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Complete MCAT Prep: School Textbooks vs MCAT Books

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Excelsius, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem 2+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    I am starting to prepare for the MCAT. I still have probably a year or more to go, but my bio, chem, ochem courses are old. I took gen bio like five years ago. I also haven't taken biochem, physiology, and genetics yet (will soon).

    My question is this: if I study from MCAT books alone, would it be sufficient to know everything on the MCAT? Or should I just go back and review all my textbooks? Obviously, I will cross-reference the school textbooks if I don't understand something in the MCAT prep, but do they cover all the topics on MCAT? My GPA is low, so I am shooting for close to a perfect score.

    After some searching, it seems that these are the most comprehensive books for MCAT prep:

      • EK 101 Biology review
      • EK101 Bio passages
      • (EK bio is the best – learn best from passages. Stripped down of basics)
      • EK 101 Verbal
      • BR Gen Chem and OChem is by far the best
      • BR or Nova for physics
    Do you guys mostly agree with this list? I looked on amazon, but couldn't find some of the examkrackers versions. Could you tell me the full names of the EK books listed above?

    What is the consensus on BR vs Nova for physics? I don't have a problem with physics and would prefer the harder/more in-depth one.

    Some of you mentioned that Kaplan is too detailed and difficult. Maybe those topics are the deciding factors whether you break 40? Many such people on SDN seem to have used several books for each section, meaning that probably no single MCAT book covers all the topics. I don't know if that's the case.
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  3. futuredoctor10

    futuredoctor10 10+ Year Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    I think if you like Examkrackers consider purchasing the "Examkrackers Complete Study Package" online. It will contain 5 books (GenChem, Bio, Phys, Orgo, Verbal) with comprehensive review material and practice questions

    looked on amazon, but couldn't find some of the examkrackers versions. Could you tell me the full names of the EK books listed above?

    I think "EK 101 Bio passages" = 1001 Questions for MCAT Biology.
    The "EK 101 Biology review" = Examkrackers MCAT Biology
    They have a Verbal MCAT Biology and 101 Verbal Passages book as well.

    You can buy the books separate or the 5-books together as a whole package.
  4. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem 2+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    I did intend to buy the complete EK, but as you can see from above, the consensus is that BR is better in chem and physics.

    Since there isn't a lot of ortho or maybe even physics on the test, I'd be better of buying more than one MCAT prep for bio than Org chem or physics.
  5. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem 2+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    I did some search and it seems that Nova Physics is for people who don't know much about physics. BR is more in-depth and has more exercises. I will be going with that. (http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=509307&highlight=br+vs+nova).
    Will also get their Chem and Ochem. Man, the price just for these will already be $150. Anyone knows if I could get a discount or get them used?

    The only thing remaining is EK. I read someone say that there will be a new CBT version released withing a month or so. I think I will wait on this.

    So it seems the EK is:
    Examkrackers MCAT Biology
    Examkrackers 1001 McAt Biology Questions
    Examkrackers 101 Passages in MCAT Verbal Reasoning

    That's another $80, for a total of $230 just for the books. Amazing! I hope I can get some of this books at a cheaper prices, at least the TBR..

    I am assuming that it is not recommended to study for the MCAT using textbooks. Is there anyone who can confirm that the above books have ALL the information necessary to answer every single on the MCAT? I know that the verbal section is subjective and stupid mistakes happen sometimes as well. I just want to make sure that I will get all the info needed to answer every science question presented. $230 is still much cheaper than a review course and from what I have read is that review courses do not provide any additional advantages. Correct me if I'm wrong.
  6. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem 2+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    What's that book in the middle? Doesn't the last book already cover everything verbal?

    I'd like to stay away from Kaplan. Have heard a lot of negative things about out it. The only good thing is that it's CBT, but the material is pretty much the same even before CBT. Plus I have emailed EK to find out when they're releasing their CBT version. The one for Verbal 101 is coming out this June. It's not like I'm in a hurry anyway. Probably should check out the library first.

    Guys, I just found a great on on TBR Physics, Chem, and Ochem for $75. The edition is 2003. Does anyone know if this is the latest edition? I tried to call TBR, but no one answered. If this is an older edition, do you think it is still as good as the latest edition?
  7. greg1184

    greg1184 10+ Year Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    Kaplan is outstanding. I don't know where you heard negative things about them. But I would take them with a grain of salt. I started with that purple book until I took the course. I took the Kaplan course, and my MCAT score went from 26 (year before) to 32. That purple book contains the same exact review notes as the course. Their biological sciences section review is particularly great.

    The middle book is the ExamKrackers verbal tips/MCAT mathematics book. The part where EK shines the best is their verbal strategies. The third book is the 101 passages book that only contains practice verbal exams and nothing else.
  8. TheBoondocks

    TheBoondocks StreetFighter 4 Virtuoso 10+ Year Member

    Jul 17, 2006
    It's still good.

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