Is TBR Bio (Part 1) as in depth as people say it is?

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New Member
Aug 28, 2017
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Hi everyone,

I bought the TBR book set and have begun my content review. I've recently started on their bio books and I have some concerns I wanted to ask other people about. Is TBR Bio content review 'good enough' to use on its own to prepare for the MCAT? I am specifically referring to the part 1 (physiology) book as their part 2 book appears to be quite extensive.

More specifically, I'm only two chapters in to the Bio book and I've already noticed that the book doesn't cover a lot of topics that I would imagine are quite important for the MCAT. These topics include Ohm's law (the relationship between pressure, resistance and blood/fluid flow), the relationship between total peripheral resistance, cardiac output and mean arterial pressure, and how the autonomic and sympathetic nervous systems act in concert to regulate these dynamics. And, as far as the autonomic nervous system is concerned, the book also omits information about muscarinic Acetylcholine receptors and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The book also briefly describes how pressure differences allow our lungs to mediate respiration but only skims the surface and omits topics including intrapleural pressure and transpulmonary pressure.

Are these topics not important for the MCAT? I took an upper division physiology class last year that highly stressed these topics and, coming out of it, I expected these concepts to be important to learn for the MCAT. I was expecting that, after going through the physiology book in its entirety, I would be able to tie together aspects of the nervous system to the circulatory and respiratory system as well as the renal system, and be able to explain how they regulate each other, just as I needed to for my physiology class.

What's more there are topics that are listed in the 'chapter goals' sections that don't even appear in the text! The chapter 1 goals for the book include 'being familiar with the differences between action potentials in skeletal and cardiac muscle', but the text doesn't go over these differences at all! And the chapter 2 goals include 'knowing the basis of the Bohr effect and how it relates to ventilation' but the Bohr effect wasn't discussed either.

So I suppose my main question is: Is The Berkeley Review Book 1 sufficient for reviewing physiology for the MCAT? I am genuinely concerned that so many topics that were so important in my actual physiology class are not discussed, and that this book doesn't even go over material that it said it would go over! Should i switch to a different book for content review?

Thanks a lot for any advice you have to offer


Full Member
2+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2017
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I thought their physiology was on the level it needed to be. Some of the things you're mentioning about cardio can be found in the physics passages. They do a lot of topic crossover between their different books.