Mar 16, 2010
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I don't have to take the MCAT's anytime soon, but i was wondering if it would be good practice for the MCAT's to purchase the Berkeley review home study books and do them as i'm going through the courses.
For example i'm currently enrolled in general chemistry 1 and general physics 1, would it be good practice to do the berkeley review general chemistry 1 and general physics 1 while i'm taking the course?
 

BerkReviewTeach

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I don't have to take the MCAT's anytime soon, but i was wondering if it would be good practice for the MCAT's to purchase the Berkeley review home study books and do them as i'm going through the courses.
For example i'm currently enrolled in general chemistry 1 and general physics 1, would it be good practice to do the berkeley review general chemistry 1 and general physics 1 while i'm taking the course?
There are tons of premeds who after they've studied for the MCAT will say, "I wish I would have done this while I was taking the actual college classes." Studying for the MCAT really hones in your knowledge of concepts and makes you understand the material better than you did before. Your idea is a great one that many people have contemplated in retrospect. But then there's the reality of human nature. It sounds great in theory, and if you are the type who would actually do this, it will help improve your grade as well as get you into an MCAT frame of mind early. But be honest with yourself that you'll stick to this plan before you make it.
 
OP
J
Mar 16, 2010
186
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Pre-Medical
There are tons of premeds who after they've studied for the MCAT will say, "I wish I would have done this while I was taking the actual college classes." Studying for the MCAT really hones in your knowledge of concepts and makes you understand the material better than you did before. Your idea is a great one that many people have contemplated in retrospect. But then there's the reality of human nature. It sounds great in theory, and if you are the type who would actually do this, it will help improve your grade as well as get you into an MCAT frame of mind early. But be honest with yourself that you'll stick to this plan before you make it.
There is no doubt in my mind that i'll stick to the plan :)
I'm aware that the textbooks for preparation for the MCATs change through out the years.. or is this something i shouldn't worry about?
 

g8orlife

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I don't have to take the MCAT's anytime soon, but i was wondering if it would be good practice for the MCAT's to purchase the Berkeley review home study books and do them as i'm going through the courses.
For example i'm currently enrolled in general chemistry 1 and general physics 1, would it be good practice to do the berkeley review general chemistry 1 and general physics 1 while i'm taking the course?
Go for it! ... I'm using BR books for my Biochem course now, and I'm actually learning it better through BR than I am through the teacher's ppts and notes (maybe because it teaches me the essentials and to understand the big picture instead of getting lost in details). Only thing is that when you actually buckle down to study only for the MCAT, you may have to get more materials to practice.
 
OP
J
Mar 16, 2010
186
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Pre-Medical
Go for it! ... I'm using BR books for my Biochem course now, and I'm actually learning it better through BR than I am through the teacher's ppts and notes (maybe because it teaches me the essentials and to understand the big picture instead of getting lost in details). Only thing is that when you actually buckle down to study only for the MCAT, you may have to get more materials to practice.
I'll get them than :thumbup:
I plan on taking the hyper learning course for MCAT when i do have to take it, and will probably get the EK materials then.
 

SN2ed

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I don't have to take the MCAT's anytime soon, but i was wondering if it would be good practice for the MCAT's to purchase the Berkeley review home study books and do them as i'm going through the courses.
For example i'm currently enrolled in general chemistry 1 and general physics 1, would it be good practice to do the berkeley review general chemistry 1 and general physics 1 while i'm taking the course?
If by going through them you mean taking the practice passages, NO. Do not waste good practice material. You'll put yourself at a disadvantage later on. TPRH and EK are not enough in terms of practice passages, though TPRH is quite good overall. Rather than using MCAT passages, you should ask your upper classmates for past homework and tests. Not only will you get a better feel for the teacher's style and know exactly what to expect, you'll most likely be able to get everything for free. You could also ask your professor for some practice problems. The professors at my school would whip up some practice problems for students if they needed/wanted some extra help. Additionally, MCAT passages won't help too much for your class unless they follow the same format which is unlikely.

Now if you're talking about using the books solely for their content review, sure, do it.


I have more than 4 months until my test, is there anything you suggest?

There are two things you might want to consider. First, aim for mastery of the material in all of your pre-reqs. Don't go simply for the A. Know the material cold. Next, is reading various materials. Here's my suggested reading list:

Wall Street Journal
New Yorker
Economist
Random science journals

Good source for philosophy/humanities work which people tend to struggle with:

Moral Issues in Global Perspectives

I noticed that the philosophy book has gone up quite a bit in price. It used to be available for less than $1. Looking at the items also bought with the book, I'm thinking this is my fault... Oh yeah, if you get this edition, you do NOT need to buy volume 2. What happened is that later editions of the book split the original into 3 different books. The original book has the weird green and black cover. Check with your libraries and see if they have a copy or can get one from another library branch. If you want to buy it, search around used book sites.

Remember to read the boring articles as well as the interesting ones. Chances are your MCAT verbal passages won't be the most exciting read.
 
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OP
J
Mar 16, 2010
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I don't have a problem with the class material, i'm doing well in both chemistry and physics so far.
I wanted to use the practice passages, to understand how to approach the material MCAT style while still being able to go to my prof. and ask them about the material. I don't want to waste the practice materials, i won't write on them or anything. My plan was to use them now, and redo it in the future.
I'll check my local library for the book Moral Issues in Global Perspectives, and i'll try to read through these...

Wall Street Journal :)sleep:)
New Yorker :)scared:)
Economist :()
Random science journals:)thumbup:)
 

MegaSpectacular

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I don't have to take the MCAT's anytime soon, but i was wondering if it would be good practice for the MCAT's to purchase the Berkeley review home study books and do them as i'm going through the courses.
For example i'm currently enrolled in general chemistry 1 and general physics 1, would it be good practice to do the berkeley review general chemistry 1 and general physics 1 while i'm taking the course?
SN2 has a good point. Instead of buying BR which is considered top tier material, buy the second best. Buy some TPR or EK. Look online.

Work through those as you go and that is fine.

Will you be an MCAT god after? Probably not. Why? Part of the succeeding on the MCAT depends on how GOOD you are with the fundamentals...

Science majors use the fundamentals in all their classes, so it is easy for ones who do well in their classes to prep quickly for the MCAT.

On the otherhand if all you do is take Chem/Ochem/Phys/Bio and do MCAT stuff during the classes, you won't be at any advantage compared to a person who studies solidly for 2 or 3 months.

I think it would be better to take upper division science classes (Genetics/Physiology/Cell Bio) etc. Not that you need these, but it is a better way of going over the fundamentals constantly.
 
OP
J
Mar 16, 2010
186
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Pre-Medical
SN2 has a good point. Instead of buying BR which is considered top tier material, buy the second best. Buy some TPR or EK. Look online.

Work through those as you go and that is fine.

Will you be an MCAT god after? Probably not. Why? Part of the succeeding on the MCAT depends on how GOOD you are with the fundamentals...

Science majors use the fundamentals in all their classes, so it is easy for ones who do well in their classes to prep quickly for the MCAT.

On the otherhand if all you do is take Chem/Ochem/Phys/Bio and do MCAT stuff during the classes, you won't be at any advantage compared to a person who studies solidly for 2 or 3 months.

I think it would be better to take upper division science classes (Genetics/Physiology/Cell Bio) etc. Not that you need these, but it is a better way of going over the fundamentals constantly.
I saw the EK books at barnes and noble :) So i should get those instead of the BR books?
and i actually do need those course.. eventually at least since i'm pursuing a cell biology and neuroscience major. (http://lifesci.rutgers.edu/cbnmajor/core.aspx)

I don't plan on getting a perfect score, but i'm one of those people who never ever get 100 because i will mess up on something silly.
The only thing i can work on is knowing the material very very well so i can be calm on exams.
 

BerkReviewTeach

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JenniferRU:

Yeah, don't do that. Save those materials for later. Heck, it won't even help at all this early in the game. Plus, taking them now will make them pointless when you need them the most. There are not enough good practice passage sources to do that.
I'd agree but with some modification. I'd actually get the best book at first, for the review portion. I'd save the passages for later, because that's the critical part.

If you are dead set on doubling up taking the classes with learning about the MCAT, then couple your course reading with the BR chapter texts and corresponding questions. Maybe do one or two passages per chapter, but save the other ten to twelve.

When it comes time to review later, you'll know the material so well that whatever you use to review won't really matter. What will matter will be the passages you have saved up, which when combined with the material you'll get from your course will be plenty.

Just my spin here.
 

SN2ed

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I'd agree but with some modification. I'd actually get the best book at first, for the review portion. I'd save the passages for later, because that's the critical part.
Yeah, I agree with getting the books solely for their content review, but not for their passages.
 
OP
J
Mar 16, 2010
186
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I'd agree but with some modification. I'd actually get the best book at first, for the review portion. I'd save the passages for later, because that's the critical part.

If you are dead set on doubling up taking the classes with learning about the MCAT, then couple your course reading with the BR chapter texts and corresponding questions. Maybe do one or two passages per chapter, but save the other ten to twelve.

When it comes time to review later, you'll know the material so well that whatever you use to review won't really matter. What will matter will be the passages you have saved up, which when combined with the material you'll get from your course will be plenty.

Just my spin here.
Yeah, I agree with getting the books solely for their content review, but not for their passages.
I will get the BR books and EK books
I have time for all this because i'm only taking 12 credits this semester, i have no job or any other obligations.

As for the BR books, Would it be a better investment to just buy the whole package right now? instead of waiting and buying one set at a time.
Thanks for the advice everybody :)
 

SN2ed

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I will get the BR books and EK books
I have time for all this because i'm only taking 12 credits this semester, i have no job or any other obligations.

As for the BR books, Would it be a better investment to just buy the whole package right now? instead of waiting and buying one set at a time.
Thanks for the advice everybody :)
It's not a question of time, the problem is that taking those passages is a complete waste and detrimental to your future MCAT success.
 
OP
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Mar 16, 2010
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It's not a question of time, the problem is that taking those passages is a complete waste and detrimental to your future MCAT success.
Even if i do all my work on paper, not on the book, and have all my work completely discarded before i use the book again to study for the MCATs?
 

SN2ed

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Even if i do all my work on paper, not on the book, and have all my work completely discarded before i use the book again to study for the MCATs?
Yes, they're still wasted. Do NOT take ANY practice passages until you're within 4 months, preferably 3, of your test date.
 
OP
J
Mar 16, 2010
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Yes, they're still wasted. Do NOT take ANY practice passages until you're within 4 months, preferably 3, of your test date.
Okay, i'll use the books for reviews :) So not to use the EK books for practice either?
Sorry if i'm being repetitive...

jennifer, based on the link you posted, we go to the same school/have the same major. if you want, i can sell you my BR books when i take the test at the end of may.
Sending a PM
 

BerkReviewTeach

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I will get the BR books and EK books
I have time for all this because i'm only taking 12 credits this semester, i have no job or any other obligations.

As for the BR books, Would it be a better investment to just buy the whole package right now? instead of waiting and buying one set at a time.
Thanks for the advice everybody :)
I'd only get the books you'll be using immediately, because for the $20 or so you save with a package, it's worth waiting in case newer versions come out. I know the biology books are supposedly up for an overhaul this year, but we'll see. I've managed to stick my foot in my mouth a few times by repeating what I was told about when to expect the new physics books. I swear, it's like they are taking a page from Blizzard Entertainment's "How to release a new product" manual.

And when it comes to getting books, the important thing is to get them as clean as can be. If you are buying any books used, make sure they have no writing (have never been written in). Even after light erasing, circles show up and can bias your thought process when doing a question.

If you can buy Plasma's directly, you'll save a ton on shipping.