Depth of MCAT biology?

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2+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2019
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Hello Guys and Gals,

I am currently in the context review phase of my studying and it seems like the Kaplan Biology review book seems a little brief compared to my undergraduate biology 101 course. Is this the depth of which the MCAT expects us to know?

From what I've found on online...

Kaplan = Good! for Biology and Biochemistry

Kaplan = Okay for Chem and Physics review, but PRACTICE questions from Uworld is where its at!

Kaplan = VERY bad for CARs and Psych&soc, use Khan/300pg/Premed95 for Psych and Soc

Is this accurate?



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Feb 5, 2020
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I used Kaplan 7-book review for my content review. First, I found their biology book more thorough than what you would need to know for the MCAT, which helped me with discrete questions a lot. Second, Their C/P books are okay, but you need to focus more on actually applying your knowledge on practice problems. You can use UWORLD, but I found it sufficient to just use free KA passages before doing Altius FL’s. Third, I really liked their P/S book, as i found their content amount just enough for the MCAT. There were few concepts that were explained poorly, but I supplemented them with KA videos. Finally, I do agree that their CARS sucks.

Blueprint Med School

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2+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2019
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I would agree with everything in your post, but the reasons are different than what you may think. Kaplan bio/biochem are good because these are topics that are inherently easier to learn by reading about them in a textbook. For chem and physics, these are topics that will always be easier learned by applying concepts into practice questions, since it's harder to memorize how to apply equations or calculate pKas than to memorize a list of amino acids.

I think the P/S book is better than people give it credit for, but I would definitely supplement it with the KA 100 page document. If you use both the Kaplan book and the KA notes, then there's no reason to waste time on the 300 pg document.

As for CARS, I spent about 10 minutes going through the Kaplan CARS book. There's no secret to doing well in CARS, just tons of practice.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors