Vocabulary for MCAT review sets

Am actively shopping for MCAT review sets and find a million “catch words” that I am unfamiliar with.

Could someone comment?

What are “quicksheets”?

How helpful are “flashcards”?

“Review notes”?

“Boxed set” vs. not billed that way?

“Practice tests”?


“Advanced prep for advanced students”?

“High yield problem solving guide?”

Not knowing the vocabulary makes shopping kind of hard…

All experience you can share is helpful…

Want to spend my dollars in all the right places.

Quick sheet is a big laminated flash card basically.

I used flash cards for quick content review but I don’t think it helped me too much with my study plan.

Review notes are compressed guides to the content you’re required to know. Think cliff notes but more useful.

Boxed set may save you money versus buying each subject material individually. Some programs don’t have boxed sets.

Practice test is generally a fake MCAT-like test, either full test or individual sections. Very helpful because a large part of the MCAT is not knowing the material but knowing how to read the question and apply your knowledge. There are company specific practice tests as well as AAMC tests that are old real tests. Each version has its benefits.

Hyper learning sounds like a brutal cram session but I don’t honestly know what that is.

Advanced prep takes people who already know the general stuff and gets into the weeds on subject matter and MCAT test taking skills. I think of it as someone who scored low 30s but wants high 30s.

High yield is generally practice questions on the subject areas most likely to be on the test. I would use them once you have a solid grasp on the content and want to hone your studies as you get closer to test date.

I did the Kaplan on demand full review course. I intensively used review notes and quick sheets to learn all of the material. The books came in a “box set”. The syllabus included Company practice full length tests and enough extra tests to use them as subject area practice tests. Hard copy and phone app flash cards are available but I didn’t use them that much. Outside of Kaplan, I also took 5 AAMC tests as full or segmented subject tests. In my free time, I reviewed high yield problems. It was definitely not advanced prep (though they offer it), and I completed it in about 3.5months. Don’t think that is hyperlearning. I would use Kaplan again and would recommend it, but full disclosure, I haven’t tried another company’s products. I supplemented with brainscape flash card apps as well.

  • VickiV Said:
How helpful are "flashcards"?

Flashcards are great IF you have money to burn. Sets will be really nice, well-made, and well-organized. I feel that purchased flashcards are great if you need content review, not learning. If you need to learn, the fact you didn't make them will hurt you. Instead, go to an office store and buy some. Any size you want. Any color you want. Buy some colored pens too (I find those super-useful for orgo, btw). And buy rubber bands or binder clips to keep them straight. If you don't like writing, you can also go to Quizlet (www.quizlet.com) and make electronic flashcards. Granted, this is less useful if you want to do diagrams or equations, but more useful if you're doing facts, definitions, etc.
  • kennymac Said:
I did the Kaplan on demand full review course.

I'd like to hijack the thread to ask about this. How useful did you find this? How much better was it than simply buying the books and doing them cover-to-cover?

The review notes were essentially the same you can buy on the market. The program did come with a workbook as well that followed the sy

I did the on demand self paced course, so I can’t speak to the in-class experience. There is also a live, online program as well, which is what the on-demand recorded lectures are from.

The review notes were essentially the same you can buy on the market. The program did come with a workbook as well that followed the syllabus. I initially tried studying on my own and was bogged down by the amount of material I had to relearn (some prereqs were completed in 2000). The course forced me to follow a set path and timeline, which was the structure I personally needed to force me to study.

The program helped immensely with learning shortcuts to some types of problems as well as teaching how to think like the test makers think. I found that their testing tips and strategies helped out a lot on both the practice tests and actual test. Included with the program were tons of self study tools like hard copy and electronic flash cards, a huge question bank, basic concept review for folks like me who haven’t had a class on the subject in awhile, and electronic text books (not available after you’re complete). Forgot to mention tons of company practice tests and available AAMC tests. There is also a score guarantee included, so if you do the whole course and bomb the actual test, you can redo the program for free.

Things I didn’t like: classes are recorded so you’re an outsider looking in on the discussion and questions (teachers are available via email). Lots of the Kaplan questions were content heavy as opposed to MCAT like tertiary level thinking.

I would do it again if my score expires. But man, I really don’t want to take the MCAT again. I’ll have to rethink my future plans if that happens…