Monday, August 13, 2007

Tips for the cheap MCAT student Part 2

3. Learn the pre-requisite material well!! Not only will this save money on those mcat classes, but you will save time when you are reviewing for the test. This will allow you to focus on the tougher concepts that may need further review. Now you may be thinking that you will forget the material before you take the mcat. This is a legimate question for many, but I assure you that if you learned it well and thoroughly understand it, then you will have to do very minimal studying (for that area).

4. Make friends with the older pre-meds. They may have some old books or old practice tests for you to use and even more importantly they will have helpful hints. After all, they have already gone through the grueling process.

5. Use the provided MCAT syllabus. Its FREE! If you don't have the money to buy practice tests or to pay for the review courses, just look at the syllabus. Then review topics with Wikipedia (the best site ever created) or look them up in your old textbooks.

6. Read things other than your science textbooks. Again, if you can't afford a verbal practice test, then by all means read, read, read. This will help with reading comprehension and give you topics to write about in the essay portion of the test. More so, it will make you more well-rounded, something you should want to do anyway. Just be sure you read from different sources so you are used to the differing styles.

7. Read the Student Doctor Forums. I already mentioned how awesome this site was before in my first blog entry. In the MCAT discussion forums they have threads that are pages and pages long of discussions on all the difference science topics. It provides valuable clarification for things you don't know or things that you thought you knew.

I hope this has taught some of you that you don't have to spend the thousands of dollars like some pre-meds. Be creative and if you have other ideas, let me know!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Tips for the cheap MCAT student

1. Instead of paying ridiculous amounts of money for those Kaplan, Princeton Review, or Examcracker classes, sit in on a college class for free. This works best in the summer because the classes are shorter/easier and they tend to emphasize important concepts, not to mention you have more time in the summer. Also, go to those large lecture classes, where your absence during a test isn't a red flag. Sometimes you can tell the professor you are sitting in, but if they don't allow it you're out of luck. In my opinion, just sit in and don't tell the professor. Chances are no one will notice. Classes like Physiology and Genetics can drastically improve your BS score, while classes like Analytical Chem can boost that PS score.

2. Go to the library. Pretty self-explanatory. If all the MCAT prep books are out, look at the DAT (dental), the PCAT (pharmacy), AP and SAT subject review books. It might not have the practice tests in the right format, but it will have basic review material that is essential to studying.

There will be more tips to come but right now I need to get back to "studying."

Thursday, August 9, 2007

That damn MCAT

In a week I'll be done with the MCAT forever...hopefully. So I've been studying for this damn test for the last 4months and the end is finally in sight. By studying I mean I've been sporadically reading my Examcrackers review books, while even less frequently taking practice AAMC tests. Although I tend to do pretty well (in the 35+ range), I'm still worrying about the actual test. I guess it's to be expected.

The biggest chunk of my available study time is spent on SDN forums For those of you that don't know, this site is the crack of all pre-meds. You can literally spend hours reading the posts and honestly there is no other available site that provides so much information to potential applicants.

Anyway, the reason I've been studying so little for the test is because I've convinced myself that it is more of a reasoning test than it is a knowledge based test. Also it keeps me sane enough to not be feeling guilty every minute I'm not studying. Some may argue that my practice scores are good enough, but I continually feel like I need to score ridiculously high to make up for my undergrad's crappy reputation. I'm not going to mention which school I'm talking about, but it's located in the armpit of America and rhymes with slutgers. Ok so you've now figured out it's Rutgers.

In defense to the school, it has great professors (one of which I research for) but a lot of the kids that go there are not the sharpest tools in the shed. That is not to say that smart kids do not go there, because believe me THEY DO. My first year I was so astonished at the academic caliber of these kids that I felt proud to go there. Plenty of these kids denied Ivy schools, and for no other reason than money. One 17 year old who is now a junior, yeah a junior, is one of the best mathematicians in the state. Still, Rutgers has a very poor reputation in NJ and when you're applying that's pretty much what matters.

Alright, I have to go pretend to study and work to make myself feel a little better. Hopefully someone else is reading this except me. Let me know if you want me to continue posting please, because otherwise I feel completely useless. Then again what else is new? Good day and happy worrying.