5+ Year Member
May 22, 2013
Medical Student
Trade you secrets if you can bring me from my 9 PS to a 12! ;)

For BS, you mentioned that you were surprised it contained large amounts of research application passages. It sounds like you have a good handle on BS topics and content. If you don't, I recommend TPR biology book but really any book will work.

I read mine cover to cover. At the end of each chapter lies a full passage and about 6 free standing questions. Take these after reading to see if you "know your stuff" (shoot for 5/7) or better.

To better yourself with application to heavy research topics takes LOTS of practice. Read a research paper off pubmed. Take as many practice passages as you can.

These methods have boosted my BS to my highest section (12) constantly. But I have to admit, when dabbling in this score range, a point is the matter of a few questions. Accuracy is key as you will need to be scoring no more than 8 or so wrong.

Next Step Tutor

5+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2013
Tucson, AZ
I was completely surprised with how research oriented the passages were and how they were not just testing your knowledge. As I prepare again, I do not know where to get good materials that resemble these "research like" passages.
Handling experiment-based passages is definitely key to getting into that top 10-15%ile that you're aiming for.

Did you already do the all of the AAMC tests and AAMC Self-Assess? If not, obviously start there.

Do you still have access to an online syllabus through either Kaplan or Princeton? If you do, then make use of those resources before you spend any more money.

Both GS and TBR full-lengths would be good choices for hard science passages (although GS verbal is mediocre-to-poor).