newbeginnings

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Oh gosh. I remember when I prepped for the old one, and everyone here would say "whoever uses TBR bio is crazy/has a lot of time/is wasting time. EK bio will easily get you a 10+"..

on another note, can anyone post the table of contents of the new EK Biology book 2 (the physio book) :)? I want to compare it with the older version.

Here's the old EK bio chapters:
Lecture 1 Molecular Biology; Cellular Respiration
Lecture 2 Genes 25
Lecture 3 Microbiology 53
Lecture 4 The Eukaryotic Cell; The Nervous System 73
Lecture 5 The Endocrine System 101
Lecture 6 The Digestive System; The Excretory System 119
Lecture 7 The Cardiovascular System; The Respiratory System 139
Lecture 8 Muscle, Bone, and Skin 157
Lecture 9 Populations 173

Is book 2 similar?
 
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mcatjelly

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Oh gosh. I remember when I prepped for the old one, and everyone here would say "whoever uses TBR bio is crazy/has a lot of time/is wasting time. EK bio will easily get you a 10+"..

on another note, can anyone post the table of contents of the new EK Biology book 2 (the physio book) :)? I want to compare it with the older version.

Here's the old EK bio chapters:
Lecture 1 Molecular Biology; Cellular Respiration
Lecture 2 Genes 25
Lecture 3 Microbiology 53
Lecture 4 The Eukaryotic Cell; The Nervous System 73
Lecture 5 The Endocrine System 101
Lecture 6 The Digestive System; The Excretory System 119
Lecture 7 The Cardiovascular System; The Respiratory System 139
Lecture 8 Muscle, Bone, and Skin 157
Lecture 9 Populations 173

Is book 2 similar?
Not quite, actually!

Lecture 1: The Cell - 1
Lecture 2: The Nervous System - 37
Lecture 3: The Endocrine System - 73
Lecture 4: The Circulatory, Respiratory, and Immune Systems - 105
Lecture 5: The Digestive and Excretory Systems - 141
Lecture 6: Muscle, Bone, and Skin - 173
 
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newbeginnings

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Not quite, actually!

Lecture 1: The Cell - 1
Lecture 2: The Nervous System - 37
Lecture 3: The Endocrine System - 73
Lecture 4: The Circulatory, Respiratory, and Immune Systems - 105
Lecture 5: The Digestive and Excretory Systems - 141
Lecture 6: Muscle, Bone, and Skin - 173
Thank you! It seems Lecture 2 and a few other chapters were combined to be a part of book 1.
 
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Hey guys just a heads up the new mcat is a new ball game. I took the old one and scored a 30 but retook cause of a 6 on verb and scored a 12 in the two science sections. On the new one, I dont think i came close to doing that well for the two sciences and I have two semesters of biochem under my belt. I dont have many psych/soc classes but that might be my highest section. As for what others have said, no test prep company even gambled close to what the sciences are. As for verb and beh, Kaplan passages werent close but TPRs were but the questions kaplan and TPR asked werent close. If you want to truly get a good grip just subscribe to nature or something like that an analyze those to make sure you know how they are getting the results from the data. I did not void so well see what happens. I felt like crap but hopefully Ill still get a decent score seeing as people who ive talked felt the same way. I have looked at Kaplan, TPR and NS and if they were in Vegas, theyd go home in debt. Do not take good scores in the test prep companies as an indicator of how you will do on the real thing. And the past AAMC stuff was really easy so dont get hopes too high if you felt you killed it cause I did too.

This MCAT is a new ball game that completely blindsided me especially the sciences.

My major is Biomedical Sciences with a >3.9 GPA and I dont think even that helped. As for what majors are in good standing, BIOCHEMISTRY to the fullest extent.
 
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If I were to tell you what to study, I don't anymore. Before I would have told you that Kaplan seemed to be better then TPR but neither are. I dont see what AAMC is trying to do here, but just suck it up and take it if you have to, and for those who are taking it in a month good luck! Ill pray for you
 

somedudehere

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Hey guys just a heads up the new mcat is a new ball game. I took the old one and scored a 30 but retook cause of a 6 on verb and scored a 12 in the two science sections. On the new one, I dont think i came close to doing that well for the two sciences and I have two semesters of biochem under my belt. I dont have many psych/soc classes but that might be my highest section. As for what others have said, no test prep company even gambled close to what the sciences are. As for verb and beh, Kaplan passages werent close but TPRs were but the questions kaplan and TPR asked werent close. If you want to truly get a good grip just subscribe to nature or something like that an analyze those to make sure you know how they are getting the results from the data. I did not void so well see what happens. I felt like crap but hopefully Ill still get a decent score seeing as people who ive talked felt the same way. I have looked at Kaplan, TPR and NS and if they were in Vegas, theyd go home in debt. Do not take good scores in the test prep companies as an indicator of how you will do on the real thing. And the past AAMC stuff was really easy so dont get hopes too high if you felt you killed it cause I did too.

This MCAT is a new ball game that completely blindsided me especially the sciences.

My major is Biomedical Sciences with a >3.9 GPA and I dont think even that helped. As for what majors are in good standing, BIOCHEMISTRY to the fullest extent.
So if this seems to be the general consensus what does AAMC expect us to do? How do they want us to prepare for an exam where they give us only 1 practice test, question packs (that are apparently much easier than the test itself, especially since half of them were from the old AAMC practice tests), and just an outline?
 
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Premedofthesouth

So if this seems to be the general consensus what does AAMC expect us to do? How do they want us to prepare for an exam where they give us only 1 practice test, question packs (that are apparently much easier than the test itself, especially since half of them were from the old AAMC practice tests), and just an outline?
Way I see it is I'm going to just stick to the schedule I had anyways. Probably read a few extra scientific journals here and there, but no point in totally changing up my study schedule/method a month before the exam with conflicting info from many people.
 
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Plan to start official AAMC materials in the next week or so. Have been doing the TPR online course and finished the first two FLs with scores of 502 and 504...do these scores really mean anything or should I be going off %correct? Difficult to feel where I'm at right now.
 
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Plan to start official AAMC materials in the next week or so. Have been doing the TPR online course and finished the first two FLs with scores of 502 and 504...do these scores really mean anything or should I be going off %correct? Difficult to feel where I'm at right now.
since I've taken kaplan and have looked at tpr test I can comment. The tests are not like what the companies have put out but you can't blame them. I would use them as an indicator for what content you're missing and that's it. Just know that the real mcat is not really content based. From various people I've heard it's ranges from nothing but ochem and physics to sections with no ochem and physics so I guess just be prepared for anything. Also the sample is freaking easy compared to the **** I was thrown
 

umgoblue2008

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Do yourselves a favor and take the AAMC FL ASAP, it is very representative of the real thing. What the FL emphasizes is what you need to concentrate on (IMO). CARS and psych was bit harder but the other 2 sections were similar. Review all questions, not just ones you get wrong and understand why they are asking it.
 
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Levrone

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is anyone thinking of changing to june? Is there a way to check for June dates without cancelling my may date?

I'm torn on whether to be an early applicant with extra shadowing/volunteering or 1 month later, less shadowing/volunteering but most likely more prepared for mcat..

is there any chance may mcat scores will have better scores because of the 'curve' than june?
 
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newbeginnings

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From various people I've heard it's ranges from nothing but ochem and physics to sections with no ochem and physics so I guess just be prepared for anything. Also the sample is freaking easy compared to the **** I was thrown
hmm.. everything I've read here is a "no ochem, no physics" kinda thing. I was going to study ochem/physics despite everyone here saying "biochem! biochem! biochem!", simply just because their MCAT didn't have that, doesn't mean later MCAT's won't. If anything, makes me more paranoid to study ochem/physics (obviously keeping in mind that it's from a biological perspective).
 
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drrao88

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Anyone take the mini-Kaplan or TPR free exam?

I got a 499 on the Kaplan, and a 502 on the TPR. Has anyone taken more exams who can possibly let me know what kind of path I can be on for the next few weeks?

Thanks!
 
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Premedofthesouth

Anyone take the mini-Kaplan or TPR free exam?

I got a 499 on the Kaplan, and a 502 on the TPR. Has anyone taken more exams who can possibly let me know what kind of path I can be on for the next few weeks?

Thanks!
If you're taking it may 22nd then I suggest at least one practice exam per week, two if you can handle it. I got a 501 on Kaplan FL3 which is my highest so far, still got a ways to go.
 
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drrao88

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If you're taking it may 22nd then I suggest at least one practice exam per week, two if you can handle it. I got a 501 on Kaplan FL3 which is my highest so far, still got a ways to go.
I'm actually taking it June 20. I pushed it back, because I really need a 510+. If I see myself drastically improving the next few weeks, I'm gonna grab a May spot last minute. People always drop, and they definitely will now since July/August are open so I'm not worried.
 
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Gladiolus23

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is anyone thinking of changing to june? Is there a way to check for June dates without cancelling my may date?

I'm torn on whether to be an early applicant with extra shadowing/volunteering or 1 month later, less shadowing/volunteering but most likely more prepared for mcat..

is there any chance may mcat scores will have better scores because of the 'curve' than june?
I'm actually taking it June 20. I pushed it back, because I really need a 510+. If I see myself drastically improving the next few weeks, I'm gonna grab a May spot last minute. People always drop, and they definitely will now since July/August are open so I'm not worried.
I also considered pushing it back, but after talking to a lot of admissions counselors and consultants, I don't know anymore :( Apparently, we will be late enough that it will put us at a big disadvantage compared to early applicants, especially if we are average applicants overall (non- 4.0, non -genius EC's, etc.) Basically, we can submit the primary first day it opens, but come July, med schools will refuse to look at it w/o an MCAT score and the app will go to the bottom of the pile…so we won't be getting any secondaries until after our MCAT score comes back July 27th and after med schools read through our app and send us secondaries. Then, after we send in our essays, they will have to read them and decide to give us interviews….but by that time, July test-takers won't be complete until mid-to late August! Everyone I've talked to has said this is a risky position to be in…

I'm debating on whether I should just take a gap year and save myself all the application money, time, and energy and possible reapplicant stigma associated with applying in a non-ideal way, but I'm so confused :confused: What do you guys think??
 

XxThaDoggxX

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Hey guys just a heads up the new mcat is a new ball game. I took the old one and scored a 30 but retook cause of a 6 on verb and scored a 12 in the two science sections. On the new one, I dont think i came close to doing that well for the two sciences and I have two semesters of biochem under my belt. I dont have many psych/soc classes but that might be my highest section. As for what others have said, no test prep company even gambled close to what the sciences are. As for verb and beh, Kaplan passages werent close but TPRs were but the questions kaplan and TPR asked werent close. If you want to truly get a good grip just subscribe to nature or something like that an analyze those to make sure you know how they are getting the results from the data. I did not void so well see what happens. I felt like crap but hopefully Ill still get a decent score seeing as people who ive talked felt the same way. I have looked at Kaplan, TPR and NS and if they were in Vegas, theyd go home in debt. Do not take good scores in the test prep companies as an indicator of how you will do on the real thing. And the past AAMC stuff was really easy so dont get hopes too high if you felt you killed it cause I did too.

This MCAT is a new ball game that completely blindsided me especially the sciences.

My major is Biomedical Sciences with a >3.9 GPA and I dont think even that helped. As for what majors are in good standing, BIOCHEMISTRY to the fullest extent.
God. This x100000. I would really love to talk to the head of the AAMC and see just WTF they expected the scores to be like with only ONE practice test that was complete powderpuff hammy-pammy BS compared to that beast I encountered last Saturday...First-timers got completely hosed and all the prep companies did little to help
 

somedudehere

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I've thought about pushing my date back but would it honestly even make a difference? There's no way to tell how "ready" you are for this exam as opposed to the last one. They aren't even releasing new material until the fall so pushing back to june/july you'd still just be stuck with the same prep materials and 1 practice test from AAMC. Thoughts?
 

XxThaDoggxX

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Currently sitting here right now debating whether or not to sign up for that May test and keep prepping incase my April scores aren't where I need/want them to be...God the thought of having to start pounding away at the books again (and now pubmed articles) makes me cringe...but I am already in my Gap year and I cannot imagine having to wait another year to apply again...Any thoughts to this?
 
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I've thought about pushing my date back but would it honestly even make a difference? There's no way to tell how "ready" you are for this exam as opposed to the last one. They aren't even releasing new material until the fall so pushing back to june/july you'd still just be stuck with the same prep materials and 1 practice test from AAMC. Thoughts?
I completely agree with this. If anything, by pushing it back even further you end up with a greater disadvantage due to later applications and not a defined benefit b/c as you said, there is no possible way to accurately predict your score like there was with the old exam. Its actually somewhat unmotivating b/c we all are studying without a real clear direction whereas the old exam there was a clear, defined route to have a good chance at scoring well.
 

IDMT-2-MD

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Don't post much but thought I would pose the question.

I am seeing very mixed reviews from the first test takers...

Some are saying the AAMC sample test and question pack were very representative of the actual exam, however some are saying they walked into a complete beehive of an exam where it was nowhere near the AAMC test/sample packs.

What is everyone's take on the disparity between test takers? Seems that we all started with the same resources, it's just weird that the reviews are so mixed.
 
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somedudehere

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Don't post much but thought I would pose the question.

I am seeing very mixed reviews from the first test takers...

Some are saying the AAMC sample test and question pack were very representative of the actual exam, however some are saying they walked into a complete beehive of an exam where it was nowhere near the AAMC test/sample packs.

What is everyone's take on the disparity between test takers? Seems that we all started with the same resources, it's just weird that the reviews are so mixed.
I haven't done the sample test yet but a lot of the question packs are re-used aamc practice test questions. I recognized more than half of them.
 
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I haven't done the sample test yet but a lot of the question packs are re-used aamc practice test questions. I recognized more than half of them.
I guess I was speaking more of the 120 questions they released in the official guide
 

DrHart

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Don't post much but thought I would pose the question.

I am seeing very mixed reviews from the first test takers...

Some are saying the AAMC sample test and question pack were very representative of the actual exam, however some are saying they walked into a complete beehive of an exam where it was nowhere near the AAMC test/sample packs.

What is everyone's take on the disparity between test takers? Seems that we all started with the same resources, it's just weird that the reviews are so mixed.
mmm this is a very interesting question. I would like to hear what people say who think there was a difference. Personally, I found the two very similar - as it should be. I mean, why would AAMC release a practice test that was completely different?
I'm leaning towards the idea that those who thought the two were different were just not as comfortable at adapting to and answering questions about new information.

This test is unlike any other. Each passage is a splooge of new and complicated information in scientific literature form (charts, graphs, data tables included). If you can quickly pick out the bits and pieces that are important (and apply your previous knowledge) this test is manageable. If you have trouble doing this (seeing a confusing scientific article with terms and notations you're unfamiliar with) this test will be a 7 hour nightmare.

I think this change is a very interesting step in the right direction. After all, if you think about it... when you become a physician you won't be reading many more textbooks, memorizing formulas for cookie cutter problems. You'll be reading scientific articles about things relevant to your field. Your ability to apply and integrate this information with your own understanding will separate the good physicians from the ones that "cut cookies" so to speak.
At least, this is my take on things.
 
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IDMT-2-MD

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mmm this is a very interesting question. I would like to hear what people say who think there was a difference. Personally, I found the two very similar - as it should be. I mean, why would AAMC release a practice test that was completely different?
I'm leaning towards the idea that those who thought the two were different were just not as comfortable at adapting to and answering questions about new information.

This test is unlike any other. Each passage is a splooge of new and complicated information in scientific literature form (charts, graphs, data tables included). If you can quickly pick out the bits and pieces that are important (and apply your previous knowledge) this test is manageable. If you have trouble doing this (seeing a confusing scientific article with terms and notations you're unfamiliar with) this test will be a 7 hour nightmare.

I think this change is a very interesting step in the right direction. After all, if you think about it... when you become a physician you won't be reading many more textbooks, memorizing formulas for cookie cutter problems. You'll be reading scientific articles about things relevant to your field. Your ability to apply and integrate this information with your own understanding will separate the good physicians from the ones that "cut cookies" so to speak.
At least, this is my take on things.
Yes, I tend to agree. I was speaking with a classmate the other day and we both came to an agreement on what we think about this new test...

The AAMC has known about this changeover for a long, long time. For them to only put out one practice test, 120 questions, and scrounge together old MCAT questions into a bundle, tells me that the major "content" they will be focusing on comes from those resources. This aligns with the percentages of question types that are the highest focus on the new outline. I think the most drastic change is extrapolating the important data from the passage and interpreting charts/graphs/tables. AAMC is basically throwing a ton of info at you and they want to see how well you can sift through the crap they give you and extrapolate the most useful and pertinent info.

IMO, only having one practice test out there works in our favor. I believe that having too many practice exams this early in the game would take away what the AAMC is actually focusing. Either that, or it's a huge conspiracy against us all!
 

Levrone

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I also considered pushing it back, but after talking to a lot of admissions counselors and consultants, I don't know anymore :( Apparently, we will be late enough that it will put us at a big disadvantage compared to early applicants, especially if we are average applicants overall (non- 4.0, non -genius EC's, etc.) Basically, we can submit the primary first day it opens, but come July, med schools will refuse to look at it w/o an MCAT score and the app will go to the bottom of the pile…so we won't be getting any secondaries until after our MCAT score comes back July 27th and after med schools read through our app and send us secondaries. Then, after we send in our essays, they will have to read them and decide to give us interviews….but by that time, July test-takers won't be complete until mid-to late August! Everyone I've talked to has said this is a risky position to be in…

I'm debating on whether I should just take a gap year and save myself all the application money, time, and energy and possible reapplicant stigma associated with applying in a non-ideal way, but I'm so confused :confused: What do you guys think??
I'm pretty sure I'm just gonna take it May then.. I'd like to be an early applicant.. and delaying a month doesn't guarantee a higher score, so yeah. I'm just gonna study as much as possible until may 22.


1 month left! sometimes i forget we are next in line to take this beast :scared:
 
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somedudehere

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There are treadmill/microwave minutes (take forever)...and on the other end of the spectrum there are days left until the mcat.
 
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NicksMD

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Took my first FL today(Kaplan) and I hope the real thing no where near that hard. I feel great about my endurance but, that was difficult.
 

IDMT-2-MD

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Took my first FL today(Kaplan) and I hope the real thing no where near that hard. I feel great about my endurance but, that was difficult.
Yes, I agree with this. Kaplan seems to focus very heavy on finer details as has been mentioned here and other threads. While I necessarily do not agree with their approach to making passages and full-lengths, I think a lot of value can be taken from doing their practice passages. After doing 4 Kaplan full-lengths, the diagnostic and multiple Qbank passages, I had a drastic increase in overall percentage correct when I took the AAMC sample FL. But take that with a grain of salt, the AAMC is by no means "easier", it's just all in how AAMC presents passages and words problems vs. most of the test prep companies.
 
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Yes, I agree with this. Kaplan seems to focus very heavy on finer details as has been mentioned here and other threads. While I necessarily do not agree with their approach to making passages and full-lengths, I think a lot of value can be taken from doing their practice passages. After doing 4 Kaplan full-lengths, the diagnostic and multiple Qbank passages, I had a drastic increase in overall percentage correct when I took the AAMC sample FL. But take that with a grain of salt, the AAMC is by no means "easier", it's just all in how AAMC presents passages and words problems vs. most of the test prep companies.
This might be a good option for me just to really nail down the concepts. However, how do you access the new Kaplan FLs? Do you have to be enrolled in a class?
 

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This might be a good option for me just to really nail down the concepts. However, how do you access the new Kaplan FLs? Do you have to be enrolled in a class?
Yes, I believe you must be enrolled in a course to access their FL's, although I am not 100% sure. They do offer an online, at your own pace option, which gives you access to 11 FL's, all their books, over 1000 Q-bank questions, and others things. However, I would ONLY strongly recommend Kaplan for someone who hasn't taken classes in a while or is weak on content knowledge. The one positive I can say about Kaplan is that they are far ahead of most other test prep companies when it comes to Biochemistry material. Most others I have seen only provide a small portion of info , whereas Kaplan condenses an entire entry level Biochem course into one easy-to-read book.
 
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Do yourselves a favor and take the AAMC FL ASAP, it is very representative of the real thing. What the FL emphasizes is what you need to concentrate on (IMO). CARS and psych was bit harder but the other 2 sections were similar. Review all questions, not just ones you get wrong and understand why they are asking it.
Isn't it recommended to do the FLs 3-2 weeks before test date? Or was that just the case for the old MCAT.
 

umgoblue2008

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Isn't it recommended to do the FLs 3-2 weeks before test date? Or was that just the case for the old MCAT.
I only say this is because taking the sample test will let you know what the new exam is emphasizing. This new exam is a different beast. I took the AAMC FL week before the exam and wish i had taken it sooner.
 

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I only say this is because taking the sample test will let you know what the new exam is emphasizing. This new exam is a different beast. I took the AAMC FL week before the exam and wish i had taken it sooner.
^^This x10000. I am not sitting until June and I am glad I decided to take the AAMC practice test now rather than the week before like I had planned. It is an eye opener as far as what AAMC has on the practice test. Trust me, you want to solidify those concepts now.
 
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Premedofthesouth

^^This x10000. I am not sitting until June and I am glad I decided to take the AAMC practice test now rather than the week before like I had planned. It is an eye opener as far as what AAMC has on the practice test. Trust me, you want to solidify those concepts now.
How different is it from the Kaplan practice exams?
 

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How different is it from the Kaplan practice exams?
IMO, they are separate animals all together. Not so much that Kaplan is "harder", it's just that AAMC questions are worded in a way that promote less ambiguity. Some Kaplan passages you read, you get to the end, and you say, "what the heck did I just read???" I didn't feel that way during the official sample test. Just my opinion though. Take it for what its worth.
 
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Premedofthesouth

IMO, they are separate animals all together. Not so much that Kaplan is "harder", it's just that AAMC questions are worded in a way that promote less ambiguity. Some Kaplan passages you read, you get to the end, and you say, "what the heck did I just read???" I didn't feel that way during the official sample test. Just my opinion though. Take it for what its worth.
Fair enough, I might make the sample test my next one then. And yeah I agree that some of the passages on the Kaplan exams are pretty ambiguous. Some also have a few outrageous questions that I definitely couldn't answer in a short minute.
 

NicksMD

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Just did some Khan physical sciences passages and they seem pretty hard but not as bad as Kaplan. With this exam you have to take all the practice you can get even if it does seem mediocre I guess.
 

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Just did some Khan physical sciences passages and they seem pretty hard but not as bad as Kaplan. With this exam you have to take all the practice you can get even if it does seem mediocre I guess.
Absolutely! As I have noticed with test prep companies, most of them have hardly updated any of their curriculum's to match AAMC. I know Barron's basically copied and pasted many of their passages and questions into their new MCAT book, and their Biochem section is literally 47 pages out of >1000. I swung by my local used bookstore and found a sweet AP Psychology crash course book that hits most of the AAMC material in a condensed manner.
 
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I'm doing horrible on the CARS section in the TPR tests (TPR test 1 & TPR test 2)... any advice? Is TPR representative of the AAMC CARS section? What strategy has worked for you? I think my nerves get the best of me... because verbal has always been my weakest point!
 
Jul 1, 2014
112
16
^^This x10000. I am not sitting until June and I am glad I decided to take the AAMC practice test now rather than the week before like I had planned. It is an eye opener as far as what AAMC has on the practice test. Trust me, you want to solidify those concepts now.
Okay makes sense. So for someone who hasn't started studying yet, do you recommend that they should take a look/begin analyzing the AAMC FL right from the get go? Based on what you guys are saying, it seems like I should just analyze the AAMC practice test to make sure that I am studying the "right material" that caters to the new mcat, rather than using it for "practice material" like for the old mcat.

If I do this though, wouldn't you be really limited in the type of test scenario practice tests you could do to prepare for test day?
 

umgoblue2008

2+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2015
127
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Okay makes sense. So for someone who hasn't started studying yet, do you recommend that they should take a look/begin analyzing the AAMC FL right from the get go? Based on what you guys are saying, it seems like I should just analyze the AAMC practice test to make sure that I am studying the "right material" that caters to the new mcat, rather than using it for "practice material" like for the old mcat.

If I do this though, wouldn't you be really limited in the type of test scenario practice tests you could do to prepare for test day?
Guess you have to decide whats more important, what material to study from now until exam time, or test scenario practice.
 
Jul 1, 2014
112
16
Guess you have to decide whats more important, what material to study from now until exam time, or test scenario practice.
The lack of proper practice tests is really disappointing :/ I think I'm going to start analyzing the AAMC FL from the beginning, and hopefully I can somehow attain Kaplan/NextStep/TPR/TBR's FLs for practice near the end of my studies.
 

IDMT-2-MD

Emergency Medicine Resident
5+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2014
46
55
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Resident [Any Field]
Okay makes sense. So for someone who hasn't started studying yet, do you recommend that they should take a look/begin analyzing the AAMC FL right from the get go? Based on what you guys are saying, it seems like I should just analyze the AAMC practice test to make sure that I am studying the "right material" that caters to the new mcat, rather than using it for "practice material" like for the old mcat.

If I do this though, wouldn't you be really limited in the type of test scenario practice tests you could do to prepare for test day?
I would say printing out the AAMC' official guide to what's on the MCAT would be a good start. There you will find each topic that is on the MCAT broken into foundational concepts. Each concept is broken down by percentages and you can quickly see what the AAMC is stressing as far as their percentages are concerned. From there its all about which resource you want to use to study that material. Some prefer Kaplan, some TPR, khan academy, etc.

I noticed in my studies, Kaplan especially, designated almost an entire biology review book to systems I.e. musculo, gastro, cardio, etc, but AAMC had those topics as a lower percent concept. I'm not saying it isn't important to study that material. What's most important is that study schedules focus on what's going to be on the MCAT as reported by the AAMC, not some test prep company who condenses material into a book that may or may not contain what you need to know or focus on the most high yield topics
 

drrao88

5+ Year Member
Feb 28, 2013
213
101
Status
I also considered pushing it back, but after talking to a lot of admissions counselors and consultants, I don't know anymore :( Apparently, we will be late enough that it will put us at a big disadvantage compared to early applicants, especially if we are average applicants overall (non- 4.0, non -genius EC's, etc.) Basically, we can submit the primary first day it opens, but come July, med schools will refuse to look at it w/o an MCAT score and the app will go to the bottom of the pile…so we won't be getting any secondaries until after our MCAT score comes back July 27th and after med schools read through our app and send us secondaries. Then, after we send in our essays, they will have to read them and decide to give us interviews….but by that time, July test-takers won't be complete until mid-to late August! Everyone I've talked to has said this is a risky position to be in…

I'm debating on whether I should just take a gap year and save myself all the application money, time, and energy and possible reapplicant stigma associated with applying in a non-ideal way, but I'm so confused :confused: What do you guys think??

Rule #1: Take the MCAT when you are ready

When people say "you don't know when you are ready," there is some validity to that but c'mon, if you are getting consistent 490's on practice exams when you are aiming for a 505, you are clearly not ready.

This is my last attempt at the MCAT, so I want to be sure I do my best. If I feel like I am doing well on practice exams in the next couple of weeks, I will probably just switch back to May, but otherwise, it's better to be safe than sorry which is why I switched to June. Rushing to take the May MCAT simply to be at the top of the application pile is unwise. For them to see your app 3 weeks later with a possible 5 point MCAT increase is well worth it IMO.

In the end, it all depends on if you think you can use that extra month to significantly improve your score. if you don't think you can improve your score with the extra 4 weeks, then yea its best to just take the May MCAT and stay at the top of the pile.
 

somedudehere

5+ Year Member
Nov 23, 2014
262
234
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Pre-Medical
Rule #1: Take the MCAT when you are ready

When people say "you don't know when you are ready," there is some validity to that but c'mon, if you are getting consistent 490's on practice exams when you are aiming for a 505, you are clearly not ready.

This is my last attempt at the MCAT, so I want to be sure I do my best. If I feel like I am doing well on practice exams in the next couple of weeks, I will probably just switch back to May, but otherwise, it's better to be safe than sorry which is why I switched to June. Rushing to take the May MCAT simply to be at the top of the application pile is unwise. For them to see your app 3 weeks later with a possible 5 point MCAT increase is well worth it IMO.

In the end, it all depends on if you think you can use that extra month to significantly improve your score. if you don't think you can improve your score with the extra 4 weeks, then yea its best to just take the May MCAT and stay at the top of the pile.
This was valid for the OLD exam with 8 official AAMC practice tests. People's test scores with the new exam from different companies are all over the place. That's why this is a unique situation.
 
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Gladiolus23

5+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2013
298
21
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This was valid for the OLD exam with 8 official AAMC practice tests. People's test scores with the new exam from different companies are all over the place. That's why this is a unique situation.
Yeah, I agree…especially since the official AAMC test doesn't even give us a score :( as of now, my plan is to take the may exam no matter what, and see what fate lies for me. If the score is bad, I'm just going to take the gap year (no point retaking immediately in June). If it's really good, I'll apply everywhere. If it's mediocre, I'll maybe just apply early decision to one school (keep my fingers crossed!) but plan for a gap year anyway.
 
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