The MCAT can be a daunting exam. With the new version of the MCAT now almost double the length of the previous version, and with new topics to study, you may wonder how to get through the mountain of information with your sanity intact. There is plenty of useful information online on how to prepare for the MCAT but the most helpful advice I have found is firstly to focus on understanding the basic concepts (don’t rely solely on memorization!) and secondly to practice as much as possible under timed conditions. My goal is to read each passage in about 3 minutes and answer each question in about a minute. It may take more or less time depending on the difficulty of the passage or question, but this would be the average time to aim for.
With understanding the fundamental concepts being your main goal, there are some aspects of the material that you just have to bite the bullet and memorize. Here are 3 mnemonics that I have been using to help me get some key material down pat:
- Ideal Fluids: as velocity goes up, PAT goes down (PAT = pressure, cross sectional area and temperature)-by potentialdoctor.com
- Reactivity of Carboxylic Acid Derivatives: From least reactive to most reactive: ACE A KetAl Halide (sounds like “Ace a Kettle Halide” and stands for Amide, Carboyxlic Acid, Ester, Anhydride, Ketone, Aldehyde, Acid Halide)-by potentialdoctor.com
- Anterior Pituitary Peptide Hormones: FLAT PeG (stands for FSH, LH, ACTH, TSH, Prolactin and Growth Hormone) from MCAT-review.org
The MCAT does not have to defeat you. With a consistent study schedule, practice questions, good test-taking techniques and a positive attitude, you can conquer one of the most important exams of your life! Happy studying!