archimedesxx

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For those of you who have used both the Princeton Review and Berkeley Review Physics books, do you agree that in terms of content review, PR does a very good/better job than BR. For someone who has not seen this stuff in a while they explain everything in depth while BR leaves out some essential stuff in their content review. On the one hand, the practice material in BR is golden. Would it be wise to combine both books when studying for Physics?

Let me know what you guys think. Thanks
 

SN2ed

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Just to get the ball rolling. It sounds like you have both books. Go with the combo you think works best for you.

Originally Posted by TheBoondocks
This question gets asked like every three days. In short, EK series are stripped down with the basics you need to know. Get EK bio, it is by far the best for bio, all the responses on SDN say this. Know this book cold. If you don't believe me, type in EK bio in the search function. Personally, you learn the best from passages, If you have time and the cash I highly suggest purchasing Berkeley Review Gen Chem and Ochem. There physics is good too, but with PR it may be redundant. You will thank me later. You'll probably want EK biology review and EK 101 biology passages and EK verbal 101. PR is good, however, if you want to kill the MCAT you have to be able to integrate material. That's what BR does better than anyone else. Like, be able to answer questions if you see the circulatory system wired in parallel series.

bio - 1. EK bio and 101 bio passages 2. Kaplan 3. PR/BR however, these don't suck, they're just detailed which turns off many people.

Physics 1. BR/Nova 2. PR 3. Kaplan I really think BR but they're are a lot of people who swear by Nova on this site

Verbal 1. Ek verbal and 101 passages 2. PR 3. BR 4. Kaplan (read stay from)

Gen Chem 1. BR by far 2. PR 3. Kaplan/EK

O Chem 1. BR by far 2. toss up between Kaplan/PR/Ek

That is a general list of what i have read on SDN for the past 4 years, i came here and lurked throughout highschool. Good luck and hopefully this will help. EK is for people who KNOW the material and want review. If you are weak in something BR is the best since it's the most detailed and PR is detailed too, Kaplan is in the Middle, and EK is the least detailed but that doesn't mean it's bad. Just depends on the person. If you can I would buy the BR Chemistry books and Physics book. If you complete the PR science workbook along with BR passages and EK bio, you will kill the sciences. Ek Verbal should help you out with verbal.
 

BerkReviewTeach

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For those of you who have used both the Princeton Review and Berkeley Review Physics books, do you agree that in terms of content review, PR does a very good/better job than BR. For someone who has not seen this stuff in a while they explain everything in depth while BR leaves out some essential stuff in their content review. On the one hand, the practice material in BR is golden. Would it be wise to combine both books when studying for Physics?

Let me know what you guys think. Thanks
Over the past few years, I've tutored people using both books and I'd say that the preferred text comes down to a personal preference in learning style .

  • For people who are most comfortable with a traditional college physics approach that emphasizes math and equations, PR is the better way to go. Their physics book was written primarily by a math grad student.

  • For people who are less math inclined and more into visualization and test-taking tricks, BR is the better way to. Their physics book was written by a physics grad student who specialized in demonstrations.

To answer your question, I actually think BR does a better job of content review, but that's because I prefer the shortcuts and test-taking tips. There are plenty of people on both sides of that preference.

In terms of passages, I think this is the place where BR books really excel. They purposely wrote a range of passage types and question types in each chapter. They made a conscious effort to make sure passages covered a diverse set of material within each section with a mixture of math questions and conceptual questions. By the time you complete each section, you've done 70 questions that cover pretty much all difficulties and approaches.

They let teachers who have taught for a few years write a passage here and there, although those are used in in-class sets and not the books. They are pretty specific in what they ask for in terms of mixing multiple subjects whenever possible and they ask you to write answer explanation that show more than one route to the best answer. I get the feeling their request list was made by the guy who wrote the book.
 

Malayna

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I would recommend using both books.

I used PR for content and BR for their practice passages.

Together I think they are a great combo.

PR is better for Bio though.
I think now that the test is behind me, I can answer this better. I used a combo of PR, EK, and BR for my studying. I tend to somewhat agree with the post above, except that I think BR text is much better for physics and general chemistry than PR, because they include great test taking tips.

I think Boondocks list is really good, but I want to modify it slightly.

  • bio - 1. EK bio and 101 bio passages (but not just EK. get a secondary source too) 2. Kaplan/BR/PR (BR and PR have very detailed text; BR has tons of passages although some are overkill)

    Physics 1. BR 2. Nova 3. PR 4. Kaplan I really think BR but they're are a lot of people who swear by Nova on this site

    Verbal 1. Ek verbal and 101 passages 2. PR 3. BR 4. Kaplan (read stay from)

    Gen Chem 1. BR by far 2. who cares?

    O Chem 1. BR by far 2. toss up between Kaplan/PR/Ek

Thank you Boondocks for putting your list together. It really is right on the mark.
 

TheBoondocks

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I think now that the test is behind me, I can answer this better. I used a combo of PR, EK, and BR for my studying. I tend to somewhat agree with the post above, except that I think BR text is much better for physics and general chemistry than PR, because they include great test taking tips.

I think Boondocks list is really good, but I want to modify it slightly.

  • bio - 1. EK bio and 101 bio passages (but not just EK. get a secondary source too) 2. Kaplan/BR/PR (BR and PR have very detailed text; BR has tons of passages although some are overkill)

    Physics 1. BR 2. Nova 3. PR 4. Kaplan I really think BR but they're are a lot of people who swear by Nova on this site

    Verbal 1. Ek verbal and 101 passages 2. PR 3. BR 4. Kaplan (read stay from)

    Gen Chem 1. BR by far 2. who cares?

    O Chem 1. BR by far 2. toss up between Kaplan/PR/Ek

Thank you Boondocks for putting your list together. It really is right on the mark.
I agree Malayna, that is also my updated version as I have nova as well as TBR and they shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence. Your updated version should be the gold standard.
 

SN2ed

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Might as well update the post then since it seems like pretty much everyone (i.e. not just in this thread) is now in agreement that BR is better than Nova in physics. How's this look? The only questionable one is Bio. I don't think Kaplan should be 2. It's more of a mix of detail and non-detail oriented and fails to deliver in either aspect. I prefer the tie in Bio with qualifer and Kaplan in last. Additionally, I added TPR Hyperlearning so people wouldn't confuse it with the big book. Lastly, how's the formatting with the bold and italics? I wanted to make the list a little easier to read.



Biology: 1. EK Bio + EK 1001 Bio, non-detail oriented 1. BR/TPR Hyperlearning, detail oriented 3. Kaplan

Physics
: 1. BR 2. Nova 3. TPR Hyperlearning 4. Kaplan

Verbal: 1. EK Verbal + EK 101 Verbal 2. TPR Hyperlearning 3. BR 4. Kaplan (Avoid if possible)

Organic Chemistry: 1. BR, by far 2. TPR Hyperlearning 3. EK/Kaplan

General Chemistry: 1. BR, by far 2. TPR Hyperlearning 3. EK/Kaplan
 

TheBoondocks

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Might as well update the post then since it seems like pretty much everyone (i.e. not just in this thread) is now in agreement that BR is better than Nova in physics. How's this look? The only questionable one is Bio. I don't think Kaplan should be 2. It's more of a mix of detail and non-detail oriented and fails to deliver in either aspect. I prefer the tie in Bio with qualifer and Kaplan in last. Additionally, I added TPR Hyperlearning so people wouldn't confuse it with the big book. Lastly, how's the formatting with the bold and italics? I wanted to make the list a little easier to read.



Biology: 1. EK Bio + EK 1001 Bio, non-detail oriented 1. BR/TPR Hyperlearning, detail oriented 3. Kaplan

Physics
: 1. BR 2. Nova 3. TPR Hyperlearning 4. Kaplan

Verbal: 1. EK Verbal + EK 101 Verbal 2. TPR Hyperlearning 3. BR 4. Kaplan (Avoid if possible)

Organic Chemistry: 1. BR, by far 2. TPR Hyperlearning 3. EK/Kaplan

General Chemistry: 1. BR, by far 2. TPR Hyperlearning 3. EK/Kaplan
I like it Sn2ed.
 

Malayna

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Might as well update the post then since it seems like pretty much everyone (i.e. not just in this thread) is now in agreement that BR is better than Nova in physics. How's this look? The only questionable one is Bio. I don't think Kaplan should be 2. It's more of a mix of detail and non-detail oriented and fails to deliver in either aspect. I prefer the tie in Bio with qualifer and Kaplan in last. Additionally, I added TPR Hyperlearning so people wouldn't confuse it with the big book. Lastly, how's the formatting with the bold and italics? I wanted to make the list a little easier to read.



Biology: 1. EK Bio + EK 1001 Bio, non-detail oriented 1. BR/TPR Hyperlearning, detail oriented 3. Kaplan

Physics
: 1. BR 2. Nova 3. TPR Hyperlearning 4. Kaplan

Verbal: 1. EK Verbal + EK 101 Verbal 2. TPR Hyperlearning 3. BR 4. Kaplan (Avoid if possible)

Organic Chemistry: 1. BR, by far 2. TPR Hyperlearning 3. EK/Kaplan

General Chemistry: 1. BR, by far 2. TPR Hyperlearning 3. EK/Kaplan
The new standard! Thank for the great write up SN2ed on MCAT FAQs. I hope they sticky your thread.
 
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Might as well update the post then since it seems like pretty much everyone (i.e. not just in this thread) is now in agreement that BR is better than Nova in physics. How's this look? The only questionable one is Bio. I don't think Kaplan should be 2. It's more of a mix of detail and non-detail oriented and fails to deliver in either aspect. I prefer the tie in Bio with qualifer and Kaplan in last. Additionally, I added TPR Hyperlearning so people wouldn't confuse it with the big book. Lastly, how's the formatting with the bold and italics? I wanted to make the list a little easier to read.



Biology: 1. EK Bio + EK 1001 Bio, non-detail oriented 1. BR/TPR Hyperlearning, detail oriented 3. Kaplan

Physics
: 1. BR 2. Nova 3. TPR Hyperlearning 4. Kaplan

Verbal: 1. EK Verbal + EK 101 Verbal 2. TPR Hyperlearning 3. BR 4. Kaplan (Avoid if possible)

Organic Chemistry: 1. BR, by far 2. TPR Hyperlearning 3. EK/Kaplan

General Chemistry: 1. BR, by far 2. TPR Hyperlearning 3. EK/Kaplan
SN2ed, I'm sure this question comes up a lot so I didn't create a new thread about it and it seems like you know exactly what you're talking about. So, I've got a couple of questions about the study plan for the MCAT.

I plan to take the MCAT next spring/summer. When should I start studying? My plan was basically to start reading the review books this summer and into the fall. Then take a Princeton Review class in the Spring about a few months before the actual test and do practice tests in that same period. Is that how you would go about studying for the MCAT in a general sense? Also, do you have any experience with the actual review classes (like which is better, etc.)?

Thanks for posting your review books guide, that will end up being very helpful. Clever screen name btw, lol.