MCAT Prep: Let Your Fingers Do the Walking

by Lorien E. Menhennett

head against brick wallA couple of days ago, I finished my MCAT biology review book. (I’m using Examkrackers.) Yay! I was so excited. Not that I know everything, but I’m done with my first run-through, have a bazillion online flashcards made (feel free to access any of my Quizlet.com sets here) that I can study on the train to and from lab, and was consistently getting most (if not all) the review questions correct. I felt encourged. Energized.

Then I hit a brick wall: physics.

I would read a section in my Examkrackers book, think I understood it, then get half the review questions wrong. And I wasn’t even to the tough stuff. I’m talking F=ma, projectile motion, that sort of thing. I was very frustrated, and demoralized. I won’t even go into how my Lesson 1 practice exam went. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.

Part of my frustration was that I had done so well in my physics class — an A both semesters. An A on every exam, for that matter. I worked my a** off for those grades, and I know it wasn’t some fluke. I also know I’m not stupid (although I certainly felt that way yesterday).

I also felt frustrated because I didn’t know what step to take next. Obviously, reading the Examkrackers lessons over and over wasn’t working. So … what?

This afternoon, I knew I needed to take action. Change tactics. More specifically, see if another review book would be a better fit for me, at least for physics (I found the Examkrackers bio book to be a great resource). Seeing as how I’m flat broke, though, I don’t have the cash to go out and buy every MCAT physics book. Then it came to me – I don’t have to. I live just outside Chicago, and a whole bunch of suburbs in my area are members of a giant library network. I looked up “MCAT” on the online catalog (my mom always says, “let your fingers do the walking”), and found a ton of resources, including practice tests. I submitted several requests, so we’ll see what happens when the books arrive at my local library.

I’ll try to post comments here regarding my thoughts about the different books (I’ve got Princton, Kaplan, and Gold Standard books coming).

In the meantime, I’m putting physics to the side for now. No use in continuing to bash my head against that brick wall. I’ve got better things to do.

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