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What should I use to study for MCAT?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by DarkJoker, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. DarkJoker

    2+ Year Member

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    I took my first diagnostic a few days ago, and scored a 15 composite. 4VR/4BS/7PS. I did not do that good in my prereqs either. Got a C in Bio II, and C in Orgo II. Didn't really learn anything in Physics even though I got A's. Only thing I really remember is from Gen Chem.

    Anyways, I have 2 options to study for the MCAT. Either I can take a Kaplan course or use BR books, which seem pretty complex IMO. Does anyone have any idea what they would do in a situation like mine? I have to take the MCAT this January, and am taking a light schedule this fall w/13 credits and no work.
     
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  3. HotandCold

    HotandCold Senior member
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    TBR or TPR are your safest bets. They're complex looking because them MCAT is a complex exam. In your current state, stay away from any "quick" and bare-bones review texts like Examkrackers. As for the live course- take it of you've got time. You probably need a little extra explanation. Kaplan has an online one you can use if you're disciplined enough to study alone.

    To be honest- you need to retake those 2 C's to be competitive. MD or DO. I advise you to do so amigo. And if you learned nothing from physics-:thumbdown:- There's a lot of physics, stuff that you need to know intuitively, on the MCAT.

    Get crackin' asap friend.
     
  4. Kimchii

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    Taking a prep course would help. Reviewing concepts from your pre-reqs would help too. Of course taking practice tests and reviewing them to know what you got wrong as well. If it helps, try this: take an exam say the PS section and do each passage with a gen chem and physics book open. So you read a passage then figure out what concept goes with it, flip to that concept on the book and use it to solve the questions. Eventually you get off the books though. Good luck.
     
  5. DarkJoker

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    TPR is out of the question. I just can't afford it. I can get Kaplan online for $350 or I can shell out $200 for Berkeley Review books.

    I went through my friends BR physics book, and it seems too much in-depth, and doesn't seem to simplify things. When I took physics, we never used the trigonometric functions.
     
  6. mitchlucker

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    Well the trig tested on the MCAT is easy to learn so you're in good shape with that. I would personally get Kaplan online, at least comes with all the AAMC practices tests I think (not 100% sure, double check).

    I would buckle down ASAP though. A 15 composite has to be the fire under your a** if nothing else.
     
  7. PingPongPro

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    Don't let money be the reason why you choose a certain route. The money you spend on MCAT prep will be a drop in the bucket compared to how much you are going to spend/be in debt once you are done with this whole med school thing. If you don't prepare adequately you might even end up spending more later by trying to keep costs low now. But everyone is in their own unique position, so just try to think whether you REALLY can't afford something or whether you just don't want to.

    BR books are a little in-depth, but thats a good thing. You admit to not learning all the material fully, so you seem like you need the most detailed amount of content review out there.

    I don't understand how you would go through physics without having to use trig functions. There are so many instances when trig functions are a necessity (kinematics, force, lenses, waves, etc.). You really have to get use to them. BR physics isn't the only book that uses trig functions either. All of the reputable test prep companies have trig functions. So if you are trying to avoid trig functions since they are too "in-depth", that is not a good reason. Lucky for you, TBR physics books break down calculating trig functions pretty well.
     
  8. macsta

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    I bubbled in random answers on two of my AAMC tests (because I just wanted to see the answers) and I got a higher score than a 15...
     
  9. MShopes

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    LOL! That was harsh to the OP man....OP, some of my own friends scored low 20s in the practice tests and they ended up breaking 30s in the real exam. It is all about confidence when you go into the real deal plus the luck when the exam hit your strong areas. However, I wouldn't be too lenient and gotta admit that 15 indicate poor mastery of material and you need to work it out. But, I promise you will improve. Don't be demoralized by any comments from any one in earth even though I know they mean good things.
     
  10. DarkJoker

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    I find that hard to believe since I got over 50% correct on each section except verbal. Keep in mind that this is without any studying whatsoever.
     
  11. macsta

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    I'm honestly not joking.

    A 15 is a decent score considering you haven't studied. You still have time to get into the "MCAT mode of thinking" and master some of the MCAT content. I would suggest you start studying seriously ASAP.
     
  12. KindofBlue

    KindofBlue Member
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    +1 :thumbup:
    Seriously man, you don't want to spend the money, you don't want to spend the time, you don't want to use books that seem too hard?
    I'm sorry, but it sounds like you're just being a big baby.

    MCAT is hard, and getting into med school is hard. If you're not willing to give it time, effort and money, you most likely won't get anything.
    FYI, if you look hard, TPRH books can be bought for under $200.
    Although I ended up using TBR (which I got for $120 used very little markings), I did get a full set of TPRH for about $70 on ebay. It was used and had a lot of markings, but still.
    Everybody posting in this thread (or most people) have some experience taking or preparing for the MCAT and know what it takes to get a good score. If you think you can do without everybody's advice, fine, don't take it, but don't say you haven't been warned.
     
  13. doctor123456789

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    It seems that you took the easy way out of your classes, and now you want to bs your way into med school, like you've done with your classes. The purpose of the MCAT is to show what you really learned since anyone can go to a easy class and do no studying and get an A or B. If you're serious about the medical field, go and retake the courses and learn something this time around; more importantly see if you're interested. It just seems like you want to be a doctor, but have no reason or passion for it. You just want to be rich, and have that tag. Don't think about pharmacy or optometry either if you think its a easier test to get by. You have to love the subject because you're going to be studying until 4 AM in the morning some nights and so you better like it! Anyway, good luck, and sorry if i was harsh, but i didnt wanna sugarcoat things for you. Be honest with your self, if you don't like the subject, dont waste your time and go with your passion because youre going to do it anyway. Goodluck.
     
  14. DarkJoker

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    Ok. So I got the Online Kaplan Course for $350. And for $300, I got TBR complete set + TPRH Verbal + EK Bio + EK 1001 Series all without writing =) Now the money thing is not that much of an issue, but paying 2k for princeton review is when Kaplan is almost the same but so much cheaper.

    Now, prob is idk what to use for each section, it seems like i have an excessive amount of material. That's the whole reason why I came on here in the first place.
     
  15. DarkJoker

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    @doctor123456789: It seems though as if you're randomly judging people who you don't even know. I came on this forum specifically to ask about MCAT material, and really don't care about ur opinions about me. As for being rich, I already make good money as it is. Not everyone has time to live off their parents money and just study without working. I work over 80 hours a week while taking on a full-time schedule 411. As for BSing through my classes, I had the highest grade in my gen chem classes and bio I. How on earth can you say what I like and what I don't like? I admit, I didn't study much for physics, because it was a class that didn't require a ton of studying. I did whatever was required for the class, and learned whatever I was expected to learn. It's just that the professor's expectations weren't sub-par with the MCAT expectations.
     
  16. MShopes

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    +1 dude....don't listen to doctor1234...blah blah....that person is about to be freshmen in college and have the guts to really comment on the MCAT that he/she never really took and has at least three years to take it (possibly in 2015 when the new change comes, good luck with the new format). To Doctor, be considerate. How much of help have you did by giving this comment, especially if you never had the experience of the real MCAT and not even the experience of the study of it and not even the experience of college life yet? You don't know what is going on in OP's life to comment really harsh like that.

    OP, have you watched the pursuit of happyness? Yes I know happyness is misspelled but that's how the movie is named based on a story on the movie itself. Here is my advice to you: Don't let someone tell you that you can't do something. If you want to be a doctor, you will be regardless of people's opinions.

    Now that's out of the way. Let's consider your inquiry. You said you must take the MCAT in January? That means you need to apply this cycle coming up for the 2013 entering class right? Well I would suggest delaying even if you do good in the MCAT. First, you need to really improve all those C's before applying to look good. By improving these classes, you will also gain much more knowledge from your classes that will help your prep for the MCAT. Otherwise, you will have hard time studying for the MCAT and even if you do good on it, your application will still be weak because of those course grades. MCAT isn't everything and other application areas can weaken your application. Since you are having a light load with no work, why not start retaking those classes and getting A's in them to show improvement? Don't rush to get into medical school if you are not ready with your application.
     
  17. notbobtrustme

    notbobtrustme Crux Terminatus
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    yea, this is exactly true. My composite score was like 18. After a few months of studying using Exam Krackers, I was consistently getting 30+ on AAMC practice exams.

    EK are great if you learn fast and remember information accurately. They are pretty clear 90% of the time. I absolutely love the EK1001 series. These will hammer in the concepts so that you have a rock solid base. I found their verbal passages to be the closest things you'll see on the real MCAT.

    My only real complaint is that the EK books do have a lot of typos in them. Sometimes, the answer keys are mixed up so you have to go through each question 1 by 1 in the explanations to actually score your exam. There were at least two verbal tests that had messed up keys in my EK101 Verbal.
     

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