jryck3

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The Hat Trick a great study tool/method from SN2ed's great guide, Breaking Down the MCAT: A 3 Month MCAT Study Schedule. Here's what it is, straight from the OP:

Hat Trick:
Get a hat and write every single MCAT PS and BS topic onto a piece of paper. Then, when you're ready to practice PS, put all the PS topics into the hat. Draw two or three pieces of paper and connect the topics together. In addition to connecting them, come up with what a passage might look like and what kind of questions you might get. If you can't do this, go back and review each of the three sections. Rinse and repeat.

The hat trick days are important because they aid you in synthesizing the various topics together. On the MCAT, you utilize this skill for every passage because MCAT passages combine topics. Furthermore, you may also discover content weaknesses that you will need to go over.

PS Topic List: http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/preparing/pstopics.pdf
BS Topic List: http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/preparing/bstopics.pdf
Page to get topic lists if you don't want to directly download the pdf: http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/preparing/creatingstudyplan.htm
After seeing all of the topics, my lack of scissors - not to mention willpower - prevented me from being able to write all of those topics out and cut them up... so I figure I'd have excel do the work for me! For those of you using SN2ed's guide in a similar predicament, or even those of you who aren't using the guide, this excel sheets serves as a really great supplemental study tool.

Here's the permalink:
Code:
[URL="http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5070663/MCATHatTrick.xls"]MCATHatTrick.xls[/URL]
GOOD LUCK ALL! :D :thumbup:

Best,
jryck3

Important: When you open the file, if it asks you if you want to open it with macros, click Yes. Macros have to be on so that the random topic generator works correctly.


If you use this spreadsheet and find it helpful, please don't forget to comment/bump!
 
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jryck3

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wow this is great. and the F9 thing does work for me..thanks!!
No problem!

Here's another idea - use this attached Word sheet to type what you know under each category when it comes up when you do your Hat Trick. I find it helpful to have the "Track Changes" mode on in word so you can tell what the topics are and what you have manually typed in.
(go to Tools -> "Track Changes" -> Highlight Changes. Make sure all three boxes are checked)


Connecting the topics by writing them out by hand will work for just fine, but I find this method helpful since I find it more appealing to study by using a computer on some days. Hope some of you can find it helpful as well!

Cheers,
jryckman3
 

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Sinclaire

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Wow, I was trying to figure out a quick way to do this. This is great, quite functional. By the way, I had to rename MCATHatTrick.doc to MCATHatTrick.xls to make it work.
 
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rom73085

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Didn't work for me. Came out as a word file. How do I open it in excel - I have a mac.
 

Sinclaire

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I don't own a Mac, so found this on http://ocaoimh.ie/how-to-rename-a-file-in-mac-os-x/

How to rename a file in Mac OS X

In Finder, open the folder with your file in it.
See all those pretty icons? Don't click on them. Find the icon for your file. Click once on that icon then click and hold the mouse button down on the filename below it.
After about a second of holding down the mouse button the text will become editable and you can type over the filename. Be careful you don't change the extension because bad things will happen!

You can also just select the icon (click once) and then hit the Enter key. That'll make the file name editable as well.

But in this case you do want to change the file extension on MCATHatTrick.doc file to .xls (pre-2007 Excel) or .xlsx (2007 ver.)
 
Apr 3, 2010
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Wow, this is a superb idea and the excel sheet works perfectly! I can't wait to finish my summer 5w1 7 hour biochem, parasitology and the lab classes and start MCAT prep!
 

Silverfalcon

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The file doesn't work even after saving it as .xls.

If you used Microsoft Excel, why did you save the file as .doc? That doesn't make sense at all.
 

apc

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Thanks for the link, apc. It works.

I opened up the file, but I didn't really "use" it because apparently, this requires me to enable macros, which I don't plan to do due to security reasons.
To be honest I don't know much about macros
I've run through virustotal.com and it showed up as 100% clean
again I don't know if macros (and whatever it is that they do) are detected by different anti-viruses
 
Jun 8, 2010
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Here's a link to all the documents uploaded in SN2ED's thread

the file you're looking for has the same name, but it's in excel
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/misc.php?do=showattachments&t=623898

Nice. Thanks for posting that. I was tinkering with the word file, but using windows 7 and the new office I'm not sure how to save it in a different file extension. It's times like this that I miss Linux.

Now I just need to figure out how to use the spreadsheet. Great work on it though, man. Looks like it was fairly time consuming.
 

ready2rumble10

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Is it working for everyone else but me?
 
Jun 8, 2010
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Is it working for everyone else but me?

After a cursory look, it seem like you just click F9 and it shuffles the topics, and the topics that the OP updated in the spreadsheet come up, with his inputted answers. You have ~3 blocks per section. I would say it's the digital version of flashcards without the front and back.
 

ready2rumble10

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After a cursory look, it seem like you just click F9 and it shuffles the topics, and the topics that the OP updated in the spreadsheet come up, with his inputted answers. You have ~3 blocks per section. I would say it's the digital version of flashcards without the front and back.
Thanks! I meant that I can't get the macros to work for me. For some reason, it still doesn't work even when I change the security settings. Any tips on how I can get this thing up and running, MM? :xf:
 

Got Em

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"In addition to connecting them, come up with what a passage might look like and what kind of questions you might get. If you can't do this, go back and review each of the three sections. Rinse and repeat."

Sorry, I'm a little bit slow....can somebody rephrase this? He wants us to get a few topics from each sections and make up a passage with questions?
 

alexfoleyc

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Here's a Hat Trick excel spreadsheet, the idea was stolen from SN2ed's great Three Month Study Schedule, although it stands alone as a good refresher to test your overall knowledge. Didn't have any scissors so I figure I'd have excel do the work for me.

Also, please let me know if the F9 trick works to refresh. I have a Mac and it doesn't work for me, but if I just reload the page then it does work.

I know it rarely gives you the same topic twice.... that means you have to know that one twice as much :laugh:


Good luck all!

Thanks! However, I can't seem to get the F9 thing work. I downloaded the .xls file and have enabled macros, but F9 does not work. I am using the previous version of windows, not 2007. Some help anyone?
 
Jun 8, 2010
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Thanks! I meant that I can't get the macros to work for me. For some reason, it still doesn't work even when I change the security settings. Any tips on how I can get this thing up and running, MM? :xf:
I needed to right click the security tab on the top of the document that listed "macros" as warning, then click to run them. I use Excel 2007, so I'm not sure if it works the same way in 2003, if that's what you're running.
 

KingMilano

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thanks jryckman3, I really appreciate the work you put into making the spread sheet (even if it was just copy + pasting i have no clue), you just saved my hand a lot of work in the upcoming year! :D

to those having trouble opening up the file in the op, once you download it go to wherever the downloaded file is located (C:/users/admin/my documents/downloads/) right click the file and choose open with, then browse for your excel application

thanks again!
 
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jryck3

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I've fixed the file so that there is a newer .xls format copy up at the original post... Check it out! Sorry bout the confusion with the .doc file. No idea how that slipped by me.

I'm glad this is proving useful to some of you guys. :D

Good luck studying!
 
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jryck3

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Bumped due to a massive update in the original post. If this helps you in anyway, help out your peers by commenting and keeping this thread alive! Good luck guys :)
 

elyswim

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wow this is amazing. I wish I had this when I was studying
 
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jryck3

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Entirely revamped! Much sleeker look, and the BS and PS sections now have their own page.

Let me know if the new format is causing you any problems!!
 
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huyem12

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Hey,

For the updated excel version, the Physical Section had all Biology topics, and I pressed F9 like 10000x and it was coming up with Enzymes/Ingestion/Bile/etc. for PS.


I was wondering if you still had your old version???

Thanks alot!
This is a great help.
 
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jryck3

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Hey,

For the updated excel version, the Physical Section had all Biology topics, and I pressed F9 like 10000x and it was coming up with Enzymes/Ingestion/Bile/etc. for PS.


I was wondering if you still had your old version???

Thanks alot!
This is a great help.
Oops... Thanks for pointing that out!

Once again, re-uploaded and improved, lol :)
 

elusiveCHILD

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Thanks again sooooooooooo much for this invaluable tool. I also, did notice that the Physical Science section included Bio terms. Is there a way we can add new terms to this file? Again, thanks so much!
 
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jryck3

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Thanks again sooooooooooo much for this invaluable tool. I also, did notice that the Physical Science section included Bio terms. Is there a way we can add new terms to this file? Again, thanks so much!
Thanks!! I'm glad that you are finding it helpful.

I'm sorry about the PS/BS mix-up, didn't realize the last copy that was uploaded wanted nothing to do with the PS section, lol. Have you tried to re-download it? It should be working just fine now.
 
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jryck3

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Yes, I did but it was a MSWORD document instead of the EXCEL file.
The excel sheet should be in the original post, and the word document in the third post is useful for keeping track of what you do and don't know.. but it's totally optional to use. Does that help? Sorry I'm a bit confused
 

elusiveCHILD

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I figured it out, thanks so much! Still have awhile to go before I can lol use it efficiently!
 
Jun 10, 2009
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i downloaded it and did everything as instructed...but when i press F9 it does nothing....

i tried both the older version and the newer version...same thing.

any idea what the problem could be? other than i'm using an outdated version of office?

when i go to school, next week I'll try it on Office 2007...:xf:

:)
 
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jryck3

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i downloaded it and did everything as instructed...but when i press F9 it does nothing....

i tried both the older version and the newer version...same thing.

any idea what the problem could be? other than i'm using an outdated version of office?

when i go to school, next week I'll try it on Office 2007...:xf:

:)
EHCMD,

Sorry you're having this problem. Try this: Double click in a blank cell until the text cursor appears, then hit enter. It should then refresh. Oh, and definitely make sure macros are on.

Please let me know if this works or not!
 
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jryck3

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Bump for update. Mainly cosmetic changes, but also clarified instructions and added the latest example from SN2ed thread mentioned in the OP. Happy holidays folks, and good luck for those of you studying! :thumbup:
 
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MedPR

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Dec 1, 2011
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Bump. F9 doesn't work for me.. Does it matter that I use openoffice?
 
May 17, 2013
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WOW. I'm suuupperr glad I stumbled upon this thread. Really, great job! This should be moved to a sticky since a lot will benefit from this thread (you might need to edit the file again for 2015 MCATers). I think many will benefit from this for yearrrsss.

You saved me tons of time and saved many trees. :p

Thank you thank you thank you!!!!
 

nOchemallday

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My only comment is that you don't have a topic #29 in either the PS or BS sections (and consequently get a "#N/A" error for the topic if topic #29 is randomly selected).

Otherwise it works flawlessly. Great work!
 
Jan 21, 2014
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I'm really interested in using this excel spreadsheet, but for some reason I keep getting a 404 error from dropbox when i use the URL in the first post. I'd greatly appreciate if someone could email (file might be too big =/) the file or re-upload it to dropbox. I've searched the internet for the file and managed to get the .doc version. I was able to get it to open in excel, but the macros are not working/got cleared, and I doubt its formatted correctly. Thanks you for any responses to my request!

I can send my email through a PM if anyone is will/able to email it. Thanks again!
 

rolliespring

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OP you are awesome :)