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Mcat Math

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by JDAD, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. JDAD

    JDAD 1K Member
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    I am having trouble with the math on the mcat. I know what formula, and what i should do with the numbers, but i can't do the calculations.

    Any suggestions. I already picked up a tip to put everything in scientific notation. This really helps, keep the good ideas flowing.
     
  2. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    Well, here are my tips:

    Look at teh EK book for suggestions on how to find things like squareroots, etc (though I have yet to see a question with any difficult math in it).

    Do the scientific notation i mentioned earlier

    Do some brief brushing up on things like fraction addition/division/multiplication.

    Almost all the problems come out with an even answer of sorts (i.e. it will work out that you divide 80 by 8 or something easy like that). If your answer is complex it is probably wrong.

    Many answers wont even require calculation because you can pick out the obviosuly wrong answers

    hope that helps
     
  3. OP
    OP
    JDAD

    JDAD 1K Member
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    i thought you were dead set against EK?

    Thanks, for the info. I think it is just basic math practice. Right now, i can't do the math quick enough. I can do it, it just takes way too long.
     
  4. farley is god

    farley is god Empty Tank.
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    just adding to the above and what I said in the other thread-

    ROUND!!

    that's maybe the most important thing.
    I'm sure you use 10 m/s^2 instead of 9.8 (right?)

    Round whenever you get the opportunity. Answers are never going to be

    A) 2.4311
    B) 2.4312
    C) 2.4313
    D) 2.4314

    More like:

    A) 1
    B) 2.4
    C) 5.3
    D) 10

    or something of that nature.
    I think that made sense:confused:
     
  5. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    Well, I dislike their science review but I think their Verbal/math approach is pretty solid.
     
  6. docjolly

    docjolly On Cloud Nine, Once Again
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    Rounding is definitely the key!!

    It's too time consuming to sit and calculate all numbers exactly, and so rounding is the best way to avoid detailed calculations..

    However, rounding can be a bit tricky because it can work against you. When the numbers in the answer choices differ from one another greatly, then I strongly urge you to round. However, there are questions (and I've seen them )where the numbers in the answer choices are very close to one another..In this case, you will have to calculate the answer the best you can..

    I hope this helps :)
     
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  7. gdk

    gdk Senior Member
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    seems like you should definately be confident with scientific notation math. make up some practice problems you can do.

    2.5e+10/5.0e+5
    (2.0e-2)^2 / 4.0e+5

    stuff like that.

    stuff like that you should be able to do as a no-brainer.
    it can be tricky if the answers to pick from are like:

    0.9
    9.0
    90.0
     
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  8. apar01

    apar01 Certified Consumer
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    Know your logs!!!

    This is especially important for the physical science section. Get your hands on a basic algebra book and get log/ln/10^x/e^x down cold.
     
  9. gdk

    gdk Senior Member
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    good point. you should be confident with something like
    -log(4x10^-3)

    since this is right from the pH eqs. remember:
    -log(4.0x10-3) = -log(4) + -log(10^-3)
    = -log(4) - (-3)

    -log(4) is another way of saying 10^x = 4. x=?
    well, 10^0.5 is around 3.2, so x must be higher than 0.5, like 0.6.
    so -log(4x10-3) = -0.6 + 3 = 2.4
     
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