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Thread: Study materials for Subject GRE Biochemistry?

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    Question Study materials for Subject GRE Biochemistry?

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    Hi there

    I was reading some of the messages on the forum and realised that you guys are really the ones to come to with doubts. I would be very happy if you could answer some of my queries.
    I plan to give Subject GRE in Biochem, Mol and Cell Bio this November. I have not started any formal preparation as such. Do I have the time to prepare in 4 months?
    Which are the books to refer to? What is the order and itinerary I should be following to finish the maximum syllabus on time?
    How much of stress should I give on theoretical stuff and how much on protocol related stuff?
    Can anyone suggest any references on the net?
    Kindly suggest the books to follow?
    When should I start practising simulated tests?
    What is a respectable score in Subject GRE?
    PLzzzzzzzzzzzzzz help.
    BBye
    Anindya

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    Hey Anindya,

    I saw your post in another thread and wanted to offer a little help on the GRE. First, good luck with the exam. Here is what I did for the exam and what I would have done differently, in hindsight.

    First, I studied for three months everyday two to three hours a day for six days a week. It was like a workout for me.

    Second, the books I referred to were Cell by Alberts and Biochemistry by Voet and Voet. Any genetics book from your university is fine. As long as you use a genetics book that is easy to understand and easy to get the correct information from. Genetics problems on the exam are not difficult questions...they are problems we all did in the university but just never used in upper-classes...so we eventually forgot them all. They are really simple questions that only need a few minutes of review...such as tetrad analysis and somewhat intricate genetic/epistatic experiments.

    Third, people on the forum have made it a habit to suggest putting full effort into studying...sometimes instilling fear into future testakers. As you can see, I didn't study myself to death...and there were two reasons why. 1) I had a research job...I am a junior specialist in my lab and was asked to juggle everyone's experiments as they were coming. During the time I was studying, I was extremely stressed out at work and was required to produce several papers in some top journals...in which I did. In my opinion, this experience helped me and will help me in many ways. Coming into the experimental section of the Biochem GRE, I answered all questions easily, averaging every problem in less than thirty seconds which I thought was pretty good since I wasn't able to answer the factual questions in that an amount of time. I have developed very good analytical skills. 2) Graduate schools do not want to hear that you took off three to six months just studying for an exam that only plays about 5% of your application process. It is a way to gauge whether you'll be a good student...but it won't gauge whether you'll be a good researcher which is what they want from you in the end.

    4) The two exams given out...one from 1994 and one from 2000 are decent exams to study from. They are the ONLY exams out there and you should study these exams to get an idea of the style they are testing...DO NOT use these exams as what they are looking for. I never used any references from the net or any outside source...just what I developed in research and what I remembered from the university through the books. You'll realize that your own personal academic experience will give you an advantage over other testakers. For example, we had a cholera toxin question, a protein complex pull down assay, and a protein kinase C question in the GRE. The cholera toxin question was more in depth than I would have thought for the factual questions and the latter two topics were in the experimental section. In my three labs i've been in, I worked with the man who brilliantly devised the protein complex pull down assay and the man who discovered protein kinase C. Currently, I work with Vibrio cholerae...the agent that causes cholera. I was lucky and those experimental questions that would have taken the usual testaker several long minutes to orient themselves with data...was a piece of cake as I've been taught the methodology and the theory behind some of those expeirments.

    Don't get scared...it's only going to bring you down. Relax and focus and you'll do fine. Ultraspiracle (from other posts) is a good friend of mine and we both attacked the test differently. I went for an all-out method...trying to answer every question not going back for corrections since I believed that my first instinct would be right. Ultra went slowly and methodically and answered questions he could answer correctly. He skipped quite a few questions and I only skipped about 8. We scored the same (93-94%) though. So, you need to figure out the best method for you in studying and test-taking.

    I hope this helps and again, good luck.

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    Thanks

    Thanks a lot for the help..it has definitely eased my nerves!!!
    Well I am in university now at a time where there are a lots of stuff to be done and hence I dont think I will be able to do more than what you didin terms of preparation.
    I have done a few summer projects but as such not spent an elongated period in the lab. How do i tackle the laboratory procedure related questions?
    Will reading Maniatis for such things help. I do not have VOet... although I may arrange for it. I am currently using Zubay and Lehninger. Will that be enuf? Should I read up soem immunology to make up for the lack of experience?

    BBye
    ANindya

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    Hey Anindya,

    Experimental questions would be best tackled if you're comfortable reading scientific papers. You don't have to read any protocol book...that would be a waste of your time and it's not going to give you a higher score. If you have time, just go through scientific papers that were relevant to your summer projects and maybe some material that was gone over in your classes. Be able to interpret what data and scientific figures tell you and especially what they cannot tell you.

    Zubay, I've heard, is a good textbook in general and Lehninger is supposed to be very easy to understand. I only used the books that were given to me as an undergraduate. These books costs a lot of money and each book will offer information to answer questions fast and others not-so-fast since the professors who use these books are sometimes on the committee to make questions asked on the Subject GRE. There is no use in relearning information that you've never known in these next few months...it's going to stress you out! Keep to the books that you originally cemented your current scientific knowledge and the relearning of the material will be a lot easier and you'll feel more confident coming into the exam. Don't read an immunology textbook, just get what you get from Zubay and Lehninger about immunology...the Subject GRE doesn't test more than what is said in those books.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by runforest7; 07-31-2005 at 01:57 AM.

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    Arrow Study Materials for GRE Subject Biochemistry

    Hi everyone!

    There is a web-site selling a nice summary e-book and practice questions.

    http://www.neyhaber.com

    Good luck!

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    Hi Everyone,

    I would like to give subject GRE in biology or biochemistry, but which one would be better Biology or biochemistry.

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    Re: Study materials for Subject GRE Biochemistry?

    For those visiting this thread in search of GRE Biochem. study materials, I have a decent study material that you can use to start preparing for the GRE subject test. Here is the link: James Jihwan Lee's e-Portfolio: Ideas and Activities : GRE Biochemistry Full Study Material.

    Here is a link to a short note on my personal experience taking the GRE subject test : James Jihwan Lee's e-Portfolio: Ideas and Activities : Took the actual GRE Biochemistry Exam--Some tips

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