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Do MCAT Prep Books Get Old?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Excelsius, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem 2+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    I am somewhat confused. I am trying to save some money by buying used MCAT books, but I don't know whether the material is going to be the same as in the newer editions. I am mainly talking about TBR and EK, which are 2003-2004 editions. Do these books ever get old? I mean the material on the MCAT is still the same anyway, right? I just don't want to invest too much in new books when I already have at least one (or two) years before I take the MCAT. I understand practicing the new MCAT CBT format, but beyond that, the material seems like ought to be the same.

    So what do you guys think? From what I have seen on amazon and talked to TBR, it seems that these books are already 2002 edition anyway! What do your books show as the earliest date in their cover? Can we compare them and see what everyone has?

    I have a chance to buy all TBRs (2003-2004), Kaplan (2007), EK (2003-2004) for about $100 and I'm thinking maybe I should go ahead. But if the MCAT material is not well reflected in these older books, then it is just $100 wasted. Any inputs?
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  3. bozz

    bozz 2+ Year Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    General advice: I don't know what your money situation is but... spend as much money as you can on prep materials. This test can make or break you. $50 extra for whatever book you are interested in is nothing compared to the joy of looking at your score after knowing you performed at your best.

    I used TBRs 2000 editions for PS and got the score I wanted this past January (4 point improvement in PS score). They are not outdated IMO.
    If you're talking about OChem, there's definitely a big difference because the whole section has been revamped. I didn't really use TBR much for OChem. I stuck with EK. I don't know about how different the new EK versions are though.

    And if you're talking about Kaplan books, my Chemistry SAT II books from 2004 are EXACTLY the same as the 2007 Kaplan MCAT books I used. Word for word... kinda sad huh? I wonder if the Physics and Bio were the same too :p

    Dude, if you're getting ALL that for $100.. you're lucky to even find Berkeley Review books for sale! --> Go for it!
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  4. BerkReviewTeach

    BerkReviewTeach Company Rep & Bad Singer Exhibitor 10+ Year Member

    May 25, 2007
    SDN Exhibitor
    As far as our books go, as long as it's 2004 or later, you should be fine. Save the money and save the shipping costs.

    2004 is when we did the biggest upgrade to the books, because the people at AAMC changed what they tested on the MCAT in 2003 and we adapted over 2003 to their new exam, being ready for 2004.

    The only book that is drastically different as of 2008 is the verbal reasoning book. The new one, so I hear because I haven't looked at it, is significantly better than the older one.

    And I never knew that sold BR books on Amazon. They must be through a used vendor. The 2002 edition is not the one you want anyway.
  5. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem 2+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    I am certainly not going to cheap out on prep books. I might even pay the 1600 to do the TBR course. The reason I was asking this is because I still have some time before the MCAT and I just want to start preparing for it on the side, without having to invest in expensive books that will likely get old in a year or so.

    Thanks, BerkRev. Due to your answers and other honest responses directly from TBR, I know that if I ever decide to pay for a course it will sure be TBR. I know that all the books are going to come with the course - another reason why I don't want to waste too much money on them now.

    As for the verbal. it seems the consensus here is that EK is the best. They are releasing a brand new version in June. I'd love to hear what people have to say about the new TBR verbal vs EK.

    By the way, it would be nice if you could lower the shipping prices for TBR. USPS has the flat rate boxes that you could use to cut the prices by 1/3.
  6. kronickm

    kronickm even par. 2+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2007
    I used 2004 Kaplan books, a friend took a class and when we compared the 2004 books to the 2008 books, the only difference was the cover art.
  7. Richie Truxillo

    Richie Truxillo Your Scut Monkey Mentor Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Apr 26, 2004
    Oh yes, those MCAT books DO get old! And they are boring!

    Seriously though, older editions still have the same material in them. I am a big fan of the Examkracker MCAT Audio Osmosis. It took me up 7 points to a 30 in just 2 weeks of listening to them in the car. The EK books are awesome too. I gave mine to a friend and she got in to school the next cycle.

    Now go study, it's worth it! :thumbup:

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