Cutts Premed Admissions SuperPlan (Medtrack)
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Advanced MCAT SuperStrategy Plus Coaching
Dear Prospective Physician,
Thank you for your interest in the CUTTS Advanced MCAT SuperStrategy Plus Coaching program and the Cutts Premed Admissions SuperPlan.
First, let's talk about the MCAT. (You can jump to the Admissions help SuperPlan details here.) The Cutts program does not teach science review classes (except in New Mexico) but rather supplements your own science review with the very critical testing and timing strategies for the MCAT that commercial MCAT prep courses do not and cannot teach. Our strategies are based on my 15+ years of full time individualized test preparation coaching and they are adapted to meet each student's particular style and needs.
Science review is, of course, important. We can help you find your best options for science review, including commercial courses and self study plans. You are also welcome to work informally one on one with our own science instructors on an hourly basis. But science review alone is not enough to get your maximum score on the MCAT.
Why not? There are two areas in which even students with thorough science knowledge lose points. These areas are timing and testing strategy. Timing strategy means making decisions about how you use your time on the test - how many questions you'll do, which questions, what order, how much time is ok to spend on a question, when to move on and when to keep working, whether to focus on details or take the time to see the big picture, how much time is ok to spend on organizing info, whether to go fast to get to more or to slow down to be more accurate.
Most people have developed an intuitive strategy for how to work tests based on your past experience. And for most people the strategy you've developed is not the most effective one for the MCAT. Almost every student I've worked with has been able to get extra points by learning a better way to use your time on the MCAT.
What about testing strategy? Most students report that there are many questions they get wrong even though they knew the science. What happened? Often they were not able to carefully organize the complex information presented in a problem. The current MCAT now emphasizes problem solving ability rather than straight factual knowledge. This means that you need to be able to deal with complex information and situations. We teach you new, more powerful startegies for organizing the various kinds of complex info the MCAT throws at you.
Another reason people miss problems for which they knew the science is that they focus too much on detail and miss the big picture. Or they are so worried about time that they are missing things and getting careless. Or they don't double check their work. Or they get lost part way through the problem. Or they get down to two answers and guess. For all of these errors there are strategies that you can learn and refine to avoid them. We work with you on problems that you actually missed to help you see exactly what you did and how you can improve. By doing this with hundreds of actual MCAT questions, you can learn to carefully organize and double check all of the hundreds of kinds of complex MCAT questions they can throw at you.
How much difference does this make in your score? Each section of the MCAT is scored on a 15 point scale. For an average school 9 may be a competitive score, while 8 may get you rejected and 10 may almost guarantee a spot. But the difference between an 8 and a 9 is, on the average, only about 2 or 3 more questions right. The difference between an 8 and a 10 may be only 5 or 6 more questions right. The typical person may get 50 questions right on a science section and 27 questions wrong. If you can get 5 or 6 of those 27 right by using better testing and timing strategy, you can go from an 8 to a 10.
In my experience most people CAN increase their score by 2 points or more on the 15 point scale just by mastering timing and testing strategies. This is often more improvement than you make by months of science review. Which is why I say these strategies are critical to getting your top MCAT score.
So why don't commercial courses teach these strategies? Most commercial courses attempt to address these strategies at least a little but the problem is that commercial courses use hired instructors to teach classes and those instructors, while they are usually very bright and have done well on the MCAT, only work for the company for a season or two on the average and don't get enough experience to really understand the intricacies of timing and testing strategy, let alone the understanding of how to work individually with each person according to their processing style.
The strategies I teach have come out of over 15 years of full time test prep work with nearly a thousand students, much of that work being one on one. My graduate work in learning and processing styles, learning disabilities and giftedness also has helped me adapt strategies to the needs of each student. Finally, each student works with me closely and personally as much as they need. Many commercial programs limit the personal attention that a student can get. Some, including Kaplan, do not offer personal attention at all, unless you buy an expensive package. And even when a commercial program does offer personal attention, the instructor still doesn't have the experience and expertise to understand these strategies.
The Verbal Reasoning and Essay: Unlike the science sections, there is no content that you have to know for VR or the Essay. For these sections your ONLY tool is strategy. Isn't Verbal Reasoning just reading comp, you may ask. Is there really anything I can do about if I'm not the greatest reader?
Yes, there is. The VR section is based on hidden agendas and hidden patterns. And these patterns can be learned. Consider this: most people can get a difficult question down to two answer choices. But usually those two seem equally good. Often they will pick the wrong one and when they look up the right answer, the reaction is "Ok, I can see why that answer could be right but I don't see why it's any better than mine."
So what's going on? Why is that answer the right one? Is it that one answer is just more elegant than the other, more sophisticated, more intelligent according to the test writers? No. It's not that one answer is better. One of those two answers is dead wrong. It has a fatal flaw. The situation is in fact black and white. One answer is wrong and the other is indisputably correct.
There is a hidden agenda of the VR section, a specific criterion for what makes an answer correct and what makes a fatal flaw. To master this section, you need to first learn this hidden agenda and then you need to start learning the hundreds of patterns that the test uses to create fatal flaws. There are specific strategies you can use to work two answers against each other to uncover the fatal flaw. If you combine this with learning how to most effectively organize the reading comp passage itself, you can make considerable progress.
Instructors in commercial programs are unlikely to even be aware of these insights, agendas and strategies. The biggest complaint I hear from people who have taken a commercial prep class is that the instructor couldn't explain why one answer was better than another. These are not easy patterns to discover. It took me an entire year to first discover the hidden agenda of the VR and I had read many of the commercial prep books looking for clues. It has taken many additional years to discover and refine the strategies that I teach.
You and I work together directly. You start by studying all of the strategies for timing, testing, verbal reasoning and the essay in my book Introduction to SuperStrategy Plus for the MCAT. I evaluate your strategy skill level using actual MCAT questions and then assign questions for you to practice your strategies on. Finally, I work with you one on one to help you identify your problem areas and learn new strategies. Our work together can be done at your convenience, day, evening or weekend. Most students work with me by phone or video conferencing.
You pay a basic fee to register in the program. It is a one time fee. Even if you work with me for a long time, you never need to pay it again.
The fee entitles you to work with my book and it includes two free hours of one on one time with me. It also allows you to buy additional hours at a reduced rate. You aren't required to buy any package of hours. You can simply buy one at a time as you need them. An hour of time can be broken down into any number of shorter calls totalling 60 minutes.
See the registration page for price details.
Now let's talk about planning for your premed admissions. The Cutts Premed SuperPlan steps you through each month of the four years leading up to your admission to med school. At the beginning of each month you get a personalized email that goes over what you should be doing this month, what you should have done so far, and what is coming up next.
The SuperPlan also refers you to various web resources to help you keep track of your plan, including a complete four year calendar showing not only what to do but also how to do it. You also have access to our National Premed Discussion Forum, where you can communicate with other premed students around the country and the world, ask questions, get suggestions and find out what others are doing.
In my experience with nearly a thousand students, the biggest obstacle to a successful application is not having planned in advance. The SuperPlan helps you know exactly what to do and how to do it.
There is no charge for the Cutts Premed SuperPlan. It is a completely free service available to any premed applicant. To register for it you just need to be registered on Medtrack. You do NOT need to be enrolled in our MCAT SuperStrategy program. If you are not already on Medtrack, go here.
THE CUTTS MCAT REVIEW: FACULTY & CONSULTANTS
Jay B. Cutts, MA, director of the Cutts Graduate Reviews, earned a BA with Honors in Linguistics from the University of Michigan and an MA in Special Education from UNM, both with Distinction. An expert in graduate entrance exam preparation, he has taught for over 20 years in the field of language, math and cognitive skills. He specializes in adapting instruction to studentsí individual needs and styles. Jay Cutts works with select students nationally and internationally on graduate test preparation.
Mr. Cutts teaches the Verbal Reasoning and Writing Sample class and works with all students on test taking strategies, preparation techniques and any individual concerns. He has an intimate understanding of the dynamics of graduate entrance tests and shares this freely with his students.
The instructors below teach our formal New Mexico science review. They can tutor students outside of NM on an hourly basis by arrangement.
Matt Drago brings an expert touch to our Physics classes. Matt holds a PhD in Physics and specializes in optical engineering. Mr. Drago is a skilled and experienced teacher. He developed and taught prep courses for the Comprehensive Exams for physics graduate students and served as Instructor for introductory physics classes and labs at the University of New Mexico for several years. He received the Physics Departmental Chair Award for Best Teaching Assistant. A little known secret about Matt is that he has an MA in English and is a creative writer and poet.
Kathryn Ryan brings to the classroom both a thorough knowledge of all the science areas of the MCAT and a talent for classroom instruction and personal guidance. Kathryn teaches the Biology and Organic Chemistry classes. Ms. Ryan graduated with Honors from a premed curriculum at the University of Wyoming with a degree in Zoology and Physiology. A consistent Deanís List student, she founded the Order of Omega Honorary chapter and was a member of AED Preprofessional Honorary. Kathryn Ryan has 8 years of teaching, training and evaluation experience, both in academia and in industry. In addition to her mastery of science topics, Kathryn specializes in the testing strategies for the MCAT.
Our development consultant:
Ed Webb, Ph.D., our out-of-the-classroom consultant, served for 6 years as an MCAT specialist for Princeton Review in their home territory in New Jersey. Dr. Webb developed MCAT teaching methodologies, trained Princeton Review MCAT instructors, served as a Princeton Review site administrator and taught Princeton Review MCAT classes. Ed Webb holds a Ph.D. in Material Science from Rutgers University, where he graduated Magnum cum Laude. He was a member of numerous honors societies, including Phi Beta Kappa, and is a fellow of the Corning Research Institute. Currently he works as a Computational Chemistry Research Scientist at Sandia National Labs. Ed is a very seasoned and talented MCAT specialist with a strong understanding of all aspects of preparing for the test. He serves as our consultant for developing ongoing instructional innovations for the Cutts MCAT Review.
I LOOK FORWARD to answering your questions about the Cutts MCAT Review or about your application to medical school. Please feel free to cal me directly at (800) 353-4898, 7 days a week, day or evening.
Jay B. Cutts
Cutts Graduate Reviews
PS. Are your parents or relatives helping pay for your prep? Please copy the letter above and send it to them.
"Until this course (and I have taken Princeton Review) no one had ever told me how to approach the passages, and I am doing much better." - MCAT student
"This course has helped me more in remembering, as well as motivation, just in [the first] 4 weeks, more than the Kaplan course did in 2 months. Thank you for the opportunity." - MCAT student
"Material was covered in depth ... Taught good methods for taking [Verbal Reasoning and the Writing Sample]. [The instructors were] outgoing and friendly, knowledgeable, flexible to differing needs ... helpful ... and interested in students' input." - MCAT student
"[The science instructors] knew all subject material ... Timing strategy and essay format were very helpful." - MCAT student
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"I found that the skills learned ... have really implanted themselves somewhere in my brain so that I can call upon them when they are needed." - GRE student
"Well done ... I wouldn't have properly prepared otherwise ... Timing strategies ... were awesome." - GRE student
"[The instructor was] motivated and motivating. Always helpful. [His] commitment to the class deserves much more than what we paid for the course." - GRE student
"Your last minute suggestions helped me considerably." - GRE student
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"I liked the way we went into detail on the different mechanics necessary to come up with a winning score. [Mr. Cutts was] very understanding, willing to hear your questions." - GMAT student
"Overall you do instill confidence by knowing the subjects." - GMAT student
"Thank you so much for making yourself available... Your knowledge about the GMAT is amazing!!." - GMAT student
"Jay works well one on one with people... He does have a genuine concern for how we do on the test." - GMAT student
For more information, contact us at (800) 353-4898, day or evening, or by e-mail:
Cutts Graduate Reviews, 144 Sedillo Hill Road, Tijeras, NM 87059
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