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Tip for non-trad trying to learn sciences


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I am a non-trad applicant writing the mcat on August 17th. I have been studying for about a month, spending lots of time on VR (shooting for UofC and Mac), but also trying to learn the sciences from pretty much scratch (only have high school bio and chem).


I would really appreciate feedback if my approach to preparing seems to be okay or if I can do something to improve:


- I spend between 3-6 hours a day on studying


- Basically I do VR 6 days/week - at the moment a couple of timed passages each day. I've been following the EK strategy which seems to be working for me, so I am trying to stick to it. I will do a FL next week. I think I am at about a 9-10 at the moment, so room to improve still.


-Sciences: I am focusing on biology and general chem at the moment, since those are the topics I have some knowledge about (but it's been years!). I am using TPR books, and am finding that it takes me about 2-3 days to work though a chapter (i.e. reading, highlighting, making notes/flash cards, some questions and then later in the week re-reading chapter - would it be better to re-read much later?).


-Writing: Not to worried about this section.


I am not working full-time at the moment, but at the rate I am going with my prep, I am not sure I will manage to cover any/all of physics and org. chem...


I wonder if I am spending too much time focusing on learning the content/details of the sciences. Given my background and my MCAT date, would I be better off getting a general understanding of ALL the sciences, not stressing about the details of content, and then guessing the rest on the MCAT?


Would love to hear from you guys - especially non-trads who successfully managed to learn new science material in a short time.

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Seems like a long time for each chapter, but I say this being someone who has done bio/chem/physics before. I am using TPR like you and indeed, the bio chapters are damn long to go through. IMO, it should take you about half or a third of the time for chemistry.


But then again, I find chemistry is something you get a feel for. Hopefully reading those texts, you can get that feel.

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Yes, I agree I've been spending too long on each bio/chem chapter. I think I am going to change my approach slightly by not re-reading the chapter. I can re-read if needed once I start doing practice passages.


I don't think postponing is an options for me, so I am crossing my fingers!!

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