1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice

how to study for GRE biochem

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by yahyaal, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. yahyaal

    yahyaal New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    hi,
    i need to practice for GRE biochem, cell and molecular biolgy.
    can you guys give some recomandations about the books (or softwares) that i should use and where can i find practice testes?

    thank you.
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. jameslynton

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    First download the practice test PDF,
    Good Books to use:
    BRS - Biochemistry and cell biology with questions,
    Lippincott Illustrated Biochemistry review
    and the last and the best with around 325 questions
    Rapid Review: Biochemistry by John Pelley and Edward Goljan MD

    While these are more geared for the USMLE Step 1 - they are excellent for the GRE. Don't be sucker into buying the ETS GRE Biochemistry book at an out of sight price - it has a sample test but you only want to pay less than retail on it - it is out of print.

    Hope this helps
     
  4. riws

    riws New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is Alberts Molecular Biology of the Cell required reading for this exam ?

    I have heard that this exam is held only once a year now and this year it is November 2006 ?

    Thanks

    Rish


    PS - I would also suggest Molecular Biology made simple and fun for a nice introduction.
     
  5. jameslynton

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Albert's is great book - however there is no required reading for the exam - if you really want to flame out doing no review, working no problems and take it cold. I don't sugest that - I will never suggest a tester do that. I wish everyone success on tests.

    Subject tests dates are Nov, Dec and Apr for subject exams. The books I recommended all have q-banks to test your knowledge and allow you to practice questions for speed. There is a companion book on Biochem problems with Alberts that would be good also to use. I would assume you have had several courses at least have - cell biology - genetics courses - and at least one biochemistry before you would attempt this monster.

    Just for kickers I would at least spend a week researching what the current authors/adviser research topics are over the last couple of years. Well that's my .02s
     
  6. bela20

    bela20 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm getting ready to take the subject GREs as well but am debating between the biochem exam and just regular biology exam. Do you guys think it is still possible to get a good score on the biochem exam if you haven't had a full year of biochem prior to the exam? I'm not taking biochem till the coming semester, although I have had courses in molecular and cellular biology, but am worried I wont have enough background to do well.
     
  7. jameslynton

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Shoot for the April 07 Subject test or the December 2, 06 test if you are having it next semester. 36% of the test is Biochemistry. The subject test depends on the school - the Biology subject test is geared more for general biology PhD students. Whereas the the Biochemistry test is geared for a PhD in Biochemistry/Genetics and cell folks. Also the Biochemistry test has lots of lab type questions and more of the mad scientist experiment type questions. Hope this helps.
     
  8. Wizard of Oz

    Wizard of Oz Guest

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,296
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I took the subject test cold during the beginning of my last year of undergrad and scored in the middle of the curve nationally. I took it again cold after a year of graduate school and nailed the ninetieth percentile. So I think that the exposure and re-exposure to the material in my courses was what did it for me.

    I would try to do the practice test and see where you are deficient and then go from there. A lot of the questions are application or interpretation-based, so cramming or trying to force it via rote memory will probably not help you.

    One thing to point out is that this subject test was very scarcely required among the programs that I was applying to. This means that the pool of individuals actually taking the test was not very large compared to general biology or psychology. I guess that this has to do with some vet and/or professional schools forcing applicants to take biology, and psych grad programs are so competative that they need the GRE subject to discriminate the applicants a little bit better.

    With the invention of the modern medical campus integrated graduate program in molecular biosciences (which goes by many names), the backgrounds of applicants will often be so varied and the eventual research options so disparate that the GRE subject exam is not a good tool to estimate matriculant success.

    Best of luck.
     
  9. jameslynton

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Nice score and good tips except for the website - the e-book is a waste of money and pretty worthless to prep for the exam. Yea - I shelled out the money for it and have some serious buyers remorse... It has 39 questions will little explanation and the study guide is a worthless outline of the chapters of several books mentioned on the website. I could have done it in an hour or two.

    Save your money and buy the books and some good q-banks used for the USMLE and the down loadable Biology and Biochemistry exams to practice with from the GRE site for free. I would recommend the schaum's outlines and the Workbook with Alberts as very good q-book resources to use to prep for the exam along with some of the medical biochemistry q-bank books like BRS. Well that's just my .02s.

    Also remember BigFrank's advice, "If you want a 99 percentile score - talk to or use the advice of some one who has done it".
     
  10. Biostudent

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why do I have the feeling this guy is associated with the site? :rolleyes:

    If james got the new edition and commented here then we might know if there's anything worthwhile in it.
     
  11. jameslynton

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I would say Spoon1 = Treatment which is an ad troll promoting his site. His stuff he sends has his results as the same as the Spoon1 poster states as their results. Looks like a duck - walks like a duck therefore most likely a duck. I am not interested amaturish publications and quicky extracts of book chapters.

    I think this person thinks because they scored a 93ish percentile they maybe understand the people who post in this part of SDN. My goals and quest for knowledge and mastery of the material is a bit different. I have no clue where I will land as far as a score on the December 2nd GRE is concerned - However, I am having fun on the way there. I am already accepted in two programs so for me this is a really about developing my skills in other areas I have not worked in a while till I start my program next year.

    My time is limited for GRE study - I have a very demanding work schedule till school - My plan/strategy after reviewing the materials available is to work the questions/problems in Molecular Biology of the cell, Wilson & Hunt ISBN 0-8153-3577-6 and the Student Companion book to Biochemistry ISBM 0-7167-4383-3 - I have worked first six chapters in the Weaver Genetic book already but will revisit it later in October and some in November to keep a balanced study schedule. I attempt to work 50 to 150 questions a day along with reading texts.

    By the way - I have fallen in love with "Molecular Biology of the Gene" Fifth edition - With James D Watson ISBN 0-8053-4635-X Cold Spring Harbor Labs Press. I highly recommend it - not because it has tons of questions in it - It doesn't have any - what it does have are some of the best illustrations, clear and concise text and best scientific thinking in the area of Molecular Biology as written by the leaders in the field. Also the bibliography's at the end of each chapter are to die for. Right there you would save yourself hours of library time in research. Oh yea the CD with it really kicks. I am also spending about two to four hours a week keeping up with the latest publications. (Sorry to sound like an ad for this book - I am not one of the authors - not kin to them - am not connected with Cold Spring Harbor Labs (but wish I could be) and know none of the publishers - Hope that helps clear where I am coming from). So fellow lab rats - I say adieu
     
  12. jameslynton

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    By the way - I stand by what I said here. Yea - I am a BigFrank fan. So I will publish my results - study materials and exam experience. Hope this will be of help to others so they can learn from my mistakes and successes.
     
  13. jameslynton

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I took the GRE Biochemistry exam on December the 2nd. It was a clear crisp day - got to the test center about 30 minutes early. There were about ten testers doing the regular Biology, five doing chemistry and only two showed up to take the biochemistry exam.
    My method - I had found by doing simulated tests and taking the released GRE that I was tired or dazed by the time I hit the experimental questions (140-180). So I did half of these first and did the easy matching questions (120-139) and started the the first 30 after these. Every 20 questions I would take a mental break and after that would do the experimental questions. The questions were longer than the released questions. I was able to work to one answer on all but five questions that were too far out there.
    I purchased many resources - Genetics Weaver, Cell - Alberts and Biochemistry Styr. I had the latest editions and work books with them. I also had a few other books as mentioned in other posts above. So what helped???

    I would say the latest Weaver Genetics had maybe 20+ questions pull straight out of this text. I was reading about some genetics in it the night before the test and had one question pulled on what I had read that night. It also had as good of cell biology as Albert's had. So I would rate this book as a have to have for the test, Next would be Albert's Cell Biology. The workbook with Albert's cell biology is next to useless and a big waste of your money think that was $39 down the drain - don't get it. Styr Biochemistry and workbook are good but I would rate it as a close third book to have for this test. It is a bit wordy the workbook had several questions very close to what you will see on the exam. I also liked Molecular Biology of the Gene, 5th edition. I would say they may have pulled 20-30 questions out of there. I also had the BRS Cell Biology latest edition. It helped also to test myself. I also got the stuff from the so called GRE Biochemistry website. I used the 180 q test to simulate the full thing several times. I would say it was helpful that way. The outlined material from that website was not the latest edition and so was useless. The questions were ok - but had grammatical errors that were annoying. So save your $21 there.

    I would also worked 30 to 90 questions a day from the released tests and other sources of questions I had (BRS, Rapid Review). I used the released questions as topics to study/research for the exam. This strategy worked well for me. I found a product web quiz xp - this was great for typing in questions and reviewing myself until I drove a concept - definitions or cell biology/biochemistry trivia home in my brain.

    I was limited in time to read and so jumping around topics helped using the released questions on the Biochemistry and biology exams. A must know would be cytoskeleton - microtubules and muscles contraction stuff. Alberts chapters 16-18. say maybe five to ten questions came from this area. I would also say know your DNA structure and replication very - very well. Watson was the clearist here - but be mindful - this text has no questions. So I made up questions and chose well as that these topic questions I made appear close to what was on the test.

    The experiments where easier than the release version. They appeared to be less tricky that previous released tests. I would not waste my money or time on any other books - I also got the Schum's outlines and other books - these were of little use. Some medical school USMLE Step review books were too clinical for this test. I did not see but one or two medical clinical type questions.

    For the most part - the test is basic definitions and applying concepts and principles to figure out mechanisms. Also get the latest editions of the books in this area. You have to read the questions very carefully and mark the misses to work toward the answer. Now I have the regular GRE on December 22nd. Until I get my score - see ya' fellow lab rats ....
     
  14. seraph524

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    I am planning on taking the biochemistry and biology GRE subject tests next fall, I read the recommendations on books, but I was wondering if people can rate the books I already have, and whether or not they are useful for preparing for the exams?

    Lehninger's Biochemistry 4th Edition
    Boron and Boulpaep's Medical Physiology
    Watson's Molecular Biology of the Cell
    Pierce's Genetics 2nd Edition
    Albert's Molecular Biology of the Cell on PubMed

    Also, I don't exactly know how to prepare for these GRE subject exams...I just finished the MCAT this year, and I did fairly well, because I knew how to study for that exam. How do I approach the subject GREs? Do I just start reading books cover to cover, highlighting the topics on the website and then just crunch through practice exams and questions?

    Any help is appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  15. juventusman31

    juventusman31 Fly pusher, 1st Class
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Lehninger worked pretty well for me (since it covers pretty much everything with sufficent detail); I used the aforementioned Weaver book and Lodish's Molecular Cell Biology to cover any gaps that came up from the GRE topic outline.

    Since review material is scarce, outline the GRE topic outline that's posted on the Web site/given to you in the textbook using your knowledge/textbooks to review. Go through the practice exam a couple times thereafter, especially to figure out where you're deficient.

    The MCAT was a blast for me too; hopefully the GRE will be the same (results come back within a month).

    Good hunting.
     
  16. jameslynton

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Book ratings:

    Lehninger's Biochemistry 4th Edition - Don't know used Styr actually found
    biochemistry - covered in other books - Albert's - Weaver - Watson
    Boron and Boulpaep's Medical Physiology - Did not see any Physiology - or that many clinical medical questions on physiology on the exam. Basically with Biochemistry I would say know the basics - If Boron gives you that - then use it.
    Watson's Molecular Biology of the Cell - Excellent reference for Biochem - and DNA - protein translation - however, would not spend too much time on it as that Genetics questions appeared to spring out of Weaver.
    It is a well written clear quick read - so I would read it.
    Pierce's Genetics 2nd Edition - Don't know - used Weaver - would recommend Weaver as that I saw more questions on the exam out of Weaver's later chapters than other texts.
    Albert's Molecular Biology of the Cell on PubMed - In the Biochem - they tested heavy on certain chapters - know current hot topics. They appeared to love micro tubules et al on the exam I had. I would get the book - don't get the answer book with it only half the questions are answered and I felt it was a waste of time doing discussion questions.

    Now how to study - On the GRE site down load the Biochemistry and Biology exams. Take the exams just like you would the GRE. Simulate the exam - score it - research what you missed or guessed at. The biology exam has a lot of ecology on it. So you need a good Ecology and general biology text for that. Also if you took evolution a big plus from what the general Biology test takers told me after the exam. I then would do the test questions over and over till I was not missing any questions on the released exams. You really want to do spend time figuring out the experimantal questions. Some are out of Weaver, Alberts and Watson.
    Also- There is a site where a guy has his version of the Biochem exam. If you are up to spend some money - it is OK. I saw some similar questions on the Biochem exam. His review material is older editions of text books. Do the questions on chapters in above texts. Chapter outlines and review texts are of little use on this exam. Having read widely and knowing major concepts, mechanisms and basic definations cold is your best solution. Also daily testing helps drive the stuff into your long term memory...

    Also I learned from my simulated exams - I chose to do the experimental questions first. As that after doing 130+ questions straight thru I felt a bit dazed at the end on the experiemtal questions. Unlike the MCAT where you get a break every hour or so - you have to do the GRE with no break. So make sure your on the dry side and empty except for food. So I would not load up on five cups of startbucks coffee (hint - hint) before the exam.
     
  17. jameslynton

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    After being out of science (last course 1975) for I hate to say 30+ years. I did pretty much a quick review of the books I listed for two-three months while working a 40+ hour job - I scored a 500 49 percentile on the Biochemistry GRE. Am now in PhD program. Starting this spring. My advice for the exam, you need experience and not a quicky review to do well on it.
    I will retake after more course work and post results. Study continues. Thanks to those who gave me support and resources. Oh yea, accepted at two medical schools.
     
  18. baran1986

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi... i have M.Sc in chemistry and i want to give GRE exam in biochemistry, to success in exam can i read just the rapid rewiev or i must to read the books (Lehninger ) for test??... thx
     
  19. eteshoe

    eteshoe .......
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Messages:
    2,195
    Likes Received:
    2,474
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    Holy necro bump.

    To answer your question Leninger + a solid Mol Bio textbook + genetics will be your best bet. Rapid review is good for supplement but the exam is annoying with the amount of stuff you need to remember (at least when I took it ~ 4 yrs ago).

    I assume you're applying to PhD programs as well as MD/PhD programs? I did a similar thing after my MS (analytical biochemistry) and took the MCAT, GRE, and biochem GRE and got the following (can't remember all details):
    MCAT - 38 (~98th percentile)
    GRE - 168Q/169V/5.0AW (I think that was ~95th percentile)
    Biochem GRE - ~75th percentile

    I give all this info since prepping for all those exams sucked ***. Take the MCAT and if you have to do a subject GRE go with the straight bio one (it's more similar to the MCAT bio). Many PhD programs will accept either the bio or biochem (if I'm remembering correctly). The regular GRE isn't too hard (though the math can be tricky). Good luck.
     
  20. baran1986

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thx dear friend.... i want to apply for biochemistry or medicine chemistry for Ph.D... not for medical college...so i think it's better to me to give GRE subject in biochem(i think it can help me to accept better).... and thx again ....good luck
     
  21. eteshoe

    eteshoe .......
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Messages:
    2,195
    Likes Received:
    2,474
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    In that case, you may need the subject exam. Check with the individual programs because some don't require it. Plus if I remember correctly the exam is administered 3 times a year (April, September, and October) - so if you're not ready now it would make sense to take it later since many PhD applications aren't due til December 1st
     
  22. baran1986

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I confused... anybody can help me, plzzz??!!.... I want to apply for Medicinal chemistry or medicinal biochem ( and i have a degree in chemistry MS)... i must take a test in GRE subject of biochem or some other test?? which test is best for me???:(
     
  23. eteshoe

    eteshoe .......
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Messages:
    2,195
    Likes Received:
    2,474
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    I thought I answered you earlier but I guess I'll try again. The 'physician scientist' that this sub-forum refers to are MD/PhD, MD, and probably in rare cases DO/PhD. The reason no is answering is because in most cases, the standardized exams for these training path is only the MCAT.

    What you are talking about is strictly a PhD program. Therefore this website won't be your best option for getting info. Like I said before, I took the GRE and subject and gave you my thoughts on them. If you want to do a PhD in medicinal Chem - do some preliminary research (literature searches, Google, etc), find out the state of the field and who's doing cool research. Compile a list of those schools and check the application requirements. They will all require the general GRE and some may want you to take either the chemistry or biochem subject GRE but I won't do your homework for you so you need to put in the effort and find out yourself. The general GRE is offered basically all yr, the subject exams are offered 3 times a yr (April, September, October). So put together your list, find out the requirements, and register for the appropriate exam(s).
     
    #22 eteshoe, Mar 26, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
  24. baran1986

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks dear friend, i do what you said... research and then decide:)
     
  25. baran1986

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    hi dear friends, or last question( i hope so), i have M.S in chemistry, to prepare or GRE biochem, u think can i read just the review books like kaplan and work on test ??... and that was be enough for exam?? ...or i should read the book( like lehninger)?!..... i mean for person who didn't read any biochem book and want to ready for exam( in short time, until September) , read the review books can be enough to pass the test with good score??.... Thanks
     
  26. D33P!

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Non-Student
    hi,
    can anybody help me out with good books to follow to clear GRE-biochemistry. pls give the names of the books.
    thanks in advance.
     
  27. pintsize

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
  28. nonamesleft

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,061
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    I've never taken a standardized test other than the MCAT and usmles.. To quote eteshoe:

    There are some here that have done the degrees seperately, but not many.. I think @QofQuimica may know more?
     
  29. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
    Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    18,888
    Likes Received:
    4,104
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field], Attending Physician
    I do have a separate PhD (in organic chem), but I never took any GRE subject tests. And I didn't study for the GRE at all, just showed up and took it. Not to mention that I took the GRE 20 years ago now. I rather doubt I'm the best person to provide advice here. :-/
     

Share This Page