Julia Guido is a Sun Devil alumnus with a degree in Biochemistry (BS) and Spanish Linguistics (BA). In order to prepare to take the MCAT, she decided to take advantage of the free self-paced test prep offered to students through The Princeton Review. She shared her experience with us and advice for students considering test prep below!
How did you learn about the test prep with The Princeton Review?
I learned about the test prep at ASU through my Barrett advisor and pre-med advisors.
When did you start prepping for your exam, and have you taken it yet?
I started preparing for my exam in late July 2019 which was about 6 months before my test date. I took the MCAT January 17th, 2020.
Did test prep assist you in preparing for your exam of choice, and if so, how?
The Princeton Review course was extremely helpful for content review. I was able to go over concepts that I hadn't seen in years, and the course provided so many practice questions so I was able to practice problem solving while I was still solidifying my content. Additionally even after the content review phase, I was able to go back and finish practice problems on certain topics that I had difficulty with.
What is one thing that surprised you about test prep with The Princeton Review?
The thing that most surprised me with the course was how thorough it was. I had difficulty with very specific optics problems, and I was able to find at least a dozen practice questions focusing on this one little issue. This feature was helpful, especially as my test date got closer because I was able to fine tune problem areas and was exposed to a wide variety of topics that could come up on the real exam.
Do you have any advice for students thinking about taking advantage of test prep/pursuing graduate school?
I would suggest for students taking any course to use the material for content review and problem solving but to not judge themselves or be too upset if they are not scoring well on the tests that this course provides. I consistently scored 10-15 points lower on The Princeton Review practice full length tests than I did on the actual exam, but the tests themselves and the explanation of the problems was still helpful in exposing me to the material and helping me figure out an attack method for the problems on my real exam.
I also think it's good advice to start content review several months out from your test date so that you can review the material at a reasonable pace and aren't cramming every day for months.
What is next for you?
I plan to apply to medical school in June 2020 and hopefully attend starting Fall 2021.
Any other thoughts you would like us to know about your experience?
The Princeton Review was an amazing option for me because of its cost and thoroughness. With this course I had access to all the resources I could want and I didn't have to worry about spending too much money on preparing. I loved the self-based prep course because I was able to work at my own pace, go back to challenging spots, and skip over concepts that I already knew well. Overall this product was really helpful especially in the early stages of my MCAT preparation.
To learn more about test prep through The Princeton Review, click here.