limit

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I don't mean to start controversy or anything, just requesting a few opinions from people. We've all heard the success stories (ie, "I got a 18 on my diagnostic and double that on the real thing"), but I wonder if those are the exceptions to the rules? If you don't mind sharing a poor score, please do so here, and maybe give a reason as to why you think it happened.
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tatabox80

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I got a 19 diagnostic with a 22 on the april mcat. I didn't think kaplan's physics were very good. I had a bad teacher and didn't really like their study books. I also probably didn't devote as much studying as I should have. I know people who lived at the center pretty much and did well. I usually got around a 25 on my full-length practice tests. The verbal on the april mcat really caught me by surprise. I usually got 9's in verbal, but ended up with a 7 on the mcat.
 
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limit

Molesting my inner-child
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What about the verbal was surprising to you, by comparison with what you were accustomed to seeing?
Also, did you do the assigned homeworks (topicals/sections), what would you do different if you could do it over again?
 
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tatabox80

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Originally posted by limit
What about the verbal was surprising to you, by comparison with what you were accustomed to seeing?
Also, did you do the assigned homeworks (topicals/sections), what would you do different if you could do it over again?
verbal on the mcat in april was significantly higher than any of the kaplan passages I had taken. I had even taken aamc test 5 and scored an 11 in verbal. I also think nerves affected me while I was taking the test. Like I said before, I didn't study as much as I should have. I did some topicals and read through most of the books. I've watched some videos and they're excellent, especially if you have a bad teacher. If I had to do it over again, I would do what I am doing now. And before I say this I'd like to say that I am not bashing kaplan, but it wasn't the best choice for me. Now I purchased mcat audio osmosis (EK), all their study books, 101 passages in verbal, and 1001 questions in physics. Plus all the aamc practice materials. This is because it is equivalent to a course and significantly cheaper. A friend of mine also did poorly on her mcat, she only went up 1 point on from her diagnostic. From what I understood she put in quite a bit of studying into the mcat. I think she scored in like the 24 range on her practice tests. However, if you're feeling uncomfortable, take an aamc test (3-6). If you do well on those you should expect to do well on the mcat!
 

Tweetie_bird

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i started with a 19 and ended with a 27. I really think I could have done much better in the sciences. I think the April verbal was really difficult and threw me off for the sciences. Most of my Kaplan science scores were 11-12. I got tens on the sciences. Verbal killed me.

I think Kaplan is great at teaching you stuff. However, attitude and mind set on THAT DAY says a lot about your test score too. I was really unhappy about a 27 but I've decided to deal with it and not retake.

tweetie

Tweetie
 

nero

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USE Princeton...............i'm taking kaplan, and i've been doing Pr passages...........i feel much more confident...i was getting 9's on kaplan and then tried a pr and got a 6........for the first two practice verbals..........as i kept practicing...........i'm getting 10's on pr............i think pr is harder than kaplan...............and maybe close to aamc, although it can be easier or harder depnding on the version of your test...............but i think its really good practice..

nero
 

Doctortobee

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I too did poorly on the MCAT and used Kaplan to prepare. I did the topicals (about 80% of them), read/studied the books and took 5 of their exams. Now I'll admit that I missed 3-4 classes.

I'm not going to bash Kaplan either, they did teach SOME areas well. As far as Kaplan's physics are concerned, their focus is off. They base their teaching on formulas, whereas the April MCAT was not too formula based. I had the same physics teacher as Tatabox80, but I also had him for gen chem! I was pretty much screwed in PS. I'm not sure how much I can learn from a teacher who uses "sup dude" in every other sentence....

Kaplan verbal was a tad off too...I especially noted their pasage lengths were off. Some of the April MCAT passages were really LONG compared to Kaplans. BUT they did a good job teaching you how to time/pace yourself for verbal.

As far as bio is concerned, Kaplan was ok...In some instances they were too detailed oriented.

In general, I thought (through my studying) that Kaplan missed the "big picture." Currently I am using EK and am very happy with their approach. They are quite good at teaching you HOW to take the MCAT and how to integrate concepts from PS and BS. They really stress the "big picture."
 

turk00

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I've been reading a good number of posts and all seem to have a negative outlook on the Kaplan method. I'm currently enrolled in the course and am planning on taking the test this August. Overall, I would recommend the course. I started with a 19 diagnostic and my first full length test I scored a 30. Its all about building confidence, and not just memorizing the material but learning how the AAMC structures their test to see how you apply this basic knowledge. I don't think any course can teach you what you should have learned in 2 or 3 years of college, but I think the way Kaplan structured their lessons was a good way of reviewing relevant concepts that you should be familiar with for the test--and a good way of applying this knowledge to MCAT-style questions. This is just my personal recommendation, but what it all boils down to is how hard you study--not just the science background thats required, but also the test. And I think the training library Kaplan has to offer supplies more than enough materials for you to do that. I have read some other posts on here that mention the Kaplan exams are too tough, but I feel this may be a good approach--something along the lines of swinging a heavier bat to improve one's swing, for analogy purposes. My teacher and I were talking and he mentioned how he started with a 24 diagnostic, then on his 5 practice exams scored in the 30-34 range, and his MCAT score ended up being a 38. What matters is working with the course, learning the ins and outs of the test, and studying the material to really conquer the concepts. Coupled with some of their verbal strategies, there is no reason, at least in my opinion, that one couldn't drastically increase his/her score on the MCAT. I will let you know how I do on my other practice tests and real test if you want, and good luck.
 

nero

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the above poster is correct in that a course won't help you...unless you put effort.........i mean realistically, the course probably helps you gain 2-3 points from what you can do on your own........kaplan is good, thats' all my instructor used and he went from 24 diag to a 41..........but again, its becasue of him not kaplna..kpalan didn't teaCH HIM TO get a 41............i think the only thing that matters is using the proper materials........pr verbal for i.e. is more realistic.............

nero
 

Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

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Originally posted by tatabox80
I got a 19 diagnostic with a 22 on the april mcat. I didn't think kaplan's physics were very good. I had a bad teacher and didn't really like their study books. I also probably didn't devote as much studying as I should have. I know people who lived at the center pretty much and did well. I usually got around a 25 on my full-length practice tests. The verbal on the april mcat really caught me by surprise. I usually got 9's in verbal, but ended up with a 7 on the mcat.
Got 18 on the diagnostic, 27 on the last practice test and 22 on Paril MCAT too.
 
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