1. Hey Guest! Check out the 3 MCAT Study Plan Options listed in the 'stickies' area at the top of the forums (BoomBoom, SN2ed, and MCATJelly). Let us know which you like best.

    Also, we now offer a MCAT Test-Prep Exhibitions Forum where you can ask questions directly from the test-prep services.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  3. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Psych/sociology mcat 2015 tips

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by FutureD.O, Aug 14, 2015.

  1. FutureD.O

    FutureD.O OU-HCOM OMS-II
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    438
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hey everyone. I just wanted to know if anyone had any advice they could swing my way regarding the psych section. Psych/soc has been my worst section.

    I've taken Kaplan 3 fls of psych/doc (not including diagnostic) and have received a 122-125-122.

    I'm having serious issues with addressing the proper mindset I should have when doing this section. For me personally, it feels like I just eliminate the worst possible answers and choose the least terrible answer..if that makes sense. I usually single it down to 2 questions only to frequently choose the wrong answer.

    Another thing, does anyone have any advice on what I should focus on? My worst area in this section seems to be sociology and research design. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Edit:

    When I mean by what I should focus on, I mean high yield topics particularly in sociology, but also would like advice on what to focus on overall.
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. gothicfoxes

    gothicfoxes MD & MPH goals
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2015
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    130
    Status:
    Other Health Professions Student
    You have the right idea with process of elimination. Take notes on what trips you up as you go through practice problems, and make an outline of topics to study. See if that helps. x
     
  4. FutureD.O

    FutureD.O OU-HCOM OMS-II
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    438
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I'll be sure to take note of that and try and implement that when I'm going over psych tomorrow! It just drives me nuts how instead of looking for the most right answer I'm stuck looking for the least wrong answer (even though that may sound like the same thing).
     
  5. gothicfoxes

    gothicfoxes MD & MPH goals
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2015
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    130
    Status:
    Other Health Professions Student
    That's a strategy to keep using, but remember that test makers are aware of these common test strategies. They keep these in mind to make tests difficult and to trip you up. This is why process of elimination sometimes comes down to two or three right-sounding answers.
     
  6. FutureD.O

    FutureD.O OU-HCOM OMS-II
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    438
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Definitely a good point, I'll be keeping that in the back of my mind for my next fl. Thanks!
     
  7. El-Rami

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    440
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    Personally, I think the behavioral science section (in general) is easy as long as you understand how psychological studies are done. If you have a good grasp on the schools of thought (e.g. cognitive, behavioral, humanist, biological, etc.) you can generally discern the meanings of terms that you are unfamiliar with in order to understand how a certain person with grounding in a certain school of thought would approach something. Understanding sociology in the context of demographics, how certain societies work, social stratification, etc. can really go a long way. I find myself a bit rusty on my theories and terms, yet I am able to answer at least 60-70% of the questions correctly just by using my understanding of how studies work, general ideas about sociology, and the schools of thought in psychology. A lot of the things I miss are due to content gaps, but should be easily remedied if I review the basic theories and major theorists again to keep it fresh in my mind.
     
    kanda1o likes this.
  8. Fedekz

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    667
    Likes Received:
    436
    Status:
    Medical Student
    The psych test is, and I think will probably always be due to the nature of undergraduate psychology, a memorization test. A lot of the questions are term/definition questions hidden in a 1 or 2 sentence question stem. For example, on my exam I had a question about a specific theory. It didn't explicitly state the theory name, but it sort of gave a scenario with a patient, then said something to the effect of "based on Albert Bandura's theory, which of the following is the patient experiencing". Then it listed 4 answer choices, two were from a different theory but may sound like it fit by just the name, then there was the correct answer, and either a far out there wrong one, or a term from that theory, but didn't apply or was the opposite to describe the situation.

    So not memorizing the theory and relevant terms you might have been hosed. By the way - I didn't have a question on Bandura it was someone else, I just changed the info so AAMC doesn't come raid my house and drop through my ceiling on rope lines for violating their clauses.

    The passages required less memorization in my opinion. Most of what you needed was in the passage - a lot of data interpretation and inference from the results.

    This probably isn't a huge help, but it's the best I can do. If you don't know your definitions down cold you absolutely need to. They all sound familiar and if you reviewed them briefly but didn't hammer them, when it comes test time and you're staring at the answer choices your mind will play tricks on you and you may start to confuse them. Maybe you will confuse the definitions of social stratification and social constructionism, they both look somewhat similar and both may 'fit the type'.

    I'm rambling on because I'm bored at work all night, but before I took my test I was hungry for reading anecdotal experience. All I can say is, if you don't know your definitions, key points or words in theories, and their respective theorists you'll be at a huge disadvantage. Had I not been a psych major and just read through the TPR psych book without studying the glossary the night before I would probably been hosed.
     
    twinBqt and kanda1o like this.
  9. kanda1o

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    58
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I'm a psych/neuroscience double major, so I do really well with passages based on the brain, psych, research designs, all that jazz. But the sociology stuff has been a weird thing to study. I find it all to be relatively common sense though. As the people above me said, it's allll memorization.

    Some things that continue to pop up on all my practice FL's.... Attribution theory, and other big theories, (Symbolic Interactionism, Social Constructionism, Functionalism,). But like, some things are just so basic... Stereotype threat, self-fulfilling prophecy, etc.

    Then there's other terms that are different, but the differences are so minor... Obedience vs. compliance.

    Notecards may be beneficial for this type of material. The basic, term and definition type of content that is basically what the behavioral sciences section is all about.
     
    twinBqt likes this.
  10. FutureD.O

    FutureD.O OU-HCOM OMS-II
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    438
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the responses. I am going to attempt to implement most of these suggestions into review, especially after full lengths! My biggest issue has come down to discerning nuances between many similar terms. Definitely going to be reinforcing my understanding of the different schools of thought for psych. Does anyone have any advice on how to holistically attack sociology in the same manner? That is where I have been getting tripped up the most..
     

Share This Page