At what point do you reap the benefits of being murdered by TBR passages?

Jun 6, 2012
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So I've been enchanted by the mantra heard on SDN that TBR is a golden MCAT resource. I got through the chapter on translational motion, did a few untimed passages, and became distraught when, for one particular passage that has five questions, I only got one right! Now, I spent a lot of time with the answers and the explanations and I feel like I learned a lot from my errors. But I still have to ask: When do you reap the benefits of going through these brutally hard passages? Do the benefits come as you do more passages within TBR? Or, when you start doing AAMC passages from the official practice exams?
 

Jabbed

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I only practiced with TBR passages (no AAMC practice tests). When I sat for the actual MCAT and started the PS section, I audibly laughed when I saw how easy the first passage was. It was essentially a simpler version of one of the earlier TBR passage that I had done weeks earlier.

You reap the benefits when you sit the actual exam!

But don't get discouraged, the TBR passages become much more intuitive as you become more familiar with the questions.
 

Pose

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Uhm, I feel you dawg. I am going through the same demoralization now.

I can say that it does get a bit easier. Not much, but a little. We can only hope that we'll learn so much from getting wrong answers, that there'll be little left to **** up on the real deal. But I do worry that I'll never stop getting most of the questions wrong before the exam. In theory we'll learn why we got the problems wrong, and then use that knowledge towards future problems. Right?
 

osprey099

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If you want the 10-12 in PS, just do all the TBR passages for PS and learn where tricks can be applied to certain types of concepts. If you want that 13+, know how to do every single TBR PS problem cold.
 

Gauss44

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I think you'll benefit unless TBR serves to create generalized confusion about VR or test anxiety. There aren't very many sources of VR material and TBR has lots of passages.

Why don't people like TBR? Is it just because it's hard?
 

Jabbed

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I think you'll benefit unless TBR serves to create generalized confusion about VR or test anxiety. There aren't very many sources of VR material and TBR has lots of passages.

Why don't people like TBR? Is it just because it's hard?
Yes. The other major complaint is that their biological sciences content review is far too detailed and that some of their questions require unnecessary amounts of memorization. For example, I remember one passage-based questions that essentially asked for the name of the amino acid being diagrammed (passage/logic was not helpful in ruling out answers).

Their physical sciences is rock solid though. Haven't tried verbal, but I haven't heard great things about it either..
 

Mehd School

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Why don't people like TBR? Is it just because it's hard?
To contrast the poster above: not always.

I certainly don't find TBR passages harder than say Kaplan high yield problems or other similar subjects. While there are certainly some killer TBR passages, I just didn't really like how they presented the information some times. Other times I felt that the material I was spending half an hour reading was utterly frivolous. I felt like I read a chapter and had an excellent grasp of it, then proceeded to a passage that tested you on information that wasn't given to you in the chapter, but is very relavent. It's a "learning experience", I get it. I just got sick of saying to myself "if they told me that earlier I would have used the correct reasoning" so many times. I wanted to use the passages as a metric of how well I digested the material I just read and too often felt that it didn't do that for me.

Other people love it. I certainly have a love hate relationship for it. I'm sure someone will be bolstering in here any second telling me how I'm wrong. I'm not even sure why I'm posting in here again, as this **** is stepping into the realms of MD vs. DO. I guess I just kind of find it annoying that people claim the only reason others don't like TBR is due to "difficulty", while it certainly has its faults. All the prep material does.

What I will tell you, though, is that I've personally seen people coming from little to no science background use TBR and knock the MCAT out of the park. I can't say the same for Kaplan, EK, etc, but then again I consider my background "moderate".

If it's for you, great. If it's not, find something that is.
 

osprey099

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I think you'll benefit unless TBR serves to create generalized confusion about VR or test anxiety. There aren't very many sources of VR material and TBR has lots of passages.

Why don't people like TBR? Is it just because it's hard?
A lot of the Ek1001 physics/gen chem are harder than most of TBR passages imo.
 
Oct 8, 2011
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A lot of the Ek1001 physics/gen chem are harder than most of TBR passages imo.
I've never heard someone say that, at least that I can recall. Why do you think so? I can see maybe not having the passages to draw from as being a reason, given that 1001 is 'drill' style questioning. I've honestly never considered them comparable resources before.
 

osprey099

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I've never heard someone say that, at least that I can recall. Why do you think so? I can see maybe not having the passages to draw from as being a reason, given that 1001 is 'drill' style questioning. I've honestly never considered them comparable resources before.
TBR PS passages presents you with very realistic MCAT problems that require you to think and use passage information. EK1001 PS discretes ask you very detailed questions that are highly unlikely to show up on the MCAT, although the MCAT may contain 2-3 of these types of discretes. I've been averaging 75%+ in all of TBR physics and gen chem but I am getting straight up demolished by EK1001 physics and chem (especially chem) by the blunt manner of how these questions are presented. Example: "What changes during the free adiabatic expansion of a real gas?"

1. internal energy
2. temperature
3. pressure

A) III only
B) I and III only
C) II and III only
D) I, II, and III
 
Jul 22, 2011
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How can you find translational motion passages hard?
They are the easiest in TBR, IMO.
 

Pose

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How can you find translational motion passages hard?
They are the easiest in TBR, IMO.
^ I disagree. I did significantly better on chapter 2 and 3. I'm sure we could think of some reasons why this may be the case.