1. I purchased the Barron’s 2015 exam book.
    Would anyone recommend the Barrons prep book 2nd edition?

  2. Daniel Wenzel says

    Hey everyone, I JUST took my MCAT on May 6th, here in Nicosia, Cyprus (I’m studying abroad).
    I can confidently say that it is much different (apparently) from the January experience I have read about from other students.

    Though I haven’t got my score back yet, I feel very confident about it and expect a 505 or above. I obviously can only base this on my feelings after finishing each section, but after thinking back to my feelings taking my practice tests, I feel quite good!

    I took 10 timed full length practice practice tests, and my scores were:
    -3 Kaplan- averaged a 490-495
    -4 next step- 500 on diagnostic
    505 on free full length, 506, 509 and 507 on the next three
    – AAMC scaled score- 505
    – two TPR practice full lengths- 500 and 501
    I did kaplans first, tpr’s second, next step diagnostic and free full length third, AAMC 4th, and then continued with next step until test day.

    You guys, my best advice is to use ALL OF YOUR RESOURCES!! I started prepping for this exam around February 10, so about 4 months.

    I took prep serious, I got through all 7 Kaplan books within 5 weeks, noting areas I was weak in and making flashcards along the way.

    I then jumped to Kahn academy and the Kaplan online practice problems. I realized that Cars was my weakest subject in late March and began doing exam cracker verbal passages from the old mcat… DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE VALUE OF TIMED PRACTICE PASSAGES!!!
    I can honestly say that this (above all else), helped me feel confident on test day.

    I continued using Kahn academy, going back to my books when I would miss a subject on a practice test, and ALWAYS making new (and most importantly, DISCARDING OLD) flashcards.
    If you know it, you know it, stop wasting time on it.

    Use your exams to guide your study, constantly constantly CONSTANTLY re-evaluate.

    Regarding the test itself… Phys and chem was 50% biochem in my opinion.. I honestly think there were at MOST 7 physics questions, 2 of which involved numbers and the rest were conceptual and based on a biochem like passage.
    Traditional gen chem questions were relatively nonexistent, no mole ratios, no hasslebachs, just basic conceptual (calculate pOH, from this [H+] conc, or half life).

    Cars was brutal, no joke. 3 art history passages (MY WORST TYPE :'(
    Do NOT waste time on this section, if you’re having trouble, Mark it, make a your best choice and MOVE ON. I gave myself STRICTLY 10 minutes/passage, and if I finished earlier I would use that time on questions I were unsure of… MARK YOUR QUESTIONS!!

    Biochem was tough, very detailed, VERY passage based and most of the questions were inferring on the text. A few discreet ones that involved some ochem structures, dna transcription translation, immunology, and genetics. Lots of hormones, KNOW YOUR HORMONES. Know if they’re steroid/peptide, why they’re released, what they dude, are they agonist/antagonist and to WHAT hormone are they agonist/antagonistic to?!

    Psych/soc… I honestly cant believe how awesome next step did at preparing me for this. The passages were so similar, they did an AMAZINg job at introducing different terms to me as well and teaching me to infer based on the passage. KNOW THE BRAIN, know behaviorist theory, psychoanalytic, cognitive, social, behavior, know the basics. Know conditioning inside and out.
    Practice practice practice!!

    I can honestly say that Next step did WONDERS for practice test validity compared to the real thing. I swear by them and would absolutely recommend.

    Good luck :)))
    Dan W.

  3. The MCAT in january was WAY harder than any practice exam (for CARS especially just because of the length not question content). I think it’s a little ridiculous how different in hardness each one is compared to the next. I took it before in August and it the August one was 10x easier in all sections.

    • Leah4sci says

      Thanks for the feedback, I heard this from many students and hope that you still did ok despite them switching it all up on you

  4. Reading this feedback has been very helpful. I have been studying for my exam using the Kaplan Complete 7 books for the MCAT and to be honest, their exams are bit harder but going through each section using their online videos is very helpful as well. I actually do love using Khan Academy as well to study. I’m yet to take my full length AAMC exam sometime this weekend. Thank you Leah.

  5. Thank you for your post. What are the “best” books, in your opinion, to study from for each subject?

  6. Hi Leah! I find your study tools and resources to be very very helpful. Thank you so much. I am currently studying for the MCAT to take in April. The EK book specifically said not to study specific enzymes for the glycolysis pathway for example. But now reading this post, I think that I should know the specific enzyme name for all relevant pathways and cycles. Is this correct?

    • Chelsea Unfortunately many books were written before all of these changes. For example, your books probably told you NOT to memorize amino acids. Yet the amino acids keep coming up on the exams. They are still changing their exam so keep an ear out for changes on April 1 if testing Apr 23

  7. I took the Princeton review course and studying the books. I’m freaking out after reading these comments:(

    • Stella: Don’t freak out, just be very very very well prepared. Do more than just TPR practice. Work through the bundles and section banks, and make sure you are VERY well prepared.

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