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Princeton Review

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Premed315U, Nov 26, 2001.

  1. Premed315U

    Premed315U Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 6, 2001
    Of the Princeton Review items, did you find any to be particularly helpful? ie the science review? or science workbook? or verbal workbook? my friend has some to let me use, but are they worth it? I have loads of other materials from bookstores already, and the AAMC materials. is the princeton review stuff a waste of time?

    or, are kaplan materials better? she has those too. anyone recommend a particular item that I should ask her for?

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  3. half_full

    half_full Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 2001
    San Diego
    Personally, I think that there are better uses for your money than a Princeton Review course or a Kaplan course. If you have adequate determination, then you can allocate sufficient time for studying for the MCAT. I suggest buying a review book if anything. Textbooks are generally more than sufficient. Save your money for secondaries and the like.
  4. Sterling

    Sterling Member 7+ Year Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    Houston, TX
    Mildly controversial subject. I had access to both Kaplan and TPR books (not the courses), and I found TPR more useful, although any practice tests you can get your hands on will be helpful. IMHO the TPR science review and workbook are very very useful. As I worked through them, I saw the same types of questions/material coming up again and again, and sure enough, I saw them on the MCAT (maybe luck, not preparation?). I also liked the thought questions in the science review and the explanations in the science workbook. It worked for me, but if it's not working for you, there's lots of other options. Hope that helps.
  5. md2be06

    md2be06 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 15, 2001
    I hear the Science Review book by Princeton Review is very detailed. I never used it just because it was too detailed and I didn't have that kind of time with everything else going on. It couldn't hurt to look at it though. You don't have to know everything ever covered in your basic science classes to do well on the MCAT. It's amazing how much stuff you review that's not even covered on the test. Definitely buy the AAMC IV and V practice tests. I believe AAMC V is online now. It's the closest thing you'll find to the real MCAT. Do as many practice tests as you can to get your timing down. The most time pressured section is verbal. I dunno if anyone else tried this, but I would give myself 10 minutes less on the verbal section on my practice tests. That way, I wasn't pressured for time on the real thing.
  6. grunermann

    grunermann Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2001
    I would have to say that I would not have studied like I needed to if I hadn't taken the class. The books are wonderfully detailed. You'll definitely do better by working through them.
  7. Premed315U

    Premed315U Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 6, 2001
    Thank you everyone
    So, should I get the Princeton Review Science Workbook and Science Review?
    What's included in both of those books? Lots of timed practice passages? Is the science review less practice and more info to study? I Have lots of info to study (bookstore Princeton Review, Kaplan, Columbia Review, etc.) So, I'm mostly looking for books that I can use for practice passages. Is it worth it to buy the princeton review science review and science workbook from my friend?

  8. BCgirl

    BCgirl Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 15, 2001
    I think you should definitely buy the PR Science Workbook. It has a lot of practice passages and on one of the back pages it has a list of what topic the passages cover. That makes it easy to see where your weaknesses are. At least my copy of the 1999 workbook is like that. I did the entire book and I think it really helped. From your post, I'm guessing you haven't looked at the books. The 1999 Hyperlearning Science workbook has 83 bio passages, 35 organic, 60 physics, 91 gen chem, and a number of independent q's in each section. It also contains detailed answers. The Sci Review is just that - review. There are some q's in the book to test you, but they aren't the passage type that you'll find on the MCAT, they're just review q's.

    If you have lots of info to study from (stuff that reviews what's on the test) then you wouldn't have to buy the PR Sci Review book unless you want more sources to review from. I went through the PR science review book. Thinking back now, it does seem to be very detailed compared to the actual exam, but if you have the time you might want to use it. Just don't get bogged down trying to memorize every little fact. One thing that struck me coming out of the August test was how little you needed to calculate in the PS section. Understanding the concepts is the key.

    Like another poster said, definitely get AAMC IV and V. I would suggest buying the paper copy of AAMC V since online wouldn't give you the right feel for the test.

    Good Luck!! :)
  9. brandonite

    brandonite Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Oct 19, 2001
    Manitoba, Canada
    Here's what worked for me:

    I passed on any classes. They just cost a lot of money, and seeing as how you have already covered the material in university classes.

    I bought both the Kaplan and the TPR review books. I found the Kaplan review sections to be more detailed, and generally better. However, I hated the Kaplan tests. TPR tests were only marginally better. I found both of them emphasized memorization over understanding, things that the MCAT definitely doesn't.

    So, in terms of practise tests, I went over the TPR tests, ignored the Kaplan tests totally, and used the AAMC tests. I and II are not bad, but III and IV are both pretty close to the actual thing. I wrote in both April and August, and found both of them to be a little bit more based on comprehension than III and IV, but otherwise pretty close.

    With this, I improved by a total of 9 points from April to August, including a jump from 10 to 13-15 in VR.

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