Dec 12, 2013
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I notice that most of the time, I get all the questions that I know the information. However, I always get things wrong when it's these little facts that I don't know.

Ex: I did a question asking which of the choices would be a good by-product to create an exothermic reaction.
And apparently the answer was saying how oxygen gas + a reducing agent is very exothermic, so pick the answer with oxygen.

However, I don't ever remember reading that, and it's probably true, but how do I go about eliminating those issues to raise my score?
 

ZMA

Sep 26, 2014
14
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Status
Pre-Medical
Try not to focus on remembering the little facts. While there are many important ones, most questions that appear of the MCAT require the application of concepts to new situations. Therefore, focus on full comprehension of the topics listed in the MCAT guide, not trivia.

The example you give looks a lot like a description of combustion, which we know intuitively to be exothermic. The hydrocarbon acts as the reducing agent. Just because you've never read it worded in this specific fashion doesn't mean you don't already have the tools to answer it. When in doubt, the process of elimination can almost always get rid of at least two other answers.
 

NextStepTutor_1

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Apr 29, 2014
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Do more practice so that you're able to become more familiar with questions asked in this style (asking you a question that is not in a direct, " find (x)" way) and learning from your mistakes. It will come!
 
OP
S
Dec 12, 2013
701
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So I guess my follow up question would be how would I know to direct my focus towards combustion?

So I read the question I know it needs to be an ectothermic reaction and then how do I focus towards combustion and not some other reaction?

Also does that mean I need better knowledge of the topic?
 

NextStepTutor_1

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Specificially, there are "hints" in any combustion reaction.
Obviously, if the reactants are an alkane and oxygen, it will be a combustion reaction. But also if the question says the products are CO2, H2O, and the reaction is exothermic you should be thinking about a combustion reaction.

Generally, this is the result of practice. Content helps you learn the concepts, practice and review helps you apply them correctly. When you review, don't just review why the correct answer is correct, but also review how it is correct in terms of what the question asked and pay attention to it's language so you'll be prepared next time.
 
OP
S
Dec 12, 2013
701
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Thank you for your detailed answers! I see what you mean! I guess I just need to further practice. I've been using TBR passages and since I've already used the AAMC tests, I've been taking TBR tests.

I find the tests very tricky which I guess is helpful but the biology section is so brutal that it makes me feel worried about my possible AAMC mcat score! Ahh!