Jun 7, 2009
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I've read many BR threads, but have never seen the answer to my questions below.

What differences are there in the BR classes that are held in the winter/spring vs. the ones in the summer? I can only see the winter/spring schedules on the BR website now, but not the summer ones. Do more students take it in the summer? Are there usually a few more students per class? Are the students more focused because most have more free time to devote to MCAT study? Etc.

If I register for a class, does the fee include all the books and practice tests?

Do we get the books mailed to us as soon as we pay the course fee or do we get them during the first class?

If we buy the books alone ahead of time, is it possible to get a lowered course fee that does not include the books? Probably not--so am I correct to assume we would then be responsible for having 2 sets of books?

If I just buy the books, can I arrange to pick it up in person from a nearby BR location and avoid paying shipping?
 

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I've read many BR threads, but have never seen the answer to my questions below.
I'll answer them as best I can, but you should contact the office for the most accurate and up-to-date answer.

What differences are there in the BR classes that are held in the winter/spring vs. the ones in the summer? I can only see the winter/spring schedules on the BR website now, but not the summer ones. Do more students take it in the summer? Are there usually a few more students per class? Are the students more focused because most have more free time to devote to MCAT study? Etc.
The lectures are the exact same no matter what class you take, but in summer there are more classes per week so you finish the lecture portion sooner. This answer might not be true at Berkeley, because Cal is on the semester system. But given that most students in Westwood BR are on the quarter system, schedules are built accordingly. As for how many students take it at a given time of year, the classes all seem about the same no matter what season it is. I think they cap them the same no matter what. There are more office hours per week in the summer and many students are there ten to twelve hours a day, so it feels more intense in the summer.

If I register for a class, does the fee include all the books and practice tests?
yes

Do we get the books mailed to us as soon as we pay the course fee or do we get them during the first class?
The books can be collected early from the center, once you are officially enrolled. I believe it costs extra (FedEx charges) to get books shipped to you.

If we buy the books alone ahead of time, is it possible to get a lowered course fee that does not include the books? Probably not--so am I correct to assume we would then be responsible for having 2 sets of books?
Any money you spend on books (and maybe exams too, but you'll need to verify this with them), you can apply towards the class if you opt to take it within a year of your purchase. In the event there are new versions of books printed between your purchase date and the start of the course, then you get the upgraded new books for free with the course.

If I just buy the books, can I arrange to pick it up in person from a nearby BR location and avoid paying shipping?
In LA for sure. However, they don't always have full sets in stock, so you'd need to contact them in advance. For Berkeley and Irvine, you should contact the office to find out if they'll do that.