txlonghorn2314

5+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2013
576
388
Status
Pre-Medical, Medical Student (Accepted)
After taking the MCAT and doing horribly, I've realized exactly what to expect and what to work on to markedly increase my score in 3 months. So I'm a week and a half into sn2'eds 3 month plan but am realizing that TBR's science passages, although tough and great for content review, does not incorporate the critical thinking, hypothesis testing, passage-based questions that make up the majority of the actual MCAT.

This spring I helped tutor a person who studied for 4 weeks and got a 36 (naturally a beast at verbal...very strong correlation between naturally gifted verbal reasoners and 35+ scores I might add), it's clear that this analytical/critical reading and thinking skill is far superior to simply knowing or even truly understanding the fundamental science concepts. This is a skill that I truly want to build over the next 3 months but feel like TBR is just one big source of content review.

So my question: I've realized that TPRH SW's passage are strongly critical-thinking/experimental based and seem to reflect the real MCAT 10x more than TBR, so why isn't the consensus more in favor of that?...or am I missing something here (aside from the fact that there are fewer passages per topic). If I want to really develop great scientific critical thinking skills, would it be wise to replace the TBR passages with TPRH SW? Anyone else do this and can attest? Thanks!
 

MelloTangelo

5+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2013
152
66
Status
Medical Student
I think it really depends on the individual. The first time I studied for the MCAT, I used a mixture of EK (Bio + Physics) and TPR (Chem/O-Chem), and it certainly gave me the basics. But as someone who was weak in the physical sciences, it was nowhere near enough.

A year and a half later, and here I am for round two. This time, I made use of TBR, and for someone like me who needed help with PS, these books were definitely a godsend at drilling in the material. It's helped me pull up a lot of points in this section, and I generally feel more confident.

On the other hand, my Bio content was already decent, and TBR passages did very little to help me improve. I've come to the consensus that they really aren't too great for Biology, but I did like their O-Chem book. It helped nail down a few previously tricky subjects.

So now, in this last stretch, I've forsaken TBR and am focusing purely on FL's and TPRH SW. And while I doubt I'll be able to do every passage in the latter with the time I have left (not even touching the discretes right now), I do think they're far better at mimicking the MCAT. But if I went into these without the good foundation in PS that TBR gave me, I'm not too sure how much they would have helped me understand the material.

Basically, I think they're both great sources (except TBR Bio, though the books were good for clarifying some topics), but what you mainly focus on definitely depends on what you need.
 
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lazyindy

7+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2011
854
746
New York, NY
Status
Dental Student
After taking the MCAT and doing horribly, I've realized exactly what to expect and what to work on to markedly increase my score in 3 months. So I'm a week and a half into sn2'eds 3 month plan but am realizing that TBR's science passages, although tough and great for content review, does not incorporate the critical thinking, hypothesis testing, passage-based questions that make up the majority of the actual MCAT.

This spring I helped tutor a person who studied for 4 weeks and got a 36 (naturally a beast at verbal...very strong correlation between naturally gifted verbal reasoners and 35+ scores I might add), it's clear that this analytical/critical reading and thinking skill is far superior to simply knowing or even truly understanding the fundamental science concepts. This is a skill that I truly want to build over the next 3 months but feel like TBR is just one big source of content review.

So my question: I've realized that TPRH SW's passage are strongly critical-thinking/experimental based and seem to reflect the real MCAT 10x more than TBR, so why isn't the consensus more in favor of that?...or am I missing something here (aside from the fact that there are fewer passages per topic). If I want to really develop great scientific critical thinking skills, would it be wise to replace the TBR passages with TPRH SW? Anyone else do this and can attest? Thanks!
Seriously?? If so I'm the biggest idiot in the world for leaving my TPR SWB untouched so far. Will try to complete as many passages as possible before my test..THANKS :)
 
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BlackBunny103

5+ Year Member
Dec 25, 2012
48
5
So now, in this last stretch, I've forsaken TBR and am focusing purely on FL's and TPRH SW. And while I doubt I'll be able to do every passage in the latter with the time I have left (not even touching the discretes right now), I do think they're far better at mimicking the MCAT. But if I went into these without the good foundation in PS that TBR gave me, I'm not too sure how much they would have helped me understand the material.
For TPRH SW, do you think the Physics and Chemistry passages are representative of the mcat? Or this book is only good for Bio passages? Thanks!
 
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txlonghorn2314

txlonghorn2314

5+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2013
576
388
Status
Pre-Medical, Medical Student (Accepted)
I think it really depends on the individual. The first time I studied for the MCAT, I used a mixture of EK (Bio + Physics) and TPR (Chem/O-Chem), and it certainly gave me the basics. But as someone who was weak in the physical sciences, it was nowhere near enough.

A year and a half later, and here I am for round two. This time, I made use of TBR, and for someone like me who needed help with PS, these books were definitely a godsend at drilling in the material. It's helped me pull up a lot of points in this section, and I generally feel more confident.

On the other hand, my Bio content was already decent, and TBR passages did very little to help me improve. I've come to the consensus that they really aren't too great for Biology, but I did like their O-Chem book. It helped nail down a few previously tricky subjects.

So now, in this last stretch, I've forsaken TBR and am focusing purely on FL's and TPRH SW. And while I doubt I'll be able to do every passage in the latter with the time I have left (not even touching the discretes right now), I do think they're far better at mimicking the MCAT. But if I went into these without the good foundation in PS that TBR gave me, I'm not too sure how much they would have helped me understand the material.

Basically, I think they're both great sources (except TBR Bio, though the books were good for clarifying some topics), but what you mainly focus on definitely depends on what you need.
I definitely need to still strengthen up my content, but the other is just way more important. Do you think it would be wise to, on days that I'm suppose to do the 2nd 1/3rd of the TBR passages, do the TPRHSW ones instead, allowing me the 1st 1/3 TBR and the reread days for the content, and the 2nd 1/3rd days to practice applying them to more MCAT-like passages?
 

MelloTangelo

5+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2013
152
66
Status
Medical Student
For TPRH SW, do you think the Physics and Chemistry passages are representative of the mcat? Or this book is only good for Bio passages? Thanks!
I think TPRH SW is all around great for every subject!

I definitely need to still strengthen up my content, but the other is just way more important. Do you think it would be wise to, on days that I'm suppose to do the 2nd 1/3rd of the TBR passages, do the TPRHSW ones instead, allowing me the 1st 1/3 TBR and the reread days for the content, and the 2nd 1/3rd days to practice applying them to more MCAT-like passages?
It really does depend, I think. For me, the 2/3's were helpful just to see whether I had gotten a hang of the content (and TBR is pretty hard, so it drills those concepts in). What I've done is spend my last month (the whole FL period) doing TPRH SW instead of the the 3/3's, and with that, I should be able to finish at least half of all the passages in the book. If you don't think TBR is helping you that much, though, I say go for TPR! You should be able to finish the whole thing if you do that, and if the critical thinking is where you want to focus on, I think it might work out pretty well.

Mind you, I still haven't taken my second MCAT yet (two more weeks to go!), but my approach seems to be working on the practice tests, at least!
 
Sep 2, 2014
168
167
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
It's not that the consensus isn't in favor of the SW; it's that in regards to content for 3 (arguably 2) of the subjects, TBR does the best and most thorough job and helping people really understand and master the material. As you go through their physics or gen chem books for example, you'll notice that examples are rarely plug n chug based and get you thinking from the start. They don't waste time on things anyone can do.

Also, critical thinking isn't something that is limited to TPRH or any book for that matter. You shouldn't try and see it as 'this book gets me to think in this way so it must be better.' Critical thinking is involved anywhere, it's all on the learner to apply it. TBR passages may not be reflective of the actually exam and may even be notoriously harder, but that doesn't mean that they lack the application of reason.

I'm currently using both and I find that it is more important to be more thorough with reasoning and have a meticulous though process for solving answers. This sort of thinking, if done right, applies to any scientific or non-scientific set of questions.