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Hard Memory on the MCAT

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by rlwebb, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. rlwebb

    rlwebb Member
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    In reference to the mnemonics on the site: http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/Union/5092/mnemMCAT.html

    and other general mnemonic tricks,
    Is hard memory tested on the MCAT? For instance, on that site, the following mnemonic is given:

    Is there any possibility that it will be necessary to have the meta directing groups memorized? Or any other hard memory items like the order of acid strengths? If not then I see no point in giving it any thought. Thanks for the help.
     
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  3. McGillGrad

    McGillGrad Building Mind and Body
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    It is tested insomuch as it pertains to basic information required to successfully pass a course.

    For example, the functional groups should be known by the time you take the MCAT so you should not have to memorize them. If you do not know them, then will it seem like you need hard memorization.

    In other words, nothing exotic is tested unless you have never mastered the original pre-requisite material.
     
  4. QuikClot

    QuikClot Senior Member
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    There are a lot of different ways to suceed on the MCAT. You may very well get a question that requires you to recognise meta-directing groups. At that point, though, you can come at the problem in several ways:

    * You've memorized all meta-directing groups.

    * You understand enough about the chemical interactions of atoms you can predict which groups will be meta-directing.

    * You know how to practice "Suduko of the MCAT"; you can tell from the way the question was asked, or the thrust of the other passage questions, or hints in the passage itself, what the answer will be.

    * You shrug, guess, and move on to a part of the MCAT that relates to something you studied.

    Do what works for you . . . speaking generally, the MCAT is a test that rewards deep understanding more than exhaustive fact-retention.
     
  5. Jeesing

    Jeesing Junior Member
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    I never memorized all of this stuff, rather i tried to learn trends. NO2 i just knew was a meta directing after it was pounded into my head after org, i think it is one of the more often tested metadirectors. I just looked at the side group if it had an atom attached to the benzene ring with a bunch of electronegative atoms attached it was a meta-director (also making it a deactivator). I think my rule for acidity is, the more o-bonds there are, the more acidic it is. ie COOH, and COOR are the most acidic and then it goes down to aldehydes and ketones, etc.

    For org-chem, i just tried to understand the chemsitry, how the electrons move, why certain reactions are more favourable etc. It made studying alot easier for me personally. I spent 2 weeks studying and cramming in the details for biology because it is a lot more memorization oriented, but I finished studying org, physics, and gen chem all in about 5-6 days because these topics are more concept oriented.
     
  6. silverpaw54

    silverpaw54 Member
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    What about the BS section? I was going through it and I felt like the MCAT won't test us on like the specifics of circulation, respiration, etc. Do you guys think it's worthwhile to memorize all those veins, arteries, etc?
     
  7. anon-y-mouse

    anon-y-mouse Senior Member
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    I got a 15 on BS, so I'm going to chime in :) You really don't need to know too much orgo... in fact they've dropped pure aromatic chemistry from the MCAT.

    The only mnemonics I really used and recommended to my students were FLAT PiG, and SAME DAVE. You need to memorize a couple of basic facts about the amino acids too (acidic/basic/polar/nonpolar/ which one is just R=H, R=CH3, etc.) -- but there were only like 2-3 questions like this.

    Otherwise, you should be able to reason everything out from first principles.
     
  8. silverpaw54

    silverpaw54 Member
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    Thanks man for the response.

    I didn't learn any of those mnemonics when I took Orgo. Can I find out what they mean in the Kaplan books?

    Also, just asking again, do I need to learn like the specifics/details of body parts, veins, arteries, etc.? I read through the Kaplan book and there is a good bit I never learned in my classes. Stuff like Circulation, Endocrine system, etc. How much focus should I place in this area? Thank you again.
     
  9. Mr. Tee

    Mr. Tee Indentured servant
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    Kaplan will tell you what FLAG PiG is...

    Examkrackers will tell you what FLAT PiG and SAME DAVE are.
     
  10. swimmy

    swimmy Junior Member
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    I think trying to understand the concepts, how they function, and relate to each other is more important than specific names of each system. The practice questions will help a bit with how much you need to know in details.
     

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