Feb 26, 2020
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Dear forum members,

I understand that this question might have been asked quite a lot, but I feel so overwhelmed by the amount of material out there. Also, I’m not entirely sure whether the materials have changed a lot since many of the study and resource tips were written.

From my understanding, TBR is a must for the sciences, TPRH or regular TPR are good for CARS and Sociology/Psychology. I guess I’m just confused about Kaplan and EK and what of those 2 series to use. There are a lot of EK books. Also, some swear by UWorld and trying to incorporate that into the mix. Some also prefer certain exams over others because they more accurately represent the MCAT. I read that EK might be too ‘simple’ and TPR quite the opposite.

I plan on studying very thoroughly and want to review as much as possible, and have a lot of time to prepare.

Any advice regarding materials would be greatly appreciated.

Best,

J
 
D

deleted1085158

The very simple answer is that you can do well on the MCAT with just the AAMC material and hard work.

The other resources are resources and they may or may not help everyone. I would go with 1. the stuff from the people who actually write the exam and 2. whatever you feel makes your studying easier.

For me, I am using Kaplan because I like the books. I am not using TBR because I did not like the books. Am I going to score poorly because I am not using TBR exclusively? I doubt it.
 
Feb 26, 2020
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Thanks so much for your reply. Are you using Kaplan’s questions/exam questions as well or just the review books? What made you choose/like the style of Kaplan?
 

GreenDuck12

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Each resource is just that - a resource. It depends in your learning style and how you use it. You will find folks that earn high scores (and low scores) using each set of materials. It really comes down to how you learn best. For me, I learn best by solving problems and learning from mistakes and for this reason I picked TBR. One of my buddies went with Kaplan which didn’t have the practice questions and did as well as I did in most sections and better in one. Was it because of the materials? Unlikely.

One thing I emphasize to my students is the importance of practice questions especially under simulated conditions. Anyone can earn a high score on the MCAT given unlimited time, however the timing makes it much more challenging. For content review, I prefer TBR but have students who use Kap, TPR, EK, and NS and seem to do just fine. The resources that I recommend in order are:
1. All AAMC materials - this is the best investment
2. UWorld for 2000+ well written questions with detailed answers
3. 5 NS practice exams
4. TBR (or other content review books). This is the one that gets the most intention but is likely the least impactful for performing well on the MCAT.
 
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deleted1085158

Thanks so much for your reply. Are you using Kaplan’s questions/exam questions as well or just the review books? What made you choose/like the style of Kaplan?
Just the review books. I am not using the Qbank. I will use UWorld in a few months.

Honestly, I liked the colorful aspect of the Kaplan books. I find that to be more engaging. The more engaged you are, the more work you can get done.

Another advice I would give is save up the AAMC stuff for the end of your review. You don't want to be wasting the AAMC resources if you are really good with the content prep just yet.
 
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Feb 5, 2020
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No third party resources will truly reflect AAMC questions. Don’t worry too much about what third party practice problems you need to use. You just have to pick your poison...

For reviewing, I only used Kaplan and KA. Kaplan is denser and more detailed than other resources I’ve seen, so it’s good to use if you have the time.
 
Feb 26, 2020
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Thanks so much for all the replies. May I ask what your strategy was for each section? What helped you memorize all you needed to memorize? Did you create your own questions + answers for bio and biochem? I know for chem and physics that doesn’t fly because it’s more applying formulas and knowing how processes work.
 

kenykj49

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May 1, 2019
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It's good that you are researching and deciding which study materials will work the best; this is a key to success. I wouldn't get caught up on choosing the right test prep company books (TBR, TPR, Kaplan, etc.). If you learn best from textbooks then ignore my advice. I brushed up on content for a few weeks using TBR, then largely ditched it.

UWorld is a must. Anki is must. I used Miledown premade deck and made my own from UWorld. If I didn't understand something I would just watch Youtube videos. AKLectures was great for biochem. Khan Academy is great too. Sketchy is supposed to be coming out with MCAT material soon so keep your eyes out for that.
 
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Feb 26, 2020
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It's good that you are researching and deciding which study materials will work the best; this is a key to success. I wouldn't get caught up on choosing the right test prep company books (TBR, TPR, Kaplan, etc.). If you learn best from textbooks then ignore my advice. I brushed up on content for a few weeks using TBR, then largely ditched it.

UWorld is a must. Anki is must. I used Miledown premade deck and made my own from UWorld. If I didn't understand something I would just watch Youtube videos. AKLectures was great for biochem. Khan Academy is great too. Sketchy is supposed to be coming out with MCAT material soon so keep your eyes out for that.
Thanks for your post. And yes, I heard Sketchy is great for the USMLE.

Did you use UWorld and Anki after you had already learned from the books, as a review strategy?
 
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