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Constants for MCAT?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Kraazy, 04.15.07.

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  1. Kraazy

    Kraazy 5+ Year Member

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    Which constants do you guys think (or know) should be memorized for the MCAT? Should I be spending my time trying to memorize R, Avogadro's, the mass & charge of electons, etc...? According to EK many if not most of the constants will be given on the real MCAT, but I'm sure there are some I should memorize anyway.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. mongrel

    mongrel Assoc. Prof. Dogsuit 5+ Year Member

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    mmmmm, I believe any constant you'd need should be given.
     
  4. AnEyeLikeMars

    AnEyeLikeMars Member 7+ Year Member

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    I'm 99% sure you don't need to have any constants memorized.
     
  5. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central 2+ Year Member

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    I had questions/passages that involved the Planck's constant and it was given...along with the electron charge. Don't bother memorizing them. I don't think I even ended up using the constants (they DO sometimes give you info you don't need to confuse you).
     
  6. Shrike

    Shrike Lanius examinatianus 10+ Year Member

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    Not quite true that you won't need any constants, but they're very basic. For physics, you might need c = 3e8, pi = 3 (yes, I'm serious), the density of water, a couple others -- see the FAQ in the Study Question Q&A for more. For chemistry, you need Avogadro's number, 273K = 0C, maybe a couple of others; again, check the FAQ.

    Good luck.
     
  7. CATallergy

    CATallergy 2+ Year Member

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    also wavelengths for red and violet light, speed of sound
     
  8. dochoov

    dochoov Intercalating Death Disk 2+ Year Member

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    Don't memorize the acceleration due to gravity. On my MCAT they gave it to me. ;)
     
  9. booji

    booji Member 7+ Year Member

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    I believe the one constant they do expect you to know is the Universal Gas Constant (both in 0.082 and 8.314). This was not provided for me.
     
  10. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!! Lifetime Donor 10+ Year Member

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    What's the density of water?

    Just kidding!!!

    If you miss that one, then you are in real trouble!!
     
  11. rockyDoctora

    rockyDoctora 2+ Year Member

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    Wondering what constants are needed to be memorized. If any of this has been changed....

    I'm taking Kaplan and they told me to memorize the Faraday's constant, speed of light, etc. so yeah...
     
  12. Melomare17

    Melomare17 2+ Year Member

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    u dont need to memorize the constants really, they'll give you all that
     
  13. rockyDoctora

    rockyDoctora 2+ Year Member

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    Are you sure? would they really give you the speed of light when you need to calculate the frequency of an electromagnetic wave given its wavelength?

    I feel like there is only a handful of constants that you need to know...
     
  14. rockyDoctora

    rockyDoctora 2+ Year Member

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    Anyone know where I can find a list of constants to memorize for the MCAT?
     
  15. Melomare17

    Melomare17 2+ Year Member

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    yea in the passage or discrete question they give you the constant at the end of hte passage usually in parentheses
     
  16. ErinEmSee

    ErinEmSee

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    I found this list on another forum:

    v sound = 343 m/s @ 20 deg. C, 1 ATM

    h (Planck's constant) = 6.6 x 10^-34 J-s

    F (Faraday's constant) = 96,500 C/mol

    N sub A (Avogadro's #) = 6.02 x 10^23

    R (universal gas constant) = .0821 L-ATM/mol-K

    e (elementary charge) = 1.6 x 10^-19 C

    specific gravity of water = 1000 Kg/m^3 or 1 g/cm^3

    g = 10 m/s

    G = 6.7 x 10^-11 N-m^2/Kg^2
     
  17. Guero

    Guero 2QT2Bcis Plaidapus SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

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    Much obliged! I wonder how many of these are truly necessary to memorize other than SG, g, the gas constant, and Señor Avocado-gadro's numero. (That's a nifty way to remember how to spell homie's name, btw.) :cool: I feel like the others will always be given. Better to always be safe rather than sorry, though. GL to those that still need to take this beast before it rolls over to a completely different exam in the next few years.
     
  18. Sports Junky

    Sports Junky 2+ Year Member

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    This list is probably sufficient, but there is one additional constant that I would add: Planck's Constant as 4 x 10^-15 eV*s

    I seem to remember 2-3 questions on Full lengths where that conversion has come in handy. Sometimes the answers are in given in terms of eV, and you have to do additional conversions if Planck's constant is given in terms of J*s
     
  19. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout MS-2 Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    Bumping this to point out that the AAMC actually does explicitly say you need to know some constants. Of course they don't say which ones, but I was wondering and stumbled upon this thread. Thought that might be good for current studiers to know.

    https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/preparing/85568/preparing_psprep.html
     
  20. QrtrLifeCrisis

    QrtrLifeCrisis 2+ Year Member

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    For both MCATs that I took (4/26 and 5/11), I remember them giving us the constants, with the exception of maybe Avogadro's number. If I were still studying for this exam, as the case may be when scores come out in a few weeks :oops:, I would not waste my mental capacities committing these numbers to memory.
     
  21. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout MS-2 Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    Ah, so sorry to hear you don't have unlimited mental capacities. :smuggrin:
     
  22. QrtrLifeCrisis

    QrtrLifeCrisis 2+ Year Member

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    I know, right? I feel sorry for my future patients. Unfortunately, I don't have the god complex that some doctors and premeds tend to have. :naughty:
     
  23. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout MS-2 Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    You mean future M&M cases? :laugh:
     
  24. QrtrLifeCrisis

    QrtrLifeCrisis 2+ Year Member

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    Yep, I'll be 007.
     
  25. Melomare17

    Melomare17 2+ Year Member

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    i rest my case :p
     
  26. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout MS-2 Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    What case? The AAMC recommends we know the common constants. That's pretty much the word of law regardless of anyone's experience with particular exam administrations.
     
  27. brood910

    brood910 2+ Year Member

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    How about R in equations like PV = nRT and Vroot mean square = square root of 3RT/m ?

    R value keeps changing, depending on what kind of equations you are using and this keeps messing me up.
     
  28. milski

    milski 1K member 5+ Year Member

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    Word of law is really stretching it... I just went through all the practice AAMCs (excluding 9, which I have no access to) and there are only 3 constant that you would need to solve all the PS questions, one of them is consistently provided an AAMCs later than 4. Memorizing more obviously cannot hurt you but I would classify it as a waste of time.

    While not exactly constants, what can really help you is being good at converting metric units, including areas and volumes. Things like cubic meters to liters, square centimeters to square millimeters and so on.

    I know R=8.314 for PV=nRT and none of the other units. If I had to take the test tomorrow I would not bother to learn either of them.
     
  29. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout MS-2 Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    Just playing it safe! It's easier to know them and be that much more familiar with the numbers and units you'll be working with when you get a problem where you're given a constant you need.
     
  30. milski

    milski 1K member 5+ Year Member

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    I understand your point very well, just sharing my opinion. From what I've seen, AAMC seems to treat constants as a very auxiliary topic and tends to provide most of them. That combined with my strong dislike of memorizing arbitrary facts (Med School will be just the right place for me, don't you think?) is why I would not bother with anything but c and N[sub]A[/sub]. Everybody else is free to do as they please, of course.

    Useless side note: In certain parts of physics we just set h=c=1 and life gets sooo much better. :cool:
     
  31. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout MS-2 Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    Didn't mean to seem badgering, by all means share whatever you like haha. It's funny, I actually like having an arsenal of discrete facts and terms at my disposal, it helps build my confidence I think.
     
  32. milski

    milski 1K member 5+ Year Member

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    Sounds way better than certain ideas we've seen in the forum. :D
     
  33. Mindbuffer

    Mindbuffer

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    Agreed. I think knowing most of the constants is good for confidence if nothing else. I happened to have many of them memorized simply from doing so many practice problems. It was never a conscious effort.
     

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