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Cracking the PCAT 2012-2013 Paperback – December 20, 2011

31 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0375427435 ISBN-10: 0375427430 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Review; 1 edition (December 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375427430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375427435
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.7 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Hang T. Tran on August 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
I really like the test taking tips they give you for each section. The PCATs is a mixture of knowledge and test taking abilities and this book covers those two standards. Applying the tips the book provided, takes some practice. I had a lot of trouble trying to apply the tips for the reading comprehension section. I ultimately went back to my style of reading the whole passage within 2-3 mins before answering questions, rather than skimming through looking for what the main idea for each paragraph as the book advised. Unless you have a strong reading background, which may take years to develop, the reading section is going to be a uphill battle for most using the tips provided. I have to say the book goes into too much detail, especially quantitative section. The practice tests provided were much harder than the actual PCATs themselves, scoring around 60-65% overall on them. However the format of the online practice tests they give, more or so identical to the format of the actual exam, which was a plus as it helps you practice those test taking tips they give you.

Compared to Kaplan, they both provide similar tips and information. I barely opened my Kaplan book so take my comparison for what its worth. For $10 less I take this over Kaplan, although Kaplan appears to be more slightly compact.

My study materials were (in order of usage):
Dr. Collins
Pearson Practice Tests
Princeton Review PCATS
REA Flashcards
Barron's SAT Vocabulary Flashcards
Kaplan PCATS

My PCAT scores:(Section/Scaled Score/Percentile Ranking)

Verbal Ability/412/68
Biology/446/97
Reading Comprehension/393/37
Quantitative Ability/416/77
Chemistry/463/99
Composite/426/92
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Carol on January 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
Admittedly, I had my doubts with this purchase. It was a lot cheaper than Kaplan and Kaplan always seems so popular but in the end, I decided to go with it.

For $10, this seriously is a great deal. The book is almost 800 pages long and thoroughly covers all the subjects I needed to review for the PCAT. There are pros and cons of this book. The best thing is that it is extremely thorough (owing to its bulky hundreds of pages). The tips on the PCAT were helpful, and the tips for the reading comprehension were the MOST HELPFUL.

I would usually read the entire passage and then attempt the questions, but for the PCAT, there's simply not enough time for that. This book gave a really great strategy for tackling those long (and really boring) passages.

On to actual content: better than Kaplan! I took a look at the Kaplan version and it is missing all of organic chem. But, in Princeton, there's a bunch of spelling mistakes and jumbled up answer keys for the practices, but overall it's good enough for prepping.

However, there's some outdated information such as the entire section on plants in General Biology. This year, they added nutrition and disease to the PCAT, but the book doesn't mention it at all. I suggest going back to some high school notes and reviewing all that information.

Math section in Princeton is also a little excessive. All the integration techniques given are pretty useless...

Overall, the Princeton review does a great job in covering everything scrupulously. The online content is very useful in terms of the downloadable "quick reviews" and vocab list. But the 2 online practice tests were super difficult. I scored consistently 50-60% on them. So, I thought the actual PCAT would be just as devastating. It is not.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By honestreview on July 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For the price, this book is awesome. I used this book as the only source of main studying for review and I got higher than 90th percentile in the 2012 test. The book does have some unnecessary material such as the plants part in the Biology section, and the math review is a little hard to understand when it comes to the calculus section. Overall this is an awesome book for reviewing Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Chemistry. It's tips in other sections that you cannot really prepare for, such as verbal ability, are helpful too. It is also helpful with remembering basic math that can trip you up on the PCAT. The book comes with two practice tests that I didn't find too helpful, so I would recommend buying the practice tests separate from Pearson themselves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By schmmems on July 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was by far my go-to book for studying for the PCAT. It is very detailed and has great strategies for the test. The PCAT measures more than just what you know, it tests to see how you can solve a problem and adapt to the test. I was having great difficulty on reading comprehension before I studies this book and now am up in the highest percentile. AMAZING. Still has some outdated material(plants) but very little compared to others. Get this book. It will help!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fatima on July 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book seems like they know their stuff, but it has way too much info and very little practice. Like a whole chapter of like 5 or 6 sections before you get to a review. They did however have a whole list of like 30 pages of vocabulary to print out and study which i'm sure would come in handy. The book comes with online access that has extra help and a practice exam... I bought this with the Kaplan book and I guess they compliment each other for their short comings.
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