1st time test takers
The practice schedule for full-length MCATs within the assignment structure of the course follows a basic plan that works for 1st time test takers. One premise of our approach is that there is no point to full length practice without at least having the bird's eye view on the knowledge. A well ordered schedule for AAMC Prep Hub practice is laid out within the course assignments. We begin patiently in AAMC Section Bank and explore MCAT passages as a form of the test writer's craft very thoroughly. Reading an MCAT passage is a subjective experience with a performance metric. You can learn a great deal about the MCAT within a single MCAT passage. You must think for yourself how best to use this course. One thing to decide is whether to begin full-length practice earlier than our schedule suggests. These decisions were always counseled and advised individually. The best advice is that an AAMC full length should always serve the purpose of demonstrating you are qualified for medical school. We will seek to help you get you there in your comfort and confidence two months before your actual exam.
Tennis is an awful sport if you don't have both a forehand and a backhand, but a fun game if you do. In the same way that tennis takes on a completely different gestalt when you have basic skills, the MCAT looks as differently as a rabbit from a duck when your knowledge-base has completeness and integrative complexity. For this reason, it is best to save AAMC full-lengths until the last two months. You save precious AAMC full lengths and maintain positive self-efficacy. Now you are in final approach to test-day, after you have done thousands of problems to build tacit knowledge, and you have built a real game to get yourself on the board with full-lengths from the start. Don't endlessly genuflect before committing to your first practice test, but also don't waste the AAMC full lengths ever injudiciously, because those are precious. Ideally, everything should come into the harbor in content review so that you have a real game about eight weeks before your exam. There is sufficient passage and full-length practice now in AAMC Prep Hub for the first-time test-taker. 3rd party exams are useful for timing, nerves, the bold and curious. You might begin full-lengths earlier than our schedule. Just understand that you aren't really seeing the test. The MCAT has a kind of transparency after both completeness and integrative complexity are in the harbor. Full length practice is very good for the "aha moments" that can lead to those things, but it can also lead to unproductive self-doubt and a false gestalt of what the test is calling for and what your potential on it may be.
These decisions were always counseled and advised individually. We carry out a full biology cycle in self-study even before the course begins molecular cell biology in the video tutorials. About half-way through this course, a median candidate should be ready to demonstrate that they are prepared for medical school on the MCAT. From our perspective, it is ideal to establish a footing, carry out a successful run of steadily increasing AAMC full lengths and make test day like any other day. Unless you put in more than 25 hours per week, the assignments of this MCAT course should take approximately twenty weeks to complete. Learning attentional control, focus and flow are separate from the tacit understanding you gain from content review. Do not hedge your bets and fritter away AAMC full lengths if you know you are not ready. People come to this from a wide variety of backgrounds, yet all apply the same severe normative expectations on themselves. Save the expectations for test-day when you know you will meet them, not the start of MCAT review. Beginning the AAMC full lengths is committing to test day. Take your time with the question pack, section bank, and handbook passages, and begin AAMC full lengths when you can imagine putting yourself to the test. That is the moment of truth, because you are deciding whether or not to postpone. That is the attitude that makes MCAT review a one way trip. Plant your feet and demonstrate you are qualified for medical school. Use Sample Exam to establish a foothold and keep climbing.
Please communicate with us if you have any questions on how to adapt this learning program to your needs. The general approach reflected in the course structure and syllabus has worked well to make MCAT prep a one time journey for the vast majority of our students, but we were also in communication and support with them. We are hopeful that the affordable nature of our program will not disincline students from writing to us for advice. Send us a peptalk!
Retaking the MCAT
For students retaking the exam, we generally counsel beginning 3rd party full-length practice from the start. Each course module represents about twenty five hours of work for the 1st time test taker. If you are retaking the exam, some parts of the course will be easier going because there will be less of that first struggle to get oriented with the individual topics at the granular level. Prior MCAT experience will accelerate you through some of the module assignments, in other words, so you can and should begin 3rd party question-bank early, in our opinion. The interdisciplinary approach within our content review will amplify the "aha moments" in your full-length practice and question bank in a form of a virtuous circle. Full length practice will amplify the relevance of the lessons.
With the introduction of the CARS Diagnostic Tool, AAMC finally has enough passages for for complete preparation in CARS for a median first time test taker, but if you are retaking the MCAT or need extra practice, Jack Westin is great for CARS practice if you have exhausted Prep Hub. They are very good at CARS passages, in our opinion! Like Jack Westin and Co. we are a teaching service with the philosophy of bringing things that work to the attention of our students. The content review here will increase the frequency of "aha moments" in question bank and full-length practice, and our CARS lessons here will amplify the benefit of CARS practice at Jack Westin or My Testing Solution. My Testing Solution is another company making very good CARS practice.
Whichever MCAT bookset is already in your possession is fine to keep using for this course, but if you do choose to purchase a new bookset for its fresh topical practice items, which is not a bad reason, make the new set win you over for bird's eye view study cycles in its conceptual materials. You already know the pages of the old bookset. You can levitate above the old bookset now and see science from the bird's eye perspective just by flipping through it. Our practice items here are also very good. These are available as open access downloadable PDFs in the course modules, the topic resource pages as well as in printed book form.
But I like my MCAT course
Do not give up anything that is working well for you elsewhere. This is a complete MCAT course, but is also affordable enough to compliment another MCAT course or the plans already working for you in self-study. One warning for the a la carte customer is that the video component of the course will not make proper sense to you if you don't watch it beginning with the module 1 videos. If you will commit to watching the videos here in order, a content review will unfold for you that is actually as sophisticated as the exam. We also have great psychology practice, effective CARS lessons and the best understanding of how to read MCAT science passages.