Dismiss Notice
Hey Guest! Check out the 3 MCAT Study Plan Options listed in the 'stickies' area at the top of the forums (BoomBoom, SN2ed, and MCATJelly). Let us know which you like best.

Also, we now offer a MCAT Test-Prep Exhibitions Forum where you can ask questions directly from the test-prep services.

Approaching MCAT science Q's, help!

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by WonderBoy, Jul 22, 2002.

  1. WonderBoy

    Physician

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2001
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    41
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I have been preparing the august MCATs. I have been working pretty consistently, a few hours everyday for the last month or so. Also I have been using EK materials. On my first diag a month ago AAMC IV, I got 8V, 5P, 7B. This weekend I took TPR 483 and scored a 8V, 7P, 7B.

    I am getting a bit concerned since there are only 24 days left till the test. I know the science cause I know I have been doing the work. However, when it comes to passages it just does not come through. I don't if I am overreacting or if I am in serious trouble. Just wanted everyone's opinion on my situation. And if anyone has faced a similar problem, i am sure someone has, and how it should be resolved. How long does it take to get the MCAT part, i.e. approaching science questions, down? Thanks for your help.

    P.S.: I took AAMC III two weeks ago and got 6V, 7P, 8-9B.
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Mudd

    Mudd Charlatan & Trouble Maker

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    2
    For some, it's from the very first question they do. For others, it takes hundreds of passages to figure out the secret for them.

    It all comes down to never forgetting that it's a multiple choice exam, any way you slice it. Try the following approach, if your science information is strong.

    First read the question and identify the key words. If the questions is:

    "What is the pH of a solution after 10.0 mL 0.10 M KOH(aq) had been added to 25.0 mL 0.10 HOAc(aq)?"

    Then the key words are pH KOH added to HOAc.

    Before reading any answer choices, think about the question first. HOAc is a weak acid, and less than one equivalent of KOH has been added. This means that the soultion is made of unreacted HOAc in equilibrium with OAc- formed upon the addition of KOH. A buffer has been made, so the pH must be close to the pKa. Less than half an equivalent of strong base has been added, so [HOAc] > [OAc-], and therefore the pH is slightly less than the pKa. From the passage, the pKa may be given (it's 4.74). From here I know it's slightly less than the pKa.

    Now it's time to look at answer choices:
    a) 1.0
    b) 4.6
    c) 4.8
    d) 7.0

    Although I know it's B, I want to see "why" they put the other choices. Choice A would be true if it were a strong acid without any base added. Choice C would be true is it was more than half an equivalent (more than 12.5 mL) of KOH added. Choice D is foolish. I feel solid in my selection of choice B.

    Although this may seem time draining at first, if you do this in your head, you'll get fast.

    Get a hierarchy to follow:
    1. Read the question and identify key words.
    2. Try to answer the question before looking at the answer choices.
    3. If you can answer the question in step 2, then find it in the answer choice that fits and determine why the other three are wrong (if time permits).
    4. If you can't think of an answer in step 2, look for key words in the answer choices.
    5. If you still have no clue, offer the proctor a bribe. (J/K)

    I hope this approach seems viable.
     
  4. wgu

    wgu Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    7
    try the 2 science sessions w/o time constraints. It could be b/c you're rushed and just need to practice and calm down.
     
  5. Mudd

    Mudd Charlatan & Trouble Maker

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    2
    While having no time constraints will remove some stress, it's too close to the exam to not do a few exams with the clock ticking in your head. Try a few untimed passages and see how you do. If you score better without time constraints, then all you have to do is overcome your nerves (although far easier said than done).
     
  6. WonderBoy

    Physician

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2001
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    41
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Thanks for the reply guys, appreciate your input. I don't the time is much of a problem. After going over the exams I took, I found out that I tended to make stupid mistakes or i didn't know the info. Hopefully with practice that problem will go away.
     

Share This Page