139871

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Hey guys, so basically here is my current situation:


Essentially I was forced to take the MCAT again in May due to time constraints and only had about two weeks to prepare. Is it worth it to take it again before I find out the results for the current application cycle?
 
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Marjan Islam

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Hmm, 3rd time's a charm... hopefully ;).

First of, do not, under any means, take this test unless you are consistently making a few points higher than your target score. This is essentially it, and you can't screw up! And if you feel unprepared, you don't HAVE to take it January (unless you have a reason we don't know about). Applications begin at June, and you can turn in you scores after that, even around July/August and it won't be too bad. There are March dates, and tons in April. So, you have time! Don't jump into it; I wouldn't have taken it the 2nd time just 2 weeks after!

From what I've heard from this community, use Berkley Review for Physics and Gen. Chem and Organic Chem; EK Bio for Biology; EK 101 Verbal Passages for Verbal.

I personally decided against the January date for myself today actually! I am ordering Berkely books tomorrow, and just got the EK 101 passages, and will begin going at them in preparation for the March 28th exam.

Back to my your situation: I also heard, Kaplan FL 7-11 are not very representative, but instead just endurance tests. So focus on the earlier FL's. Try Berkley's CBT tests, if you need new ones. I heard fairly good things about them too.

Overall, the main key is not to rush it! Take your time, and make sure you have this test in the bag before taking it. Good luck!
 

BerkReviewTeach

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Hey guys, so basically here is my current situation:

April 2008: 10P 7V 9B W:Q
May 2008: 10P 7V 9B W: Q


Essentially I was forced to take the MCAT again in May due to time constraints and only had about two weeks to prepare. I am taking for a final time this January and am using Kaplan/EK (Have tried TPR EK in the past). I have taken all of the AAMC exams so I will be focusing on the Kaplan FLs for the most part. Does anyone have any advice as to what I should be doing in these final two months? I have around ten full length exams left. My two biggest weaknesses are verbal and the ochem section of biological. My goal for January is 11P 8V 11B as I find the verbal section completely unpredictable. Any thoughts from third time takers?
If EK materials TWICE lead to a score that didn't please you, why use them a third time? For some people they are great, but not everyone.

Here my blunt opinion that may offend, but it's right on the mark. People like EK materials because they are an easy read (like a preference to read a cartoon panel over a novel). Their text is very good and presents most concepts well, so people like it and get a confidence from it. BUT, it's a false confidence for some people, because knowing material only goes so far. More importantly, you have to know how to apply your information. Now this is my opinion, and I'm sure it's not politically correct to share it, but the passages and questions in EK just aren't really that good. Their answer explanations are cursory at best, and that's where they fall very short. The explanations don't help you, and that's where people need the most help.

You learn much more by going over answer explanations after taking a practice test than anywhere else. That's where you learn to apply the concepts, use your time wisely, develop test-taking tricks, and so much more. You need to practice with better passages and questions.

The bottom line is that you need to use better passages and questions this time, and hopefully ones that you haven't seen before.
 
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yungwunn911

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i feel your pain with verbal. i completely stink at it.

Doing EK101 every other day really helps. But the strange thing is. I went from 6s to 8/9s in EKs....but I took a kaplan practice exam and got a 6. So, I'm not sure which is a better predictor now.
:mad:




gluck bro!
 

SN2ed

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If your practice scores are not at least 2 points higher than your target score, do NOT take the test. You seem to be rushing which will only hurt you, again. You need to take a step back and thoroughly analyze what went wrong. There's more to this analysis then simply finding your weakest section. Look at everything, from testing strategies to problem topics (ex. gravity problems). You also need to get some better materials. Just to reiterate, DO NOT TAKE THE TEST AGAIN IF YOUR PRACTICE SCORES ARE NOT AT LEAST 2 POINTS HIGHER THAN YOUR TARGET.
 

BerkReviewTeach

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If your practice scores are not at least 2 points higher than your target score, do NOT take the test. You seem to be rushing which will only hurt you, again. You need to take a step back and thoroughly analyze what went wrong. There's more to this analysis then simply finding your weakest section. Look at everything, from testing strategies to problem topics (ex. gravity problems). You also need to get some better materials. Just to reiterate, DO NOT TAKE THE TEST AGAIN IF YOUR PRACTICE SCORES ARE NOT AT LEAST 2 POINTS HIGHER THAN YOUR TARGET.
Brilliant reply SN2ed!!!

Those words are GOLDEN! SN2ed is absolutely right that you need to release the throttle a bit and take your time to do everything right. What that means, as he (she?) said, is to anlayze what went wrong the last two exams and then make the necessary corrections in your study approach. Above everything else, the MCAT is a thinking exam. You need to give yourself plenty of preparation time so that you develop the best way to think about the many different possible topics on the MCAT.

And SN2ed brings up a great point that unless your practice scores show a large increase, you should wait to take the exam. The two-point cushion he (she?) mentions is huge, because there is always a luck factor with the MCAT and by overshooting your target score, you have fallback space in the event your luck is not so good on your particular test day. Too many people go into the MCAT with unsatisfactory practice test scores assuming that luck will favor them on test day. I'm a firm believer you need to approach it in the opposite way.

You'll do great this time!
 

Optimus123

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If EK materials TWICE lead to a score that didn't please you, why use them a third time? For some people they are great, but not everyone.

Here my blunt opinion that may offend, but it's right on the mark. People like EK materials because they are an easy read (like a preference to read a cartoon panel over a novel). Their text is very good and presents most concepts well, so people like it and get a confidence from it. BUT, it's a false confidence for some people, because knowing material only goes so far. More importantly, you have to know how to apply your information. Now this is my opinion, and I'm sure it's not politically correct to share it, but the passages and questions in EK just aren't really that good. Their answer explanations are cursory at best, and that's where they fall very short. The explanations don't help you, and that's where people need the most help.

You learn much more by going over answer explanations after taking a practice test than anywhere else. That's where you learn to apply the concepts, use your time wisely, develop test-taking tricks, and so much more. You need to practice with better passages and questions.

The bottom line is that you need to use better passages and questions this time, and hopefully ones that you haven't seen before.
You have a serious conflict of interest here and I completely disagree with you on a number of points. The EK questions are significantly more challenging than they are in other books I have seen (though I have not come across material from your company), and there are an absolute TON of questions accompanying every concept to teach you to "apply the information."

This sounds more like sales pitch than genuine advice to me, and it is lame.
 

BerkReviewTeach

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You have a serious conflict of interest here and I completely disagree with you on a number of points. The EK questions are significantly more challenging than they are in other books I have seen (though I have not come across material from your company), and there are an absolute TON of questions accompanying every concept to teach you to "apply the information."

This sounds more like sales pitch than genuine advice to me, and it is lame.
Yes, I perhaps am a bit biased. I have admitted this in many threads and don't try to hide it (as my moniker points out). I did teach for BR for quite a while and absolutely loved my experience. But I think it's pretty out of line for you to make your allegations.

First off, if you feel it's a sales pitch, what am I specifically endorsing? I'm not recommending what he should buy nor where he should buy it. Second, why am I not allowed to have an opinion? I have tutored and taught premeds for nearly ten years (counting TAing) and have seen many different materials. I have seen students both succeed and struggle, and from those observations have developed some opinions of what works and what doesn't.

And I have to ask, who are you to question my ethics? I don't mean to pick a fight, but character attacks are not a part of the culture here. By all means disagree with my opinion, but please refrain from making any comments on my character, especially if you've only been here a few days.

Now as for you opinion, I'm glad you feel good about the materials. But I will again say that the biggest problem is that their answer explanations do not teach the student very much. Often times they were hardly even a sentence long. It is my opinion that the most important learning occurs when someone reviews their answers, both right and wrong. A challenging question with no answer explanation to speak of is not helpful.

And lastly, if you are judging the quality of a book by the difficulty of questions, then I have to ask you why? There is nothing wrong with having challenging questions as long as they (a) teach the student some strategy or concept and (b) they are realistic for the style of the MCAT. If the challenging question has no answer explanation beyond "page 83 says so." (or something like that), then how helpful is it? It doesn't build confidence. Also, if the challenging question is there just to impress the reader with how much the author knows, then again, what good is that question. There is plenty of author muscle flexing going around between all of the prep materials on the market and many posters here have pointed this out in one way or another. I just happen to think that such tactics are detrimental to students or at the very least a waste of their study time.
 

alibai3ah

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Berkeley Review is great, I used it to study for the science sections. You can learn the material from different books, but BR offers sooooo much practice that improves your reading comprehension as well as speed. I personally thought the bio section for the BR review was a bit too detailed, but I still used all the books for the practice. If you wanna improve your PS score go with this one, I almost guarantee an 10-12 for anyone who uses these books. I used kaplan at teh same time, and all their online stuff helps too. On my first attempt, I failed to study for the verbal....:-( so I actually have to retake it just b/c of that section, but the BR is def good
 

phospho

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You have a serious conflict of interest here and I completely disagree with you on a number of points. The EK questions are significantly more challenging than they are in other books I have seen (though I have not come across material from your company), and there are an absolute TON of questions accompanying every concept to teach you to "apply the information."

This sounds more like sales pitch than genuine advice to me, and it is lame.
I love EK and I think they presented the material in an awesome way. However, most people who have used EK and BR will tell you that BR is on a completely different level than EK, especially their physics and gen chem. Without BR, I would have been screwed with my overconfidence from EK. Obviously, this is my opinion, and I have nothing to gain. I can't care less whether you buy EK or BR.

However, you admit that you haven't seen material from BR, therefore, you have no right to make these allegations. BerkReview is a very well respected poster, and has helped a lot more people than you will ever help in a lifetime. Feel free to disagree with him, but at least know what you are talking about first, and more importantly, be a bit more civilized and respectful of others.

Learning how to communicate with others will go a long way for you.

:thumbdown:
 

studiousduck

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Stick with Examcracker's. The first time I took the MCAT I received a 5! Yes, not so good. But after my third attempt, I raised my score to a 9 using just Examcracker's. You have to stay persistent and study at least once a day. I studied two times per day for 3 months. The practice scores will fluctuate but the hard work will pay off. Trust me. My science scores, on the other hand, benefitted from Kaplan Review. Good luck!!
 

139871

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Good luck and I wish you the best :)
Good luck to everyone studying in January and DO not take until you are absolutely ready, the MCAT is not an exam anyone should take more than once.
 
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