Ok, to most of you, this is going to sound like a stupid question, but here goes anyways: Do I need to memorize every physics equation for the MCAT? I'm studying the Kaplan Comprehensive book right now, and I was just wondering if I needed to learn all these formulas. Thanks a bunch.

There are some equations you'll definitely have to know, but there are others that will rarely come up. It's more important to be able to understand why you're using the equations and when to use them, rather than to just memorize them. Good luck!

You should know the easy and obvious ones. They tend to give you a lot of the more complex ones in the passage based questions. Do a couple of the AAMC tests to get a feel for the level of detail you need to know...

I memorized tons of equations but found, at least on the August 2001 mcat: NO equations needed!! (slight exaggeration - the two needed were P=IR and c=vL, equations you probably already know w/o studying) Apparently AMCAS is moving away from the math intensive Physics section. Of course, I don't want to be held responsible if they decide to go back to the old way of doing things, a la the practice exams. You should prob. memorize most of them just to be safe.

My physics professors used to tell me this: "The only equation you need to memorize is F=m*a." I guess that explains why I got A-'s all three semeesters instead of everyone else who memorized every equation and got A's. Damn. I would just know all the ones given in one of those Kaplan or TPR review books. Something is bound to show up in the MCAT, just depends on how lucky/unlucky you are.

If it's coming from your physics professors, I might not trust it. I'm sure they have good intentions, but physics is their life. The father of my roommate works at a well known national physics laboratory, and one time he asked my roommate (also premed) and I why we were trying to memorize so many equations. We asked, "What other option do we have???" and he said that he would just derive the equations that he needed during the exam. DERIVE them, from the basic elementary equations. Right. So perhaps your physics professors do the same!

You may as well learn to speed-read for the verbal section - both would be equal wastes of time. Most MCAT prep books definitely overemphasize the amount of mathematics required for the PS part. You will be better off to make sure you know the general physical principles underlying the problems presented rather than those ridiculous mathematical formulas. After all, there is a reason that many med schools are deemphasizing mathematical prerequisites.

Check out this page, awesome formula sheet... <a href="http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/Union/5092/notes.html" target="_blank">http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/Union/5092/notes.html</a>

the only equation that came in handy and wasn't given was the wavelength equation for light: speed of light = wavelenght*frequency. Most if not all of the equations were given within the passage or off to the side. I wouldn't waste my time memorizing equations. Needless to say, I worked so many passages that when the test came around lots of chem/physics equations were fresh in my mind without ever attempting to memorize them.

Yup. I agree. Just do lots of practice MCATs and you'll get a feel for the level of equations you need to memorize. I memorized the light equation, and the current equation, and I did fine. Really, memorizing pages of equations is a waste of time. I wrote in August and April, and they gave us pretty much all the formulas we need. But do the AAMC PRACTICE MCATS! That's sooo important, just to get a feel for the test....