MCAT Study Plan

I’m planning to take the MCAT next April and doing some research on how to study for it.

Has anyone tried Examcracker’s 10 week home study schedule?

I’m thinking of following this 10 week program and supplement with extra books from TPR and/or TBR.

I can afford to take a formal prep course but I study well alone. I took Kaplan course for GRE about 10 yrs and didn’t really help. That’s why I’m looking into doing the EK’s 10 week home study.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

i did the ek 10 wk study plan and added in kaplan material where relevant.

i also strecthed it out to 30 wks rather than 10 since i have a family and i was in grad school while i was studying.

i liked it because i was able to focus in on areas that i was weaker, i alloted more time for physics (my weakness) and more time to do problems in physics and gchem and less time to review bio and ochem which i felt i had a stronger base in.

i also have taken a kaplan review course.

imho i think the course is good if you need the strutcured schedule to help you stay on track or if has been a while since you have seen some of the material. however, these courses keep going whwther or not you need to spend more time on something which imho is a huge downfall. if you are struggling with something they move on and you do not get the option to spend the time you need to in order to fully understand the topic. also there is a lot of busy work so it is fairly time comsuming.

if you need the review then do the actual course but if you know where you need to spend more time and can stick to a plan by yourself then you are fine studying at home

of course make sure you atke a few aamc cbts…if you can convince a few people to go in with you and split the cost you can get mroe tests for your money

best wishes on taming the beast!!!

My three suggestions to anyone prepping for the MCAT are

  1. get practice exams from at least TWO sources. Taking a kaplan class gives you access online to these and several sources, including AAMC, sell these. The reason I say two sources is an single source may not be completely representative of the real exam. You should be able to do CONSISTENTLY on SEVERAL practice exams before taking the actual test. As Judy says, take the MCAT only when your ready.

  2. The mental prep, beyond content, beyond how to take the exam, and all the rest, is VITALLY important. In my humble opinion. Oh hell with that, in my New York attitude, I say that at least a week or two before the actual exam, you should be at the consistent level mentioned above and getting into the right frame of mind, your game face if you will, for the exam. I find that stress, panic, carelessness, and other factors that keep students from focusing like a well-defined, bright calm laser beam SOLELY on the exam question in front of them. This is a completely separate skill from all else, getting to almost a zen-like concentration on that single question, not the one before that you were unsure about, not the one coming up that you are already worrying about.

    The best analogy I can give on how to practice this skill is like learning a musical instrument. One note at a time, one scale at a time, etc. Forget timing when you start, just focus on a single question, take a breath, let it out, read the question slowly, carefully, etc. Then build up to a passage, adding timing, etc.

  3. When you begin to master the focus, you need to master the time discipline. You should study the same way you’ll take the actual exam, particularly when you are taking practice exams. You set a time limit per passage and question, following without fail. You read the passage, you read the question, you eliminate what answers you can, and if at the minute (60 second) time limit, you guess and move on. You NEVER leave any question without a best guess. That last question is GONE, it is has disappeared, it is out of your focus. You do the same for the next question, never looking back. When you finish all the questions in a passage you can spend a minute reviewing any particular question if need be, but then you move on. The passage is now gone, push it out of your mind. Only when you have completed the exam, can you go back. Students who say they ran out of time on the actual exam, did not master this and were not truly readily for the MCAT