Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
Sign in to follow this  
med_ical

Help! How similar are the MCAT books to the exam itself?

Recommended Posts

I know this should be posted in the MCAT section, but I have not received any replies. Hoping this will attract more attention. Apologies!

--

I recently overheard someone say that they got through the MCAT by memorizing the most recent edition of KAPLAN learning resources. 

This lends me to ask...

How similar are the newest MCAT books to the exam itself? Any idea? My science background is not nearly as strong as some, and I wonder how much I will gain from memorizing the concepts in the MCAT prep books. Hoping for some guidance from someone who used the kaplan or princeton materials and then wrote the exam. 

Thank-you :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey there! A lot of the topics on the MCAT were new to me as well, and I used the Kaplan books to study the sciences (I didn't study CARS so I don't know how good their book is; I used Khan Academy for psych/soc). I thought they were great! Extremely thorough, clear and well-written. If you understand everything (or close to everything) in those books, you're more than ready for the MCAT in terms of content knowledge.

However, content knowledge is only half the battle when it comes to the new MCAT. Much of the exam is heavy on passage analysis (reading experimental passages and answering related questions), and unfortunately, Kaplan does almost nothing to prepare you for that. Buying the Kaplan books will grant you access to some of their practice exams, but I've heard that they're not very representative of the real MCAT and have stayed away from them. For passage practice, I would recommend the official resources from AAMC itself: the section bank is excellent, and so are the three practice full-length exams. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading the book and understanding the content (notice how I said understanding and not memorizing everything***) just gives you the appropriate foundation to answer exam questions. However MCAT questions aren't like your university exams because they are mostly passage based meaning that you read a passage, and then you answer some questions (often using information from the passage). To acclimatize yourself to this, after going through the books, the best way to prepare is honestly just do as many practice passages as you can, especially in areas you feel that you are deficient in. Most of the questions really only require basic understanding + info. from the passages, however it's really important to get used to passage style questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really appreciate the replies. I opened a few MCAT books whilst standing in the bookstore and felt instantly intimidated... saw equations that i've never encountered before. I feel comfortable with bio but haven't touched physics in 8 years! I guess its time to get to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...