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Tackling Chem and Physics in unique situation

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supastudier2000

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Hello Guys and Gals,

I am planning to take the MCAT in August, So far, What I have done so far is gone through and taken notes/Made ankis for Kaplan Biochemistry, Kaplan Biology, and for Khan Academy Psychology/Sociology/300 pg doc. I've taken the courses for all of these subjects and feel relatively confident. I've also taken organic chemistry and plan on reading the Kaplan book and taking notes/Anki too. Each book takes me about 4-6 days to get through. My question is... What do I do for Chemistry and Physics? I took AP chem in high school but not in college because i received college credit for it. And I only took 1 semester of physics, not the second semester.

My questions are:

1) is the Kaplan Book sufficient for self teaching Physics? Or should i use a text book? or are AKlectures/Khan Academy good enough?
2) Should I "relearn" all of general chemistry with AKlectures/Khan Academy? or should I start going through the kaplan review book figure things out as needed as I go through it.

I also heard that "Kaplan bio/biochem are good because these are topics that are inherently easier to learn by reading about them in a textbook. For chem and physics, these are topics that will always be easier learned by applying concepts into practice questions, since it's harder to memorize how to apply equations or calculate pKas than to memorize a list of amino acids."

So taking that into consideration, What would my best bet be for chem and physics. Also, what would you recommend for organic chemistry?

Thanks!
 

tknebel3991

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1.) In theory yes the Kaplan book is sufficient for self-teaching physics, but that's only an a priori statement. In reality, you'd have to see how it goes for you because that second semester of physics gives a lot of people trouble. The issue with using a standard textbook (especially a dense one) is how well the level of detail matches what is expected in C/P. Generally speaking, this section is mostly about the fundamental ideas being applied in many different, and sometimes strange, ways. With all this, I would say give the Kaplan book a shot and see how it goes, but I would also start with the high-yield topics first. You can find high-yield lists in numerous places or I can send you one if you'd like, but I would start with those.

2.) In principle, yes you need to "relearn" all of gen chem but as with physics, some content is more high-yield than others so keep that in mind. I'm a fan of testing yourself with questions and using that as a barometer, so I would say do gen chem questions and see what you do/don't remember.
 

JimKimSlim

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I think you should focus more on doing practice problems to apply your chemtry and physics equations. For physics, use KA to review weak sections and do their practice problems. For chemistry, KA should be enough to review general chemistry concepts. Again, practice problems are more important than content review for C/P.
 

Instance_Variable

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Back when I was studying for the MCAT last winter, I found that I struggled with grasping physics 2 concepts using the prep books, since I hadn't taken physics 2 at my university yet. I consider myself to be a pretty good self-learner as well, so I was pretty thrown off when I wasn't getting things. That being said, I think it's doable to self-teach, but if you're shooting for full comprehension, you might want to consider supplementing the Kaplan books with something else; Khan academy or AKLectures are both great resources. Ideally, you'd want to take physics 2 at your university so that you go into MCAT prep with a solid understanding to begin with, but obviously not everyone has that opportunity. I think besides Ochem, physics 2 material was the most challenging for me. Thankfully it's not covered as in-depth on the MCAT as it would be in a physics 2 class, but it's still challenging.

Considering your situation with chemistry, I would recommend going over general chemistry stuff in-depth as a refresher or to relearn. I'm guessing it's been a while since you've covered that material, and going over all of it would probably be worthwhile. After that, use practice exams and diagnostic materials to figure out what you can do well, and target your studying to stuff that you don't understand or that needs work.

The most important thing is practice. A lot of people go through the Kaplan books and watch Khan Academy/AKLectures to learn material but don't really apply what they learned. It's important (especially with physics) to get comfortable applying equations and principles to actual problems.
 

PlsLetMeIn21

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I agree it's all about practice when it comes to C/P. You learn the material by applying it and it sticks. It was my best section on the MCAT and I attribute that to doing 3000 TBR questions, 500 AAMC questions, and 9 FLs. Review every question thoroughly whether you got it right or wrong. For C/P, get TBR. You'll thank me later. It is hands down the best there is. Before I started I literally looked at everything and I totally agree with Nymeria, Zendabi, KoalaT, and so on that you can't beat their C/P.
 

supastudier2000

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I agree it's all about practice when it comes to C/P. You learn the material by applying it and it sticks. It was my best section on the MCAT and I attribute that to doing 3000 TBR questions, 500 AAMC questions, and 9 FLs. Review every question thoroughly whether you got it right or wrong. For C/P, get TBR. You'll thank me later. It is hands down the best there is. Before I started I literally looked at everything and I totally agree with Nymeria, Zendabi, KoalaT, and so on that you can't beat their C/P.
Im having a bit of trouble for finding their books, can you send a link?
 

PlsLetMeIn21

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Im having a bit of trouble for finding their books, can you send a link?

I'd look at SDN classified first. If you can get a clean set for $200 or less, do it. Otherwise, just search for Berkeley Review books and click on their website. I ended up buying mine from them and had them two days after I ordered. Call them up and email your form, do not mail it in. Their mail order system is a bit antiquated, but worth it in the end. Only get the science books. That's like 6000 questions or something. Do not get the CARS or P/S unless you are desperate for more passages.
 
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