Kaplan MCAT

I was wondering if it's ok to take Kaplan MCAT course this summer after only a month of studying MCAT. I have a long way to go since I forgot everything about Physics, and barely remember Chem Org. Do you think Kaplan pre-course would benefit the most if I should prepare myself sufficiently for the MCAT before I enroll to keep up with other students in the same class?

are you preparing for the Aug 2003 MCAT or the April 2004 MCAT ?

To prepare August 2003 MCAT, I was not sure if taking Kaplan review next month after only one month of independent studying would be a good idea. I have no job or anything else to do except for preparing MCAT though I barely remember some pre-req course materials I took 5,6,and even 7yrs ago.
Should I wait until next year and prepare April MCAT for one year to make sure I'm ready? I feel guilty because I kept postponing MCAT for almost 3yrs because I have been struggling with my career decision. Now I'm back w/ my original decision to become a DO.
I thought maybe I could just take this Aug MCAT and get over with it whether I'm fully ready or not. If I don't do well, then I can just retake it next year.
But if I only take April 2004 MCAT, I only have one shot. What if I don't do well on April 2004 MCAT? I don't want to take Aug. MCAT next year and put myself in disadvantage.
Preparing MCAT until I am ready enough to take the exam without a second chance to retake the exam may be a better strategy.
I am not confident I'll be ready enough to take the Aug. 2003 MCAT but I may get lucky otherwise I can retake MCAT to enhance MCAT score.

Do not take the MCAT just to see if you get lucky, take it only when you think you are ready. The MCAT is difficult enough as it is why take the chance knowing that you are not ready? Remember that medical schools will now see ALL MCATs attempted (unless you voided the exam) so be careful about taking it if deep down you know that you will not be ready.

Listen to EFEX. The chance of doing poorly on the MCAT with such a short prep time seems like it will far outstrip the chances of you getting into med school next fall, compared to what your chances will be of getting in the following year if you wait till April and do well on the MCAT. I hope that made sense!

if you are taking the Aug MCAT it should be because you are applying THIS JUNE - if you are not applying this June - there is no good reason to take it in Aug and better reason to take it next April –
so the question becomes - when are you going to submit your application ? Are you in this cycle or not?

I'm applying next year for the year 2005 entry.

I had a similar decision to make last summer. I didn't know if I had time to review everything by August (and this was June when I started thinking about it!). But I signed up for the online Kaplan course (you can do this at your own pace) and bought the Examkrackers books. Then I studied as much as possible in the 5 weeks preceding the August MCAT. In the end I decided to wait until this year and give myself more time to review (My pre-reqs are even further into my distant past than yours!).
But I still think it helped me to do this very intense review last summer using Kaplan and EK when I had a few weeks completely free (I was changing jobs so I arranged for extra holiday). It helped me identify what I needed to work on during the winter. And I got a complete overview of all the topics. I work full time otherwise and cannot retake old classes because I am overseas right now.
In March I renewed my Kaplan online (this is still expensive but less than the whole course - and I used the OPM discount) and am studying for the August MCAT again. So even though this ends up costing more for the review course overall, it seemed to be the best or only option for me. (Not that I had much time to review during the winter as I would have liked. Maybe I will have to do this with my holiday again next year - Yikes!)

I took the Kaplan course without studying at all beforehand. I worked my butt off for the three months before the test and did pretty well.
I hadn't had physics or gen chem for over 10 years, but had recently had organic & bio classes.
I didn't read the other advice, but it worked for me.

I recommend that you find out where you stand before you make a decision. Get on the AAMC site, download AMCAS MCAT III (it's free), print it out, and take it as a fully timed, real MCAT. Then get back on the site, type in your answers, and determine your score. Once you have some idea where you are starting, you can better determine how much time you will need for preparation. For example, if you score over 35 on this test, you could probably take the August MCAT. If you score under 25, you might want to wait. Also, if you are very weak in one subject area (e.g. 10 on bio, 10 on phys, 5 on verbal), that might be a red flag that intensive effort will be necessary.
The Kaplan regular classes move very fast and do not cover much of the basic material (it is assumed that you will review on your own if you need to). For every hour of class time, you should be planning to spend 3 to 10 hours (or more) on review and out-of-class testing, depending on how long it has been since your university classes. For example, I have just spent 2 full days reviewing only 2/3 of the material covered in physics lesson 1. I am doing it in great detail, but I took physics 20 years ago.

Hey space cadet…

How did you end up doing??
I am in a similar boat as you are.
Jeff K.