7+ Year Member
Mar 29, 2011
Hey SDN!

Am seeking some guidance on creating a study plan from here on out.
I have been studying for the MCAT since May and was originally planning to sit for the exam on Aug 21st but postponed my date to October 25th due to low AAMC scores. I followed SN2ed up to AAMC 3, which I scored a 22 on (8/6/8) during the third week of July followed by a 23 on AAMC 4 (8/8/7). I spent August doing EK 1001, going through Chad's videos pretty thoroughly and closing major content gaps. I feel a lot better about my content gaps because I feel that I didn't use Berkeley Review properly while going through SN2ed this summer.

I took Kaplan FL1 last week without Verbal and got a 9 on PS and 9 on BS, and am kind of wondering how to go about preparation from here. I'm suffering from serious anxiety about my test - I am left barely finishing the PS section on time, and am generally left with far too much time on BS. My errors on PS at this point seem to be difficulty comprehending the passage, errors eliminating answers, and smaller content gaps. Similar issues with BS. I have not focused as much on Verbal because I did AAMC 5 untimed and scored an 11 on verbal and am planning on doing AAMC verbal passages daily a month before my exam. Want to focus on improving PS and BS as much as possible.

At this point I have access to a full Kaplan course, all of the TPRHSW physics discretes/bio passages/physics passages/ochem passages/bio passages, etc., about half of EK 1001 physics left, AAMC 7-11, and I feel very overwhelmed with the amount of resources I have and feel that is very little time left to prepare. I am juggling school/work along with the MCAT and have set aside 3 full days during the week to study, so I definitely do have time to study and take FLs, I just feel like I need concrete direction on how to improve, and whether I have time to improve by October 25th or whether I should consider pushing my date to January.



Next Step Test Prep Tutor
2+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2014
Hey @avenlea

So, at this point in your schedule, I'd say timed practice and intensive review is the most critical. You have a great amount of practice in the Science Workbook as well as the AAMC tests to translate your practice and review your application skills.

Make sure your practice is timed, and I'd suggest that if your content level is satisfying then to actually practice with harsher timed conditions. If before you were timing 8 minutes per passage, now time yourself with 7 minutes. This will either show you that your pool of content knowledge is not deep enough and you may need to review your notecards or skim through some content (in whatever form you wish, i.e. book, videos, etc.) or it will rush you and when you get to the actual tests you may feel more relaxed because you've trained harder than the actual demand of the test (the same principle we apply when taking harder-than-normal practice passages).

Keep up with the daily VR passages, maintain a healthy dose of notecards to review what you haven't seen in a while, and do intensive review of your tests and passages (that means review the ones you got right, the ones you got wrong, how you thought about the question and why you chose your answer + seeing if your way was the same or different than the explanation's).

Hope this helps some!
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5+ Year Member
Sep 1, 2012
I am on for Oct 25 as well. I am horrible in VR (7) and PS and BS are manageable (10's) at this point. Some things that I found helpful are,
1) TBR passages for PS. At first I did those in a timed manner but could never finish them. So later on I just used them for practice.
2) GS exams each are split up by sections so you can take them individually. They will definitely help you with the timing and calc portion.
2) Kaplan Topicals for PS and BS are the best. They are timed tests for like 18 or 19 questions per topic. Even though they are just 18 questions, I still had problem finishing them on time. When the time was up, I marked the question and then carried on to finish the rest. That helped me realize how slow I was.
3) PS and BS Kaplan section tests are timed too. Excellent practice material. Same things as Kaplan topicals. I try to do those in a timed manner as well.
4) Most importantly, not every question in PS needs reading of the passage. There are some standalones even though they show up in a passage so scan for those in every passage and knock em out. I did the last 4 passages in GS-3 PS exam briefly skimming the passages. There was no time. I was just looking for data needed to answer the question as opposed to trying to understand what the heck is going in the passage. Ironically, most of the errors I got were from the passages I read carefully. So anyways, you can try this as well and gain up on time. I guess extreme situations require extreme measures......
Dec 16, 2013
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
@avenlea, postgame every single question (right or wrong) from the aamc exams.

@NextStep, what do you recommend as sources for "daily" verbal passages ? I was planning on using EK 101 and verbal SA then start aamc exams and postgame all verbal passages in aamc exams.