I am a miracle made up of particles and in this existence I'll stay persistent and I'll make a difference and I will have lived it - Medicine for the People

MCAT Study Materials/Courses (This Is Not An Endorsement!)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hey everyone! I have been getting a lot of feedback about using ExamKrackers and wanted to clarify the reasons why I chose them. First of all, they offered courses available in my area. Secondly, they were not the most expensive course which was important because I was on a budget. Even better, they offered a payment plan. Finally, I had used their books before and really liked the way they explained difficult concepts.
I just want to note that I have had friends score very high on the MCAT using other methods including home study plans and other prep courses such as Kaplan. I personally really liked ExamKrackers because I felt they were comprehensive without going too in depth which I feel is a failing of a lot of the prep out there. EK was great because they taught me exactly what I needed to know and didn't confuse me by providing me with a lot of background information that wasn't necessary. I did supplement my studying by using Berkeley Review books in addition to the ExamKrackers material that came with the course (mainly for General Chemistry and Biology). I also used the Princeton verbal practice booklet which was extremely helpful and I bought the EK 1001 Questions in Physics book because I struggled a lot with that subject (consequently, my score in PS went up the most. I went from a 7 to an 11 which was unbelievable to me).
Ultimately, I think the best thing about the course I took was the instructor. Emily was incredibly patient, helpful, and seemed to really care about our success. We had a fill-in instructor one day who was really nice but I just didn't like his teaching style as much. Emily brought in additional practice problems to help us with our problem areas and was never annoyed when I asked her to go over something for the 3rd time because I simply wasn't getting it. Having the one-on-one type tutoring was incredibly helpful because while I have no problem getting myself to study alone, I would often get stuck and wouldn't have anyone to turn to so I'd end up skipping important topics that would come up later.
One last thing - after having taken the MCAT three times (and now considering myself somewhat of an expert on the cursed thing) I have to tell you that I think success is a matter of understanding the exam. It doesn't matter how well you did in physics or orgo, you have to learn how to take the exam. The questions are not the most difficult, but they are tricky. I loved EK because I felt like they taught me how to hone my intuition about all of the MCAT topics so when I came upon something I completely didn't understand, I was still able to find the correct answer because I recognized what the question was asking instead of getting caught up in the confusing information being presented. Of course, you also have to have a solid background in the sciences and the only way to develop your intuition is to study REALLY REALLY HARD but I think taking the course really helped me stay on the right track.

Hope this was helpful for all of you who haven't taken the exam yet or are thinking of re-taking! I'd love to help if you have any questions so please comment or tweet at me and I'll try my best to answer.


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