The lowest-priced brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging where packaging is applicable. Packaging should be the same as what is found in a retail store, unless the item is handmade or was packaged by the manufacturer in non-retail packaging, such as an unprinted box or plastic bag. See details for additional description. Pros: Lots of excellent practice.
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The MCAT is a daunting test. I think I have said this to every one of my students. These students then ask me what is the best way to study and my answer to that really varies student by student.
Some students need more structure, a day-to-day agenda. Some students like more flexibility. But what has not varied from student to student is taking practice tests. Whatever I recommend to the students, I have taken them myself. I have heard a lot of different stories about how many points to add to your score for an EK test to match the real thing, or how many points to take off of a Gold Standard score, or what questions to ignore.
And truthfully, adding points, taking away points, these all add to the noise of your already hyper-stressed mental state. Here is where a tutor can really make a difference.
In this blog, I want to talk to you about some general practice test strategies Part 1 , then my thoughts on the various practice tests on the market Part 2 and then my final recommendations Part 3. I have found that doing your studying in two rounds or even three works much better than students studying their brains out for months straight and then diving into the practice tests the last month and then realizing that they were not studying as effectively as they could have in the months before.
The reason many students do the latter-- that is, study everything as much as they can before taking the practice tests-- is a fear of taking the practice test. Hence why no one has gotten a perfect score on this exam.
This is because a perfect score is impossible. You would have to get almost 0 wrong and to get almost 0 wrong, you would have to know the science very well, and also maybe a bit of trivia. Also some questions are just completely subjective. Who wrote this question? Save the doctors I guess since this is a med school exam??? So whenever I hear students tell me that they are not ready to take a practice exam even though I think they are, I tell them to give up this notion of being so ready.
You just need to be ready enough and the exams can help you get even more ready. What I recommend is that whatever time you give yourself to study for this test total, start taking practice tests halfway through.
So for example, if you have 6 months to study, start taking practice tests at 3 months. If you have 4 months, start testing at 2 months. If you have 2 months, start at 1 month. I do not recommend tackling this test in 1 month. It is just very hard to do and from the handful of people I have seen do this, it has not gone as well as they had envisioned.
They had no life for a month and were perpetually stressed, nervous, anxious, and all in all, not fine. Below are some additional reasons why it is better to start taking tests earlier:. Hence why I recommend students start taking practice tests earlier rather than later. Then use the practice tests to reinforce your round 2 targeted and in-depth review. Taking your first practice exam is like ripping off the Band-Aid.
The earlier you do it, the earlier you can see your mistakes and fix them. The score of your first practice test will be bad. This, I think, is for the better.
When you start off at a low score, you have more gusto to work up. Sure everyone wants to get that perfect score from the get go, but if your first practice test is perfect, than you have nowhere to go but down from there and that is even more stressful. In sports movies, everyone cheers for the underdog and not the perfect team.
Getting a bad score on your first test will put you more in the underdog mentality and will probably drive you harder. Of course, there are some instances I have had, where the students just scores off the charts on the first practice test.
And as tutor, I am proud of them and happy they were able to hit such a home run. But then looking over the tests, in all instances, luck played a huge role. But then this student will bomb the next couple of tests not so lucky or unfamiliar topics and get very upset that they feel like they are regressing. In my experiences, a bad first score does more good than bad. You go into your second round of studying careful and not cocky. You feel more humble.
And it never is. So how many full lengths exams are out there from each testing company? Before I launch the student into practice test mode, I go through all the possibilities out there. Here are the numbers. I will talk more about whether to buy complete Kaplan or Princeton Review packages later.
AAMC is the one administering and writing the test and so naturally, they are the most similar to the real thing. I put rank in quotes because there is not so much a ranking system as a grouping system. The AAMC materials are the best, hands down. I sort of group the tests into three tiers.
Tier 1 : The tier to beat, of course. You should do every single practice questions from the AAMC. I also have a lot of AAMC practice test and questions from the old test and will hand select passages that reflect the same material being testing on the new one.
There are less tests per company here as compared to Tier 3, but they are better quality. Tier 3 is so so but also hard. I say so so because for Kaplan, Gold Standard and Princeton REview to pump out so many practice tests, the quality is compromised. You either get similar questions or really left field passages that are sort of put there to take up space.
There are more throw-out questions in this tier. THis is also the tier than mass amounts of students practice with. THink about how many students Kaplan and Princeton Review recruit. Below I provide some brief thoughts on each of the companies. PRO: The real thing. Nothing beats this. Also the current AAMC practice tests out are the same level of difficulty as the real thing.
This was not true for the old test so take advantage of it! CON: There are only 2 practice tests out. I think eventually, they will release more but so far, AAMC is very stingy. Also the AAMC explanations are not wonderful. While the answers make sense when you see it, the AAMC does not explain why the other answers are wrong and will spend most of the explanation paragraph on what topic or topic subset, the question was testing, which is really not helpful.
They also test content in a similar way to the AAMC, that is in a passage, there are a couple of good pseudo discrete questions. I really like most of the EK discrete questions. I think they are really on point and tests exactly at the same level as AAMC ones do. PRO: These tests are very hard.
Usually students score points higher on the real thing than on these. But, take the hard questions with a grain of salt and focus on the fundamental questions. Next Step does ask about everything and their practice tests serve as a good round 2 review method. The Next step psych sections are great overall. Also, the online interface for the Next Step is the closest I have seen to the real test. CON: Some students show very little improvement on them and will have a consistent score from test 1 to test 5.
This consistency can be very discouraging. The Next Step has many questions that are just hard for the sake of being hard. The Next Step verbal sections are not great.
Like the Examkracker, it does draw heavily on its own prep books. The science sections are the stand outs for Berkley Review. They have hard experimental passages that test critical thinking. CON : The Berkeley Review verbal and psychology and sociology sections are also nothing to write home about. The other testing companies will make you think differently and that could actually be detrimental to your eventual score. The most annoying thing about the Berkeley Review is that you have to fax in or mail in an order form.
Then you wait until they process your order. Then they will activate your account but your account is only active for 40 days. PRO: There are a lot of these tests if you get the self-paced course. I know some Kaplan tutors and these tutors know the best Kaplan tests to take, i.
Kaplan test 6 is pretty good but Test 11 is not. The Kaplan verbal is not horrendous.
The 8 Best MCAT Practice Tests of 2020
The MCAT is a daunting test. I think I have said this to every one of my students. These students then ask me what is the best way to study and my answer to that really varies student by student. Some students need more structure, a day-to-day agenda. Some students like more flexibility.
Which full length MCAT practice tests are best?
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. An initial diagnostic test will help you know where you stand score-wise before you start studying for each of the four sections: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems; Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems; Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior; and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. Meanwhile, regular practice will help you develop the endurance you need to get ready for this whopper of a 7. Most full-length MCATs are sold in bundles of three or four, whether in a printed book or online resource. Other considerations might include budget and affordability, delivery format, and how difficult the practice passages are.