MCAT Preparation - Online vs. In-Person

Hello all, been a while since I’ve posted - you know, the whole studying thang!

I am planning on taking the MCAT May or June of 2010. My university offers a Princeton Review course (its is a bit discounted on campus) but it has consistently been on the same nights as the Physics II class I have to take next Spring so I am looking at the Kaplan course now.

My concern is the online vs. the in-class environment, I would have to take the Sat/Sun class which lasts 6 months (due to the same reason as above and some clinic volunteering obligations). For those of you who took the classroom version, is the interaction of teacher and student worth the 6 months of Saturday/Sundays gone (I am a wife and mother along with being a student).

From what I understand in talking with Kaplan, the materials are exactly the same as I would receive in class (I hope so since they are priced w/in $100 of each other) but you just don’t get the “person”

What is too early to finish up with the course? The classroom one ends mid-April (I believe) and I figured I could leave the remaining couple months to continue studying. The online course I could start and plan to end just before the exam (you get 5 months of access with the online version).

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

I’ll PM you tomorrow, but I’ve a great review book that I got through (It’s in the car and it’s raining!).

I’m planning on taking the MCAT myself next April. I’m planning on doing self-study myself utilizing the AMCAS tests, as well as study aids from the Berkeley Review (heard great raves about their physics and chemistry coverage) and Examkrackers for biology.

I’m a good test-taker, so my goal is just to be prepared and I figure that with all of my obligations over the next year, there is no way that I’d be able to take a course, on or off-line.

As you can see from my ticker below, I’m already prepping for it. While I can’t do too much with ochem or physics yet, I can review my bio and chem.

Good luck, and I’ll PM you tomorrow with the name of the book.

I took the online course. You really need to be able to set up a schedule and treat it like any other course. For example, here was my schedule:

Sunday: 8am-1pm OnLine lecture

Monday-Wed: do quizzes, tests, and review them

Thurs-Sat: Pre-read material for the next lecture.

If you do not have a schedule, you may set yourself up for not finishing on time or cutting corners which is something that you just want to avoid.

I think the important benefit of either purely online or a classroom course that has online component is the ability for realistic practice exams. There are several mechanisms to get those now but I cannot stress that enough. Get realistic practice tests, anywhere from 10-20 (example, Kaplan offers more than a dozen online in their classes)

Personally, I strongly recommend people take an organized/structured course as a 2007 survey found over 75% of allopathic schools rank MCAT as the 1st or 2nd most important factor. So it is equivalent to entire GPA and, considering how much time and money you are potentially spending in medical training, the cost and effort of taking a MCAT course is minor.

Also remember Rule 6: “The MCAT is Your Friend” For non-trads who often have grade baggage, the MCAT is the place where you can shine. So take it ONLY when you are ready. My rule of thumb for readiness is when you are able to can almost immediately eliminate at least one answer of most questions on intuition/judgment.

Preparation is beyond content, is beyond knowing how to take the exam, it is beyond focus. It is feeling mentally prepared and comfortable, it is being one with the exam. Zen and Art of MCAT.

and now back to our regularly scheduled program

Has anyone heard of the Rapid Learning Center 24 hour MCAT studying videos? I happen to go to the website on day. They offer visual learning of MCAT physics, biology, chemistry, and organic chemistry. Anyone used these to study for MCAT’s?