Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Which Mcat Prep Companies To Go With? Overwhelmed :(


Recommended Posts

Hey everyone.

 

I've read through a couple forums regarding MCAT prep courses but there's so many books and sets that are available that I'm still not sure what would be a good fit. Of course, I know that it depends for everyone but I really just want something that's good quality and is able to make concepts clear with lots of practice problems. I don't even know if I should do any in-class prep either.. 

 

And yes, I've looked at the different companies' websites but again, there's so many possible sets and books and classes and all I see are $$$$ that I'm getting really stressed out now. 

 

I'm planning on writing the MCAT this August 2016 so I really need to get some books and start studying. 

 

Tips and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Self-studied. Had a couple friends who took course, but to be honest none were very thrilled with any of them, except a girl doing it for the second time who found she just couldn't make herself study on her own. 

 

I used a second hand collection of materials, and I picked-and-choose based on which ones suited my abilities in each subject. I liked EK for VR/CARS (found TPR/Kaplan to be hugely off the mark here). 

I liked TPR for physics, because I didn't take it since high school, and they had a lot of info. And non-orgo chem, I felt they were more technical 

EK was the way to go for bio for me, because I liked the less-text format since I knew most of this anyways.

 

But the one thing I bought new, and have zero regrets spending on, is multiple AAMC practice tests+self-assessments. These are gold. I know there are less know, but if you spend money on anything, I would buy every practice test and question AAMC sells. They're the ones writing the exam, after all, so why spend $$ on stuff other people made up to mimic them instead?

Link to post
Share on other sites

One more vote for self-study. Taking agency and designing your own plan from an array of sources will yield better results than trusting somebody to do the planning work for you.  There's no shortcuts in prepping for a test like the MCAT.  

 

I also agree on the merit of the AAMC material.  Great great resource, especially now that it looks like they've fleshed out the material since last summer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Self-studied. Had a couple friends who took course, but to be honest none were very thrilled with any of them, except a girl doing it for the second time who found she just couldn't make herself study on her own. 

 

I used a second hand collection of materials, and I picked-and-choose based on which ones suited my abilities in each subject. I liked EK for VR/CARS (found TPR/Kaplan to be hugely off the mark here). 

I liked TPR for physics, because I didn't take it since high school, and they had a lot of info. And non-orgo chem, I felt they were more technical 

EK was the way to go for bio for me, because I liked the less-text format since I knew most of this anyways.

 

But the one thing I bought new, and have zero regrets spending on, is multiple AAMC practice tests+self-assessments. These are gold. I know there are less know, but if you spend money on anything, I would buy every practice test and question AAMC sells. They're the ones writing the exam, after all, so why spend $$ on stuff other people made up to mimic them instead?

 

 

I thought I would give a more detailed response, since everyone seems to be discussing the other side more!

 

I agree with the fact that AAMC styled questions can't be replicated, but having extra practice won't hurt... Especially since the older practice MCATs are missing a lot of content that is now in the curriculum. If you need to get used to timing and mastering new material, I would recommend it. The lecture's were a waste of time but the CBT practice passages were a HUGE asset for me!

 

Also the AAMC exams are included into the Kaplan course, so if you decide to enrol, you will be receiving those as well!

 

Obviously this is all anecdotal, but the course is ONLY useful for the extra practice material. I found that YouTube videos were more concise on teaching the material and that the 2 hour lectures were a waste of my precious study time.

 

I found that reading passages off the computer was more representative that reading it out of a book. For some odd reason I read slower on the computer... So its good practice :).

 

Good luck friend :).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hijack the thread, I have the exact similar question to OP. 

 

This will be my first time studying for the new MCAT but I am also seriously limited on financial resources. I am worried that I spend it somewhere that I will regret resource wise. I do have experience writing the old one and I learned that it's very easy to get caught up with all the content resources out there and end up in a vicious cycle. 

 

I only wanted to do a course for 1 reason, and its not the class component. Mainly, I want stay focused and motivated by progress. They provide the content books (where I can reasonably supplement using free resources online), and a tonnnn of practice without having to lose focus and search "Best CARS material" etc. I want to finally go through the MCAT progress and finish it to the end (hopefully properly). But courses are very expensive for me. Conversely, many of forums suggest self-studying but then suggest like 1000 resources to buy. This is 1. Overwhelming to the point I can take all summer to understand how to fit these in a schedule, and 2. Probably end up costing similarly. The only negative about that as I mentioned, it overwhelms me structure wise, and could see myself lose focus on the main road. 

 

But if I can end up saving money self-studying and obtain a structured schedule somehow and use a finite amount of materials to use, I will be happy. If I end up "self-studying" new MCAT, do you think you can still end up spending less than a course while still getting essential materials you could buy? Or If I stick to one company (+ other free resources online) it would be beneficial in my case for practice and staying committed etc.. 

 

Thank you very much!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hijack the thread, I have the exact similar question to OP. 

 

This will be my first time studying for the new MCAT but I am also seriously limited on financial resources. I am worried that I spend it somewhere that I will regret resource wise. I do have experience writing the old one and I learned that it's very easy to get caught up with all the content resources out there and end up in a vicious cycle. 

 

I only wanted to do a course for 1 reason, and its not the class component. Mainly, I want stay focused and motivated by progress. They provide the content books (where I can reasonably supplement using free resources online), and a tonnnn of practice without having to lose focus and search "Best CARS material" etc. I want to finally go through the MCAT progress and finish it to the end (hopefully properly). But courses are very expensive for me. Conversely, many of forums suggest self-studying but then suggest like 1000 resources to buy. This is 1. Overwhelming to the point I can take all summer to understand how to fit these in a schedule, and 2. Probably end up costing similarly. The only negative about that as I mentioned, it overwhelms me structure wise, and could see myself lose focus on the main road. 

 

But if I can end up saving money self-studying and obtain a structured schedule somehow and use a finite amount of materials to use, I will be happy. If I end up "self-studying" new MCAT, do you think you can still end up spending less than a course while still getting essential materials you could buy? Or If I stick to one company (+ other free resources online) it would be beneficial in my case for practice and staying committed etc.. 

 

Thank you very much!

 

I self-studied using only ExamKrackers books and Khan Academy videos, and did well enough (mind you, this was for the old MCAT so I don't know what the books are like for the 2015 MCAT).

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...
×
×
  • Create New...