wwang0919

2+ Year Member
May 15, 2016
38
2
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Hello everyone,

I understand from multiple threads that stated Kaplan's practice tests are relatively harder than the actual exam. However, I thought that I would still be able to score a decent score with all the studying I did, which was using the Kaplan book primarily for Biology and Dr. Collins for Chem and Q.A for about 3 months. I took my first Kaplan practice exam and got a 25 percentile. Has anyone previously scored such a low percentile and was still able to do well on the actual PCAT? Thanks in advance.
 
May 5, 2016
96
18
Hello everyone,

I understand from multiple threads that stated Kaplan's practice tests are relatively harder than the actual exam. However, I thought that I would still be able to score a decent score with all the studying I did, which was using the Kaplan book primarily for Biology and Dr. Collins for Chem and Q.A for about 3 months. I took my first Kaplan practice exam and got a 25 percentile. Has anyone previously scored such a low percentile and was still able to do well on the actual PCAT? Thanks in advance.
Were you studying effectively? In which areas on the practice exam did you not perform well? You've studied for a long time, so I feel like 25 percentile is pretty low. Not trying to discourage you, but maybe you should reevaluate how you are studying and learn from there. I got a 79 percentile on the Kaplan practice test four days before my real exam (after 2 months of studying) and got a 97 percentile on the real one. Have you tried a Pearson practice test?
 
OP
W

wwang0919

2+ Year Member
May 15, 2016
38
2
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Hello, I only did decent on the critical reading section. I think I struggled most with the reading passages on bio and chem and ran out of time on Q.A. I did not take a Pearson practice test yet. Is there any way I can improve on the reading passages section?
 
Aug 3, 2015
3
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
So, I am in a similar situation as @wwang0919 . This is what I've been getting....
  • 36 percentile in my first Kaplan full-length practice exam back in late June
  • 81 percentile on my second (full-length)
  • 78 percentile on my third (a shortened version)
  • 71 percentile today (full-length)
Mind you, the first two are 2014-2015 versions. I started my studying process by reviewing everything in June, then constantly doing practice problems from July until now, using everything I have (Dr. Collins, Kaplan, Barrons, Princeton Review). But I still don't feel confident with the passages, especially the long and complicated ones that Kaplan provides... any advice???

My performance in each section varied from test to test... Should I be concerned about consistency?

@futurepharmD103 - I truly hope my situation turns out to be like yours!!! What did you do in the 4 days between your practice and actual exam?
 
OP
W

wwang0919

2+ Year Member
May 15, 2016
38
2
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
So, I am in a similar situation as @wwang0919 . This is what I've been getting....
  • 36 percentile in my first Kaplan full-length practice exam back in late June
  • 81 percentile on my second (full-length)
  • 78 percentile on my third (a shortened version)
  • 71 percentile today (full-length)
Mind you, the first two are 2014-2015 versions. I started my studying process by reviewing everything in June, then constantly doing practice problems from July until now, using everything I have (Dr. Collins, Kaplan, Barrons, Princeton Review). But I still don't feel confident with the passages, especially the long and complicated ones that Kaplan provides... any advice???

My performance in each section varied from test to test... Should I be concerned about consistency?

@futurepharmD103 - I truly hope my situation turns out to be like yours!!! What did you do in the 4 days between your practice and actual exam?
I'd be over the moon if I got a 71 percentile on Kaplan. I feel that I don't understand the chem passages at all :(
 
Aug 3, 2015
3
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Trust me, I barely get a grasp on any of the passages... But like other people have advised, read the bio/chem questions that accompany the passages before reading the passage. Sometimes, you'd only need prior knowledge to get the answer. I honestly feel like the passages are mainly there just to throw us off...
 
May 5, 2016
96
18
Hello, I only did decent on the critical reading section. I think I struggled most with the reading passages on bio and chem and ran out of time on Q.A. I did not take a Pearson practice test yet. Is there any way I can improve on the reading passages section?
Hi, like a lot of people recommend, I suggest reading the passage-based questions first. On the real exam, especially for the chem section, I was able to answer the majority without reading the passages first. If you need to refer back to the passage, then try to quickly point out where it is referring to: figure, table, or sometimes you may have to skim the passage quickly.
When I did the Kaplan practice test, I noticed that I had to read the passages more in-depth which was not the case on the real exam. I scored really really low on the chem of the last Kaplan practice test but made 99 on the real one, so don't be discouraged! If you have money, try one or two Pearson practice tests as they reflect the style of the real exam more closely in my opinion and also closer result.
 
May 5, 2016
96
18
So, I am in a similar situation as @wwang0919 . This is what I've been getting....
  • 36 percentile in my first Kaplan full-length practice exam back in late June
  • 81 percentile on my second (full-length)
  • 78 percentile on my third (a shortened version)
  • 71 percentile today (full-length)
Mind you, the first two are 2014-2015 versions. I started my studying process by reviewing everything in June, then constantly doing practice problems from July until now, using everything I have (Dr. Collins, Kaplan, Barrons, Princeton Review). But I still don't feel confident with the passages, especially the long and complicated ones that Kaplan provides... any advice???

My performance in each section varied from test to test... Should I be concerned about consistency?

@futurepharmD103 - I truly hope my situation turns out to be like yours!!! What did you do in the 4 days between your practice and actual exam?
To be honest, I didn't do anything.. I was so nervous before the test, I couldn't even study. Lol I think I reviewed the bio materials really fast just to kill time.. I think your good scores on the Kaplan are hopeful! Good luck.
 
OP
W

wwang0919

2+ Year Member
May 15, 2016
38
2
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Hi, like a lot of people recommend, I suggest reading the passage-based questions first. On the real exam, especially for the chem section, I was able to answer the majority without reading the passages first. If you need to refer back to the passage, then try to quickly point out where it is referring to: figure, table, or sometimes you may have to skim the passage quickly.
When I did the Kaplan practice test, I noticed that I had to read the passages more in-depth which was not the case on the real exam. I scored really really low on the chem of the last Kaplan practice test but made 99 on the real one, so don't be discouraged! If you have money, try one or two Pearson practice tests as they reflect the style of the real exam more closely in my opinion and also closer result.
Thanks! Do you have any tips on improving in organic chemistry? I didn't take the course yet and have been just using Dr. Collins and YouTube videos but I don't seem to be improving.