a result I got the highest score in that subject. I mainly studied by doing alot of practice mcats. I would take an exam, look at what I missed, and learn all of the concepts associated with it. I found that the AMCAS tests were the most helpful. I ended up taking around 22 or so Full length exams. I would also retake exams at a later date to see if I had learned the concepts that I had previously.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. SeeGulz

    SeeGulz Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2001
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had difficulty staying strong in all four subjects (bio, physics, chem, o-chem) simultaneously. By the time I felt comfortable in one or two subjects, I had already grown rusty in those subjects that I studied just prior.

    I started using flascards each day, and that seemed to keep most of it fresh in my mind. I bought some commercial cards, and also made my own (time consuming, but very helpful). Good luck to you.
     
  9. llessac15

    llessac15 Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2001
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    4
    When I took the MCAT in April, my score was less than satisfactory. So, during the summer, I set up a system. I started off by ordering Lippincott, Wilkins, and Williams MCAT Review and 8 different practice MCATs. While I waited on those to arrive(about 2 weeks), I went through the whole Kaplan Comprehensive Review. I would cover about 3 chapters a day and skip the ones that I knew I had under control. Every night before I went to bed I would use the flash cards designed for each chapter to reinforce the material. Let me add here that a friend of mine gave me the Kaplan course books, so I had a little advantage as far as material goes. Well, that was what I would call my appitizer.
    Here is how I didn't the major part of my studying:
    First thing, I took practice tests to see my weaknesses.
    My daily ritual:
    1) I would go through 2-4 chapters a day from the LLW book and the Kaplan.
    2) Then I would take pratice tests and do half of either one of the three MCAT sections.
    3) To finish off the day, I would go over whatever weaknesses I determined I had(mainly org. chem) and review the flash cards that correlated to the chapters I covered that day.
    This took about 3 hr. a day. A week before the MCAT, all I did was go through the flash cards. All in all, I went through the Kaplan book twice, took 8 pratice MCATs, and went throught the LLW book twice. My score on the August MCAT went up by 4 points compared to my April score. THE BIGGEST TIP I COULD GIVE YOU WOULD BE TO REALIZE WITH TYPE OF MATERIAL YOU CONSISTENTLY MISS ON YOUR PRACTICE TEST AND TO MAKE THOSE YOUR MAIN FOCUS.
    Be blessed and enjoy it, Matt
     
  10. Real

    Real Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you guys for your time! Your suggestions are priceless and I can't thank you enough. I will be making appropriate adjustment to my preparation. I look forward to succeeding. And Good luck to y'all at whatever stage of application you are.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. DarkenR

    DarkenR Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2001
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real,

    Everyone has a different learning method/comprehension level/etc.

    Some of my friends glanced at the Kaplan books once in a while, took a few practice tests, and scored in the low-mid 30's without breaking a sweat. I would be like, "damn, thats not fair." But after thinking about it, I said, "f*** it, I have to do whatever it takes to get the score I want - who cares how much anyone else has to study."

    For me at least, I had a similar experience to many of the above posters. I broke the test apart (V,BS,PS and then specifics in each area) at the start of the summer, realized my weak areas, and then studied almost everyday in 3-4 hr blocks. Make a detailed week-week schedule, stay consistent, and MAKE SURE YOU DO PRACTICE TESTS - AS MANY AS YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON (especially the AAMC ones). Timing in verbal was a bitch for me, for example, and the timed practice tests really helped with that.

    Whatever you do, DON'T make studying for the MCAT your life. Some people go to movies, theatre, whatever - you know, dork stuff. I was more into the getting hammered/clubbing/"partying" with girls to reward myself for studying so hard. Basically, leave enough time once or twice a week to get away from the MCAT.

    Anyway, just a few of my thoughts - good luck!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  12. DarkenR

    DarkenR Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2001
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real,

    Everyone has a different learning method/comprehension level/etc.

    Some of my friends glanced at the Kaplan books once in a while, took a few practice tests, and scored in the low-mid 30's without breaking a sweat. I would be like, "damn, thats not fair." But after thinking about it, I said, "f*** it, I have to do whatever it takes to get the score I want - who cares how much anyone else has to study."

    For me at least, I had a similar experience to many of the above posters. I broke the test apart (V,BS,PS and then specifics in each area) at the start of the summer, realized my weak areas, and then studied almost everyday in 3-4 hr blocks. Make a detailed week-week schedule, stay consistent, and MAKE SURE YOU DO PRACTICE TESTS - AS MANY AS YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON (especially the AAMC ones). Timing in verbal was a bitch for me, for example, and the timed practice tests really helped with that.

    Whatever you do, DON'T make studying for the MCAT your life. Some people go to movies, theatre, whatever - you know, dork stuff. I was more into the getting hammered/clubbing/"partying" with girls to reward myself for studying so hard. Basically, leave enough time once or twice a week to get away from the MCAT.

    Anyway, just a few of my thoughts - good luck!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  13. USeF

    USeF sunny L.A.
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2001
    Messages:
    901
    Likes Received:
    2
    not sure if you and others preparing for the MCAT are aware, but searching the archives of this forum is VERY useful. You gotta realize that the same questions get asked every year, creating a whole database of answers.

    Here's a way that I found 14 good threads:
    -click Search at the top center of the page
    -type study MCAT for the search phrase
    -select Subject only under 'Search In' to narrow it down greatly

    try various combinations of phrases to get different topics. Good luck! :)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  14. alice

    alice Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    1
    my method: not the most original, but helps with time-management issues for SURE.

    i was a complete kaplan devotee. i did what they said, when they said to do it. i took the course and read their materials (and only theirs). it worked.
     
  15. brandonite

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Messages:
    2,264
    Likes Received:
    3
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  16. Real

    Real Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    DarkenR,
    Thanks for your comment. I agree that everyone has different learning style, I also believe you may never know if other styles are better if you never try it. I see the MCAT as a war that must be won and I want to give it all I can to WIN like you guys and this include seeking out information. As you know the secret of succesful people is in their stories.

    USef,
    Thanks for you suggestion also. I believe it is appropriate to always have topic like this current for the sake of new users who need help and may not have thought of doing a search. Also there will always be fresh ideas, thoughts and opportunity to share the useful advice of people who may not have contributed to such comment in the past and that is why I started the thread. Anyway, would want to tell you that you have a nice web-page and you seem to have tons of "extras" to back your application (how did u have time to do all that and still do well on the MCAT ?) Well, I wish you good luck on your application.

    Alice,
    The kaplan pro. Thanks for letting me know you view also! I have the TPR materials given to me by my friend and that is what I'm using now. I will also be getting some kaplan materials. At any rate, I am facing the challenge as a fighter and I look forward to succeeding.

    Thanks to all contributors and would be contributors. I hope people like me who need your wise advice can find something uselful on this thread.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  17. sweets

    sweets New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,
    I was in the same boat-that is not knowing how to study for this nightmare of an exam called MCAT. I am presently taking Kaplan-but I have found that nothing BEATS doing questions. I am serious-I study the concepts and I use this Hyperlearning MCAT Princeton book to do questions and to see how they come up with the answers. At this point, I am really, really focused on the questions. Also, I work part-time so I can take more practice exams.

    I hope this was helpful.
     
  18. CoffeeCat

    CoffeeCat SDN Angel
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2001
    Messages:
    1,041
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Yes, I know this doesn't belong here, but I've had no luck. Does any amazingly wonderful person have the kaplan flash cards or TPR A-D & diags for sale? If not, you never saw this illegal post ;)
     
  19. Real

    Real Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was also thinking of asking those of you who used the flash cards (Illssac15 & co) to please tell us where to get it. I looked around the bookstores close to me and doesn't seem to find any. Any help is appreciated.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  20. eagle26

    eagle26 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I made my own flash cards. It seemed to work pretty well, although I did go through about 1500 cards by the time I was done making them!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  21. DLe

    DLe

    coffecat, I have the TPR A-D. If you are interested, sent me an email.
     
  22. CoffeeCat

    CoffeeCat SDN Angel
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2001
    Messages:
    1,041
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I'm interested. Please email me [email protected] I couldn't access yours. Thank you!!
     

Share This Page