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How much of the PCAT is math?

Discussion in 'PCAT Discussions' started by Joleybear, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. Joleybear

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    I mean math related. As in is the entire Chemistry section math? What about the Biology section? Etc. Just an estimate of the % or fraction that is math in your general opinion. I am great with English so I have no concerns in that area.
     
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  3. NextStepTutor_4

    NextStepTutor_4 Next Step PCAT Expert

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    Unfortunately Pearson doesn't publish that kind of information. What we do know is the breakdown by subject (Chemistry = 50% gen chem, 30% organic chem, 20% biochem) and that half of Biology or Chemistry questions will be part of a passage. Have you taken any of Pearson's practice tests? That would be a good way to get a sense of approximately how many questions involve math. You can always try calling Pearson customer relations (they pick up quickly in my experience!), but I'm not sure what they will say.

    Keep in mind that you will have access to basic calculator functions, but you are expected to know some equations and be comfortable doing calculations - especially with stereochemistry and converting between units.

    Is there any type of Biology or Chemistry math that you are thinking of as being particularly hard?
     
  4. Joleybear

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    No I have not and I meant more based on experience taking it if anyone had an estimate lol... All math. I mean I am not awful at math but awful at remembering equations. I plan to study but I still worry more about that than anything else. I memorized 300 pages medical terminology in 2 days (twice) and got an A on my final by doing so but when it comes to math I am just a mess trying to remember a couple equations without mixing them up lol. My memory is good, my math is good, but the combination confuses me because equations make no sense to me.
     
  5. NextStepTutor_4

    NextStepTutor_4 Next Step PCAT Expert

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    I completely understand that - especially because you're rarely handed a chemistry equation and expected to plug and chug, but rather you're essentially given a word problem and asked to problem-solve (sometimes requiring more than one equation!).

    One thing that might help would be to master an equation at a time. Personally, sitting down and trying to memorize a chemistry equation without context wasn't much help to me, but when I was ready to learn the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation, I maybe did a dozen or more problems that required using this equation in different ways. So slowly, one by one, I closed the gap between what I knew and what I didn't know. You might find that there is a relatively small number of chemistry equations you'll need to master to really see an improvement in your score if you can identify frequently tested chemistry equations. I hope that makes sense?
     
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  6. Joleybear

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    Thank you. I think the issue is knowing which ones are more likely to show lol I guess Ill just study and see what I can do. I have the 2018 dr collins stuff to use.
     

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