# Approximation on PS. MCAT

#### liluoke

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Hey all,

I took the mcat before and got a 12 on the physical sciences section, but ran out of time while taking it. I know I could have done a lot better if I just had enough time, so i was thinking of adopting a different strategy.

One thing I noticed is that I was crunching a lot of numbers on the real thing- way more than i expected based off of TPR and AAMC. Based off of this, I was thinking of adopting a strategy based off of elimination and approximation, and going back when i had more time to make sure for the ones i were iffy about. This is probably a dumb question, but how realistic do you feel this is (of course i won't approximate for everyone, if the answer choices are too close)? or is this the CORRECT way to take the MCAT p.s. section to begin with? haha.

Do you guys get a lot of your answers without actually solving for the answer, ie. through figuring out your starting point, if T and P went up, then V goes down because of P, and V goes up because of T, then the V probably didn't change too much? That's just one example, but I'm sure you guys know what style of question answering I'm talking about.

Also, after looking at the answer choices, at what point do you feel it is safe to round/approximate?

#### dingyibvs

##### Psych!
10+ Year Member
Yea, of course, you should always simplify your work whenever you can. Why wouldn't you? Obviously, if it'll take you longer to simplify it than to actually crunch the numbers out then don't do it.

In your particular situation, though, you're obviously shooting for higher than a 12, which probably means that if you don't crunch the numbers you're unlikely to get much higher than that since just about every problem on the MCAT has a false choice that is very close numerically to the actual answer. You're better off improving your arithmetic skills.

#### RuSkaya

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
OH yess! The answers are not like your typical MC exams...where sig figs come into play. I round like crazy 6.8--->8, 272---->300 ,g---->10, ect. I am almost positive they make the exams due to the whole calculator issue.
Is this possible on practice tests too? I find that on the practice tests I've taken (GS, TBR) the answers were too close together for such rounding