MCAT Playbook Excerpts

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Information about MCAT Playbook Excerpts

Published on February 25, 2014

Author: benchprep



Check out these excerpts from BenchPrep's 2014 MCAT Playbook. The Playbook includes: synopsis of test sections and topics * get the lowdown on the new MCAT 2015 test format * check out dozens of real practice questions * review detailed answers and explanations * get the MCAT Test Day Do’s and Don’ts * find out who designs and writes the MCAT * get tips on how to adjust to the huge med school workload.

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The MCAT is likely the single-most important factor in your future medical career. So rise to the occasion with , the world’s most advanced test prep study tool. Study thousands of questions, review detailed explanations, and peruse review material by top-tier publishers. Follow a study guide to track your progress, and sync what you’ve done over the web, your iPad, or Android iPhone, ! Leave the heavy books behind, start studying instantaneously, and the rest is history.

MCAT2015 Between Spring 2014 and January 2015 The MCAT will look a lot different in 2015. Early in 2012, the Association of American Medical Collegs (AAMC) decided to make radical changes to the MCAT, aiming to make the test more multidisciplinary and with more real-world applicability. The MCAT2015 will likely be even more difficult, and will have different sections from the MCATs of the past. When will you be ready to test? Spring 2015 or later Current MCAT MCAT 2015 last test date is Jan. 13, 2015 first test date in early 2015 Structure 3 sections 4 sections Molecular, Cellular and Organismal Foundations of Living Systems Verbal Reasoning Psychological, Social, and and Biological Foundations of Behavior Physical, Chemical and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Biological Sciences Physical Sciences Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Length About 5 hours About 7 hours Time Questions Section Time Questions Section 70 min. 52 questions Physical Sciences 95 min. 67 questions Molecular, Cellular, & Organismal 70 min. 52 questions Biological Sciences 95 min. 67 questions Physical, Chemical, & Biochemical 60 min. 60 questions Verbal Reasoning 95 min. 67 questions Psychological, Social, & Biological 90 min. 60 questions Critical Analysis and Reasoning 74 W 56 Ba 37 Rb 22 Ti 11 Na 4 Be 1 H 3 Li 73 Ta 41 Nb 12 Mg Questions generally confined to specific disciplines General Scope Aims to be more multidisciplinary, with real-world applicability Which Test Will I Take? New Verbal Section New topics include Depending on whether your med school accepts MCAT scores from 2 or 3 years back, you may be able to start med school with an old MCAT score as late as the 2019 schoolyear. No passages on technology or natural science MORE questions on biochemistry, psychology, and sociology. 2015 2016 2017 2018 For up-to-date information about the MCAT2015, check out 2019 2020

Table of Contents 5 Ch. 1: MCAT 101 Overview of the MCAT • MCAT Length and Format • About the Computerized MCAT • 55 Ch. 5: MCAT Test Prep Resources Overview of MCAT Resources • MCAT Resource Breakdown • Group Classes and In-Person Sections of the MCAT • What’s on the MCAT? Tutoring • MCAT Prep Books • MCAT Book Re- • Who Designs the MCAT? • How is the MCAT views: The Top 5• Free Online MCAT Resources Scored? • What’s the Trial Section? • Where and • Online Self-Based Learning Programs When Should I Take the MCAT? • How Much Does It Cost? • What’s a Good MCAT Score? • The New MCAT 2015 Format Infographic 20 65 Ch. 6: MCAT Test Day Know Your Test: Time Structure of the MCAT • 7 Ways to Manage Stress Before the Big Test • Ch. 2: The Physical & Biological Sciences Sections MCAT Test Day Tips • 7 Reasons Why Staying Overview of the Physical and Biological Scienc- Test • 5 Things to Bring on MCAT Test Day • es Sections • Format of the Science Sections • MCAT Test Day Do’s and Don’ts Relaxed Will Help You Score Well on the Big Topics Overview: Math on the MCAT • Topics Overview: Phyiscal and Biological Sciences Sections • Types of Passage-Based Questions • Practice Questions • A Note on the Content of 75 Science Sections 36 Ch. 7: Applying to Med School / Med School Survival Kit MCAT Scores Q&A • The Ideal Med School Application • After the MCAT: Enjoying the In-Between Days • Med School Survival Kit • Ch. 3: The Verbal Reasoning Section Adjusting to the Med School Workload • Not Overview of the MCAT Verbal Section • Format Anymore • Getting Enough Sleep • Dealing with of the MCAT Verbal • Types of Questions • Pre- Gross Anatomy paring for the MCAT Verbal Section • Test-Taking Tips for Verbal Reasoning • Practice Questions 45 Ch. 4: MCAT Study Strategies & Tips Being the Smartest Person in the Classroom 86 Ch. 8: Solutions & Explanations to Sample Questions Correct Answers • Detailed Explanations for Every Answer Choice • Most-Common Incorrect Getting Started on MCAT Preparation • Making Answers • Average Time Spent on Each Ques- Study Plans • 6 Strategies for Answering MCAT tion • Graphs and Charts Questions • Questions, Questions, Questions! The Importance of Q&A for MCAT Prep • Which Extra Courses Should I Consider Taking? 142 Ch. 9: Conclusion Introduction to BenchPrep’s MCAT Test Prep Program • BenchPrep Games, Flashcards, Adaptive Nature and Other Features • How BenchPrep Can Improve Your MCAT Score • Special $50 Off BenchPrep Promo Code BenchPrep | MCAT Playbook 2014 | 4

Chapter 1 MCAT 101 Overview of the MCAT MCAT Length and Format About the Computerized MCAT Sections of the MCAT What’s on the MCAT? Who Designs the MCAT? How is the MCAT Scored? What’s the Trial Section? Where and When Should I Take the MCAT? How Much Does It Cost? What’s a Good MCAT Score? The New MCAT 2015 Format Infographic

Format of the MCAT Test Computer Tutorial (optional) 70 minutes PHYSICAL SCIENCES multiple-choice questions 52 7 passages with 4-7 questions each, plus 13 stand-alone questions Break - 10 min 60 minutes VERBAL REASONING multiple-choice questions 40 7 passages with 5-7 questions each Break - 10 min 70 minutes BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES multiple-choice 7 passages with 4-7 questions each, plus 13 stand-alone questions questions 52 Break - 10 min TOTAL TRIAL SECTION 45 minutes 32 questions 176 245 questions (4hrs. 5min.) minutes Survey - no test content

Chapter 2 – The Physical and Biological Sciences Sections Sample Physical Science Passage For detailed solutions and analysis of BenchPrep users’ performance on these questions, refer to Ch. 8 Q.01 Read the following and the question. Information regarding the amounts of substances that actually react to form the products are of extreme help. Analyzing reactions and having the balanced equations help chemists to determine the correct and optimum proportions of reactants to be used. There are various other factors besides the amount of reactants, which determine the efficiency of reactions. Experiment 1 2 Al + Fe2O3 2 Fe + Al2O3 Student 1 used 40.5 g of aluminum and 80 g of Fe2O3 for Reaction I. A second student conducted the same reaction with a different amount for one of the reactants. The second student used 40.5 g of aluminum, and 90 grams of Fe2O3. A third student also conducted the same reaction with 54 g of aluminum and the same amount of Fe2O3 used by the first student. Experiment 2 Reaction II involved the production of Al2O3 from aluminum hydroxide This was done by heating aluminum hydroxide. 2 Al(OH)3 (s) Al2O3 (s) + product x Experiment3 Fe2O3(s) + 3CO(g) heat 2Fe(s) + 3CO2(g) What is the most likely identity of product x? A. B. C. D. aluminum water hydrogen oxygen BenchPrep | MCAT Playbook 2014 | 28

BenchPrep Presents YES When Should I Take The MCAT? Are you feeling ready for the test? TOP MED SCHOOLS NO Have you started studying? Download the BenchPrep app & start studying NOT YET Harvard John Hopkins University of Pennsylvania Stanford University of Chicago WashU Yale Columbia (NY) Duke University of California San Francisco Facts to Consider Are you ready now? YES THE MCAT Magic Score Time to take the test. The MCAT is about When do you want to apply to med school? with 3 30 5 hrs. long, ten minute optional breaks The MCAT costs $275 Fall Summer Spring 25.2 Winter The average MCAT score Coursework required 3 Take by March 3 8 6 Take by June 6 Take by August Biology , Chemistry , Physics , Organic Chemistry 8 10 Take by October Sources In 2015, the MCAT will undergo a major revamp. 10 2013 You can expect your results about 4 weeks after you take the MCAT

Chapter 4 – MCAT Study Strategies and Tips Which Extra Courses Should I Consider Taking? A question that often arises among pre-med students is whether they should take more advanced science courses beyond the core requirements when preparing for the MCAT, and if so, which ones and when? There is no right answer to this question, and it depends on your own course schedule Since most universities offer quite a few potential additions to your academic record, it’s important to have an idea of what they are and why you should consider taking them. 1. Biochemistry: Biochemistry is, as it sounds, a combination of biology and chemistry, concerned with the biochemical reactions / metabolism taking place constantly within the body. Even though this subject has wide impact and applicability in medicine, the real reason to take it in college is so that you’ll have seen and experienced it prior to encountering it in medical school. Biochemistry can be intimidating at first, so having some proficiency in the language can be invaluable when first acclimating to your new environment. 2. Anatomy and/or Physiology: These are two of the core courses in medical school, and arguably the two most important basic science courses in terms of clinical medicine. While you’ll go nowhere near as in-depth in either area, just having seen the material before will make your life easier when you encounter the real deal. And perhaps even more importantly, you’ll be that much more well versed in these knowledge bases as you proceed towards doctorhood. 3. Microbiology: This extra knowledge will help out in med school when you have to memorize all those small critters. Plus you’ll be amazed to learn what’s really going on all around us on a smaller scale. 4. Other Science Options: Lots of other elective course could help out out in med school, and potentially on the MCAT: Genetics, Physical Chemistry (“P-Chem”), Comparative Physiology, Particle/Quantum Physics, Calculus BenchPrep | MCAT Playbook 2014 | 53

Chapter 6 – MCAT Test Day 5 Things to Bring on MCAT Test Day On test day, you want to be as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, strict test proctors have a tendency to make test-takers really uncomfortable. Make sure you come to the test center prepared, and knowing what to expect. Here’s what to take with you: Comfortable clothes You’re not going to want to be shivering or sweating when trying to remember physics properties. Make sure you bring some layers of long-sleeved clothes. Testing centers are often chilly. Photo ID A driver’s license or passport should do the trick in the US. Made sure your ID matches the name on your registration exactly! Directions to the testing center If you have a smartphone, put the address in the night before. Sometimes MCAT testing centers don’t really look like much on the outside. So it might even be smart just past beforehand just so you know exactly where the testing center is, and where you’ll need to park. You’ll need to be at the testing center 30 minutes prior to your appointment time. A positive attitude! A snack and a drink You’ll have three optional 10-minute breaks during the test, to use the restroom, drink something, and eat a snack. Some testing centers will allow you to access your locker (where’s you’ll store your personal belongings) and others will not. Either way, you’ll be able to have access to your snack and drink. You have already learned most of what you need to learn to do well on the MCAT. You’ve practiced and studied for countless hours. You’ve got the vocab of Shakespeare and the science acumen of Galileo. So all thats left for you to do is go in there knowing you're going to knock it out of the park, and do it! BenchPrep | MCAT Playbook 2014 | 72

As you navigate your MCAT prep work, know this: entering medical school and making your way can be a very uncertain and emotional time.

Chapter 7 – Applying to Med School / Med School Survival Kit The Ideal Med School Application Unfortunately, no one can offer you the perfect recipe for an application to medical school, because it will be reviewed by human beings, all of who have their own sensibilities and preferences. But there are definitely some things you’ll want to include or do, and certain things that you’ll want to avoid. Below are a few pointers on how to help your application stand out from the crowd, in a positive and memorable way. 1. Market Yourself: Some of getting into medical school, particularly amidst stiff competition, involves marketing yourself, as if you were applying and interviewing for a job. Doing so in the most flattering and impressive way possible is important. Whether it’s in writing your letter or essay, or during the interview, find a creative and gentle way to accomplish this. Perhaps offer that you always knew you liked science/medicine because you enjoyed learning and acing your classes, and your all-star MCAT score just made you that much more certain that it was for you. You get the idea. 2. Personal Statement: After grades and MCAT scores, the personal statement —and any supplementary essays— is the next most important consideration for committee members. It not only distinguishes you in a very personal way, but it is something concrete that can be reviewed and analyzed, and appreciated. With this in mind, strive to make your essay(s) as sincere and heartfelt as possible. Make it your own and make it distinct, because they can tell when someone is just phoning it in. You don’t have to be a fantastic writer in order to make a great impression. 3. Other Stuff: Another fine line you may have to toe is figuring out how much extra stuff should be included in your application. Most college students have several extracurriculars that they should proudly highlight on their application, and in general, you should try to pack in as many relevant activities and organizations as possible. The only problem is when someone crams so much information (or lots of irrelevant info) into the “space provided” that it ends up diluting the substance of what’s listed there. Even though in this case BenchPrep | MCAT Playbook 2014 | 79

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