Kaplan MCAT fail

<p>I know everyone says the free tests that Kaplan gives out are really hard but what about the ones that come with their program?</p>

<p>I just took a test online from the 2010 premier program and did pretty bad. Of course this is a week into studying but since I'm taking the mcat in a month i'm still worried.</p>

<p>I don't think the Kaplan entrance exam or free exams are excessively hard, I think that the test takers are excessively underprepared for the MCAT at that point (hence why they are considering taking the course to begin with).</p>

<p>Unless you are doing nothing but studying this month for the MCAT I would suggest pushing it back.</p>

<p>Oh, I meant to say at the end of the summer. So I have approx 13 weeks. I'm doing research but I'm devoting about 3 hours a day to the MCAT. I am studying using EK. Do I have enough time?</p>

<p>I'd bump it up to 5 but yeah you should be okay with 13 weeks.</p>

<p>How much time do you think you should dedicate to studying for the MCAT to get a great score? (Or in another way, how much would you spend studying if you could go back if you are, in fact, ahead.)</p>

<p>Most folks will not get a great score on the MCAT no matter how hard they study. In general, about ten weeks of five hours a day will max out whatever score you were going to get anyway. </p>

<p>There is a peak. Overprep can harm you.</p>

<p>300 hours.</p>

<p>thanks for the advice, i guess i'll add more to my schedule and hopefully when i'm halfway through the material things will start looking better</p>

<p>how is it that those freshman year classes seem so so far away?</p>

<p>Do not worry about first practice test. Everybody does bad on this one.
Kaplan class has been very helpful to my D., despite of a lot of people suggesting otherwise. However, her practice scores started improving after she started studying a lot on her own in subject area. She could not improve verbal, no matter what she tried, but it is her individual weakness that has affected all her test scores in a past. Her practice test scores in the last few weeks of prep., has been very consistent and about the same for Kaplan and AAMC practice tests.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Overprep can harm you.

[/quote]

What general cap range (cumulative time spent) of studying would you set for students to not excessively worry about extending beyond? What are your don'ts that you would advise against (as well as do's) in studying for the MCAT - your general tips about doing it. Would you recommend to read as much as you can for leisure during the preceding years, particularly medical books? If so, then are these the types of books you would recommend - [url=<a href="http://addison.vt.edu/search%7ES1?/psimmons/psimmons/-3,0,0,B/frameset&FF=psitz+thomas+o&1,1,/indexsort=-%5DVirginia"&gt;http://addison.vt.edu/search~S1?/psimmons/psimmons/-3,0,0,B/frameset&FF=psitz+thomas+o&1,1,/indexsort=-]Virginia&lt;/a> Tech Libraries /All Locations<a href="I%20assume%20this%20would%20only%20target%20the%20verbal%20section">/url</a>? My friend has told me before that she was advised against lightly studying during the years preceding the taking of the exam, and rather to just focus on intense studying for the months preceding the exam - would you agree as well (against combining the two). I feel it can't hurt to study lightly - for instance, what if you study lightly on two MCAT prep books for the ~3 years before your exam, and hit it over and over repeatedly until you eventually memorize almost all the facts and information in the material reading section of the prep book (not memorize the mock-exams, but rather their reading/informational material) - certainly having this memorize couldn't hurt you, could it?</p>

<p>Do: Wait until you have finished your pre-reqs and are withing 6 months of taking the MCAT.</p>

<p>It sounds tempting to sit down and memorize over and over, but quite honestly it is inefficient. Memorization becomes secondary to maintaining all of it. It is not hard to do that, but it takes time and use of the material. Most people that score well find that a couple of months is enough time to memorize the vast majority of the material on the MCAT after having done it throughout undergrad. It won't hurt your MCAT score to start your Freshman year, but it WILL hurt your application. As I said, it takes a lot of time to maintain mastery of all of that material in the long term or permanently. Definitely doable, but the time you spent doing it is lost building your application in other ways (as well as studying for your actual classes). If it takes you 3 years of studying to do well on the MCAT you are cheating yourself and the medical school that accepts you, because you will fail out and will not pass the boards. That's the bottom line, really, the amount of MCAT material doesn't NEED that much time to be absorbed by anyone who has even a chance of getting into medical school.</p>

<p>In summary: Studying three years lightly for the MCAT takes more time and energy than studying heavily for a few months.</p>

<p>As an added remark I would also add that I think one of the assumptions made in this situation is that the difficulty of the MCAT is the magnitude of the material. This is not the case, in fact the content direct questions only make up maybe 1/4 of the exam. It is in the application of knowledge that the challenge arises.</p>

<p>BDM's study schedule sounds good. Stay dedicated and you can definitely go up a lot- with a dedicated summer of studying, I was able to go up 8 points from a mini Kaplan diagnostic and I started with a pretty good score. </p>

<p>Also, BDM- can you delete a couple of your pm's- I had a question I wanted to send.</p>

<p>JMA: I intentionally keep my PM box full because I don't wish to communicate that way. Apologies, but if you have a question, I'm perfectly happy to answer it via forum.</p>

<p>
[quote]
for instance, what if you study lightly on two MCAT prep books for the ~3 years before your exam, and hit it over and over repeatedly until you eventually memorize almost all the facts and information in the material reading section of the prep book

[/quote]
</p>

<p>
[quote]
certainly having this memorize couldn't hurt you, could it?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>It'll hurt you if you think that's all that needed to succeed on the MCAT. It'll hurt you if you spend time doing that relatively fruitless activity instead of spending it on something more beneficial.</p>

<p>
[quote]
the amount of MCAT material doesn't NEED that much time to be absorbed by anyone who has even a chance of getting into medical school.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>As I see it, memorization of the material is necessary but not sufficient for MCAT success. People don't get tripped up on their knowledge - they get tripped up on their MCAT taking skills. Studying from an MCAT prep book is not going to improve your MCAT taking skills. What may improve your MCAT taking skills includes things that make you read and think critically - some people have recommended taking English courses or reading the Economist, for example.</p>

<p>Well then, "it" does not hurt you, rather what "it" causes you to do/focus on (or less on) hurts you.

[quote]
People don't get tripped up on their knowledge - they get tripped up on their MCAT taking skills.

[/quote]

So we need to read a lot then, as I assume that is the only way to increase reading comprehension/speed. Are the books I posted types of books that are good (recommendable) books to be indulging into? like bioethics books and such.</p>

<p>It is far more important that you are reading than what you are reading. That being said, the passages on the MCAT tend to come from things of higher intellectual stimulation than most of the memoirs and medical adventures books on the market. Personally though I imagine that reading for pleasure does more for you than reading some thick book that you dislike but hope will make you more analytical.</p>

<p>Not completely apropos to this thread, but I feel the need to stick this in every couple of months.
The MCAT is a different test. It is not the same as an SAT or ACT. Tough to wing this one. Looking back on my D's "preparation" , I can see what happened to her. Should have seen it coming. </p>

<p>Cautionary tale in a nutshell:</p>

<p>Very high scorer on standardized tests with very limited prep (think zippo).
After freshman year, prior to Organic or Physics, she decides to take a retired MCAT under test conditions.
Scores well. (The Kiss of Death.)
Head swells to the size of a watermelon.
Decides not to take a Prep Course ("too expensive" and doesn't fit her summer full-time research schedule).
Buys barely used Prep Course materials from another student. Buys access to retired tests.
Get's an equally over-confident study buddy.
Half-:eek: studies for several weeks.
Takes a half-dozen Practice Tests.</p>

<p>Gotta be good enough, right? Scores a whopping 2 points higher than her initial score. Has never once written a practice essay. Scores an impressive M. Gee, was she surprised. </p>

<p>Don't do this. I really don't care how special you think you are. You ain't. Put in the time. Take it once and do it right.</p>

<p>I think bioethical books are pretty interesting, being able to read both sides of a deep-rooted issue and analyze what you read, and to be able to confidently develop your own opinions and views on issues knowing that you do, in fact, know what you're talking about. Also, I have heard that a lot of what you read on the MCAT can be quite boring. Reading things without the aim for self-pleasure can help people with this issue (of boring MCAT passages). You can learn to "force" yourself to become interested in topics that truly are rather boring to you. This can go a long way, since it's pretty common sense that you're more focused & active in your reading if what you're reading intrigues you - this focus you have when reading things interesting to you is important because what if you suck at this and so when you're taking the MCAT you end up having to read things over and over without fully taking in what is being said (common when reading boring stuff). Furthermore, this constant reading over and over can also result in panicking, which can only further decrease your concentration.</p>

<p>"the amount of MCAT material doesn't NEED that much time to be absorbed by anyone who has even a chance of getting into medical school. "</p>

<ul>
<li>The amount of MCAT material NEED tons of time to be absorbed by anyone, including those with perfect college GPA and all other reguirements taken care of, who have the best chance of getting into medical school at the point before taking MCAT. This is based on real life examples.</li>
</ul>