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How in-depth should the review be?

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Title says it all! Looking to get opinions on how in-depth the review should be. AAMC recommends around 300-350 hours of review. For example: The concept of Gluconeogenesis, to what it extent would it need to be reviewed? Does understanding what it is and what it does suffice or does every component of how it takes place need to be memorized?
 

paradoxic_toxic

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For metabolic pathways, memorize the starting/end product and enzyme(s) for each step. Learn why GNG is not just glycolysis in reverse--pyruvate carboxylase and PEP carboxykinase "replace" pyruvate kinase; fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase replaces PFK 1 all for thermodynamic reasons. No need to learn the intricate details of the enzymatic mechanism however. For big picture, learn when your body will use GNG and which hormones are likely to stimulate or inhibit it. Learn the purpose it serves and how it connects to other metabolic pathways.
 
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GreenDuck12

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Most biochemical pathways are going to be extremely high yield. Knowing the starting and ending materials, key regulatory steps, and energetics is essential. In terms of knowing the nitty gritty details, they may come up as a discrete question (pretty much anything is fair game) but isn’t as likely to appear on a test. Fortunately for us the MCAT is more of a reasoning exam within the framework of concepts but as I mentioned above anything can be fair game. You can decide to know the nitty gritty details or decide that the juice isn’t worth the squeeze and accept that you may get that question wrong (along with 90% of other test takers.
 
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PlsLetMeIn21

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I second GreenDuck on this. You have to know the key players in the various pathways. They are generous with information in the passages and most questions will require a few well-reasoned steps based on the information in the passage. But you can count on a couple fine detail questions out of every 59 you get. It's also essential to know what triggers different pathways. They love questions where they give you some hypothetical parameter (an increase or decrease is some substrate) and then they'll ask you what will be observed in the pathway.

It is far more rewarding to do passages on pathways than to memorize them. Focus on doing as many pathway-related passages as you can find. Don't resort to Anki or videos, as that will not help you much on your actual MCAT.
 

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A good general rule of thumb in medicine (and therefore board studying) is that you need to know one level of detail more than would be clinically useful. For example, if we were treating a patient with rheumatoid arthritis with methotrexate, a drug that blocks folate, you also need to know generally know the folate synthesis pathway for boards.

Things certainly get hairy as you get into genetics and what not, but that rule served me well through lots of MCAT and most med school studying.

David D MD - USMLE and MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors
 
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