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oblongataforreal

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The updated versions of TBR books are out but I haven't seen any good reviews about them. Please participate if you have used the new versions!

  • Based on their website they've updated the Biology and Chemistry books and developed the Psychology book.
  • Seems like Physics and Organic books haven't changed yet.
  • The Sociology book is going to be released this summer.
What's your insight about them? Does it worth purchasing the new book or the old ones are as good for the new MCAT?

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The updated versions of TBR books are out but I haven't seen any good reviews about them. Please participate if you have used the new versions!

  • Based on their website they've updated the Biology and Chemistry books and developed the Psychology book.
  • Seems like Physics and Organic books haven't changed yet.
  • The Sociology book is going to be released this summer.
What's your insight about them? Does it worth purchasing the new book or the old ones are as good for the new MCAT?
@BerkReviewTeach I would appreciate some information if you have. Thank you
 
i have the old versions and can confidently say that theres at least 1 mistake in answer explanations/choices every 2-3 sections. its only wasted maybe 30 minutes total (?) of my time between 3 complete books (phys, bio, chem). Buying the 2015 version is like buying an 8th edition of a textbook vs a 7th I'd imagine.
 
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i have the old versions and can confidently say that theres at least 1 mistake in answer explanations/choices every 2-3 sections. its only wasted maybe 30 minutes total (?) of my time between 3 complete books (phys, bio, chem). Buying the 2015 version is like buying an 8th edition of a textbook vs a 7th I'd imagine.
Totally makes sense. but what about the psych book? idk if it'll be helpful
 
Biology books: Those have been getting very small changes over the last several years with each printing (last four for sure), so while the latest is theoretically best, you will be fine with anything from 2013 on.

Organic Chemistry books: Book 1 has essentially the same text (with some updated pages and some material removed) but has about 30% new passages and more biology examples. Book 2, IMHO, is the absolute best organic chemistry/biochemistry book anywhere by a long shot. It seriously is an amazing resource. Chapter 5 contains all of the new stuff they added to the exam and the passages/questions/explanations are incredible. Chapters 6-8 contain the high yield material with many useful shortcuts (there is no better way to find pI than the BR method) and the passages have a strong biology flavor. I believe the new books were available in December 2015, so if you have older books you really, really should update. There are used ones floating around, but make sure it's the new white and blue cover and that it say "Go Organic" on the back. The second book is the pride and joy of BR.

General Chemistry books: The new ones have been out for about a month, so you won't find many reviews yet. The text is about 80% the same as before, but sequenced differently. There are 12 chapters, but overall it's a shorter book in terms of content reading. The biggest change is in the passages and layout. We still have Phase I and Phase II for each chapter, but Phase III is a practice exam covering material from all sections. There are several new passages in the exams, and their is a focus on applications and experiments.

Physics books: The new ones I think are printed (if not, they will be finished any day now). Like the general chemistry books, the text is about 80% the same with a new sequence. There is a much bigger emphasis on shortcuts (tricks) and biological examples (like blood flow, electrophoresis, muscle tension, and so on.) Where it is vastly different from before is the addition of practice exams for Phase III. Phase III passages are tough and incorporate material from the entire book as well as biology.

Psychology book: New (obviously I suppose) and focused on terminology and experiments. The goal is to gain exposure to the vocabulary and typical examples of psychology, especially social psychology. There are sociology concepts in chapters 6 and 7, aimed at the overlap between the two fields. The reality is that we count on our teachers to guide the curriculum, which has resulted in some jaw-dropping averages for our classroom students. We have not done much in the way of data collection for people who just used the book.

CARS book: CARS people love to argue (and argue and argue), so this book which was due to be out late last year is still in its final revision cycle. Many of the poor passages have been tossed out and replaced by updated topics, but until the final version is done, everything floating around is literally the same book the last few years.
 
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its the same ****, no difference.

Same ****...

I think it's safe to say that as far as science content goes, the MCAT is the same [insert your word choice here] too. They emphasize things a little differently, but the list of testable topics really did not change much. So the content review you need to do didn't change all that much.

So for our books, a good amount of the text portion is the same. Keeping much of the same stuff is a good thing. Our pre-2015 books were considered superb by many people and the content on the MCAT really didn't change that much. In fact, there are threads here with people saying they did quite well on the new MCAT using our 2013 and 2014 books. The shortcuts, strategies, mnemonics, and examples are still very helpful. So it would have been foolish to have done much more than edit out material no longer tested and make changes to content where it was too light before in the text portion.

The biggest changes are with the passages and the questions. If you compare older BR books to the newest books in terms of the passages, you'll see a good deal of change. There are more passages in the books now. There are roughly 200 new passages. The passages are laid out differently now in the general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics books based on study suggestions of a few highly successful students.

I'm very proud to have been a part of developing some of these books and can say that the debate on whether to make wholesale changes versus keeping what has worked for years was a very short discussion.
 
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