I want to take an MCAT prep course so I don’t get behind and have someone to assist me when I am stuck with some questions. I know it’s expensive, but I think it will be really helpful to stay on my MCAT prep schedule.
My most feared subject is verbal… English is my second language and I am a slow reader (I came to the US when I was a junior in HS… I finished ESL in 3 months and took honors and AP courses by second semester of my junior year. I don’t know how I did that). I need help with how to read MCAT passage and work on the problems without getting distracted by wrong answers.
I am pretty good at physical science, organic chem / bio is so-so because I am don’t like “forced” memorizing. I took pre-req already so bio part is not something I don’t know at all
Among Kaplan, Princeton Review, and Examkrackers (I am not from CA so I can’t take TBR course… ), what should I choose? and why? Please share your wisdom =D
I recommend TBR books for science. for verbal, I was also scared - I did verbal reasoning passages from exam crackers and also from pearson. I took MCAT before taking any formal English class, but I like to read a lot and this helped.
Are U from Poland? (pierogi nick name lol) I am from
south of Poland.
- DoctahPierogi Said:
My most feared subject is verbal... English is my second language and I am a slow reader (I came to the US when I was a junior in HS.. I finished ESL in 3 months and took honors and AP courses by second semester of my junior year. I don't know how I did that).
Fear of slow reading is a just a fear. If you made it thru HS like that and college your reading speed is NOT an issue. Verbal is NOT comprehension. That is assumed. It is the ability to take generally disjointed, multiple view passages; understand and synthesize them into the themes and views, and then apply those to issues not usually discussed. In other words apply the info to the questions. It is tough and most students need a course.
Anyway, my point is being a slow reader is almost never the reason why students do not do well on verbal.
For what it’s worth, the Kaplan strategy for verbal passages is quite time consuming (I took Kaplan). Worked ok for me but mainly because I’m a fast reader and verbal was a strength for me anyway. From what I’ve heard, ExamKrackers had a more generally useful strategy for verbal. I think it’s a better and more concise prep for MCAT.
I went with a prep course that held classes that I treated as if it were another college class. I ended up taking Kaplan because the class schedule fit better with my post-bacc class schedule.
To some degree, I think you’ll get out what you put into a lot of these.
I took a Kaplan class, and some used EK materials I found on Amazon for cheap. Kaplan’s Q-bank, Section tests, and content exams provide a wealth of questions to make sure you A) know the content, and B) can apply it correctly. You could probably find a copy of the EK 101 Passages in VR for resale online.
Use them all, if you can. It might cast $100-125 for 3-5 extra books. When you put that next to postbacc tuition, application fees, interview travels costs, and med school tuition, it might be worth it.
Don’t start studying too early (6 mo’s, a year). I wanted to, but resisted. Just focus on learning the material really well the first time around. Pay attention in class; listen to the examples and real-life applications professors discuss (those times when others tune out). I found that those are the things that you’ll see in passages on the actual MCAT.
There’s a thread on SDN which I found helpful, “Habits/Strategies of students with 30+ MCAT scores,” or something like that.