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The Homestretch

Spring is finally starting to make its first appearances after long months of very cold Montreal weather (although apparently, and unfortunately for those like me who are excited about warmer weather, we should expect more cold temperatures and snow heading into April). With that, means, approaching final exams (and long hours at the library), and the impending end of yet another semester. Summer vacation is so close, yet so far, as so many things need to get done before you can start that summer job or take a break from the hectic student life. With only a few weeks left before the start of final exams, here are some of what should be ticked off your checklist in the homestretch:

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Unconventional Study Hubs

With midterm season approaching, you might be cracking down on those books. You’ve heard of Schulich, McLennan, Redpath, the typical locations… if you’re looking for innovative (or simply less crowded) areas to study, feel free to check out my list of favourites!

  1. Trottier Building, 3rd and 4th floors. Lots of room and really fast internet. You’ll be able to find a space here even during exam season; unfortunately, you’ll have to ask an eng or compsci friend to let you in after hours or on the weekend. You can also try to sneak snacks from the ECSESS/CSUS lounge or buy coffee at Paramount!      (more…)

The Wave of Life

Oh, the joys of University. A place with much potential, yet so many problems. It’s a place where you can learn new things, but then forget them in a heartbeat in the next semester; it’s a place that encourages persistence, determination and hours and hours of effort and stress, all for one final grade. It’s a paradox, really. You might be wondering, “will I ever get my social life back?” or “does life get any easier?” I can speculate about the former, but sadly, I only know the true answer for the latter – NO. Life is hard and it will keep being hard. That doesn’t ever change. Let me use the logic of high school math to explain why. (more…)

Beating the Curve: Academics

beat-the-forgetting-curve-5-728So there is this curve that students should concern themselves with. No, it’s not the grading curve, although that is a good kind of curve. I am talking about the forgetting curve.

It is really annoying when you forget something you know you have seen before, but the details are just out of reach. Here are some things I learned while learning about remembering.

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Prep-Course Review: GRE

GREWelcome to the last installment of my prep course review series. If you’ve been following my blog in recent months, you know that I’ve already compared prep courses for the MCAT, GMAT and LSAT. Last but not least, we have the Graduate Record Exam, or the GRE. In all honesty, I had never heard of the GRE until a few months ago, which is surprising considering it’s required by most graduate programs in the US and in Canada. With a little more investigation, Magoosh- a prep course company I had yet to come across in this entire series, and Kaplan- a series regular, seemed to be the most highly recommended.

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Prep-Course Review: LSAT

LSATWhen it comes to LSAT prep, the reviews of different companies and courses seem to be mixed. Even after scouring a number of different blogs and forums, I wasn’t able to identify any clear front runners. That being said, Kaplan and TestMasters were two of the most frequently mentioned.

Kaplan’s most popular LSAT course is their in-person course, which starts at $1,399. It’s taught in seven 4-hour sessions of comprehensive instruction and three full-length in-class proctored practice tests. In addition to the in-class sessions, the course also offers access to Kaplan’s LSAT Channel, which is an online resource providing hundreds of hours of live workshops.

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Preparing for Medical School: Part 3

keep-calm-and-mcat-onThis is the final part of my series on the MCAT. Here are part 1 and part 2. This is about the things to expect on test day.

So you have prepared long and hard to study for the exam. I dug around on the internet for some advice and tips. Here are the most helpful suggestions that helped me. (more…)

Preparing for Medical School: Part 2

MCAT_official_logo

The new MCAT is here to stay. How exciting! I’m here to give you a first-hand recount of how it went for me. This is part 2 of that story, here is part 1.

So I just took the MCAT first time over last weekend. Oh Boy, was it fun. Let me start from the beginning.

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Prep-Course Review: GMAT

 

Beat-the-GMATNext in my review of prep-courses for various standardized tests is the Graduate Management Admission Test, more commonly referred to as the GMAT. Similarly to med schools and law schools that require MCAT and LSAT scores, most MBA programs also require a GMAT score. A lot of MBA programs require two years of post-graduate work experience, so preparing for the GMAT may see a little premature. But for those of you interested in pursuing joint JD/MBAs, it’s important to consider that both an LSAT and GMAT score are required. To be honest, I’m not at all familiar with the GMAT, nor do I have any friends who have experience with the GMAT or its prep-courses. But after conducting a little bit of research, it seems that the courses offered by Manhattan and Veritas are the most frequently recommended. Both companies offer a variety of different courses and study materials, but for the sake of comparison, I’ll be discussing their full-length prep-courses.

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Prep-Course Review: MCAT

MCAT PICPrep courses are a huge investment of both time and money but with a multitude of different courses offered by so many different companies, all of which vary in length, depth and practice materials, choosing between them can be be confusing and overwhelming. For the next few posts, I’ll be comparing various prep courses for the MCAT, GMAT, LSAT and GRE. Disclaimer: I’ve never actually taken any of these courses and all of the information I’ll be relaying will be the result of external research and reviews from friends. First up is the MCAT. From what I gather, the two most popular courses are The Princeton Review’s MCAT Ultimate and Kaplan’s MCAT In-Person Prep Course.

The Princeton Review’s 3-month course is approximately $2,499. It’s taught in 2.5-hour sessions, three times per week for a total of 42 classes. In addition to the regular class sessions, the course also includes 20 hours of personalized tutoring. It also comes with 11 full-length practice tests.

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