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Princeton Review???

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Medgirl07

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Hey guys, im getting ready to take an MCAT prep course with either Kaplan or the Princeton Review. The princeton review fits my schedule better, and with kaplan i would have to drop some classes to be able to attend the course. Everyone here in my area, takes Kaplan and says its really good and so im scared to be the only one taking the princeton review cause i have heard nothing about it. I just want to know if anyone here took it and if it helped?
 

Off2Oz

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Medgirl07 said:
Hey guys, im getting ready to take an MCAT prep course with either Kaplan or the Princeton Review. The princeton review fits my schedule better, and with kaplan i would have to drop some classes to be able to attend the course. Everyone here in my area, takes Kaplan and says its really good and so im scared to be the only one taking the princeton review cause i have heard nothing about it. I just want to know if anyone here took it and if it helped?

Sure! I didn't take the course, but I was an instructor at TPR (Princeton Review) for one summer - my students did very well on the MCAT, and I think the course was helpful to them.

That being said, I'm sure Kaplan's is just as good, and both are really just guides as to how you should focus your study (and therefore score well on the test). There is definitely good material covered in the lecture, but nothing you couldn't do on your own with the materials.

I'd just choose the one your more comfortable with - it's no use studying for the MCAT only to have your GPA suffer... Just do your best so you don't have to re-write! :rolleyes:

Cheers.
 
J

JohnSmith96543

First I'd like to apologize in advance for selling in this forum, however, medgirl07 to be honest I took a course and found absolutely no use for it other than the books/tests they give you.

If you are interested, I am selling the package I used to prepare for the MCAT for $150. If you want to check it out, it is in the For Sale Forum.

Once again, I apologize for selling in this forum, however, I personally feel the only real benefits a course does is provide you with books.
 

angietron3000

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Medgirl07 said:
Hey guys, im getting ready to take an MCAT prep course with either Kaplan or the Princeton Review. The princeton review fits my schedule better, and with kaplan i would have to drop some classes to be able to attend the course. Everyone here in my area, takes Kaplan and says its really good and so im scared to be the only one taking the princeton review cause i have heard nothing about it. I just want to know if anyone here took it and if it helped?
It all depends on how much time you put into it. Most people I know here swear by princeton review, including a friend who just graduated from UCLA med school and convinced me to take it. I went up 14 points from my first test to the real thing, but I was studying A LOT.

Princeton is pretty good at scaring you into thinking you know nothing, so you study really hard.
 

Jbienven

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Medgirl07 said:
Hey guys, im getting ready to take an MCAT prep course with either Kaplan or the Princeton Review. The princeton review fits my schedule better, and with kaplan i would have to drop some classes to be able to attend the course. Everyone here in my area, takes Kaplan and says its really good and so im scared to be the only one taking the princeton review cause i have heard nothing about it. I just want to know if anyone here took it and if it helped?

I went up 17 using TPR, but like someone else said... its all in how you study. I don't think the class room time helped much at all (minus making me think about it). Taking the diagnostics and just having material to learn from was good though.
 

truckibear

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Medgirl07 said:
Hey guys, im getting ready to take an MCAT prep course with either Kaplan or the Princeton Review. The princeton review fits my schedule better, and with kaplan i would have to drop some classes to be able to attend the course. Everyone here in my area, takes Kaplan and says its really good and so im scared to be the only one taking the princeton review cause i have heard nothing about it. I just want to know if anyone here took it and if it helped?

Completely depends on what YOU need. Someone posted that they found the courses unhelpful and that the books were all they needed. That is fine if you are strong about studying independently and working things out on your own. Kaplan is also much better for students who are independent. The Princeton Review is also equally good... but much more suited for those who need structure, guidance, or someone to talk to if you have questions about material, etc. On some occasions they will be spoon-feeding you information, which is completely fine if that's the way you like it. Figure out how you study best and then consider your options... and in fact, if you think you have enough self-discipline and independence to completely study on your own you may just consider buying books and setting up your own study schedule. Whatever works for you, good luck :)
 

silas2642

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Medgirl07 said:
Hey guys, im getting ready to take an MCAT prep course with either Kaplan or the Princeton Review. The princeton review fits my schedule better, and with kaplan i would have to drop some classes to be able to attend the course. Everyone here in my area, takes Kaplan and says its really good and so im scared to be the only one taking the princeton review cause i have heard nothing about it. I just want to know if anyone here took it and if it helped?

It depends on how motivated you are... if you know that you are not going to put any tiime this fall or spring into studying for the mcat, then yeah, I'd take the review course. If not, save yourself the dough, get some books and study yourself. That's what I did, and I found I did just as well if not better than the majority of people taking the review courses. Just remember to study-- do lots of practice exams and take the mcat as if it was another class. Cram studying into the last two weeks, and you're probably going to end up fried.
 

Camillekc

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Okay, I took the full kaplan course, and I really really regret it. What a waste of money. If you can read, just buy the books; it's much cheaper, and what the course amounts to is someone reading you from the books (sometimes correctly, sometimes incorrectly). I think the only helpful thing was having proctored tests; however, they would only grade my written portion twice, and for one I recieved no comments and it was returned 2 days before the actual MCAT. As well, I don't know if anyone else has found this, but I think the grading of their proctored exams is a little iffy- I think they inflate your grades at the end to make you think you're improving. On the last exam I took with them, I arrived 45 minutes late for the first section, left significantly early after falling asleep during the other two. I hadn't done any studying since the last time I took it and I improved 4 points, or something ridiculous like that.

The most helpful thing I would suggest would be to get the AAMC practice items- tests and passages.

Good luck.
 

Camillekc

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As a note, I also ended up skipping a lot (maybe most) of the classes and homework, so to be honest, I'm not really a good representative of a kaplan student. It could work for you, but I ended up just studying the AAMC things on my own (which they do provide access to).
 

pagemmapants

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Ok, I think I need to give you the flip side of Kaplan, after Camille's input. Not that I'm saying her's isn't valid - I just had a completely different experience with them.

I walked in to my first day kind of cocky about it; I'd done very well in all the pre-requisite courses and was actually trying to figure out what a prep course could provide other than a schedule by which to review. I ended up with QUITE the crappy score on the diagnostic (and yes, it's designed to give you a crappy score for various reasons) and decided that I was going to do my best to "buy into" the whole system. (For a skeptic, this was a pretty unorthodox attitude). So I did as much of the homework as I could, made it a habit of taking practice tests even outside of the proctored ones, and used the HECK out of all of the extra review material they provide (but do not necessarily require). I ended up going up 6 points in PS, 5 in Verbal, and 3 in Bio.

I guess for me it was worth it, but with the Kaplan program you really need to be able to self-motivate and actually DO the "homework" they ask of you. Otherwise, the in-class portions are nowhere near as effective.

I, obviously, didn't take Princeton Review, but one of my friends just took the MCAT for the second time - the first time he prepped with Berkeley, the second with Princeton, and in his opinion Princeton was FAR more effective than Berkeley. Berkeley, apparently, tends to focus on content more than anything else, which is pretty useless. From what i could tell from his prep materials, though, Princeton does cover some stuff with I never encountered on an AAMC practice test, OR the real one, and a lot of their homework and review questions aren't in the multiple choice format (which I, personally, think is sort of silly when prepping for a multiple choice test).

$0.02.
 

Off2Oz

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Camillekc said:
Okay, I took the full kaplan course, and I really really regret it. What a waste of money. If you can read, just buy the books; it's much cheaper, and what the course amounts to is someone reading you from the books (sometimes correctly, sometimes incorrectly). I think the only helpful thing was having proctored tests; however, they would only grade my written portion twice, and for one I recieved no comments and it was returned 2 days before the actual MCAT. As well, I don't know if anyone else has found this, but I think the grading of their proctored exams is a little iffy- I think they inflate your grades at the end to make you think you're improving. On the last exam I took with them, I arrived 45 minutes late for the first section, left significantly early after falling asleep during the other two. I hadn't done any studying since the last time I took it and I improved 4 points, or something ridiculous like that.

The most helpful thing I would suggest would be to get the AAMC practice items- tests and passages.

Good luck.

WOW. Sounds like you had a lousy teacher... Hmm..

I think that the AAMC practice exams are often either dated or too easy. I found working on really tough exams from "The Gold Standard" book was very helpful.

You only had essays graded TWICE?! And just before the exam?! Wow again. You should get in touch with Kaplan and fight your money back! =)
 

angietron3000

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I should add that even though I liked Princeton and the in class practice and diags kicked my ass enough to make me study, I actually bought the Examcrackers books and used those instead of the princeton ones.. they were much more concise and left out a lot of extra stuff you don't really *need* for the MCAT.
 
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