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Which MCACT Prep Books Should I Buy?


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Hello guys, this is my first time posting in the new forums (I posted one of those typical "which uni should I attend" threads back in the old forums two years ago :) ).


I am currently in 2nd year at UofT and I am probably going to write the mcats this summer so I decided to start preparing now by getting some prep books. Unfortunately, I have no idea where to start and which books to buy. I still have my org and physics textbook from first year but I am not sure whether these are sufficient. I am pretty sure that my weakest section will probably be the verbal section since I don't like reading books and have poor verbal reasoning skills.


I was wondering if you guys could recommend me which prep books I should buy. I greatly appreciate any recommendations you guys can give me. Thanks in advance for any help.

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I would recommend going to a bookstore and looking through the available prep books. Everyone learns differently and you should try to find a prep book that meets your learning needs. That said, I would highly recommend ExamKrackers. I bought EK and Kaplan and abandoned the Kaplan books after approximately 2 weeks since I felt that EK was much better (Kaplan was like a really dry textbook). I thought that the EK books were written so that you could acquire a deeper understanding of the material as opposed to just providing a dry account of material to memorize (which will NOT help you for the MCAT since it is all about mastering the sciences conceptually). The books are succinct and filled with color and mnemonic pictures/phrases. I did not study for the verbal nor written sections though, since I wrote the GREs during the same summer (and they are heavy on verbal/written). Therefore, I cannot comment on EK's verbal prep.


I will reiterate that the most important thing is going out there and looking at the books yourself. No one can really tell you which is best since we all have different preferences/strengths/learning styles.


Good luck :)

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Hmm, I used the TPR books... but I personally found the biology and organic chem to be total crap. The chapters are waaaaay wayyy too long.


One of my good friends recommended Kaplan to me for all the sections (and I have skimmed through the book and it looks amazing).


For physics, I used TPR also and occasionally used EK physics... but I think that if you don't have a background in physics, EK physics won't be as useful. It seems to be great for teaching shortcuts and stuff, but you need to be somewhat comfortable with physics to appreciate them. For next summer, I'll use a mix of Kaplan + TPR for the sciences.


For verbal reasoning, if you can get your hands on TPR Verbal, I highly suggest it. I also suggest EK 101 passages in verbal reasoning (it's challening, but good practice). I also suggest begining to read a variety of texts, from a variety of fields - philosophy magazines, scientific american, the economist, the new yorker, macleans - pretty much anything you can get your hand on. The passages you will encounter are TOTALLY RANDOM (I had one on groundhog mounds!!).. so the more you read, the more comfortable you will be with passages. Also, you gotta find a strategy for verbal that works with you. I swear - verbal reasoning is a game. One, sick, sick game! If I hadn't stuck to my strategy, I would have bombed VR on my test day.

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Is "TPR" an abbreviation or is it the actual name of the texts?


TPR stands for The Princeton Review.


I used the complete Examkracker (EK) set, and I loved it. At the time of writing, I had minimal background in the sciences (other than physiology), and what courses I had taken were 10-12 years earlier. I did not use any other textbooks, but just worked through the chapters of the EK review books as well as the VR 101 book and the 16 Mini MCATs. I really liked the book 16 Mini MCATs, as it allowed me to do practice questions and passages on the material I had already reviewed, rather than getting frustrated with passages on subjects that I hadn't already reviewed.


I got a mark of 32R (12/10/10) by only concentrating on exactly what I needed to know and no more.


Best wishes to you!


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