Studying Early for the MCAT

<p>Hi all,
gonna be a freshman at college this year. I"ve been browsing these forums and i get the fairly obvious impression that hte MCAT is a killer, especially if you don't prepare for it ahead of time. That said, would you guys recommend me getting a prep book now and just start slowly going through it? the reason im asking is that im not exaclty sure what's on the test, and whether or not i'd understand the material that would be in the prep books? would it only make more sense if i had already taken the class or what? also, i'd like to do some research in the field of neurology(if i can get it) as soon as possible. Would getting my hands on an intro neurology book and reading it be a good idea? is there a prerequisite amt of info u are required to know about a research field before entering it? sorry this seems so muddled, but any help you guys can give is much appreciated, thanks.</p>

<p>I stupidly bought an MCAT prep book on ebay because it was going for really cheap and was hoping to use the summer to go through it or at least the chemistry section since that's what I'm taking first semester; I lost motivation to read the book because for one its a review and since I don't remember much from chemistry it just seemed overwhelming. Anyway I do plan to give it another go and I do think it's probably a good idea to at least stark peeking at the book although many will say wait at least until next year.</p>

<p>Yeah, if you don't have the material learned a book isn't going to be very helpful. The MCAT's not that hard, esp. when it goes to 5.5 hrs. The content has never been that hard; the hard bit is the length/endurance factor. Just wait 'til you took the material and such and spent 2-3 months taking a prep class.</p>

<p>is it really about endurance? b/c that's not much of an issue for me...i've taken 2 AP tests in one day, and that's longer than the MCAT, w/o feeling that ****ty at all.</p>

<p>i have two sisters who have taken the mcats and they said that it is more about making it through the 8 hour test. im sure the info isnt that hard, it's just a lot of it that you need to know. also, trust me taking 2 ap's in one day does not even begin to compare to taking the mcats.</p>

<p>lol Are you comparing AP tests with the MCAT?</p>

<p>Imran, you must remember that previous incarnations of the MCAT were 8 hours long, not 5.5.</p>

<p>oh ok. don't worry, im not comparing the APs with the MCAT, except for lenght, since that's the closest thing to a long ass testing session i've had. but thanks for your input guys</p>

<p>I actually brought a Kaplan MCAT prep book. And like tangents, I lost the motivation to study from it. There are so many extra things included in the book that I can't use because I haven't taken all the courses yet. Like the diagnostics test and the Orgo section. I only look at the Biology & Physics because it really does jog my memory. I don't regret buying it, though. It IS helpful, and I DO use it. Plus, I plan on studying from the sections as I take the classes.</p>

<p>Are you supposed to take the MCATs Junior year? Can you take them more than once?</p>

<p>Haha...8 hours was lucky in my case. I got to the test center at 7 AM and left at 8:30 PM...the MCAT is brutally long especially with the security measures.</p>

<p>wow now that i think about it 8hr is really long, maybe I should look into some physical things to do to prepare my self.</p>

<p>i hope food is allowed during the test. like snacks and that kinda thing? yeah im just really really anxious to do well on it, and i hope that what i learn in college will be good enough. are the kaplan courses comprehensive enough that you could effectively learn the material just through the course, or once again, is it like the books?</p>

<p>can you take the mcats your sophomore or junior year after you've taken all the premed courses. that way you don't forget the fundamental stuff?</p>

<p>Again, the 8 hour test is now obsolete. It is now 5.5 hours. However, yes, lunch WAS allowed.</p>

<p>And actually, physical training in general is pretty important, even on the LSAT (4 hours) and other such tests.</p>

<p>So how would you physically prepare?</p>

<p>You should prepare by getting a solid education. Pay attention in your classes, try to learn the material instead of for the grades, and do all the readings for your non-science classes (helps with Verbal). Then, the semester before the exam, study hard by doing lots of practice problems and cover gaps in your knowledge with content review.</p>

<p>I actually think the tests are getting harder. I took a test on 5/22/2010, and felt it was a tad harder than the AAMC practice exams. I ended up doing within my practice exam average, but that might be due to the curve.</p>

<p>The current thinking on SDN is that the MCAT's are currently getting more difficult, but that the grading curve is getting more lenient...most people score within a point or two of their AAMC practice test scores.</p>