Newbie has doubts about Kaplan guide

Hi guys, just want to start of by saying how lucky I feel to have stumbled upon this great resource.
Well keeping a long story short, I’ve quit everything, and decided to pursue my dream. I have approx 4 months till my MCAT, since I finished my relevant degree 5 years ago, I’m a bit worried about the time. But that’s another issue…
Anyway, I went and bought the Kaplan comprehensive review today. I have a few doubts about the usefulness of the book, I hope you guys can offer some advice…
No.1 The chapters seem to be summaries of the theory. I went back to my Biology book and was surprised how much stuff the Kaplan guide left out. Just wondering if it will be adequate or do I need to supplement it with my college book. If so,
which parts (genetics comes to mind).
No.2 There are no exercises for each chapter, they only have them for the entire Bio/Phy/Chem section. I feel this is the most important point since a tremendous amount of practice is the only way I’m going to get a decent score.
Anyway to get questions for each and every chapter?
No.3 The book only has 18 Verbal reasoning passages. I’m thinking I’ll need way more than that (I did about half of them just today itself). Any other resources?
I want to start my preparation in a really well planned manner, having good prep material is the most crucial part of the attack, I think.
Any input on these problems would be really appreciated.
Thanks in advance

Hi, Veloman,
There are a bunch of practice exams out there; I’ve got “MCAT Practice Tests” by Kaplan 4th ed. that has several full lengths in it, and has the free 3R MCAT that you can download. For $80 you can buy several more aamc tests (3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, I think). It’s not a bad system; you input your answers and they create a nice set of bar charts and stuff to show you where your strengths and weaknesses are, plus full explanations of each problem. Kaplan Online has about 10 practice exams that have similar grading mechanism. You might also check out the Exam Krackers 1001 Questions in MCAT Biology/Physics/Verbal/Organic series; they have like 100 passages each.
Good luck!

You should definitely take multiple full-length practice tests. Terry had some great suggestions for getting your hands on them. As far as the specificity of the material goes, I haven’t ever used the Kaplan non-class guide, so I can’t comment on it specifically. But I will tell you that the MCAT is primarily a critical thinking test, not a science or factual recall test. You really do only need to have a freshman biology background (assuming your course covers all of the relevant topics). What I recommend that you do is go to the AAMC website ( ) and download the list of the topics that are covered on the MCAT. That way, you will know whether you need some additional sources of material to study. But I’m guessing that you probably don’t, unless your background is especially poor in some of those areas.

Thanks for the suggestions guys.
I checked out the AAMC student manual, the topic list seems simple enough (I guess thats where the simplicity ends).
So, the way I see it EK 1001 seems like a good idea. Only problem is that you would have to find specific passages related to the particular topic you want to review.
Doing the whole Biology theory and then doing the passages (as in Kaplan), seems a little odd.
I guess I’m just used to taking tests frequently, makes it a little easier to revise what you’ve learned.
Then again this is a different kinda beast.