Kaplan Instructor - Nice Guy, BAAddd Teacher

Wow - which one of the following will have the greatest conductivity:





I said Na3 because it contains a metal and all the others do not. (using that rationale, I got the answer right without having to waste time referring back the passage)

He said my logic was flawed… and not “Kaplan’s method of teaching.”

I added that the Na molecule had 4 ions whereas the others did not, if that helped but primarily I based my answer on the metal versus all other ions which contained transition (no silver, gold or copper) …

He then asked well what if it was Na 4 vs Na 3 … well DUH!

Literally, “Well outside knowledge might help you but that is not the Kaplan way.”

Aren’t these courses DEPENDENT of us having taking OUTSIDE knowledge (aka classes) before MCAT?

oh boy… did I mention he got confused on inverse vs. indirect terms…

I think he has stage fright so I’m not pounding him but he’s confusing the class, not just me.

/rant off

Something to keep in mind with the MCAT is that “using outside knowledge” can get you in trouble sometimes. This is especially true with the verbal section but can sometimes cause difficulty in the others as well. You really want to stick to the passages as much as possible.

I took a Kaplan course myself a couple years ago and some of their strategies really didn’t work for me at all, but others I found extremely helpful. Some of the questions/passages on the test are just seemingly designed to confuse. More than once my Kaplan instructor told me I was “being smarter than the test” because I would over-analyze the available answers. If part of their methodology doesn’t work for you, don’t waste your time trying to incorporate it into your test-taking techniques, provided of course that you do have something that works better.

Sometimes you have to take the passages at face value and nothing else, as a lot of times the questions are looking for the “best answer” more than just the correct answer.

  • Prodigal Said:
Something to keep in mind with the MCAT is that "using outside knowledge" can get you in trouble sometimes.

That's true except that we do need to have the outside knowledge ... we do need to know how/what/where/why PV=nRT, STP, etc and how to apply it.

Beyond that, I completely agree. Knowing the ion flow ratios through the lumen in the small intestine isn't helpful on the MCAT and equating something back to that to answer a question will/could/would (?) point to the wrong answer.

I called Kaplan and complained that the instructor was confusing the class and asked to be moved to a different class (he mixes up ratios, explanations on one piece don't translate to later pieces inverse v. indirect, triple bonds weaker than double bonds, N have 4 bonding valence electrons, and the list goes on). The other one was canceled due to low enrollment so I was given another solution.

The books, strategy, pacing, passage mapping, foundation information, Q-bank, quizzes, etc are all going to help me.

I can feel it (hopefully, it will show on the exam)!

It’s a tough balance to strike, I agree.

With the MCAT, you have to remember – these are questions designed to be answered in under 90 seconds (overall, counting the time to read the questions and the passage). Don’t think TOO hard about the questions. You will get tripped up.