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Is there a place for instructors of MCAT courses?

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Wyoming Owl

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I am an MCAT instructor and I am trying to redesign my course. I used Exam Krackers last year and added in some NOVA physics problems. My students tend to be weak in physics. I am trying to get ideas on the best schedule to follow as I ran out of time helping the students prepare last year.
Class meets 3 hours per week (1.5 hours per class)

Would you just follow, or recommend they follow, the 3 month study review as posted elsewhere?

I would appreciate any advice you might have on how best to use class time. What would have been most helpful for you? How much content review should I go over before taking full length tests? Students are required to take 3 full length tests during the semester and they use Test 3 as a diagnostic. I often try and pull additional problems by topic based on the AAMC test analysis but I find that no other company lists problems by topic. If I were to get more full length tests, I would purchase GS tests or Berkley.

Any other suggestions? If this is in the wrong area please let me know.
TIA
 

BerkReviewTeach

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to ask questions?

I am an MCAT instructor and I am trying to redesign my course. I used Exam Krackers last year and added in some NOVA physics problems. My students tend to be weak in physics. I am trying to get ideas on the best schedule to follow as I ran out of time helping the students prepare last year.
Class meets 3 hours per week (1.5 hours per class)

Would you just follow, or recommend they follow, the 3 month study review as posted elsewhere?

I would appreciate any advice you might have on how best to use class time. What would have been most helpful for you? How much content review should I go over before taking full length tests? Students are required to take 3 full length tests during the semester and they use Test 3 as a diagnostic. I often try and pull additional problems by topic based on the AAMC test analysis but I find that no other company lists problems by topic. If I were to get more full length tests, I would purchase GS tests or Berkley.

Any other suggestions? If this is in the wrong area please let me know.
TIA

I taught BR physics for about five years, so if you want to PM me, I have some specific suggestions. For the sake of the thread, I can give you an idea of what worked for me in lectures.

In general, class time I felt was best spent demonstrating how to attack problems more so than traditional lecture-based review. For instance, rather than list four kinematics equations on the board and tell them to copy them and know them, I instead would put a multiple-choice question on the board and start by asking what are the givens and what is the target of the question.

After a few responses we'd get the terms I needed: time, distance, velocity, and accelaration. From there I'd define the terms (lecture style) and then try to deduce/visualize/draw what we'd expect. Only after doing that would we introduce an equation. I'd ALWAYS let them make suggestions abut what equation to use, writing down all of the equations they'd call out. From there, I'd make them decide which one used the variables we were given and which ones either lacked a variable or had an extra variable. After working through the problem, I'd emphasize that it was more important to know how to choose the right equation to use as opposed to simply knowing a laundry list of equations. After that, we'd alter the question to include a new variable, a changed variable, or a complication like wind resistance for instance. It was amazing how well it worked when they were asked to come up with the questions and answers.

This approach worked extremely well for pretty much everyone in the class, because the students who visualized well learned they didn't need that much math and the people who felt that physics = math were happy with the focus on the variables you're given method. It also emphasized test taking skills, which are absolutely the most important thing you can teach them.

Luckily for me, one of the owners (Todd) had a long list of great questions to use each lecture. He had a lecture design that allowed for teacher creativity. It made my life easier and I actually learned physics better teaching that way than I had ever understood physics before.

If you decide to use BR physics this year, then you should wait for the new book to come out, because it has a lot of the tricks Todd used in the class lectures. If you use their books, you should build your lectures around their topic list. And I'm not sure what you mean by listing problems by topic, but the passages in their books are titled according to the subject.
 

Wyoming Owl

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I will pm you about specifics, but I very much like your approach. I would love to teach MCAT that way. It sounds very good for all.
Thanks for the help.
:)
 
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