Please help me with my study plan

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Full Member
10+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2008
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Thanks for reading this thread, I am hopeful you could offer at least some constructive advice for my situation.

I am a non-trad student who took all the prereqs are part of my major 5 years ago (in 2004-06). I graduated with a different degree last year and have been studying for the MCAT since Oct 2009. I signed up for the Kaplan class then to keep myself structured more than anything and also for their question banks for PS and BS. I bought all of the Berkeley Review books (except for Bio) as advised in the sticky note. I also bought all of the EK 1001 question books. Plus, of course I have the Kaplan books. So resource-wise I think I'm set, except that I think I have too much so I've been hopping from book to book, which part of thinks was more of a detriment than benefit.

That said, my study plan has sort of a mix between Berkeley Review and Kaplan. I have to work part time, no option to quit, and I work at night, so usually out of 7 days of the week at least 2-3 are shot. I try to study in between, but it's hard to pay attention and simple questions take me longer than they would on day I'm not so tired.

Basically, I've tried to follow the sticky note recommendation 2-3 month plan with the BR books. I have read most of the chapters (I have like 1-2 chapters left in chem and orgo, finished physics completely), and 2 chapters in bio EK book. I have done the 1/3 of questions as recommended at the end of each BR book. I have also tried to keep up with Kaplan because they require you to do certain number of quizzes online for their "higher score guarantee" and also take 5 of their FL tests. I have done 2/3 of their required stuff, taken 3 of their FL and yesterday took my first AAMC FL #3. I am scheduled to take the MCAT May 22.

But I am stuck. My Kaplan FL#1 was 16 (PS: 4, VR: 5, BS: 6) , 2nd a 21 (PS: 5, VR: 8, BS: 8) and 3rd 22 (PS: 7, VR: 8, BS: 7). and yesterday my AAMC #3 was 18 (PS: 6, VR: 4, BS: 8).

My plan was to do at least 140 questions a day: 80 in EK books for each subject and then 60 in BR (passage based at the end of the chapters). That didn't really work because I found myself totally bogged down with the EK questions barely having enough time to even get to the BR questions, especially in physics and chem. Orgo and bio were much easier and manageable. In between that time my score went from 16 to 21. I couldn't analyze any of the FLs because I wouldn't have been able to finish all of the questions for the day, so I thought it would be more beneficial to do the questions instead of analyzing. Big mistake. So I analyzed FL #3 from Kaplan and then took the AAMC. Still got an 18.

Right now I am sort of at crossroads. Kaplan has these "topical tests" where it's 40 questions either in physics, chem or orgo or bio that is timed and represents a specific area of the subject (only translational motion or only work and energy). Then they have "subject tests" that take a 1/3 of the whole material and mix it all up and give you another 40 questions and you can practice all of it. So what I was thinking is doing 80-120 questions a day for those. Reasonably speaking, it takes about 1 hr to do the 40 questions and then I usually take 1-1.5hrs to analyze, maybe even 2. So that's almost 3 hours per 40 questions. I have been putting in a lot of hours - like 8-10 per day but it's not really helping. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. :( I was thinking about focusing totally on the PS and VR and then letting Bio slide until I am at least in the 10s range for the above 2 on the FLs, then focusing on the Bio toward the test day. I would be ok getting an 8 in the bio in May and then retake in Aug and only focus on Bio. I know it's not the best plan in the world, but it's my only "haphazard" way of thinking about it.

If you have any questions that I couldn't think of writing here, please let me know. If someone could offer some insight, I would appreciate it. I am really determined and I am going to keep going. I am going to take and re-take the kaplan class and keep studying. I just wish I had a better plan. Everything else in my application is stellar: GPA, clinical experience, etc. I'm not stopping here. This is the ONLY thing that I need to beat... and I'm gonna do it.

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