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Math-Heavy MCAT test

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by mightymoose02, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. mightymoose02

    7+ Year Member

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    I heard that there are some MCAT tests (real deal) where they emphasize calculations more than normal. People have told me a math-heavy MCAT would have anywhere from 10-20 problems involving difficult calculations (NOT the plug/chug into equation or the easy intuition math kind).

    Does anyone know which specific practice tests that have calculation heavy physical science sections? (preferably same difficulty level as the real thing)

    (Any of the AAMCs or Berkeley Review tests by chance?)

    I just like to take a practice test like that so I would be prepared if the real thing decides to have tons of math.

    My first post. Thanks in advance. :)
     
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  3. MShopes

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    Try out Kaplan tests. They have heavy calculations.
     
  4. TheMightyBoosh

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    Kaplan and Gold Standard (from what I've read).
     
  5. vayntraubinator

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    Hey I know Stoichiometry chapter on TBR is very math heavy, and I'd probably give all the Ksp and Acid/Base Chapters a try for math.
     
  6. mightymoose02

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    OK will review them even though I actually finished them.

    @TheMightyBoosh

    Oh you are a "Mighy" too!

    Unfortunately, I don't have access to Kaplan Tests. I don't think they sell them. But do you know which Gold Standard tests should I buy then?
     
  7. mohad

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    Hm, I'm almost worried about there being more math problems seeing as I'm better at concepts and trends than I am at math. Maybe I should try and do more math problems just in case.
     
  8. mightymoose02

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    I am just like you. I get most of the calculations right ONLY because they are easy intuition math where I can round everything and eliminate/guess right answer. I welcome conceptual physical sciences questions ... thanks to Berkeley Review! BUT if the math is kinda complicated or few equations are needed to answer it... then I am screwed. lol :thumbdown:

    I was thinking that facing a math-heavy PS section under timed conditions would be good practice and it would also allow me to see how a test writer can combine or twist certain topics/equations to make it difficult.

    I guess I will look into GS tests (haven't heard of them being that great tho)
     
  9. bambam02

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    if your spending alot of time on calculations for that many problems... your doing sumthing wrong.

    Most of the time the calculation requires either magnitude approximation (10^3 vs 10^4 vs ,,....)

    or just a simple approximation (9.7 vs 15.3 vs 4.2 vs... etc) and the numbers can be easily determines without working out what would otherwise be a laborious calculation.

    Typically you should only have about 4-5 of these on an MCAT.
     
  10. mohad

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    I don't mind rounding or doing exponent math, but if OP says that the math is getting tougher, then I dunno how to practice really. I honestly thought you couldn't make the MCAT math any tougher aside from maybe a long calculation or two close answers from estimation, but I guess I was wrong.
     
  11. mightymoose02

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    Well, I was talking about non-typical MCATs where you get 10-20 calculation problems. And yes, there have been some this year and past years where they focus more on math than normal. I've been told it's 10-20 difficult or long ones. (Long = difficult for me b/c of the time constraint)

    And yes, apparently most of the practice tests (including the two I've taken) have been pretty much all conceptual (mostly based off of passage or some outside knowledge mixed with passage)

    Maybe I should clarify... so far, I find stuff like reduction potential, redox (counting electrons), balancing, acid/base math involving pKa and pH and half life stuff pretty easy/quick. But I am guessing when people talk about MATH-HEAVY test... they are not talking about these simple eliminate answer choices/approximate number type of stuff. Maybe like some weird circuit problems? not sure what kind of stuff they've tested with math this year.
     
  12. salim271

    salim271 Patience is tough. :/
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    At this point a calculation heavy PS is my greatest fear, i find it difficult to think mathematically. If it cant be solved by quick unit estimation, learned eqns/concepts or dimensional analysis I am usually at a loss. This mainly applies for the physics section where my teachers were not as good as my other science courses and I was able to skate by due to easy tests.
     
  13. BerkReviewTeach

    BerkReviewTeach Company Rep & Bad Singer
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    If you have access to BR materials, there are two must do items if you want to work on math. There's a handout on math strategies that has a few pages of tricks and about five or six math heavy passages. There's also a set of 50 review MC questions for general chemistry and 50 review MC questions for physics that summarize most of the math tricks from the class as well as general calculation strategies (approximation, power of 10, etc...). Those should help put you at ease and organize your math techniques.
     
  14. mightymoose02

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    I just got that HUGE stack of paper last week. Alright thanks for the heads up. I will work on them on the off days that I am doing a full practice test. I am glad that TBR has everything that I need. Thank goodness.

    Your comments on here are very helpful. So thank you!
     
  15. BBB PhD

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    OK,
    I know you're 'gonna say "of course this guy thinks the mat is easy because ...", but that isn't entirely the case.
    Here's the secret to knowing your math fundamentals (up to calculus if you so desire): DO NOT MEMORIZE MATH .... NOT EVER ... OK?

    !. For MCAT and M.D. purposes, you do not need calculus nor precalc, so forget them ('till one day when you have nothing to do with yourself lol).
    ALGEBRA ALGEBRA ALGEBRA... That is what you absolutely MUST understand. Not just basic, but intermediate algebra is critical. It is so easy and if you lisen to my advice you cannot disagree. Find a level of math that you COMPLETELY understand (not memorize, but understand). Then use that as your foundation to slowly advance with math (actually go to trig too, but that's less troublesome to most students than intermediate algebra). I have taught math at all levels (from 9thh grade to PhD students ---I have a PhD in it and have taught at SUNY Stony Brook.
    99% of students (even grad students in math make their errors in intermediate algebra). They even understand the differentail equations in Calc 1v but they get all answers wrong because of lousy algebra.

    Right then;, why not ask me any math question troubling you and i promise i will make it simple for you without memorization. This isn't bio, it's math. Pure logical deduction and inference... you must (and can) KNOW it...not memorize it.
    OK
    Don't panic,...math is logical and easy (you'll see). This is crucial since when your math is solid it makes physics laughable and chem much easier (orgo is another matter..lol).
    Bill
     
  16. vodo

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    For me, I am slowest when the calculation involves unit conversions where I have to be very careful to change units, especially minutes to seconds, L to cm^3 :sleep: or most things that involve molarity, gas law... Everyone said my test was calculation heavy and that was why I had to guess on two passages. I only prepared myself mostly on physics concepts, not this much calculation. Don't make this mistake and be prepared!!
     
  17. FuturePharm21

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    the sept 8th had a lot of math involving questions
     
  18. HankMed7

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    Yeah, the test on september 8th, was calculation heavy (definitely more than any of the other practice tests)
    The problem with this was that the calculations weren't simple plug and chug, you had to simplify factors, round numbers, and find an approximate answer (finding the exact answer in sufficient time isn't possible)
    With that said, it is very possible that your rounded answer is in the middle of two of the choices. Thats why these new math heavy version is harder.

    Note: a trick that i used was to simplify the equations and solve for the answer in variables. This saved the step of doing two calculations, as you could find the answer in one calculation. Also, using exponential notation allowed easier calculation. Using both those can shave atleast 30 secs from finding the answer!
     
  19. FuturePharm21

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    I hate math heavy PS sections, bad luck:/
     
  20. kehlsh

    kehlsh Medic Commando
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    really... i didn't feel there were any heavy calculation involved problems... thought most hard ones were conceptual... maybe calculation based probs were eaasy?
     
  21. Poww

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    ....
     
    #20 Poww, Sep 13, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011

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