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Practice tests

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by BeatrixKiddo, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. BeatrixKiddo

    BeatrixKiddo Guest

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    Aug 21, 2006
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    How should I view my results on the Practice tests out there, not the AAMC ones but the ones from Princeton and Kaplan. I had a chance to take both and they both showed very different results, for example on princetons Phys I got a 4 and in Kaplans phys science i got a 10. is this probably a mistake or just chance variation? K guys good luck
     
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  3. Dr.Inviz

    Dr.Inviz Banned Banned

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    Oct 1, 2006
    No idea, except that maybe Princeton's version could have been extremely difficult? Or, did you study before taking Kaplan's?
     
  4. DocBR

    DocBR MS-3 5+ Year Member

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    Jan 20, 2007
    Arizona

    If you received a 4 on Princeton and a 10 on Kaplan, I think you should assume the 10 was a fluke.

    Also - I took Kaplan and one thing you will learn if you do enough of their tests and speak to the instructors (or at least this was the case summer of 2006) their physics questions are much more calculation intensive than the actual MCAT. Also, their VR is a cake walk compared to the real deal.
     
  5. BeatrixKiddo

    BeatrixKiddo Guest

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    I studied a few chapters of Physical sciences before the kaplan one, but i don't recall using any of that info on the test..

    So they VR and PS is bad, then why take kaplan at all?? I was planning on signing up today for their march 3rd course
     
  6. DocBR

    DocBR MS-3 5+ Year Member

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    Jan 20, 2007
    Arizona

    First let me give a disclaimer that this is entirely my opinion. Some people feel Kaplan was a crucial element of their exam prep - I do not. You should get opinions from both sides of the issue.

    The one case where I think Kaplan would be great for someone is if they need the direction provided. If you are a self starter and have a fairly good concept of the basic pre-req sciences - I would say go spend about 350$ buying examkrackers, AAMC practice tests, just about everything else you can sweep up. Use the remaining 1150$ and go on a vacation.

    Oh, also if you buy the Kaplan comprehensive review book it has the exact same material that is in their classroom books.

    I found the classes to be a waste of time - their VR strategy was 'take it or leave it' - a better use of your time would be to tackle 20-30 full length VR sections rather than learning 15-some types of VR questions, etc.

    Their physics and Chemistry sections put a lot of emphasis on how to tackle very pointed, specific problems that have not shown up since 2002 (at least not in the capacity that they will want to teach you). The one exception for Kaplan is their acid/bases material which is very comprehensive and if you can put forth the time, it will help you despite not needing to the calculations. Examkrackers has a great PS book which covers the same stuff though.

    Their biology stuff is VERY good though (but you can get all that from their comprehensive review guide). It focuses on what is important, and ignores everything else.

    Their O-chem courses make you want to bang your head into the table as someone in the class asks for the 11-zillionth time how to solve very basic Ochem problems like determining aromaticity.

    In the long run, I felt like Kaplan put all this emphasis on scaring students and making them feel as if they NEEDED Kaplan to succeed. They also like to put planted questions in their material to highlight the 'Kaplan advantage.'

    For instance, I remember in the VR section they put this one question in session 2 or 3 where you are supposed to use the Kaplan method which will allow you answer the question without any knowledge what-so-ever of the passage. In reality, the Kaplan Method is just common sense - i.e. if there is an extreme statement (Always, necessarily, etc) it is probably false.
     
  7. BeatrixKiddo

    BeatrixKiddo Guest

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    Well I wanted to take kaplan because of the full length AAMC exams, and so i would start studying earlier, if I don't take them, I'd probably study after finals only, and that would give me 1.5 months of studying on my own, but if i took kaplan, i'd start now, which would be 3.5 months of "studying".

    Also.. vacation is a far stretched idea, first of all I live in fl which is like a vacation anyway, and second, I have no friends so I'd have to go to key west alone.. :(
     
  8. DocBR

    DocBR MS-3 5+ Year Member

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    Jan 20, 2007
    Arizona

    The AAMC exams can be bought from AAMC for like 40$ a peice, and if I remember correctly when I took Kaplan there were only about 8 or 9 of them that were still accurate to the way they test now.

    If you take Kaplan, just be aware that it is not all that you should be doing. I strongly, strongly recommend getting some extra practice tests for VR. In the last 3 weeks of studying, I was getting 12-13 consistently on the Kaplan VR sections with about 9 minutes to spare after each practice section. To my surprise, when I got the examkrackers, I was score 9-10 and either did not finish, or would barely finish. Had I known Kaplan's sections were not as acurate in measuring your abilities for the exam, I would have been EK VR sections all along.
     

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