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Which is the best course, in your opinion

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skbirdie510

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I already took the MCAT once, without anything but a few Kaplan books a friend graciously lent me. After studying for something like 2 months (though possibly less if you factor in my short attention span :oops:), I got a 28R. Naturally I'm aiming to retake the test, this time doing whatever I can to at least push me over the 30 mark, if not better.

Out of Kaplan, Princeton Review, and ExamKrackers, which is the best live class to take and why? Also, were there any other courses aside from the three mentioned that you found particularly helpful?

Thank you so much for your help! :)
 

SN2ed

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The quality of the various test prep companies' live classroom differs far too much from area to area. One city may have great Kaplan teachers and bad TPR teachers. On the other hand, another city may have very bad Kaplan teachers, and amazing TPR teachers. Your best bet is to ask pre-med students around your area and sit in on a class.

In terms of material:

Originally Posted by TheBoondocks
This question gets asked like every three days. In short, EK series are stripped down with the basics you need to know. Get EK bio, it is by far the best for bio, all the responses on SDN say this. Know this book cold. If you don't believe me, type in EK bio in the search function. Personally, you learn the best from passages, If you have time and the cash I highly suggest purchasing Berkeley Review Gen Chem and Ochem. There physics is good too, but with PR it may be redundant. You will thank me later. You'll probably want EK biology review and EK 101 biology passages and EK verbal 101. PR is good, however, if you want to kill the MCAT you have to be able to integrate material. That's what BR does better than anyone else. Like, be able to answer questions if you see the circulatory system wired in parallel series.

bio - 1. EK bio and 101 bio passages 2. Kaplan 3. PR/BR however, these don't suck, they're just detailed which turns off many people.

Physics 1. BR/Nova 2. PR 3. Kaplan I really think BR but they're are a lot of people who swear by Nova on this site

Verbal 1. Ek verbal and 101 passages 2. PR 3. BR 4. Kaplan (read stay from)

Gen Chem 1. BR by far 2. PR 3. Kaplan/EK

O Chem 1. BR by far 2. toss up between Kaplan/PR/Ek

That is a general list of what i have read on SDN for the past 4 years, i came here and lurked throughout highschool. Good luck and hopefully this will help. EK is for people who KNOW the material and want review. If you are weak in something BR is the best since it's the most detailed and PR is detailed too, Kaplan is in the Middle, and EK is the least detailed but that doesn't mean it's bad. Just depends on the person. If you can I would buy the BR Chemistry books and Physics book. If you complete the PR science workbook along with BR passages and EK bio, you will kill the sciences. Ek Verbal should help you out with verbal.
 

BlueElmo

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I recommend Princeton Review. I took the Hyperlearning course and found it satisfactory, and I got the score I wanted.
 

BerkReviewTeach

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The quality of the various test prep companies' live classroom differs far too much from area to area. One city may have great Kaplan teachers and bad TPR teachers. On the other hand, another city may have very bad Kaplan teachers, and amazing TPR teachers. Your best bet is to ask pre-med students around your area and sit in on a class.

Exactly!!! The quality of the course varies from location to location. Ask locally. If you can do it, sit in on each course before signing up. Make sure the teaching is worth the money before paying so much.

This website is a great place to ask about the materials, because that is consistent from location to location. But teaching is so variable it's not funny.

Good luck!
 

mrmedschool

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For me...the actual classes were useless and only covered basic material that everybody knew. Kaplan was the best to sign up for because it had so much amazing online material. I also liked the kaplan review books because they were thorough. The examcrackers review books are good study guides to complement the text-book-like material from Kaplan. So, coming from someone who is very happy with their MCAT score, I would suggest that you take the Kaplan class (or even just the online class) and buy extra examcracker material to complement it.

Also Kaplan lets you retake the class completely (with full access to everything) if you "do not feel ready yet to take the exam." This is what I did, and I was surprised at how nonproblematic the process was.
 

BlueElmo

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The prep courses will give you the material and the strategies. But, ultimately, it's up to you study and master the materials.
 

SN2ed

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The prep courses will give you the material and the strategies. But, ultimately, it's up to you study and master the materials.

I think prep classes, when they're good (keyword: good), give you far more than material and strategies. In fact, I would go so far as to say that's not the major draw to take live classes. Both material and strategies can be gained from outside sources without signing up for a live class. However, a live class gives you a benefit that cannot be obtained through books: face to face support. There's just something to be said for being in a class full of people going through the same thing. From your interactions with this group, you can gain additional motivation to drive past the tough times and help you de-stress. Being in a class is also conducive to forming study groups. Nevertheless, I must yet again stress how great it is to simply talk face to face with others prepping for the MCAT. Lastly, a good teacher is not only there to tell everyone strategies, they too provide motivation for their students and help bring everyone together.
 

BlueElmo

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I think prep classes, when they're good (keyword: good), give you far more than material and strategies. In fact, I would go so far as to say that's not the major draw to take live classes. Both material and strategies can be gained from outside sources without signing up for a live class. However, a live class gives you a benefit that cannot be obtained through books: face to face support. There's just something to be said for being in a class full of people going through the same thing. From your interactions with this group, you can gain additional motivation to drive past the tough times and help you de-stress. Being in a class is also conducive to forming study groups. Nevertheless, I must yet again stress how great it is to simply talk face to face with others prepping for the MCAT. Lastly, a good teacher is not only there to tell everyone strategies, they too provide motivation for their students and help bring everyone together.

That could be true for some people. But for me, other than the tons of materials and the different strategies and review stuff they gave me, I didn't find anything else as useful. Of course, everyone would have different views on this matter, ultimately, it's up to the student taking the course.
 
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