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Ari1584

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I took my test in sept and scored a 25, and signed up to re-take in jan. I recently recieved the whole set of berk review books, and i started reviewing. As im going through these books, i have realized that its taking me two days or maybe three to go through one section in the book. This includes reading/note taking, then going through the passages, and then looking up all the answers and writing a log of everything i got wrong. I study for about 6 hours a day and have been trying to take at least one day a week off. Since i only recieved these books about 2 weeks ago, i have only gone through all the first sections in each of the books, and im on the second section of the bio now (i have finished sec 2 of chem). I have gone through the month of nov, dec and january, marking down which subjects ill study on which days just to see how long it will take me to go through all the books. If i stay directly on schedule and don't take any days off, including studying on holidays and my birthday, and taking about 2 days/section, then i'll be done on January 27. This obviously won't work, seeing that my test date is jan 30th. Either i'm not studying correctly with these books...or it's really just supposed to take this long to go through all of them. I'm now thinking it might be better to reschedule for a diff date than jan because ideally i wanted to take all the AAMC'S over again, and take all the berk review practice tests. I thought i should at least have 1.5 months for that so i can take the tests and thoroughly review. I def dont want to take this test three times...but i don't know if im studying with these books correctly. I also dont want to wait too long to make my decision, bc im sure the seats are pretty filled already. I definitely need some advice on what to do. Thanks everyone!
 

Revilla

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any responses? i really need ur guys' help :(

I haven't studied with TBR, but why would you rush it? This is your second attempt so you should take as long as you need before sitting for the exam. Unless you've applied this cycle and you're on-hold pending a January MCAT score, why not change it to March so there's no question about whether or not you'll be ready?
 

Ari1584

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I haven't studied with TBR, but why would you rush it? This is your second attempt so you should take as long as you need before sitting for the exam. Unless you've applied this cycle and you're on-hold pending a January MCAT score, why not change it to March so there's no question about whether or not you'll be ready?


I guess my main concern is that i think im not using these books correctly or something. I mean, for those of you that have used these books, does it take like 2 months to completely go through them? Ugh i just dont know...i dont know if im jumping to conclusions already and want to reschedule quickly. I also picked a seat at the same test center i already took and and they dont have at that same one in march, but they have a seat left in a diff test center. I just wanted to be at the same one to be a little more familiar...i dont want to go take that March seat and then two days from today realize that i am over reacting and would be fine with taking in jan. Things like this always happen to me!
 
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Vihsadas

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I haven't used the TBR books myself, but I do have intimate knowledge of the breadth of testable material on the MCAT. It probably shouldn't be taking you as long as it is to go through each section. How are you going about it? Are you reading every single little thing, or are you priroritizing the bits of information that are really new to you, or that you think you might have a problem working with in the future?
 

Ari1584

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I haven't used the TBR books myself, but I do have intimate knowledge of the breadth of testable material on the MCAT. It probably shouldn't be taking you as long as it is to go through each section. How are you going about it? Are you reading every single little thing, or are you priroritizing the bits of information that are really new to you, or that you think you might have a problem working with in the future?


I am reading each section thoroughly and taking notes on new things i learned, then doing the passages (there are 100 questions in each section). Then i look up each answer and read the explanation to make sure i know why i got it right or wrong and take note of what i get wrong. I made a post earlier about going through 2 sections in one day and ppl said i was going too fast. I just don't know if im going to fast or too slow or what. These books are diff than other review books bc they have so many passages after each section. I mean, am i studying too in-depth?
 

Vihsadas

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I am reading each section thoroughly and taking notes on new things i learned, then doing the passages (there are 100 questions in each section). Then i look up each answer and read the explanation to make sure i know why i got it right or wrong and take note of what i get wrong. I made a post earlier about going through 2 sections in one day and ppl said i was going too fast. I just don't know if im going to fast or too slow or what. These books are diff than other review books bc they have so many passages after each section. I mean, am i studying too in-depth?

100 questions in passage format is about 14 passages per section. That's a large chunk per section. When you are first learning the material, the types of questions that really help are the discrete, "test only one concept" type questions. You can (and should) also do a number of passages with that, but maybe its taking you a while because the very basic concepts haven't been thoroughly drilled in? Just a thought.

Now that I think about it, 14 passages shouldn't take you more than 2-3 hours to complete (8-12 mins per passage) and then 1-2 hours to review your answers. Are you moving too slowly when you are doing the passages? I'm not saying that you should attack the practice passages like you're in timed, testing conditions, but you should try and answer them quickly and efficiently, and if you can't figure something out in a few minutes, move on to the next question.
 

Ari1584

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100 questions in passage format is about 14 passages per section. That's a large chunk per section. When you are first learning the material, the types of questions that really help are the discrete, "test only one concept" type questions. You can (and should) also do a number of passages with that, but maybe its taking you a while because the very basic concepts haven't been thoroughly drilled in? Just a thought.

Now that I think about it, 14 passages shouldn't take you more than 2-3 hours to complete (8-12 mins per passage) and then 1-2 hours to review your answers. Are you moving too slowly when you are doing the passages? I'm not saying that you should attack the practice passages like you're in timed, testing conditions, but you should try and answer them quickly and efficiently, and if you can't figure something out in a few minutes, move on to the next question.


I guess that may be the problem...i only time myself for a certain number of them and then go through others very slowly to understand concepts more. I am just very nervous about taking the mcat for the second time and dont want to make any mistakes along the way. I want to take all the aamc's and then the BR tests and i thought i should at least have 1.5 months alone for practice tests. At this rate that im going, i def won't have that much time left for practice tests. I hate that we can't sign up for more than one test at a time! Do you think i should reschedule for march? I really just need someone to let me know if re-scheduling is a bad idea bc its waiting like 5 months from the last time that i took my exam. Also, if i do reschedule, should i just do it in march at a different test center in chicago...which got horrible reviews for bad staff and flickering comps, or wait another month till april for the same test center i already took at (bc i liked it there). Seats are filling fast...need help! thanks!!
 
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SN2ed

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I guess that may be the problem...i only time myself for a certain number of them and then go through others very slowly to understand concepts more.

ALWAYS TAKE YOUR PRACTICE PROBLEMS UNDER TIMED CONDITIONS.

When you go back and review your results, THEN you can take more time to understand the concepts.

About rescheduling, at this point, yes you should. What practice material have you used before? This will help me decide what's a good date.
 

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Have you tried TPR books. Those are very well written. Although you need to take their course to get those books, try searching around to see if you can get them.
 

Simran1031

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i think you should not rush this exam and take as much time as you need. I know that when I go through the Exam Kracker books it takes me a while too. but i think it is better to leave the chapter with a thorough understanding instead of you having to feel like you are rushing. i do agree that all practices need to be timed. im taking a second time too..in late april or may! best of luck whatever you decide! =)
 

kypreos

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I dont know about the berkley review books but it takes me 3-4 hours a day for 1 section with the kaplans review. they outline the concepts that you need to know and then quiz you on the main concepts on the exam. there shouldnt be that much attention to detail. and the quiz afterwards lets you know how well you understood the material so im guessing skim through your passages quicker and do not take your time. then you can take your time reviewing what you got wrong. i am also begining my practice tests dec. 8th for the jan 31st exam. i should be done with all the material prior to dec 8th. you know the material from your classes and you should be brushing up on the main concepts and ONLY the concepts tested on the mcat. then through practice exams you can really see where your weaknesses are and while reviewing your practice exams you can go back and review some of the concepts you misunderstood. i would keep your exam date up until 2 weeks prior(when your allowed to reschedual. and let your practice exams tell you how well your REALLY doing. i wouldnt reschedule just yet. if you pulled a 25 you most likely know what your mostly going over right now but it could have been the exam format messing you up. i say about 3 weeks prior to the exam see what your scores on the aamc are then think about rescheduling.
 

Ari1584

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ALWAYS TAKE YOUR PRACTICE PROBLEMS UNDER TIMED CONDITIONS.

When you go back and review your results, THEN you can take more time to understand the concepts.

About rescheduling, at this point, yes you should. What practice material have you used before? This will help me decide what's a good date.


I have used mostly kaplan books, some kaplan quizzes, and went through EK 1001 chem, bio and EK 101 verbal. I have never gotten anything above an 8 on verbal and im really trying to change that...TRYING is the key word here. I am now using berkeley review books, and am thinking about ordering some princeton hyperlearning workbooks, and maybe get the EK bio review book? i heard its good..
 

BlueElmo

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I have used mostly kaplan books, some kaplan quizzes, and went through EK 1001 chem, bio and EK 101 verbal. I have never gotten anything above an 8 on verbal and im really trying to change that...TRYING is the key word here. I am now using berkeley review books, and am thinking about ordering some princeton hyperlearning workbooks, and maybe get the EK bio review book? i heard its good..

I highly recommend Hyperlearning books by TPR.
 
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