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Berkeley Review? help selecting course!

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by markg, May 11, 2008.

  1. markg


    May 11, 2008
    To give a brief intro, I had been signed up for a Kaplan course, and I have purchased the Examkrackers materials for some extra practice-

    Then out of no where on Friday my father was given a raving review (by a family member) of "The Berkeley Review" here in NorCal, and switched me to it. I consider the family member to be quite dramatic and she probably overstated the course's merits...

    That said, I'd appreciate if anyone has any input on this Berkeley program, either from word of mouth or personal experience. I'm leaning towards switching back to Kaplan first thing in the morning unless I can find some more info.

    Thanks in advance,

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  3. TheBoondocks

    TheBoondocks StreetFighter 4 Virtuoso 10+ Year Member

    Jul 17, 2006
    do a search. BR is better than kaplan. Here's a great thread to calm your fears. http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=466138&highlight=berkeley+review
  4. TheBoondocks

    TheBoondocks StreetFighter 4 Virtuoso 10+ Year Member

    Jul 17, 2006
  5. BerkReviewTeach

    BerkReviewTeach Company Rep & Bad Singer Exhibitor 10+ Year Member

    May 25, 2007
    SDN Exhibitor

    Hi Mark,

    Hopefully I can shed some light on what it is that we do. I greatly appreciate your candor about your dilemma. Truth be told, some people who take our class get really into it. We have been referred to by a competitor, on more than one occassion, of being a cult. I generally laugh because I tend to think it's the competitor being jealous about the passion a good MCAT course can generate, but I do know that to people who aren't a part of it, it can seem a bit excessive.

    What we do is teach how to take the MCAT. It's a simple enough idea, but because each section of the exam is unique, there's a great deal to it. My particular job is to teach some of the physical sciences lectures and the test-taking skills sessions. I'm being flown up to Berkeley a few weeks this summer, so I'll actually be your teacher for about nine of the lessons. My philosophy is that the best way to learn about the exam is to analyze how to solve multiple choice questions of a wide range of difficulties. Along the way, we review material in the context of the exam.

    We will go over strategies on how to solve math questions, acids-bases questions, electrochemistry questions, light and optics questions, circuit questions, nuclear chemistry questions, classical experiment questions, and fluis and solids questions. There are techniques and strategies in my class that you will find no where else and they will prove invaluable on the exam. The difference between a 28 and a 32 is just a few questions, so that is how we attack preparation. Learn how to get a few questions right that you might otherwise not get. It sounds simple, but it takes a great deal of work and effort.

    I'd suggest that you call the office tomorrow and talk to the person who answers about the details of the MCAT, what is tested, the depth of material, and so on. Then call the Kaplan office in Berkeley and ask the person who answers the phone the same questions. I think that will show you the difference between how a small, MCAT-only course treats MCAT preparation versus how a corporate program treats the MCAT.

    Good luck in your decision-making process. I sincerely hope I see you in class and office hours. I think after a few classes you'll see exactly why your relative was raving about the class. And I assume your relative who took the class got well into the 30s on the MCAT. Please feel free to PM me if you have specific questions. Also, feel free to review my responses in the Q&A section here if you want to see if the style is compatible to your mode of learning.

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