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NSTP Materials Overview

Posted: Fri May 20, 2016 2:18 pm
by Administrator
To excel on the exam, MCAT students should accomplish three things in their prep: brushing up on content, practicing reasoning skills, and simulating the real exam. Our materials are designed to help with all three of these tasks. To that end, we have the following materials available. Note that we released a significant update to our books in November 2017, so we have listed both our previous and new book offerings below.


1. Content Review Series

Our content review series is exactly what it says: a series of review books meant to help you brush up on all of the content that's on the MCAT. Each chapter has one or more short passages at the end that are focused more on learning the materials. More importantly, each section of our books ends with a section review test with dozens and dozens of content questions and each book ends with hundreds of content review questions in a final exam.

Overall, each content review book contains over 1000 questions designed to help you master the material through lots of drills.

The content review books are: "Biology and Biochemistry," "Chemistry and Organic Chemistry," "Psychology and Sociology," and "Physics and Math" (which includes a discussion about experimental design).

Please note that the Content Review books do not contain full MCAT sections or even full, complex, experiment-based MCAT passages - the sole purpose of the Content Review books is to review the science that's on the exam.

2. Strategy and Practice Series

If you've already got plenty of content review (through another set of books, prep company, Khan, etc.) and you're just looking for lots of practice, our Strategy and Practice series is exactly what you need. Each book contains several full, timed sections for you to practice your skills. Each book also has a strategy discussion in the beginning and self-study guides at the end.

We have one strategy and practice book for each of the four sections on the test: Biological Foundations, Chemical Foundations, Psychological Foundations, and CARS. The books are titled "Biology and Biochemistry Strategy and Practice," "Chemistry and Physics Strategy and Practice," "Psychology and Sociology Strategy and Practice," and "CARS Practice," respectively.


November 2017 Updates to Next Step Books

As of November 2017, we have combined our Content Review and Strategy and Practice series into a single six-book set. This book set is titled our "MCAT Review" series and contains both content and practice (in the form of discretes and passages). We did this in an effort to make our books more manageable while also combining content and strategy in the same place - just as you'll need to do for the MCAT.

The MCAT Review volumes are as follows: "Biology," "Biochemistry," "Chemistry and Organic Chemistry," "Physics," "Psychology and Sociology," and "Verbal, Quantitative, and Research Methods." Each science volume contains one passage and a set of discretes after each chapter, where the passage and discretes are relevant to the topics covered. In this way, you can test your understanding of the chapter material with MCAT-style practice right away.

Note that if you were an existing student of our online MCAT Course at the time of this update, or if you were an existing Next Step tutoring student, you have the option to receive digital versions of these new books, free of charge. However, if you are already well into your prep using the previous book sets, we recommend continuing to prep as planned, since interrupting your prep to switch to an entirely different set of content books may be disorienting (and unnecessary).


3. Additional Practice Series

In addition to the books discussed above, we also have books specifically designed for the student who wants ONLY one thing: practice questions. If you've already gotten all the content review you need, and have reviewed strategy through our S&P books or through another source, and all you want is tons and TONS of practice, our Additional Practice books fit the bill.

108 Passages in CARS: Just what it says. One dozen timed CARS sections. The only book on the market that gives you wall-to-wall CARS practice along with in-depth explanations that analyze both the passages and all of the answer choices.

QBook - Over 2,000 Science Discrete Questions (forthcoming): If you've already got plenty of passage practice (through something like Next Step's 10 pack of Full Lengths) and what you really want is to just grind out thousands of science questions to help bolster your content and question-analyzing skills, this is the book for you. It has over 2,000 discrete questions covering all MCAT content in the exact content proportions found on the real MCAT.

4. Full Length Online Practice Tests

Next Step Test Prep is offering the best full-length exams in the industry. We have built these practice tests from the ground up for the revised MCAT (no re-purposing old tests here!) and scrupulously adhered to the AAMC style. Our exams offer a rigorous test-like experience to get you the best possible simulation for the new exam.

We've also seen how companies in the past have offered their exams and we know we can do a better job. First, you're not obligated to spend thousands of dollars signing up for our full package just to get our practice tests. You can buy just the tests, if that's all you want. Next, we'll give you six months of access and allow you to take your tests multiple times, from multiple different computers. And finally, you can start taking your practice tests from the moment you sign up - no delays with paperwork or other hassles.

Our goal was to create the best tests with the most convenient user experience, and we think we've done that.

Re: NSTP Materials Overview

Posted: Thu May 26, 2016 7:56 pm
by diku0912
I use the third method

But what is the best way to review verbal sections? I end up rereading all the passages the next day I take the test and going through both right and wrong questions
Is this efficient?

Thanks! :)

Re: NSTP Materials Overview

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:33 pm
by NS_Tutor_Raven
Hey Diku0912,
I know that it is time consuming to review answers, especially in CARS. But I would argue that it is INTEGRAL to getting a better a score. Far too many students just take test after test without reviewing. Every time you take a test, you want to use that information to tell you what areas you need to work on. I always recommend that students spend a day reviewing their tests the day after they take it so that it is fresh in their minds. It sounds like you are already doing that! But here is some specific advice for reviewing CARS, which is quite a bit different than the sciences. When it comes to CARS, there is no outside content you need to know. This means you need to be looking for patterns to find out what your weakness is.

Some things to take into consideration:
1. Are you missing a certain type of question?
2. Are you misreading questions?
3. Is a certain type of passage tripping you up?
4. Is there a type of wrong answer that you find yourself choosing often? (this is a common problem that is often overlooked!)
5. Is timing an issue?

All of these are things you should be checking on when you review your missed questions, and all of them have different "treatments" to fix the issue.

Hope that helps!

Re: NSTP Materials Overview

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:08 pm
by ahenderson20
May I get the updated pdf files for the books?

Re: NSTP Materials Overview

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:14 pm
by NS_Tutor_Andrew
Hi ahenderson20 --

I'd recommend that you reach out through the "Need Help?" button in the course website or through so that we can figure out how best to help you personally :). Thanks!

Re: NSTP Materials Overview

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:06 pm
by chuckp
Often times, in the end of chapter review questions, I get a question wrong due to the fact that it required outside knowledge of a topic I have not yet gotten to in my study plan. Is this an indication of something I should have know and need to look up on my own, or does Next Step often times integrate knowledge of something I will learn later?

Re: NSTP Materials Overview

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:36 pm
by chuckp
Is energy density covered in specifics anywhere in the content books?

Re: NSTP Materials Overview

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:39 pm
by NS_Tutor_Alex
Hi chuckp,

The passages at the end of the chapters are written to model the kinds of things you will see on test day, hence the variety of content that may have not been covered yet. The suggestion I give to my own students is to take away whatever they can from the explanation but not to get bogged down in the details until that content comes up in the schedule. When that time comes, I have them go back to that passage to review that question to ensure they understand how to solve it.

Also, energy density is covered in detail in the NextStep Physics book as well as the Chemistry/Organic Chemistry book. There are different applications of that concept, thus it pops up in multiple areas.