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How many of you actually used any of those Kaplan books?

Pewl

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    So are those huge Kaplan books actually worth the time to use? Or are you better off just using HY, FA, RR, and BRS stuff?
    I also got my hands on the Kaplan video lectures. Did any of you use those, or should I just stick to Goljan lecture audio?
     
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    kate0834tkjn

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      In my opinion, the most valuable kaplan book is kaplan's biochem book. Path, again in my opinion, is definitely not the best path source out there. I have read both goljan and brs as well as the kaplan book and would pick either goljan or brs over kaplan any day....goljan has pictures, too, which is nice, and you can use it w/ the audio (ie read a chapter, listen to corresponding audio, etc). Micro, what I read anyway, was too much info and not that well presented...I think you do really need to know the bare bones/clinical presentations/how to differentiate bugs, and that gets a little lost in the text of the micro one w/ a lot of extra random facts that can be distracting from the main point. The flow charts and charts comparing presentations at the end aren't bad, but again, I think other sources (ie made ridiculously simple and first aid) get the take-home message across a lot more clearly and consisely. For immuno, I looked at high yield and kaplan, and wasn't crazy about either, but either one probably does the job of what you have to know. Goljan path incorporates some of this as well. I only read part of the phys book b/c it was sooo long, and thought it was so-so. Again, I think brs phys does a better job at driving home the important points, but I would guess Kaplan also covers it, just with many more words....I didn't read kaplan behavioral/biostats at all, just b/c most of the other books were pretty disappointing and I was runnning out of time to compare sources. I was pleased w/ high yield and brs (this probably would be overkill for most, but my school doesn't really teach either of these subjects). Lastly, I thought the anatomy one wasn't particularly helpful, particularly gross. Neuro was OK, but I was clueless on neuro beforehand so anything would have been better than what I knew. I followed it up w/ high yield neuro and got some more info out of that book. Finally, pharm...I didn't like the pharm book since it had a lot of words but really not all that much useful information about mechanism/phys....I ended up using it to get the drugs not in first aid, but don't think it helped that much. Probably wouldn't read it again if I had to do it over, but I do think that after taking the pharm shelf/final at the end of the year, I knew pharm pretty well going in.

      In summary, I see you've posted a lot of q's about the utility of kaplan. I think that their stuff isn't terrible, with the exception of path, but I think there are other sources out there at least as good and in most cases better/more consise and definitely cheaper than kaplan. If I could do it again, I definitely would not have bought kaplan, since the only book I think I really benefited from was the biochem, and I even heard that the rapid review biochem book is better than kaplan from a classmate. I think goljan lectures are really good, so I would listen to them in addition to (or instead of) kaplan, but I don't think you should skip goljan for kaplan. UNless your videos are of goljan teaching for kaplan or something. :)

      But, I haven't gotten my scores back yet, so this is just my opinion based on what I've done these past 6 weeks or so, so take it w/ a grain of salt. Best of luck! :)
       

      IndianBabu

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        what's wrong with kaplan's path and micro?

        Path just isn't nearly as good as Goljan's new rapid review book.

        And Micro is insanely overdone. Mind you, the key high yield points are in the margins though for this book.

        Otherwise, the Kaplan books are great.
         

        Pewl

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          Path just isn't nearly as good as Goljan's new rapid review book.

          And Micro is insanely overdone. Mind you, the key high yield points are in the margins though for this book.

          Otherwise, the Kaplan books are great.

          Did you prefer the Kaplan biochem book over goljan's rapid review biochem?
           

          Terpskins99

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            Did you prefer the Kaplan biochem book over goljan's rapid review biochem?

            Absolutely. I've used them all (Kaplan, RR, Lippincott's, HY).

            If you have time and want to be the absolute beast of biochemistry... Lippincott's.

            But if you're like most of the rest of us... Kaplan is just enough to cover everything adequately.
             

            IndianBabu

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              Did you prefer the Kaplan biochem book over goljan's rapid review biochem?

              Yes, since to me, the Kaplan book did a much better job covering the topics we covered in lecture at the Kaplan retreat. I have both books, and I'm going with Kaplan, it has it all.
               

              psychobob

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                If you like the structure and flow of Kaplan, you should use it. The entire series is very monotone, but alot of people do well with Kaplan and FA. I agree, the best book out of the series is the biochem, especially the genetics section. Micro is just a bit too much, and personally I thought Kaplan Physio was terribly written. BRS Physio is a million times better. For Pharm, I only read the pharmacodynamics/kinetics sections and FA seems enough for the drugs themselves. Forget about Kaplan Patho.

                IMHO, I think it's better to mix the subjects up using different sources. It's less boring that way.
                 

                Roy7

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                  If you like the structure and flow of Kaplan, you should use it. The entire series is very monotone, but alot of people do well with Kaplan and FA. I agree, the best book out of the series is the biochem, especially the genetics section. Micro is just a bit too much, and personally I thought Kaplan Physio was terribly written. BRS Physio is a million times better. For Pharm, I only read the pharmacodynamics/kinetics sections and FA seems enough for the drugs themselves. Forget about Kaplan Patho.

                  IMHO, I think it's better to mix the subjects up using different sources. It's less boring that way.

                  I totally agree. I really liked kaplan behavioral because it incorporated some biostat basics as well as some neuro localization and bunches of examples. Kaplan biochem is the best biochem out there (in my opinion - I thought RR was too much, and BRS - the red one- just sucked).

                  Kaplan pharm kinda sucked, but so do all the other pharm sources I looked at (Katsung, pharm cards - didnt read lippencott). But, w/the pharm the autnomics section and the questions at the end were great.

                  I didnt like physio, didnt read anatomy, hated path.

                  The tables at the end of the micro section are fantastic, as are the microbial genetics.

                  The kaplan immuno was the best immuno source I'd seen and it helped me answer everything I'd have.
                   

                  Pewl

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                    I totally agree. I really liked kaplan behavioral because it incorporated some biostat basics as well as some neuro localization and bunches of examples. Kaplan biochem is the best biochem out there (in my opinion - I thought RR was too much, and BRS - the red one- just sucked).

                    Kaplan pharm kinda sucked, but so do all the other pharm sources I looked at (Katsung, pharm cards - didnt read lippencott). But, w/the pharm the autnomics section and the questions at the end were great.

                    I didnt like physio, didnt read anatomy, hated path.

                    The tables at the end of the micro section are fantastic, as are the microbial genetics.

                    The kaplan immuno was the best immuno source I'd seen and it helped me answer everything I'd have.


                    Heh, everyone seems to think biochem are behavioral science are great from Kaplan.
                     

                    SigPi

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                      What about Kaplan's version of FA "med essentials"? I've got the pdf version and just glancing through it --it looked pretty useful. I dont know how much I'm going ot use it though because there is no way I'm giving up FA. Any thoughts? Can you effectively use TWO comprehensive review books???
                       

                      tscottturner

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                        What about Kaplan's version of FA "med essentials"? I've got the pdf version and just glancing through it --it looked pretty useful. I dont know how much I'm going ot use it though because there is no way I'm giving up FA. Any thoughts? Can you effectively use TWO comprehensive review books???
                        MedEssentials is great - for a quick reference during the academic year. The purple USMLE step 1 prep books and Qbank are great - for shelf exams. As far as prep for the actual USMLE, I didn't think they were all that great. If I had to do it all over again (which I am still hoping that I don't have to) I would use all of the Rapid Review books in conjunction with USMLEWorld.
                         
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