PsychStudent

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2004
170
0
Status (Visible)
I'm planning to apply to start med school in the fall of 2009. I'm only taking gen chem right now, and will take the other classes over the next year. Is it too early to get and start studying the books? Also, which do you recommend? Thanks!
 

Kateb4

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2006
871
2
Chicagoland
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I have the Exam Krackers series and the Audio Osmosis that I listen in the car on my commute to school. It's never too early to start studying! It would be good to familiarize yourself with the content in general, then maybe you can stretch your studying out a little as you take the rest of your pre-reqs. I also have to say that you can use these books a little to help you study for the classes. It's always nice to have a different perspective every once in a while.
 
N

njbmd

I'm planning to apply to start med school in the fall of 2009. I'm only taking gen chem right now, and will take the other classes over the next year. Is it too early to get and start studying the books? Also, which do you recommend? Thanks!

Rather than spending money for MCAT prep materials when you are so early in the process, download the detailed subject matter from the MCAT website and make sure that you are covering that material in your coursework. Make sure that your course is thoroughly covering this material. At this point, your main focus should be keeping your GPA as high as possible and thorough mastery of your course materials.

Remember, you REVIEW for the MCAT and STUDY for your coursework. You cannot REVIEW what you haven't learned in the first place. Any time that you take away from thorough mastery of your coursework is wasted time and counterproductive to doing well on the MCAT.

The MCAT is NOT a test of memorization but a test of preparation. If your knowledge base is poor, no review book, test-prep course or tapes will make up for this. Too many people have jumped into attempting to memorize books or tapes only to neglect their coursework ending up poorly prepared for this test.

If you thoroughly master your coursework, you will have plenty of time to review for the MCAT when then time is optimal to take the test (after you have completed your coursework). At this point, make sure that you have mastered the content of the test as you move through your pre-med courses. Your best source of the adequacy of your coursework is the actual test content from the MCAT site. You have one shot to do well on this test so don't set yourself up for a mediocre score. Good luck!
 
About the Ads

Krisss17

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2007
716
2
In btwn here and there!
Status (Visible)
  1. Other Health Professions Student
I basically agree with njbmd about not going all out and buying MCAT stuff, the only thing that I would recommend would possibly be the EK Verbal passage book. I basically consider myself a good student and have done well in my English classes, etc, but when I started to take the first test, I realized that I'll the time because those passages are not clear cut. You don't have to finish all of the passages to get a good score, but you definitely want to do well on the ones that you do undertake.

Others on SDN have written some good advice regarding prepping for the verbals, such as reading the Economist and the New Yorker.

For the OP, since gen chem is the only class that you are taking...I'd hold off.

Krisss17
 

mitawa

Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 25, 2005
186
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Go to the library and check some of the stuff out, then you can pretty much determine what you'll want to buy later on down the line when the MCAT approaches for you. Good luck on the journey!
 

Bleurberry

Full Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 30, 2007
649
7
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I'm 28 yr old non-trad whos finishing his bachelors in spanisah lit.
I'm just like you, finishing gen chem 1 and taking chem 2 in the summer along with anatomy physiology (dont ask).
My gut totally disagrees with the naysayers out there who say you need the pre-reqs before you start studying. For the small minority who dont have the luxury of another year of school that isnt absolutely necessary , go for it.
Im taking bio/physics/org chem Fall 2007 and spring 2008 and then IM OUT.

Im proceeding with exam krackers 6th ed. book.
I firmly believe that reverse engineering in scholastics for something like preparing for a standardized test CAN and DOES work for a few motivated students who can retain large quantities of info because they are genuinely interested in the subject matter and can connect the dots.

Remember, when you boil it all down, whether you learn the material in a 14 week lecture or in an abstract and on your own, its learning the material that's important. Im not saying you should doze off in class, either... ;)
 

notdeadyet

Still in California
15+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2004
11,777
1,996
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Remember, you REVIEW for the MCAT and STUDY for your coursework. You cannot REVIEW what you haven't learned in the first place.
Very good advice. You're much better off learning the stuff properly in the context of a full course than learning factoids during prep mode. It will pay off.

The only other recommendation I'd make is to learn how to read. Seems silly to tell this to college students, but apparently you can go through college only taking science classes and not learn to read critically. Take a few liberal art classes (literature, philosophy, etc) and read good newspapers regularly. This will help on verbal down the road. Trying to teach yourself how to read well as the MCAT looms before you can be a challenge.
 

DocH

Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 28, 2007
18
0
Beavercreek, OH
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I don't know that I would get MCAT prep stuff yet, but ExamKrackers is definitely the way to go. The only thing I missed by going through them was some writing sample information; however, I didn't look very hard elsewhere for that info.

If you can study on your own, EK is much cheaper and better organized than TPR or Kaplan, which I've had some, um, teaching experience with. They constantly sell the "product," which is hard for me to do. That's just me, though.

It would also be a good idea to talk to your pre-med advisor, if he or she is helpful.
 

NonTradMed

Perpetual Student
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2004
2,303
12
Somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
The MCAT isn't a test of memorization, rather a test of basic concepts, so you need to focus on your premed classes. Don't worry about MCAT yet, just focus on doing well in your classes. After you get done, and it's time for the MCAT, it'll be very easy to review since you just had a good grounding in it. People who did well on the MCAT weren't memorizing the MCAT books, but rather knew the concepts and knew how to apply it. The MCAT will mask very basic concepts in complicated looking passages. Your job is to discern the very simple concept and get the answer---not something you can learn by memorizing MCAT books. Best to focus on your classes and know your stuff, then review with your MCAT books.
 

unsung

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2007
1,356
13
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I'll be the dissenter here.

I think reading over the MCAT study guides may actually help you in your pre-med courses by providing outlines of some basic important points to focus your studying for class.

Also, I always find it useful to go over the same material from several different vantage points. For example, reading an intro text on the subject matter, then watching a video which goes over the same topics but with added visual demonstrations, then trying out practice problems which involves applying the concepts just learned in new ways... etc. etc.

Don't FOCUS on the MCAT while you're taking your pre-med courses, for sure... but I don't think it hurts to have a guide on hand just as a supplemental text to provide alternate phrasings of concepts you'll learn from your textbooks and for lectures.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 14 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.