Re-learning old pre-reqs

So for those of you who took some of the pre-reqs several years before you took the MCAT, how on earth did you go about re-learning those courses? I recently acquired the EK Bio and Chem books, and recently took the 2 Practice Exams for their first chapters, and I was not too impressed by how I did (My “score” was around a 7 or 8 per test, or around 13-14 of 23 correct.) There was some questions on there that I was just completely clueless about.

For example, there was a Chem question about hybrid orbitals, which threw me for a loop because I didn’t remember seeing that ever mentioned in Ch1 of EK. There was also a Bio question that centered around RNA having an extra hydroxyl group, which again was info that I did not find in EK. It seems likely that I SHOULD have known it, since it’s basic, but… it’s been 6 or 7 years since Gen Bio. The basics are what I’m trying to re-learn first.

So… how should I review these subjects for the MCAT? Buy a used textbook? Are the other review books more useful for a beginner, such as Berk Review? Is it a bad idea to use MCAT prep books for initial content review? Please advise if you can. Thanks!

Well, easy for me to say, but I found the MCAT EK books great for review (with a PhD in Biochem of course).

In a situation like yours, my best advice would be to take a look at the official list of tested topics on the MCAT and review these topics. I am also pretty sure that the knowledge tested is basic so it would be a waste of time to go too deep in each subject. But I don’t know really as I have never taken the MCAT.

I am scoring already very well 19 to 23 correct on each lecture. The MCAT concepts are not difficult (at least in Biology and OChem, I don’t know for the rest, still preping). I found that the most challenging is the timing. Reading the passages with a lot of info, some of which by the way is not useful and only confusing.

First get the basics. Second work on your test taking strategies.

The wikipedia page on the subject is a good place to start.

Also see the AAMC page. In the right column you have links (PDFs) with official topic.