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Which MCAT book is best for learning the BASICS of bio?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Steinway, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. Steinway

    Steinway Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    153
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    Apr 23, 2002
    Hi, which MCAT book will best review the most basic concepts of bio? In other words, which book is best for a person that has NEVER taken a bio class? I'm looking for a book that will explain the MCAT bio from front to back and that assumes zero bio background...Does such a book exist? Thanks!
     
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  3. bruinkid

    bruinkid Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    334
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    May 31, 2002
    Los Angeles, California
    i would start off with kaplan and then take a bit of berkeley and princeton
     
  4. Mudd

    Mudd Charlatan & Trouble Maker 7+ Year Member

    376
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    Jun 5, 2002
    relocated again
    I hear a good deal about the physiology coloring book, but I'm not sure if it is entry level. That would at least start the biology ball rolling.
     
  5. HippocratesX

    HippocratesX Member 7+ Year Member

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    Mar 22, 2002
    I would go with Kaplan text on this one: specifically, the text they offer in the classroom course, if you can get your hands on it. It would be optimal if you could use their videos as well, since their bio section focuses on explaining/teaching/reviewing bio for somebody with minimal bio experience.

    Once again, the bio section is not going to ask you to regurgitate this material, it will instead ask you questions about--when something goes wrong with a bio function, like a mutation in genetics, or something to that effect. So,its important that you understand everything clearly so that you are prepared to analyze graphs, charts, and situations the MCAT WILL INDEED present to you.

    Good Luck
     
  6. Street Philosopher

    Street Philosopher freebird 10+ Year Member

    6,279
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    Aug 10, 2000
    ann arbor
    For the Bio section I used Princeton's materials exclusively (not including practice exams). It was good enough for me. Didn't try the others so I can't compare.
     
  7. Steinway

    Steinway Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Apr 23, 2002
    Thanks for the replies. I'm using the Kaplan book right now, but I still feel like it assumes basic bio knowledge and doesn't cover everything. For example, it will say "x and x are held together by peptide bonds". But, it assumes that one knows what constitutes a peptide bond. I was wondering if there was a book that went over all this easy stuff. Or is Kaplan as good as it gets?

    I realize that the MCAT won't ask what constitutes a peptide bond, but for me having confidence in the basic fundamentals in bio is critical for understanding the more advanced concepts tested on the MCAT...
     
  8. Catalyst

    Catalyst Enjoying Life 10+ Year Member

    604
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    Feb 9, 2002
    MD/NYC
    I know this doesn't really answer your question per se, but a peptide bond is a carbon-nitrogen bond..

    Sachin
     
  9. missbonnie

    missbonnie floating 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 21, 2002
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Steinway:
    <strong>I'm looking for a book that will explain the MCAT bio from front to back and that assumes zero bio background...Does such a book exist? Thanks!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Steinway-
    the mcat assumes you've had a yr of bio so I highly doubt there are books written assuming no background.

    Why are you studying for the mcat without having taken biology? You should get an intro bio textbook.

    -bonnie
     
  10. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door Physician 10+ Year Member

    i'm gonna echo missbonnie-- why are you studying for the mcat if you've never had bio? are you taking bio next year and the april 2003 mcat and just getting a jump start on studying? i don't think that any review book will be much help to you if you're preparing for the august test-- i think all review books assume you've had the material before-- hence the name REVIEW books.

    i liked the kaplan review books, but then again i was a bio major and didn't need any extra materials.
     
  11. jaboy

    jaboy Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    May 5, 2002
    Dallas, Texas
    A good idea may be to go to HalfPrice Books or some other used book store and buy a current Biology Textbook. I found one I used in college three years ago there for the large sum of $2.00. Also, I found some kplan review materials for $15.00.
     
  12. lola

    lola Bovine Member 7+ Year Member

    3,849
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    Mar 22, 2002
    california
    how do you know you want to go to med school if you've never taken a bio course? i wasn't exposed to much bio as an undergrad and decided to hold off on applying, because i really didn't know what being a doctor was going to be like or how hard it would be for me to learn the material in med school. after taking 2 semesters of physiology, i feel much better, but i never would have applied or taken the mcat without more bio classes.
     
  13. Steinway

    Steinway Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Apr 23, 2002
    the peptide bond was an exaggerated analogy.....i've taken cell bio and genetics, but that leaves a lot uncovered on the mcat...i'm reading about the digestion system, endocrine, etc. for the first time and was just wondering which book is best for a first time read. how did everyone else study without taking a broad bio class? my college only offers bio classes in chunks and as a music major i don't have a ton of time to take them all. and is reading through a whole textbook really the most efficient way to study for the mcat? thanks.
     
  14. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door Physician 10+ Year Member

    okay-- now i see-- you're not totally in the dark when it comes to bio.

    unfortunately, i do think you're going to have to read a big review book to study if you've never had the material, especially if you've never had a physiology course (if you can take a phys course, TAKE IT!! it's probably the most useful for the mcat). i know that reading all that stuff doesn't sound like much fun, but you need to get an exposure somehow. :rolleyes:
     
  15. Steinway

    Steinway Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    153
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    Apr 23, 2002
    i'm going to be taking the april 03 mcat, but i was planning on learning the mcat bio that i have never been exposed to in class using a review book. cell bio and genetics leaves a lot uncovered, although i am now leaning towards taking physiology. so kaplan is my best bet? thanks for the replies.
     
  16. Steinway,

    I know a good Biology book that goes into details -- It's written by Campbell, Reece, & Mitchell. It's called "Biology, Fifth Edition"; however, I think that the 6th edition is out. I really liked this book. HTH!

    Wendy
     
  17. Wahoo07

    Wahoo07 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 10, 2002
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Steinway:
    <strong>i'm going to be taking the april 03 mcat, but i was planning on learning the mcat bio that i have never been exposed to in class using a review book. cell bio and genetics leaves a lot uncovered, although i am now leaning towards taking physiology. so kaplan is my best bet? thanks for the replies.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I used the Kaplan comprehensive review book (which is basically the same thing as the book they give you in the Kaplan course). I felt that it did a very good job in reviewing everything that I've forgotten. I also felt that it did a good job in going over things I had never really learned. Hope this helps. :)
     
  18. Catalyst

    Catalyst Enjoying Life 10+ Year Member

    604
    1
    Feb 9, 2002
    MD/NYC
    Nice to see there's another Music major on SDN :) I'd have to echo the recommendation of the Campbell book for Biology, it's pretty thorough and gives clear explanations of the concepts.
     

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