Hey Guest! Check out the 3 MCAT Study Plan Options listed in the 'stickies' area at the top of the forums (BoomBoom, SN2ed, and MCATJelly). Let us know which you like best.

Also, we now offer a MCAT Test-Prep Exhibitions Forum where you can ask questions directly from the test-prep services.
SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Which kaplan full lenghts are similar to aamc's, and worth doing?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by basha, Jul 23, 2002.

  1. basha

    basha Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    201
    0
    Aug 19, 2001
    Hi everyone, I have heard from almost everyone how bad the full lengths from kaplan are, that they go over board with the sciences, and that they will only mess up your confidence. Can someone tell me which kaplan full lengths are worth taking (i know for sure that 4 and 5 are way too hard and aren't worth doing), but what about the others (1,2,3). So far, I am sticking with the aamc full lengths, but since there is so much other material at the kaplan library (like 9 kaplan full lengths, 10 sectional exams for each section...b.s.,p.s., v.r., etc.,), I want to do whatever good material there is. Anyone with prior expereince please help me out. thanks a lot.
     
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. Kry

    Kry cranky 10+ Year Member

    916
    0
    Jun 12, 2002
    NYC
    I seriously suggest you do the Verbal section tests if you need help in that area. The topicals (physical sciences) are hard and are only good as a learning tool in my opinion.

    With this in mind, I would also suggest you do as many full length exams as possible. At the very least do full lengths 1-4 just to see if you have the concepts down. I am telling you all this from my curent experience, I went from a 25 (10B7P8V) from the diagnostic to a 27 (8B8P11V) on the first full length.

    It may not seem like much of an increase, but let me say that the diagnostic was a joke compared to the first full length in terms of difficulty. Did anyone else see it this way? Also anyone currently taking Kaplan ( or any other company) have any suggestions?

    Best of luck
     
  4. basha

    basha Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    201
    0
    Aug 19, 2001
    Thats exaclty why im hesitant on taking those kaplan full length exams. I need all the practice though, even though i have the aamc's, and 2 EK full lengths, which are all like the real mcat and not at all like tpr or kaplans screwed up exams.

    And yes please anyone who has kaplan knowledge, let us know which full lengths to take, if any. Thanks.
     
  5. it can't hurt to take Kaplan tests. In fact it probably helps since thats one of the only instances where you will get a simulated test environment. This is assuming you enrolled in the class.

    As for them being similar to the real thing, I would say that I didn't find them to similar to the real thing. They were overloaded with science that may not be on the MCAT. However it's always a good idea to be ready for that "oh ****" passage. I admit that having to deal with insane kaplan passages helped me keep my cool on the real thing. Didn't do much for my score but I was definately one of the most relaxed test takers.
     
  6. dr kevin40

    dr kevin40 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    762
    0
    Jun 21, 2002
    cali
    don't try to cut corners. the only kaplan tests that r way above and beyond r the higher #s...like 9 and above i think.

    the others r harder, but some mcats r hard like that. if u don't take them, u r gambling on getting an easy test version. which often doesn't happen
     
  7. Doctor Octopus

    Doctor Octopus Hospitalist 10+ Year Member

    1,621
    21
    May 23, 2002
    "Picksburgh"
    Kaplans 1-5 are worth doing. The only thing harder about them are the Physical Science sections, which are more calculation intensive than the real deal. The verbal and biological, in my honest opinion, are pretty similar to the real thing. Kaplan 6-11 are very difficult. They are good practice, but should not be used as diagnostics.
     
  8. Kry

    Kry cranky 10+ Year Member

    916
    0
    Jun 12, 2002
    NYC

    I absolutely agree that the only thing difficult about Kaplan's Full Length exams are the Physical Science sections. I couldn't finish the section in time and literally guessed on the last 20 questions; consequently, getting a 7 on that section and missing an 8 by one question. The question I did answer incorrectly were topics we haven't covered as of yet and thus didn't have a chance in hell of getting them right.


    Would fellow Kaplan students (former or present) please post their scores from the Diagnostic to Full Length #5 (including MCAT scores) if possible, I'm sure many of us will find it useful.

    Edit: I just found out I actually had an 8 on the PS section (whoops!)
     
  9. missmod

    missmod Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    191
    0
    Jun 15, 2002
    Philadelphia
    Diagnostic: 28 (12V, 9P, 7B)
    1st Full Length: 31 (11V, 11P, 9B)
    2nd Full Length: 29 :( 11V, 10P, 8B)

    I actually felt better about the 2nd Full Length compared to the 1st one, so the drop in the score kinda sucks for me. Also with verbal, I feel like once you are in 11's, it's so hard to keep on improving!! There are some questions and answers that are so vague and you can't but help but get them wrong. Get about 5 wrong and Kaplan already has you at 11. The fact that I'm not sure how the questions and scores match up with the real MCAT has me wondering all over the place.
     
  10. Kry

    Kry cranky 10+ Year Member

    916
    0
    Jun 12, 2002
    NYC


    I hear you on the Verbal. 5 questions wrong automatically gives you a 11 and there always seems to be atleast 3 tricky questions where your answer choice seems to be a better match than theirs but isn't (and their reasoning doesn't make much sense).

    I envy your Physical Science scores (great job). Do you have any tips for people who don't finish the Physical Science sections?
     
  11. dtreese

    dtreese Caramel Gollum 10+ Year Member

    20,482
    4
    Apr 23, 2001
    KY, The Jelly State
    I am a former Kaplan instructor and successful Kaplan student. I would like to point out that I don't think Kaplan's tests are designed to be exactly like the MCAT. They ARE designed to combine a simulated testing environment with the training you need to do well on the real test. The important thing to understand is the concept of over-training. As some of you have stated, the Kaplan tests are heavy on the tough stuff and the trick questions. You should consider that if you can do well on hard exams, you'll do even better on test day. A runner doesn't train for the 100m just by running 100m sprints all day. They work on mechanics, strength, and endurance, among other things. In the same way, you need to do some mental over-training.
    Also, the Kaplan tests are designed for you to be able to find your weaker points so you can go back to the books and review concepts. When I was in the course, I would go through my wrong answers on every test, write down which concepts I was having trouble on, and review those concepts in detail. It allows you to efficiently hit your biggest trouble areas.
    As far as confidence, you shouldn't let one practice test get to you. You have to think of each practice test as a learning opportunity and a chance to attack your weaknesses. If you let pride become a factor in this process, it will only get in your way. I see people saying they're hesitant to take the tests -- WHY???? If it's a hard test, so what? You don't have to tell other people your scores. And believe me, when you sit down at test day and see how easy the real thing is when compared with the Kaplan tests, it's a confidence BOOSTER!!!
    One more thing. I don't know if it's normally this way or if it was just a freak occurrence, but it seemed that a number of the passages on my post-Kaplan MCAT were VERY similar to the AAMC practice passages. They are well worth using, esp. if you're already in the Kaplan course (they're part of the available test materials).
     
  12. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member 7+ Year Member

    2,797
    2
    Apr 28, 2002
    The first five are the best. The others are good practice and you should do them, but don't score them!

    People, it may not seem like it, but everything Kaplan does, it does for a good reason. You may not appreciate it now, but working with practice tests that are a little harder than the real thing will help you a lot in the end. Kaplan assumes that you want a killer score... and to get a killer score, you have to master the harder questions. Most people get the easy questions... it's the harder questions that separates the <30s from the >30s... and that's why Kaplan bombards you with harder problems.

    So my advice is... DO ALL THE PRACTICE TESTS. If you find that scoring the test is hurting your confidence... then just don't score the test. It's as simple as that. Find out what you did wrong and go over the missed questions, but don't pay any attention to the scaled score.

    Good luck :)
     
  13. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member 7+ Year Member

    2,797
    2
    Apr 28, 2002

    Seriously... do the #6-9 tests... but just ignore your PS score. I got 7s on all the PS sections of practice tests #6-7... but got a 12 on the real thing.
     
  14. missmod

    missmod Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    191
    0
    Jun 15, 2002
    Philadelphia
    I just finished up physics and chem last year so it helped that the material was fresh in my mind. With some of the passages that were given to me, I was already familiar with the experiment or the process that the passage talked about and that helped. You spend less time reading really carefully and just go to the problems. (the AAMC practice passages also helped me with this part) A lot of friends tell me that they actually just skip the passage itself and work on the probs for physical sciences, but I'm always afraid I'll miss some little detail if I skip it.

    As for the advice of doing the tests but not scoring it... It's really hard to resist! :eek:
     
  15. Doctor Octopus

    Doctor Octopus Hospitalist 10+ Year Member

    1,621
    21
    May 23, 2002
    "Picksburgh"
    Kaplan #1 10 9 11
    #2 9 11 11
    #3 12 11 12
    #4 11 10 11
    #5 10 10 10
    April '02 13 9 11
     
  16. basha

    basha Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    201
    0
    Aug 19, 2001
    Since I am using EK materials to study (and enrolled in kaplan), I have all the science and verbal information locked for the mcat, but I also need practice on timing and other factors that are important on simulated exams. So making out from what everyone said, I think I'll do full lengths 1 to 3, and maybe 9 and 10 if I have time. I dont think with all the toughness of the kap exams, I will ever get my timing to what it needs to be on the real thing but I will hopefully pick up on strategies on attacking those really tough science passages. But I realize there is such a thing as being too tough for anyones own good. And after doing the kap diag, and 4 of the BS and PS sectional tests, the passages seem way too difficult for any average test taker to understand, could this possibly be of any help. What do you guys think???
     
  17. JMD

    JMD Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    448
    0
    Feb 11, 2002
    Kind of a change of topic, but has anyone done pretty badly on the original Kaplan diagnostic (<20), and ended up with a good score on the real deal. I got an 18, but hadn't even started to study yet. I am hoping that is the reason. I will be taking my first full length this weekend.
     
  18. limit

    limit Molesting my inner-child 10+ Year Member

    570
    1
    Jun 21, 2000
    New York City
    I'd like to know this as well, if anyone would care to share with the rest of us.
    I took the exam in April 2002 (no studying whatsoever, just walked in cold after about 2-3 days of AAMC practice problems). So now I'm taking Kaplan and supplementing with EK books.

    So, April 2002 = 24 (7v, 9p, 8b)
    my diagnostic = 18 (5v, 6p, 7b)
    my kaplan #1 = 21 (6v, 8p, 7b)

    I'm not too concerned about the numbers right now, just looking at this as an opportunity to go over the full-length exams with the explanations and really master everything I got wrong. I dont think adding a superficial value to a low kaplan score to make estimates about the real thing is useful at all; my goal is to be over 30 with atleast a 10 in verbal, does that sound reasonable?

    On the full test #1 I got 22 wrong in verbal, mostly 1-2 wrong per passage and two passages were bloopers with like 5-6 wrong so I'm trying to work on that. My timing is much improved though, I'm finishing 10-15 minutes ahead of time, on the real thing in April I ran out of time with 1.5 passages to go; so hopefully these indirect improvements will eventually translate themselves into a good grade.
     
  19. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member 7+ Year Member

    2,797
    2
    Apr 28, 2002
    Kaplan diag: 5V 6P 7B
    aug. 2001: 10V 12P 9B
    april 2002: 12V 12P 10B

    Yeah so... the kaplan diag doesn't say much unless you take it right before the real MCAT or you don't study at all between the two. :)
     
  20. Mudd

    Mudd Charlatan & Trouble Maker 7+ Year Member

    376
    2
    Jun 5, 2002
    relocated again
    True, but a runner doesn't train for the 100m dash by rowing a few miles, tossing a few shot puts, and then juggling chainsaws.

    Training for any event, athletic or test, requires developing many skills. This can be done by doing things that may not seem connected to the target event. But that in no means that any random act of preparation is beneficial.

    The philosophy of getting a test full of trick questions to prepare for a test that may have only about five to ten seems counter-productive and damaging to one's psyche. The whole "over-train" explanation sounds like a great rationale for not revising materials. Just my $0.02.
     
  21. dtreese

    dtreese Caramel Gollum 10+ Year Member

    20,482
    4
    Apr 23, 2001
    KY, The Jelly State
    Granted, any analogy may only be taken so far. It seems, though, that if you study all the review materials Kaplan gives you and participate in the classes, the easy problems are the ones you'll have down pat. Why bother wasting time doing those? The idea in presenting a large proportion of the hard problems is to make you comfortable with them so they don't throw you so much when you get to test day. You'll look at the passage and think, "Oh, this is a gold foil passage," or, "Oh this is an RC-circuit with a spring and voltaic cell passage, la dee dah, I've done these before." With PS, there are really only so many types of passages they CAN pick from, and you can become familiar with the biggies. And to generalize a bit more, they tend to pick the classics for PS and BS passages, they'll just change the questions or the math. Being familiar with the classics gets you half way to the answer before you even take the test.
    For instance, they seem to really like Griffin's experiments w/mice & pneumococcus. If you have had a genetics course or a biochem course, you'll probably have read about these experiments. They like a lot of the heredity classics like that. Although, on one test, they'll probably have just one such passage. Anyways, just an example...

    The big thing I keep seeing is this fear of psyching yourself out. If you let your ego get involved, your test prep won't be as productive as it could be. You're the one sitting there with the practice test, and this is the time to be brutally honest with yourself. You have to be your own worst, most precise critic, because knowing your weaknesses is essential to improving your performance. Pride getteth in the way of a good MCAT score, folks. If you don't want other people to know how you're doing don't tell them. But don't avoid taking practice tests just to avoid being honest with yourself. I know how depressing it can be to be brutally honest -- believe me, there was almost nothing I DIDN'T need to work on at first. But topic by topic, I started to get things down, and the tests helped me narrow the scope of my review.
    I'm not going to sit here and defend the quality of Kaplan's materials -- I don't work for them anymore, and I have no stake in their performance. I will say, though, that I used their materials last year and improved from 10V-8P-10B before Kaplan to 11V-13-P-11B after. And I studied my butt off for the first one, too. I'm not saying Kaplan's materials were the only factor, but I will tell you they were the major factor.

    Best wishes to you all!!!
     
  22. limit

    limit Molesting my inner-child 10+ Year Member

    570
    1
    Jun 21, 2000
    New York City
    That's the first time I've seen someone do poorer on the real physical sciences section than the kaplan one. Was that a fluke, or what do you attribute that to?

    thanks
     
  23. wgu

    wgu Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    334
    7
    Apr 29, 2002
    The Kaplan diag verbal section is a bad indicator. For 3 wrong questions you're already down to a 10!
     
  24. Doctor Octopus

    Doctor Octopus Hospitalist 10+ Year Member

    1,621
    21
    May 23, 2002
    "Picksburgh"
    Weird, huh? I was getting >12 on the last few aamc tests I did. I'm thinking it had something to do with not sleeping the night before. I got less than 3 hours--just couldn't fall asleep. It didn't hurt my reading comprehension, but even simple calculations just weren't happening for me. Nevertheless, I'm not going to bother taking it again.
     
  25. lady bug

    lady bug 7+ Year Member

    578
    1
    Jan 3, 2002
    I just took Kaplan full length # 3.....it was sooo friggin hard. :mad: I didn't even finish verbal and physical. This is very depressing.....:(
     
  26. lady bug

    lady bug 7+ Year Member

    578
    1
    Jan 3, 2002
    Dr. Octopus,
    How did you improve on verbal? I just can't seem to get my timing down!
     
  27. Resident Alien

    Resident Alien What? 7+ Year Member

    1,041
    3
    Jul 21, 2001
    Cleveland
    Doc Octopus is the Verbal Guru. It just comes to him.
     
  28. dtreese

    dtreese Caramel Gollum 10+ Year Member

    20,482
    4
    Apr 23, 2001
    KY, The Jelly State
    I think #3 was the hardest of them all. It really was a non-male dog.
     
  29. Doctor Octopus

    Doctor Octopus Hospitalist 10+ Year Member

    1,621
    21
    May 23, 2002
    "Picksburgh"
    I think that doing hundreds of practice passages helps. You start to be able to predict what some of the questions will be as you're reading the passage. Make sure that you are actively reading, constantly summarizing what you just read. Know where to find the relevant information in the passage. Also, stick to the 9 minutes/passage schedule.
     
  30. bored

    bored 2+ Year Member

    154
    1
    May 5, 2009
    Hi guys, I just did kaplan FL1, this was the one where PS and BS are out of 77. I have to say that these tests don't seem to be correct interms of their difficulty. I think they are extra hard. do others agree with this?

    does anyone have the curve for these tests out of /77??

    as in what the converted score would be if someone got a 55/77?
    thanks
     
  31. OCDOCDOCD

    OCDOCDOCD 2+ Year Member

    1,608
    117
    May 26, 2012
    I've only done #1-3 so far, but I found 1 to be the hardest out of those by far. I got slaughtered on it (28), especially the PS. Meanwhile I got a 36 on #2 and a 35 on #3.

    Anyway, OP, I've heard that tests #1-6 are good, but that #7+ are absolutely ridiculous and should be avoided unless you're nowhere near test date. Also, like others have said, it's the PS section that makes these tests so damn hard. The BS section is also harder than the AAMC tests, but not to the extent that the PS section is. Also, try switching out the Kaplan VR with an EK101 or TPRH VR practice test instead. Apparently Kaplan has some of the worst VR materials out there.
     

Share This Page