# MCAT Science Sections - switching Mindset

#### RTP424

##### Pre-Med
Hello All,

It seems to me that although you need to understand concept for both the PS and BS sections, you need 2 totally different mindsets and approaches to each section. This is where my trouble comes in...

I have always been a Bio enthusiast, and it shows on my Much higher BS score than PS. It seems that for BS, one needs to have a mindset of how everything links together, and when given one thing, how does it affect the other.

On the other hand, the PS, although requiring foundational conceptual knowledge, requires a more analytical state of mind... which I can't seem to acquire for the life of me. Example....

--A very easy question like "Which of the following would increase the velocity of a wave?"
a) Increasing Period b) Decreasing Wavelength c) decreasing frequency, or d) Increasing Wavelength..

Now I know that the formula to use is V= (wavelength) ( Frequency ) and the answer is D. But I only come to that point After I answer the question wrong. When I read a question I can't seem to pin-point what to use and how to use it. I understand the concept behind it, but for some reason I cannot put the pieces together, which leaves me with a terrible PS score.

Does anyone have any helpful hints (besides practicing- I'm doing Tons of that as we speak.. it's sort of an enjoyable torture really)?

Thanks,

#### steps25

For PS, what I do is write out all formulas related to the concept tested. Like for ur example, I wud first write out the general velocity eqn: v= f* wavelength. Similarly if a question is asking what gas diffuses first, I write out the eqn : v inversly prop to molecular weight. Usually most qs can be answered by manipulating the eqns related to what is being asked. I'm a retaker and I scored a 13on PS June 18,'09 xam. So, this works for me.

#### iFearMCAT

Removed
Dear RTP424:

I find this post very distressing. You got your own question wrong . Oh Jeez. Velocity is completely unaffected by both wavelength and frequency. The only thing that really affects velocity is the medium in which it is in. Have a blessed Holliday weekend and send kind regards to your family. Oh and if you need a tutor I'm always here to help.

With kind regards;

Dr. Sexy

PH.D. in MCATology (saving unknowledgable pre-meds one step at a time)

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#### MDminded

For PS, what I do is write out all formulas related to the concept tested. Like for ur example, I wud first write out the general velocity eqn: v= f* wavelength. Similarly if a question is asking what gas diffuses first, I write out the eqn : v inversly prop to molecular weight. Usually most qs can be answered by manipulating the eqns related to what is being asked. I'm a retaker and I scored a 13on PS June 18,'09 xam. So, this works for me.
To elaborate on the thought...

When you look at equations, sometimes if you can't remember relationships, plug in numbers. Example:

P = F/a

If I increase the force on a system, Pressure increases. If I increase area, pressure decreases.

Anything in the denominator , when increased, will cause an opposite reaction on the other side. Meaning, P will increase if A is decreased and vice versa. The numerator, on the other hand, will increase with the other side. So if F increases, so does P. (Same goes for decreases)

#### puravida85

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
If you ever run into this type of question again: Remember the golden rules of waves.

1) The speed of the wave is determined by the type of wave and the characteristic of the medium, not by frequency.

2) When a wave passes into another medium, its speed changes, but its frequency does not.

Wavelength * Frequency = Velocity.

With the two rules and the equation above, you're going to get the right answer for these types of questions. But the above tips from other posters are worth trying, especially writing out the formula because it's so much easier to see it on paper in front of you instead of trying to do the algebra in your head. GL and with enough practice, you'll get it down.