I’m taking the August 2005 MCAT and I need to decide about what classes to take, and which other materials might be useful.
Classes: The two that I’ve heard most of are Kaplan and Princeton.
I’m interested in classes that give a lot of opportunity for taking tests over and over in a structured situation. I would like as much reality as possible in terms of content. I would also like to review material, but mostly to practice taking the test.
I tend to learn best by lots of repetition.
So, which class repeats and tests a lot.
And about repetition: I’ve heard about exam krackers audio osmosis, but I’ve heard there are a lot of crude sexist jokes. I’m no prude, nor am I easily offended, but I am very distractable, and I think I could be easily derailed by lots of interruption. However the idea of something I could listen to on my way to and from school does appeal, since it’s a half an hour each way, longer with traffic, and much as I love NPR, and look forward to Joe’s commentaries, I can probably live without them for a few months.
As someone who’s learning disabled (not bad at stuff, just bad at getting it the first time) I really would love something I could just wash over my brain again and again in the background until I ‘get’ it and get it into long term memory. Once understood and absorbed, it’s there forever.
Part two of my question is timing:
When should I take classes, etc… I am taking O Chem and Physics II this spring, and O chem II in summer one. I want to start before summer, but I am open to advice. Most classes I’ve seen seem geared toward the April MCAT – and I don’t know if to take a prep class during the spring with my 2 classes, or during summer, which may overlap with the summer session, which I REALLY don’t want to do.
Thanks in advance
Happy New Year to all.
Will you be done with o-chem II before you would take the MCAT? If so, regardless of which prep course you take, will you have enough time to take it and get the repetition you need in time for the August MCAT? It is not a good idea to take the MCAT if you haven’t finished the prereq. course work. If I am reading your post correctly, it sounds like you would be “sliding into home” time wise if you will still be taking o-chem II this summer. Just a thought.
I’ve listened to quite a bit of AO when I was thinking of taking the MCAT earlier than I am, and I don’t find the humor offensive. They’re supposed to be just annoying enough to stick with you, because there is factual material in many of the jokes. So it may be fine. I think they’ve got an audio sample on their Web site, which unfortunately is down right now.
I’ll be starting serious MCAT prep on the Examkrackers 10-week plan, so I’ll be able to let you know in a few weeks if I think the Audio Osmosis is helping me.
Since you have some classes to go, at this point, I would purchase a book like Flowers & Silver and go over topics like the verbal reasoning and Biology. This book gives strategies as well and information for doing well in the test.
You need to finish your Pre-MCAT coursework before you take an MCAT review course. You cannot review what you have not learned in the first place so use your course progression as a means of guiding you towards formal test review courses.
Do be aware that taking the August MCAT makes your application complete in October. If you need the added advantage of early application, you may want to defer to the April 2006 MCAT. You would be done with your coursework and you would have plenty of time to get your reviews out of the way.
Kaplan has tons of practice exams which may be of benefit to you since you say that you learn best by repetition. There is no substitute for doing plenty of practice tests under the same conditions as the actual exam. You can also purchase retired MCAT exams and take them under the testing conditions. This can be a useful exercise in determining whether you have a knowledge gap (need to review material) or a test-taking skills gap (need to shore up how you approach the test).
I have no experience with ExamKrackers or Audio Osmosis however, if you are an aural learner, you may find these materials useful.
Plan on taking the MCAT one time and the best time is when you are completely ready for the test. It is far better to wait and be prepared instead of trying to hurry and posting a mediocre score. MCAT is not an exam for practice as a great score will not erase a poor one. Take your time. An extra year is golden if it means acceptance versus non-acceptance.
BYW: Kaplan Center is located downtown in DC near the Metro Center Metro stop.
I used the Audio Osmosis cd’s, and I didn’t find them at all offensive, although the humor is not exactly of the highest caliber at all times. The jokes aren’t that frequent though–not to the point where they overshadow the main point.
I took the Kaplan class, and they do seem to offer a lot of practice exams. The best practice tests come straight from the AAMC though, which you can order on your own if you want. The practice tests that were actually made by Kaplan were sometimes very frustrating, I thought. For the PS section, their questions were WAY too quantitative. For verbal, they were often lacking in logic. Still, overall, the class did give us lots of opportunity to practice.
Well, I hope that helps a little, and good luck!