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Study book/material recommendations?

bonoz

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    Hello,

    I have a few questions. I will hopefully take my MCATs next summer, and I was wondering when/where I should register for it? and what books/study materials are the best way to study for it.

    I'm sure there've been many threads out there regarding this topic, but I thought that because this is such an evolving topic that new books are released everyday so I thought it would be nice to get an 'updated' view.

    I don't know much about MCATs so I'm looking to start from the beginning. So I need your help. What kind of books should I be looking into at this stage having a little less than a year left before I take it?

    Thanks.
     

    bonoz

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      if you're disciplined, buy all the AAMC practice tests and EK books 2/3 months prior to your exam. if you're not, and by all means don't fool yourself, take a prep class (i took Kaplan) because it'll keep you focused.

      What do you mean by disciplined? that I am time-efficient and able to work on my own?

      Well in that regard I'm sort of in between. But I'd still want to study on my own and perhaps take a course even.
       

      jhh3000

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        i mean that you'll set up a rigorous schedule and stick to it. i can manage my time well from week to week, but MCAT prep is a three month task, and if you don't budget your schedule accordingly, you may find yourself scrambling to learn magnetism or the endocrine system a week before the test. that's why i took kaplan: it plans my schedule for me and all i have to do is work hard to stick to it
         
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        007xx

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          If you are financially fortunate enough to take a course or obtain private tutoring, then do so. But, I highly recommend the Examkrackers series, no matter your financial situation. I bought my EK package on Amazon.com brand new for about $100. I then diligently studied these books for about six weeks, five to eight hours a day. After about four weeks, I bought each "1001 Questions" for every subject and completed question after question, reviewing all of my notes in the process. In addition, I prepared a calendar through MS Excel to include how many questions I would complete from each section, each day. Of course, I didn't complete every question in every book, but discovered my weaknesses in each section. The last week before the MCATs, I took five AAMC practice tests online.
           

          BerkReviewTeach

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            If you are considering taking a course, you should ask people in your area what to take. Teacher quality and course hours can vary with location, so what might be best in one region will not be best in another.

            As far as materials go, I must concur that AAMC exams are a good source, because they provide a realistic estimate of your actual MCAT score. As for other materials, most people will offer an opinion based on limited exposure to all of the materials. You'll hear people rave and complain about everything. The best bet is to go to a book store and view materials on line and decide for yourself, based on what you need.

            Look at the answer explanations, because that is where the best learning and test-taking improvement occurs. Good luck and by starting this early, you no doubt have the discipline and drive necessary to do quite well.
             

            bonoz

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              Thanks very much, first of all.

              I have no idea about what the content of MCATs is. I mean I Know it is general science, but the format and the setup is unfamiliar territory to me. So I reckon I should look into getting some practice tests and then one of those EKracker books?
               

              bonoz

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                JesperIt

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                  I want to show the books here that I've looked at. If you guys could comment on them that would be big help. Thanks.

                  http://www.amazon.com/Kaplan-2007-2...5870223?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1187773591&sr=8-1

                  http://www.amazon.com/Kaplan-MCAT-P...5870223?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1187773591&sr=8-2

                  and I guess a whole bunch of Exam Krackers' books
                  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_kk_1...-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=examkrackers

                  Is this good for a start?


                  the kaplan books have not changed much in the last 2 years. i have the 2005-2006 kaplan comprehensive review book and it is exactly the same as their 2007-2008 premiere program...same content, different title...as my friend puts it, same ****, different pile.

                  i would recommend you heading over to www.aamc.org and click on the mcat section to find out more about the exam, registration, and even topics covered. kaplan, princeton review, ek will definitely help you to get familiar with the style of the exam and the basic content. considering how many people have complained about the "new" mcat, i'm not sure if obtaining the aamc practice exams are good for anything other than getting used to the format.

                  i would suggest you visit your local library or bookstore to view those books first. spend some time reading the basics and get familiar with the different resources before dropping some big dough. besides, doing this is free. you probably won't find ek stuff there, but tons of kaplan and others are there.
                   

                  masterMood

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                    really? I think the kaplan comprehensive review book (2005-2006) is pretty decent.. (is this the same book that they use in the course btw or do they use different material like how princeton review does it i.e. the princeton review mcat book youc an buy in as tore is way different from the hyperlearning course books)
                     

                    JesperIt

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                      nope, the kaplan ones are exactly the same...only thing that is different is the course books have summary questions at the end of each chapter whereas the store bought books have questions after each subject (i.e. bio, chem, etc). and they really have not changed much in their review books...that is, since 2003 aamc has removed aromatics, kaplan still includes it with no mention that the topic may not be tested. other than that, i think the book does make a good review.
                       
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