SaintJude

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Anyone have some advice?

I got 8s on my last two AAMC exams. My main issue is interpreting and reasoning from experiment and I need to fill in the random knowledge gap (like platelets don't have nuclei). I heard BR biology is too dense

I've just started TPR Hyperlearning science workbook. Is EK audio osmosis helpful for BS?
 
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chiddler

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Sometimes I get stuck, instead of thinking about a given question in a traditional matter I try to look at it in a syllogistic manner.

I try to set up explicit premises (premise 1, premise 2) and make a conclusion from the two premises.

Obviously everybody innately thinks this way without resorting to what I just wrote. But delineation this clear and linear will help you reduce distraction of detail or false conclusions. There is no magic bullet that works every time of course, but this helps me sometimes.
 

SaintJude

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Actually that's a superb recommendation--I've found that I sometimes make unfounded assumptions.

For example, there was a question that said "in an aerobic organism, the Krebs cycle was suddenly arrested" and I immediately (and incorrectly) deduced that this must indicate anaerobic conditions and this led me to the incorrect answer.
 
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rjosh33

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I've also heard reading (and understanding) journal articles on biological experiments helps out too. I plan on trying this myself, only I don't know where to find the articles. A simple google search would probably do it, but I haven't gotten that far yet. :)
 
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rjosh33

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OK, so I did some digging and it looks like there's a wealth of information at http://www.doaj.org/, which is a free website that allows you to search for journal articles on all kinds of different topics. The few that I've skimmed through looked to be full articles that are several pages long with difficult wording, but if you can get a grasp on some of these, then the passages you see in the MCAT should be a breeze. Hopefully, anyway.
 

chiddler

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disagree. it takes way too long to read and understand a paper for this to be an efficient use of your time.

i suggest looking for bio passages similar to the ones you are weak with. tpr has a bunch of experiment-conclusion questions. TBR, i've not seen as many.
 

rjosh33

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disagree. it takes way too long to read and understand a paper for this to be an efficient use of your time.

i suggest looking for bio passages similar to the ones you are weak with. tpr has a bunch of experiment-conclusion questions. TBR, i've not seen as many.

If you don't think it'd help you, that's fine. But to essentially say it'd be a waste of time for everyone is presumptuous and just simply wrong. I often find that working on difficult (or, gasp, time-consuming) material leads to greater insight and a better comprehension of the techniques and methods needed to solve related problems.

Reading how actual biological experiments are conducted may take a little longer and require more analytical reasoning than a three paragraph excerpt from some review company, but it can certainly be of benefit to those willing to put in the time.
 

chiddler

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If you don't think it'd help you, that's fine. But to essentially say it'd be a waste of time for everyone is presumptuous and just simply wrong. I often find that working on difficult (or, gasp, time-consuming) material leads to greater insight and a better comprehension of the techniques and methods needed to solve related problems.

Reading how actual biological experiments are conducted may take a little longer and require more analytical reasoning than a three paragraph excerpt from some review company, but it can certainly be of benefit to those willing to put in the time.

come on dude...i didn't say that "it'd be a waste of time for everyone". i just said it is an inefficient way to improve the bio score.

i'm not sure if you've ever sat down to read a paper before (so please excuse me if you have), but if you haven't it takes a very, very long time. hours.
 

rjosh33

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come on dude...i didn't say that "it'd be a waste of time for everyone". i just said it is an inefficient way to improve the bio score.

i'm not sure if you've ever sat down to read a paper before (so please excuse me if you have), but if you haven't it takes a very, very long time. hours.

My gf is also premed and in an upper level Developmental Bio class and this is essentially what they do -- read these articles and answer various questions on them (she's actually the one that told me about the website). She said it has really changed her way of thinking when it comes to reading an MCAT excerpt on an experiment. Like she "gets it" and understands what the experiment is trying to show as well as getting the important information from the passage.

Yes, she did say it can take 3-5 hours to get through each assignment (including answering the questions, roughly an hour or so to just read it), but the payoff can be substantial. Given the majority of the time students get tripped up in BS because they don't comprehend a difficult passage on an experiment, I'd say reading up on other difficult experiments beforehand can be time well spent.

At any rate, I didn't mean to sound cross. Sorry if I came across that way. But I think going through articles like the ones on the website can help out some who are looking for a way to improve their scores. Sure, it's a time investment, but it's one that can pay off down the road, too.
 

pm1

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Anyone have some advice?

I got 8s on my last two AAMC exams. My main issue is interpreting and reasoning from experiment and I need to fill in the random knowledge gap (like platelets don't have nuclei). I heard BR biology is too dense

I've just started TPR Hyperlearning science workbook. Is EK audio osmosis helpful for BS?

I personally like the EK Bio book, it is not dense at all and it's right to the point. It has helped me to not over analyze Bio passages, which I used to do. EK audio osmosis is okay.. nothing especial.
Then, when I have a concept that I need to go more in depth I like to use TPR or Kaplan.
 

MedPR

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I agree that TBR Bio is extremely dense, but reading it does help you develop BS intuition that will probably help you on the real thing. I read some of the TBR Bio sections mostly to help improve my ability to follow pathways and "understand" Bio passages and only a little to gain actually knowledge. TBR Bio passages can be very difficult if you are only reading EK bio, but there is a lot of information to be learned in the TBR passages, answers, and explanations. Doing them no doubt helped me a lot.

I think it would be a mistake to only do EK if you are struggling on the AAMCs. I know lots of people have gotten 13-15 using only EK, but (no offense to EK) those people are probably in the minority of all who have used EK exclusively. Also, those people also may have had a decent amount of background knowledge.
 

Girly X

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EK should probably only be used if you very recently took (like all in 2011) the subjects AND got A's without sweating! I'd stick with TPR or TBR if both of the above do not apply to you. I only started to really get what the people in love with EK were seeing after thorough review with TPR/TBR was over. EK assumes you already understand everything. But rjosh33 is probably on the right track on spending some time with journal articles (for those in the early stages of review). The 4/13 mcat-ers felt their BS content review was of no use against the experiment-type passages they mostly got :(
 

MedPR

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EK should probably only be used if you very recently took (like all in 2011) the subjects AND got A's without sweating! I'd stick with TPR or TBR if both of the above do not apply to you. I only started to really get what the people in love with EK were seeing after thorough review with TPR/TBR was over. EK assumes you already understand everything. But rjosh33 is probably on the right track on spending some time with journal articles (for those in the early stages of review). The 4/13 mcat-ers felt their BS content review was of no use against the experiment-type passages they mostly got :(


4/5 was a lot of experiment/physio as well. At the time I had already completed a semester and a half of physio, so I didn't think it was too bad, but EK alone would not have been enough for the 4/5 MCAT either (unless you had good background knowledge).
 
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