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Best Biology Books


chaospaladin
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What are the best textbooks used to study for the Biology GRE and the Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology GRE? What textbooks would be best if you had a general interest for areas such as parasitology, marine biology, general ecology, etc.?

Does anyone have any suggestions? laugh.gif

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For the Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology GRE, you can't go wrong with Molecular Biology of the Cell by Bruce Alberts et al., Molecular Cell Biology by Lodish et al., and Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry.

There are lots of good General Biology book that you can use for the Biology GRE - Campbell, Kimball, Solomon, Keeton.

Edited by kroms
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Switch topic areas again? You don't need the bio GRE for chem programs.

For Biochemistry, Garret and Grisham is the standard I'd recommend.

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Switch topic areas again?

Not really. I just like to read textbooks in my free time on a wide range or disciplines. Also did you get my PM on inconsistencies in NRC rankings? Like how some programs have an average 4 year graduation rate yet 0% graduated in 6 years or fewer? unsure.gif

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Hard to comment in general on NRC data- a lot of it has to do with timespan they're looking at for each criteria. The problem with most ranking systems when it comes to graduation rates is that a lot of times there are only a few graduates each year, which can make the data set very sparse.

I was just wondering about topical areas since you were asking for books specifically to prepare for the GRE- the books you would use to prepare for the GRE are very different than the books you would use to get a good working understanding of the subject area, imo.

For instance- Garret and Grisham is a good comprehensive Biochem text, but I wouldn't recommend it if you're just interested in learning Biochem on the side. Honestly, most textbooks aimed at undergraduates aren't the best texts to read if you're picking up topics in your spare time- I'd look at books written for professionals in the field, recent advances texts, or advanced undergrad/graduate texts in the field.

For inorganic chem, as an example- I would recommend Shriver and Atkins as a "GRE Review book", but I'd recommend Crabtree's text if you wanted to learn organometallic chemistry on the side. Similarly, Levine is the physical book I would recommend if you wanted to review for the GRE, but I'd recommend McQuarrie's Quantum Chemistry if you wanted to pick up quantum mechanics in your free time.

Books you use to prep for the subject GRE would, imo, be heavy on facts, light on understanding/discussion- when you're reviewing, you should already have a good feel for the area, you're just looking for a refresher, which is usually the equations, topics and common data that you've forgotten over the years. If you're reading about other fields in your spare time, you want something that focuses more on the general themes, background and discussion- something that is usually much more lacking in the general undergrad texts you'd use for a GRE review.

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Ok, just checked my PMs:

The data you were referencing isn't the NRC rankings, but rather a collection of data on PhD.org. Without the original source, commenting on it seems rather silly. Statistics that say they're from the "NRC 2006" report without the actual data from that report is only so useful- it doesn't give the methodologies that would allow you to draw a useful conclusion from it.

PHD.org collects statistics from a variety of reports, many from different years (200, 2005, 2006), which can make it difficult to compare. The actual NRC data is found on the NRC website in a report form.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Can anyone recommend a good book for the biochemistry section of the GRE Biochemistry?

I have bought Lehninger Principles of biochemistry but i am finding it a bit too detailed (i have done some general bio courses but no biochemistry courses so i am basically starting from zero in biochemistry). I need some book that is a little simpler for someone like me who doesn't have a biology background.

Also the cell bio and genetics sections of the biochemistry test have a lot in common with the GRE biology test, so would it be enough to study for them from Cambell Biology (provided that i have already used this book for the gre bio test and got a good score) ?

Thanks

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There were several mentioned earlier in this thread.

I'll re-recommend Garret and Grisham- it's thorough and complete, and I don't think it's overly complex. It's one of the standard chemistry-biochem texts out there.

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