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Question about the MCAT


Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2006
  1. Post Doc
    I'm retaking the August MCAT but I can't remember from last year how heavy the organic chemistry was.

    Would you guys recommend knowing the mechanisms for the reactions (well aside from knowing the difference between Sn1, Sn2 and the other famous examples)
    or should I just focus on knowing the end product of the reaction?

    Basically I was thinking of just studying A+B = C and not worrying about the details.

    What's your opinion?

    Dr Durden

    Full Member
    10+ Year Member
    Jun 16, 2006
    The Dirty South
    1. Medical Student
      They seem to be fond of testing mechanisms by picking an atom, making it an isotope or simply marking it with an asterisk, then asking you where it will end up on the product(s) or where it came from on the reactant(s). You'll probably see one or two of these pop up on your exam, so don't completely ignore the details.
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      Full Member
      10+ Year Member
      May 18, 2004
      1. Medical Student
        Don't study the nitty gritty of every mechanism you have ever learned. If they chose a mechanism there is no gaurantee it will be one you studied. Instead focus on the braod concepts (like charge districution and molecule stability) that allow you to guess what mechanisms will look like. There was a random mechanism on my MCAT, I think it was some form of the Hell-Volhard-Zelinsky reaction. It wasn't something I studied, but it was fine, they drew a diagram of it in the passage.
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