Mcat Math

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1K Member
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15+ Year Member

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.

Cerberus

Heroic Necromancer
15+ Year Member
Originally posted by jarrod_dale
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.

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

1K Member
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15+ Year Member
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.

farley is god

Empty Tank.
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
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.

Cerberus

Heroic Necromancer
15+ Year Member
Originally posted by jarrod_dale
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.

Well, I dislike their science review but I think their Verbal/math approach is pretty solid.

docjolly

On Cloud Nine, Once Again
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
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

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

apar01

Certified Consumer
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member

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.

gdk

Senior Member
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15+ Year Member
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