Overview of the MCAT

What is the MCAT like? 

Imagine a 7.5-hour multiple-choice exam that tests essentially every piece of content covered in all your basic science pre-med classes. It’s a comprehensive final for your pre-med experience. The official study guide is 200 pages long. That’s the MCAT. 

The exam contains four sections of 50-60 questions each, including a section covering Chemistry/Physics, Critical Reading, Biology/Biochemistry, and Psychology/Sociology. Each section lasts 95 minutes (90 min for Critical Reading) and comprises 59 questions (53 questions for Critical Reading). Each section is scored from a scale of 118-132 with an average score of 125 per section. Overall scores for the MCAT range from 472 to 528 (~20 out of 80,000 students earn a perfect score like our tutor Theo) with 500 being the median score. 

How should I study for the MCAT? 

Because the MCAT covers so much content, it requires more diligence and careful planning than any other exam you have ever taken. One of the most important things you can do is to start your preparation early. This will give you ample time to thoroughly cover all of the content. Some students start tutoring with us years before their test date. Top scorers also make sure to practice as much as they can before the real thing. We recommend completing at least all of the AAMC practice problems in addition to the 5 full-length AAMC tests. Most top scorers consistently say practice tests were the most helpful aspect of their preparation. Completing 10-20 full-length practice tests will help you build stamina for test day. Your goal in the final month of MCAT Bootcamp Ecourse is to complete enough practice tests so that the 7.5 hour test feels like a 2 hour test. Going over practice problems will also help you learn how the AAMC thinks for test day. Last of all, top scorers tend to follow the examples of those who have already conquered this challenging exam.

How can an MCAT study program help me succeed? 

Most medical schools require the MCAT for your application. Furthermore, medical school admissions committees consistently cite the MCAT as one of the most important factors for medical school admission. Some top scorers report that using an MCAT study program helped them stay on track and learn more than they would have if they had studied on their own. Sadly, most test prep companies charge outrageous prices, don’t prepare students using the best materials, and require students to follow a strict study schedule. MCAT Self Prep is committed to preparing students in the best possible way for the best possible price. Our Free eCourse is based on the experiences of over fifty students that scored between the 95th and 100th percentile. If you need extra help as many students do, we also only hire 99th percentile tutors. And the best part is, is that our packages start way below our competitors at. Schedule your first tutoring session to get started today!

Warm regards,

Andrew George

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How we Matched up the Khan Academy Passages with the eCourse Lessons

Each lesson of the eCourse contains links to 1 to 5 Khan Academy science passages for the purpose of providing you with non-AAMC material to practice your science passage reading skills on. By completing all the linked passages within every lesson, you will have finished all the freely available Khan Academy science passages.

To match up the Khan Academy Science Passages with the eCourse lessons, we carefully examined the passage and question content of each one. Then we decided which lesson of the eCourse best correlated with that content. You may notice that some passages don’t match up perfectly with the current lesson. If they don’t match up with the current lesson, they should match up with one of the previous lessons in the module. We did this carefully so that you could practice your science passage reading skills on passages that contain the content you’ve already learned.

Why we don’t recommend non-AAMC CARS practice questions

We recommend practicing CARS by reading non-AAMC CARS passages but not doing the associated practice problems. The reason we don’t recommend doing the practice problems is because the MCAT is written by the AAMC. They have a very unique style in which they write CARS practice questions that third-party companies (try as they might) are unable to replicate. When students spend time on non-AAMC CARS practice problems, they get familiar with the wrong style of questioning, leading them to overthink and incorrectly respond to the questions written by the AAMC. Thus, it is in your best interest to solely practice on AAMC CARS practice questions.

That said, we highly recommend practicing your reading skills on non-AAMC CARS passages. In our Ultimate CARS Strategy Course, we provide you with 1,000 free CARS passages and 100+ homework assignments, giving you ample material to practice on. Reading countless passages while practicing the proper reading habits and strategies will prepare you well to conquer the CARS section as it was written by the AAMC.

Which books do the lessons match up with?

The books we use in each lesson are linked below. We plan to stick with these older editions of the books since very little has changed and the older editions are much more affordable:

First Edition of the Kaplan 7-book Series
First Edition of the Princeton 7-book Series

Do the chapters match up perfectly?

The Kaplan Books, Princeton Books, and Khan Academy Videos were all produced by different authors. For this reason, there are some chapters in the Kaplan Book or Princeton Book that are not even found in the Khan Academy Videos and vice versa. For instance, the Kaplan and Princeton Books have chapters that cover certain experimental procedures that the Khan Academy Videos do not cover.

Our goal in matching up the books with the videos was to correlate the content as best as possible while also covering ALL the content from every resource. For this reason, when nothing in the Kaplan Books matched up with one of the video playlists, instead of leaving the reading assignment for Kaplan blank, we inserted material that did not fit in anywhere else (i.e. one of those chapters on an experimental procedure that was not covered by Khan Academy). So, when the assignment doesn’t appear to match up right, please know that this was intentional.

*If you follow the reading assignments outlined, you will finish the entire Kaplan 7-book series and/or Princeton 7-book series by the time you finish all 10 content modules.

Do the sections match up perfectly?

If the sections assigned in our eCourse do not match up with the sections contained in your content review book, you may have a different edition. The sections should still match up the large majority of the time, but in the rare instance that they don’t, I’d recommend simply reading sections that do match up and saving the ones that do not for a future lesson.

MCAT Launchpad Required!

Before jumping into our free eCourse, you’ll need to complete orientation by watching MCAT Launchpad. During this free 35-minute intro session with Head Tutor Andrew, you’ll learn 6 Keys to Earning a Top MCAT Score, the 5 Essential Elements of an Effective Study Plan, 12 Tips for Taking the Best MCAT Study Notes, and more! Andrew will also provide you with a detailed overview of the Free MCAT Prep Course, teaching you how to get started.

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