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Which has better science review, Kaplan or TPR?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Mutterkuchen, Dec 15, 2001.

  1. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member
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    I have a B.S. in chemistry and have taken all of the pre-med prereqs. However, this was over 6 years ago. If I choose to take a test-prep course, which one offers a better subject matter review, Princeton Review or Kaplan? It's been a long time, and I have forgotten lots.
     
  2. none

    none 1K Member
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    LOOOOONG before you even consider a commercial test prep course, take an AAMC Practice test III, IV, or V and see how you do. Make absolutely sure you take an AAMC test and not a commercial test prep corporation's practice test.
     
  3. altaskier

    altaskier Altaholics Anonymous 92'
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    Actually the best sciences is taught by The Berkeley Review. They are only in California, but you can order their books online. They were dead on for the exam. TPR is too broad. I wouldn't recommend them, except for their physics. Actually, their physics is the best physics out of anyone.
     
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  4. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.
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    I concure about the Berkeley Review being the best. But their verbal absolutely sucks, so your on your own there.
     
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  5. GoatBoy

    GoatBoy Manboob Extraordinaire
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    TPR Bio is good.
     
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  6. dukeblue01

    dukeblue01 Senior Member
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    I took TPR Hyperlearning a couple years ago, and I now teach MCAT for them. Their book called the "Science Review" is excellent, mostly because it was written by another company in California which they bought out. I recommend taking TPR because you get more class time, you get to take all the materials home with you (unlike Kaplan), and your instructors will give you one-on-one extra help, or small group help if you ask for it. Just a plug from me.
     
  7. KyGrlDr2B

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    My boyfriend took Kaplan and I took TPR. On the weekends he would come to my apartment and read my review books because he claimed Kaplan's "sucked." And I take his word for it. :)
     
  8. Tweetie_bird

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    Depending on where you live, both are equally useful. I have seen both Kaplan and TPR Review books, and I think Kaplan is MUCH better. But that's just my opinion.
    When I called around to find out the answer to your question (I am studying for MCAT's myself) I was told that TPR is NOT a nationally owned franchise...ie. depending on where you are and what resources your city has, TPR materials would actually differ. Apparently, each TPR is owned and regulated by the owner itself, unlike Kaplan that makes sure that regardless of resources, ALL it's materials nationally are the same.

    As far as taking stuff home, I would rather NOT take stuff home and to it in a simulated test taking environment, like at Kaplan.
    Also, I've heard from this board that Kaplan is filing suit against TPR for using some of it's materials.....not sure if it's just a rumor, thought I'd throw it out.

    Whatever you take, MAKE SURE you stay on target for each class. They go through a lot of chapters at one time, and it's no time to be procastinating.
    Cheers!
     
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  9. Darwin

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    I know that each PR in Cal. is not individually owned. I'm not so sure how far Hyperlearning has spread, but it's a company that started in Southern California about 9 years (I think) ago by Steven A. Leduc (He's the one who wrote the physics section of the review). The Biology section was written by a lady named Judene Wright, who is by far one of the nation's leaders on MCAT knowledge. She's got her Masters in Physiology from UCLA, and can run circles around any Ph.D I know in terms of biology knowledge (I think she is currently teaching the Hyperlearning courses in at the Irvine, CA center.)

    Anyway, to make a long story short, Hyperlearning was killing the competition in Southern Cal. and was bought out by Princeton Review for a very large sum of money. The only influence PR took out of the whole deal....their name on the corner of all materials that are maintained by Hyperlearning. You cannot go wrong with this company. So, if your local PR is a "Hyperlearning" center, I would say definately go with it over Kaplan. I know that so many people in my area chose Kaplan the FIRST time around, and switch to Hyperlearning the second...why are so many Kaplan people taking it twice? Because Kaplan does not produce the results that Hyperlearning does. Each individual class is taught by an instructor educated in that field (must have MS at least), as opposed to Kaplan who often has one person teaching all subjects. Also, there are no video tapes - everything is live instruction and tutoring. You can take home all the exams and work with them, as opposed to Kaplan who makes you go to the "learning center" to work on laminated exams that must stay at the center. And the materials are far better and more realistic to the exam - in fact, they're harder than the actual exam so that when the "big day" comes it's a breeze.

    If you don't have a Hyperlearning center, I'm not so sure as to the quality of non-Hyperlearning PR materials. Hope this helps, and take care.
     
  10. Mage

    Mage Member
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    Don't take any classes. Order prep books...heck, order both Kaplan, Berkeley and even Princeton (if they have one) if you can. Then, like none said, get those AAMC practice tests.
     
  11. daisygirl

    daisygirl woof
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    I took Kaplan and I definitely would not recommend them. Darwin brings up a good point about the instructors at Kaplan, there is only one instructor for all your sections (except I had a seperate VR instructor- my science instructor bombed VR). My science instructor also completely sucked. He was a medical student at NYMC. He may have done exceedingly well on the BS and PS sections of the MCAT, but he could not teach or explain a concept to save his life. The video lessons were really good. Kaplan's review book (sold in bookstores ~$100-I may be a bit off pricewise) is really good, the book discusses concepts that generally always appear on the MCAT. Kaplan's in-house PS and BS tests were ridiculously hard, and I feel that the VR practice tests were actually not hard enough.

    I don't feel that you need to pay a lot of money for something that you could definitely do on your own. My best advice is to buy a really good review book, AAMC's practice tests 3-5 (1&2 are so far removed from todays MCAT that it is just silly to buy them), and then buy whatever practice tests that you can get yours hand on (try to buy test materials -in good condition- from people who have taken the PR hyperlearning course or whatever else that someone may recommend). I am sure there are people who will say Kaplan was good for them, I just don't feel that the money is worth it. The only thing that Kaplan actually does is provide structure, so you tend to study when you are supposed to (hard to procrastinate when you have spent ~$1300!).
    Just my two cents. :rolleyes:
     
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  12. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member
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    Thanks for all of the information. I will take the advice given and see how I fare on my own, before I sign up for anything. Maybe I have not forgotten as much as I think.

    It seems to me that the best reason to take a course is simply for the structure. I do not know if I have the dicipline to study without the assistance of a course.
     

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