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need help picking a MCAT study book(s)


New Member
Jan 24, 2013
  1. Pre-Medical
Hey All-

I have been out of school since 2008 and I was wondering :

1) What's a good book to study from (assuming I've forgotten everything)?
2) How long should it take to study (I know a very vague question but thinking about starting after February 3rd and going to till August... I work 8 to 10 hours a day but I can put it an hour a day with 3 to 4 hours on weekends)?

I bought the Princeton review book and Kaplan flash cards; and I am hoping to score a 30+.
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Full Member
Oct 4, 2011
Omaha, NE
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
check out the sticky on the 3 month MCAT study schedule. Great answers to some of your questions. I would use TBR for your content review simply because it is very in depth. Considering you are 4+ years removed you may need this. EK is not very in depth and assumes you have a decent grasp on the concepts at hand. EK's explanations are garbage, too. So you may not learn from your mistakes as well as you hope. A time frame for studying...gosh that is up to you. It is how ever long you need to cover your prep books, do plenty of practice passages and all of the AAMC practice exams. I would head over to the 3 month thread and pick that apart.
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Full Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2012
  1. Pre-Medical
EK is concise. It's all the info. you really need to know and nothing more.
BR is in depth and possibly goes a little beyond what is necessary.
TPR is popular but I have not used it. I hear it is also in depth.

Some people start with EK, then move on to BR later. Or they follow the SN2 plan on SDN somewhere.
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Full Member
Nov 10, 2012
  1. Pre-Medical
Ive looked at them both and I still stand with what I said previously.

Do you happen to have the ISBN number for the PR book you are referring to? I have seen a few different ones and am thinking about ordering the "Cracking the MCAT - 2013-2014 edition" Is this the one you would recommend? I am kind of in the same boat as the OP. Graduated undergrad in 2009 and I have taken science courses since then (Micro, Biochem, Immuno, Pathology) but haven't seen Orgo/Chem/Physics since college.

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Full Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2007
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Biology: 1. EK Bio (for content) + BR Bio (for passages and further topic depth if needed) 2. TPR Hyperlearning, detail oriented 3. Kaplan

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

Verbal: 1. EK 101 Verbal 2. TPR Hyperlearning Verbal Workbook 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

Extra Practice Material: 1. TPR Hyperlearing Science Workbook, good source of practice passages 1. AAMC Official Guide to the MCAT Exam (most representative material available) 2. EK 1001 series, helps nail down basics
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Full Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 18, 2011
  1. Resident [Any Field]
if you got the cash and/or resources, I'd do TPR for content review (I found it really good balance betweeen not too wordy like TBR but not too skimpy like EK) and TPRH SW + TBR for passages. TBR = way too dense it's like running in a lake of syrup.

And if you can get your hands on Kaplan Online QBank, I hear that's good stuff. I wonder what others think about the QBank.
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Full Member
7+ Year Member
May 26, 2012
  1. Non-Student
Since you've been out of school for so long, stay as far away from EK as possible and don't let anyone convince you otherwise (the exception is their 1001/101 series books, especially 101 verbal). I'd suggest TBR for everything except verbal, with TPRH science workbook in place of doing TBR bio's passages. Alternatively you could also drop TBR bio and get TPR bio instead; I didn't use it, but from what I've heard/seen it looks like a good intermediate between EK bio and TBR bio. For verbal you'll need the EK101 verbal book and the TPRH verbal workbook (the only two good non-AAMC verbal sources out there).

Reason for all of this is that TBR assumes you remember nothing and have to be re-taught everything (which is probably indeed the case if you've been out of school for 5 years). EK assumes you remember most of the stuff you learned in class and just need a quick refresher. TPR falls somewhere inbetween the two.
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