I didn’t start with the MCAT, but I was converted to it by the Princeton Review1 in 2003, and since then I’ve taught around a thousand students how to do better on this bear of a test. During that time the test has been completely revamped not once but twice: in 2007 it was converted from pencil and paper to a computer-based test (CBT), while being substantially shortened as well; in 2015 the test was greatly lengthened and the subject matter reworked substantially. AAMC has shortened the test somewhat in response to COVID-19 but the content remains largely unchanged since the 2015 update.
It is very important for all MCAT takers to understand the 2015 changes; even after five years since the last big change much of the information out there — in books, on the web, and even in commercial courses — just plain isn’t right. I know that some of the commercial test prep companies have put a great deal of effort into planning for the current version but the problem they face is that until the new test was actual given (which happened for the first time on April 18 of 2015) no one outside AAMC knew exactly what it would look like. The companies relied on official AAMC statements about what would be there, which may sound like a good idea… except that it turned out that some of what AAMC said turned out to be, for whatever reason, untrue. And then after they’d gone to all the trouble to create new materials, they didn’t adjust to account for what the test actually turned out to be like. Further, many current instructors have not taken this version of the test at all, as AAMC has really cracked down on people taking the test for purposes other than admission to school.
Luckily I was able to take the 2015 test and see for myself — when it comes to tests I don’t believe what I read or hear, only what I see. It turns out that there are very distinct ways to study for the different parts of the new tests, and unfortunately for most students those ways are not at all obvious, nor are all of them what most supposed experts are saying. But if you work with me you’ll get the full benefit of my first-hand experience with the MCAT. (Ask your Kaplan, Princeton Review, or Examkrackers instructors when they took the test — or whether they did so at all!)
I offer more more than just current experience, though. As I said, I’ve taught approximately a thousand MCAT students, and I’ve taken the official test a total of four times.[Note]In addition to my most recent iteration I also took the test twice back in the paper-and-pencil days, and once shortly after it was converted to a computer-based test.[/note] I can also apply my experience teaching the LSAT (particularly on the critical reading section) and the GRE and GMAT (for the fundamentals of taking computer-based tests, which isn’t as important but is worth something). Also important is that my strongest science area, physics, is the weakest for many of my students. I specialize in making physics non-scary for those who are uncomfortable with it. I also take a fresh approach to biology, one you may not have seen before; many students find it quite helpful.
Finally, of all the tests I teach the MCAT is the most stressful and I have devised several techniques that can help with that too. These techniques are a fusion of a whole lot of common sense plus some bits and pieces from various and sundry sources, including my background as an athlete and, believe it or not, my training as a yoga teacher. Note, however, that I’m willing to offer, right here on this page, the single most important way to deal with stress on MCAT day:
Know your stuff.
I’d like to help with that.
- Please understand that I’m no longer with either the Princeton Review or Kaplan, nor do they endorse or support me in any way. Further, I won’t teach you any of their proprietary methods, because I don’t want them to sue me and, more importantly, I have devised my own approaches that I know to work better.