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Apr 6, 2020
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Hi everyone,

I'm currently registered to test on March 13 and took Kaplan FL 1 earlier today. My score was 504 (125/126/126/127).

I took the sample AAMC last weekend and did content review all week. I've noticed that content review is not significantly altering the number of questions I'm getting correct. Only C/P showed a noticeable bump.

On sample AAMC, my questions correct were as follows:
C/P: 59% correct
CARS: 81% correct
B/B: 69% correct
P/S: 81% correct

On Kaplan FL1, my questions correct were as follows:
C/P: 69% correct
CARS: 74% correct
B/B: 73% correct
P/S: 78% correct

I've been doing content review for a month now. Should I stop review and focus solely on practice questions from here on out? I have UWorld and AAMC materials.

In terms of my goal score, I'm definitely aiming for 514+.
 
Oct 16, 2020
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First off, are there any major areas of content review that you haven't gotten to at all yet—like, if someone were to ask you "what do you know about fluids?", your response would be something like "uhh buoyancy is a pain and I remember something about pipes and stuff"? If so, it'd be a good idea to review those areas at least to the point of being able to benefit from relevant practice problems. Otherwise, go for it, and focus primarily (not solely) on practice questions—that is, let practice questions guide you to areas where you need to do a more careful and thorough review of the content.

IMO anyway, content review vs. practice is a spectrum, not a dichotomy. For instance, it's beneficial to do at least some practice early on in your study process so that you get a better sense of how the MCAT tests science, which can inform your content review...and then on the flip side, as you do practice problems, you're still going to be constantly engaging with and refining your knowledge of the science content, along with improving strategy etc. With that in mind, I tend to view the first stage of content review as being about "progress, not perfection"—that is, the goal is to familiarize yourself w/ the broad scope of MCAT content enough so that you'll learn more effectively from practice, not to memorize everything for once and for all.
 
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BerkReviewTeach

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I've been doing content review for a month now. Should I stop review and focus solely on practice questions from here on out?
YES!!!!! Far too many people emphasize content review and end up exactly where you are. Absorbing content is passive. Working through flashcards is passive. Taking notes on videos is passive. The MCAT is NOT passive. As you learned (thankfully early), powering content review did not increase your score.

My average student last year scored within a few points of where you are aiming, and it was not the result of content review but instead, the result of application bombardment. It was the result of working not just hard, but more so, working smart.

Most people preparing for the MCAT repeat the process that worked for them in college. Read, remember, recall. While that was a great plan for college exams, it's not the best one for the MCAT. What many people fail to realize is that passive learning doesn't work for an exam like the MCAT. You have to constantly think and apply information, not just recall it. That can only come from practicing with realistic questions and then reviewing detailed answer explanations that show not only what the best answer is, but also why the wrong answers were bad choices.

And while doing practice questions and thorough review, guess what happens? You end up reviewing content, but in an applied way. The kind of way that makes you learn better.

If you have the time, look over SDN posts for the last two, three, five, or ten years and see if you can find anyone lower than 508 on the new exam or 30 on the old exam that used our 10,000 question method. It's hard work. You will read posts from some people who gave up after a week or two. You will also read about people who stuck with it, and mastered things like optics after doing the 125 or so questions in that chapter. By the time they sat for the MCAT, they were ready to interpret any passage and translate any question they got.

Learn by doing!!!
 
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anniekat2025

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Jun 7, 2018
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Hi everyone,

I'm currently registered to test on March 13 and took Kaplan FL 1 earlier today. My score was 504 (125/126/126/127).

I took the sample AAMC last weekend and did content review all week. I've noticed that content review is not significantly altering the number of questions I'm getting correct. Only C/P showed a noticeable bump.

On sample AAMC, my questions correct were as follows:
C/P: 59% correct
CARS: 81% correct
B/B: 69% correct
P/S: 81% correct

On Kaplan FL1, my questions correct were as follows:
C/P: 69% correct
CARS: 74% correct
B/B: 73% correct
P/S: 78% correct

I've been doing content review for a month now. Should I stop review and focus solely on practice questions from here on out? I have UWorld and AAMC materials.

In terms of my goal score, I'm definitely aiming for 514+.
I would start to work you way through the UWorld questions, utilizing a thorough review of each and every question. You should understand why the right answers are right and the wrong answers are wrong for every question. For the questions you get wrong, you should understand why you got it wrong and what you needed to do to answer correctly.

Let the topics that challenge you or the types of questions you continually get wrong/struggle with guide your content review. If you find yourself continually struggling with a certain type of physics problem or you can't for the life of you remember the steps of mitosis, take some time to watch some Khan Academy videos or re-read that textbook section to get that specific material down. Make some Anki cards for the topics you struggle with as well, and hit those every day.
 
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MedSchoolTutors

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Typically you should have your day be something like 2/3 questions, 1/3 review once you have worked through your initial content review phase. Questions should be the underpinning of any plan, and I typically recommend doing lots of them early in the morning when your brain is fresh. The evening is great for less active work like Anki and any content relearning you might have to do.

David D, MD - USMLE and MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors
 
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