Just about to start learning physics for the MCAT, advice on how to begin?

Dagrimsta1

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Start with kinematics and work your way up. I like EK for physics. Anything you don't understand concept wise, supplement with khan/YouTube. Learn/ review concepts before doing any problems. When you have a firm grasp of things, move onto the physics passages thaT AAMC offers
 

freak7

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Start with kinematics and work your way up. I like EK for physics. Anything you don't understand concept wise, supplement with khan/YouTube. Learn/ review concepts before doing any problems. When you have a firm grasp of things, move onto the physics passages thaT AAMC offers
+1 for EK. mgSLIDE(theta) is forever ingrained into my brain.
 
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Chelsea FC

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Start at chapter 1
 

TheBiologist

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Kinematics
Linear Mechanics
Rotational Mechanics
Thermodynamics
Electrostatics/Electricity
Magnetism
Waves/Sound
Optics/Light
Nuclear/Quantum Physics

That is typically the order in which a physics course is taught, although most of the topics are actually pretty intrinsic to themselves; that is, you don't need to know much from Kinematics to learn electricity etc.
 

Domepiece

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Do hella practice problems. Conceptual physics doesn't really do too much for you on the MCAT; application is where the gold is at. Definitely spend more time in practice problems than in content review.
 

MareNostrummm

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EK's physics book is actually written with the assumption that you did well in your undergrad physics class, otherwise you will probably be easily confused... I.e. all of electromagnetics is squeezed into 20 or so pages while Kaplan probably has 70+ pages.
 

AirplaneFruit

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MCAT physics is BS. I agree that practicing >>> content review.

Out of the dozens upon dozens of possible topics for physics questions, you get asked 2 or 3 topics/passages.

You might get lucky and get something you're strong in or vice versa.

And spending a ton of time making sure you're strong at everything possible in physics is almost inefficient and probably horribly boring for most pre-meds.
 

JB50

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Physics is one of the least represented topics on the MCAT in my opinion. Study the high yield topics: nuclear (essentially alpha, beta (+,-) and gamma) decay + Halflife, waves (longitudinal, transverse), light and optics. These three things will give you a great foundation on what the MCAT is probably going to throw at you. Also, for all of your MCAT studying, think about how the topic can be applied to medicine and/or the human body. This will get you in tune with how to think about the topics.

Also, memorizing is a huge waste of time. If you truly understand the concepts, the equations will not only stick in your mind but also make sense in how they work. Conceptual understanding >>>>>> memorizing a very specific equation.
 
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As an engineering major, I was pretty strong at physics going in, and this may not be the case for you. However, for physics on the mcat I would read over your review book one or two times total, get the more high-yield concepts down as described above, and do a ton of practice problems. Now, the most important thing you can do, and don't let anyone tell you different, is to memorize units and how they relate. If you can realize such relationships as a joule is also defined as kg*(m/s)^2 you do not even need to know half the physics, you just need to be able to piece together the data given to get the correct answer. Understand these for all fields, electricity, kinematics, etc. Again, my physics background may be different from yourself, but that's what I did and it worked pretty well.
 

Domepiece

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Is this sarcasm?
No. Basic conceptual understanding is obviously warranted and I concur that the relation of units and their associated physics property should be well understood, as this is likely the most useful "physics" for scoring correct questions. However, understanding the derivation of Poiseuille's equation beyond variable relationships such as radius and velocity to pressure change or the mechanisms by which magnetism is generated and influenced would be a poor use of time compared to, say, memorizing the amino acids or generating an understanding of metabolic pathways in terms of MCAT score impact.
 

aldol16

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The key is to find a good review book and stick with it. Many books will go into far too much detail and some will go into too little. You should find one that is manageable with the time you have and doesn't get caught up in the minute details. Do your content review in a week or so (in total - you should be dividing your time up between the subjects in parallel) and then move on to practice problems, where you will get the most benefit for your time.
 
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TheRealCookieMonster

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Do hella practice problems. Conceptual physics doesn't really do too much for you on the MCAT; application is where the gold is at. Definitely spend more time in practice problems than in content review.
This is good advice!! Practice practice practice. Only do content review if you stuggle with questions from a specific topic.