Gatsby14777

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Hi everyone,

I am prepping for the August MCAT and am trying to improve my physical sciences section. Any advice?

I took the Kaplan course which was pretty helpful, and I am fine on concepts (ie: i can get book problems right) but once they are in MCAT question format (esp passage based) I seem to lose it. Timing is also a huge problem. I took a full length practice yesterday and for Physical sciences I barely finished in time, and Biological Sciences I missed two entire passages bc of timing.
 

JRRSEhope

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Gatsby14777 said:
Hi everyone,

I am prepping for the August MCAT and am trying to improve my physical sciences section. Any advice?

I took the Kaplan course which was pretty helpful, and I am fine on concepts (ie: i can get book problems right) but once they are in MCAT question format (esp passage based) I seem to lose it. Timing is also a huge problem. I took a full length practice yesterday and for Physical sciences I barely finished in time, and Biological Sciences I missed two entire passages bc of timing.
Gatsby, I too struggle with the PS. I'm scheduled to retake in August, after scoring an 8 on PS in April. First off, I dislike Physics intensely :rolleyes: ... so that has colored all of my studying! However, in trying to improve my PS score dramatically, I've done a few things that might help you.

First off, I've taken numerous tests first without any timing, just to get a feel for the format so I won't panic. You're right, the format of the MCAT is very different than what we see both in class and in study aids such as Kaplan. Then, once I took tests with no timing, I started timing them.

But probably the very most helpful thing I have done (which puts my practice scores at 10-12 consistently) is to simply (ha!) memorize every single equation....EVERY one. I didn't do this before, primarily since on class tests we always got 'cheat sheets' so I'd have the formulas right there. But what I've noticed is that, once I have those formulas firmly planted in my head, the panic goes away and I know what to do next.

Hope thats helpful! Just for your encouragement, my brother is currently a student at the med school I'm hoping to attend. He told me that he too mightily disliked Physics, and his lowest score was an 8 on PS. But when he retook the test, he scored a 36. So it is possible! Luck to you, and don't give up even when you feel like there is no possible way to get through it :love:
 

IckeyShuffle

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Here is my two cents on timing. I bought an analog watch just as kaplan recommended and I keep it with me at all times during the practice tests. I always set it to noon and go from there. I give each passage 9 minutes. If i am stuck on a question past the nine minute mark, i make a guess, put a mark by it on the answer sheet, and come back to it if i have time. I dont do their triage business. I keep track of time during each passage. The last thing you want is to get to the third passage and be ten minutes behind. If you keep an eye on the watch during each passage, you will be on schedule. This will help alleviate timing stress. I usually am able to pick up a few extra minutes during the discretes. So if i am on the second passage and get to the 18 minutes mark, i move and make guesses. I was originally testing in the low twenties back in april (i decided to not take it because i wasnt ready) and i have recently cracked thirty for the first time on a practice test. It can be done, just keep working and dont burn out!

As far as getting faster. You need to know those equations like the back of your hand. Be able to spit them out without any real thought at all.
hope that helps
 
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AWhitehair

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allennh said:
Here is my two cents on timing. I bought an analog watch just as kaplan recommended and I keep it with me at all times during the practice tests. I always set it to noon and go from there. I give each passage 9 minutes. If i am stuck on a question past the nine minute mark, i make a guess, put a mark by it on the answer sheet, and come back to it if i have time. I dont do their triage business. I keep track of time during each passage. The last thing you want is to get to the third passage and be ten minutes behind. If you keep an eye on the watch during each passage, you will be on schedule. This will help alleviate timing stress. I usually am able to pick up a few extra minutes during the discretes. So if i am on the second passage and get to the 18 minutes mark, i move and make guesses. I was originally testing in the low twenties back in april (i decided to not take it because i wasnt ready) and i have recently cracked thirty for the first time on a practice test. It can be done, just keep working and dont burn out!

As far as getting faster. You need to know those equations like the back of your hand. Be able to spit them out without any real thought at all.
hope that helps
Thanks, that does help.
 

superwillis

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H and D said:
Physical science is my krypton as well, thanks for the tips!
I think you mean kryptonite :D
Krypton is the noble gas (and Superman's home planet).

Arighty, back to studying!
 

AWhitehair

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superwillis said:
I think you mean kryptonite :D
Krypton is the noble gas (and Superman's home planet).

Arighty, back to studying!
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: She has been studying a little too much chemistry!
 

EBI831

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for the last 3 practice tests i've raised mine 2 points since april. this is what i did:EK 1001 problems i'm doing them all, read all of kaplan and ek physics notes, and seriously read read read in between details and little details. every 3 days i take a simulated mcat physics test (ie from AAMC tests, kap tests, or just use kaplan qbank to make up passage based ones). also, i've told myself i don't hate physics and i'm actually looking forward to doign it now...although my timing isn't that great...i still am working on it, i'm still going 5 mins over so i need to work on shaving off about 10 mins.
 
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