**Physics and Math Tips for the MCAT / medical tests**

Physics: need to know

Classification: break it down

Questions: 2 types

Units: subtle hint

Math: stick to basics

Examples:

Outline

There is no magic pill or trick that will take the place of studying.

Yet there are some things that can help.

I don't profess to be the expert on MCAT or other medical tests.

Disclaimer

I am from Cache Valley

I dual majored in Physics and Mathematics

(minored in Chemistry)

I began applying for Dental school and took the DAT

Any initial Questions for me?

INTRO.

Richard Datwyler

Some things that will help you focus your studies

There is a lot of material

Make a list !!! Check it twice.

**Physics: Need to know**

AAMC used to have a great list of topics

Principle

Based:

Know the main principles and equations

What type of Problem is this?

**Classification**

Key phrases

Each type of problem has key phrases

(Kinematics, E&M, Relativity, etc)

Units (know your units this is a good thing)

Organize your thoughts

They will throw misleading info, focus on the primary problem

Things to look for:

How long,

How far,

How fast,

How height,

What is the accerelation, velocity , distance, etc.

Field

Potential

Charge

Electromagnitism

Observer

Relative

'sees'

proper

Passage, and Discrete

Passage, and Discrete

**Two types of problems**

These are the random information question

they do not link up with others, and can be anything.

These should be bread and butter

what you live on.

As you quiz and prepare your self this is what you prep for.

They are the pure fact question

Stand Alone

1. Analyze

What type of problem is this?

(EM, momentum, fluids, etc)

2. Principle that governs this problem

General principle or law

(charges, mass and velocity, non compressible)

Equation

(~kq/r^2 , mv , Av)

3. What are they asking for?

4. DOES IT MAKE SENSE?

What to do?

DO NOT STRESS, DO NOT GIVE UP, FIND THE POINT

Passage

The passage questions are the critical thinking

questions, they test to see if you can understand

what you are reading, interpret the given information and apply general principle

They are NOT impossible

They do a great job of linking ideas!!

1. Scan Passage!

Very Quick overall view of problems common thread

2. Scan questions (you have to click next & prev)

Bit slower scan of questions, this will help you focus on what to look for as you read.

3. READ IT!

Pay attention to detail regarding question scan

4. Don't give up if topic isn't familiar

The questions might ask completely different fundamental principle

5. ANSWER THE QUESTION!

6. Rescan the passage for any needed clarification

you should know where theses are from initial scan and reading

7. Spend a bit more time here

more problems more time.

What to do

**Of all the quick tip helps, this is the most important.**

**UNITS UNITS UNITS**

The answer will have a unit!!!

make sure the math gives you the right unit

The question often gives the most probable mistakes for a given question. Thus if you didn't memorize the exact equation you would miss it.

Example Standing wave frequency

if the wavelength is 4 m and the velocity is 20 m/s

what is the fundamental frequency

A. 0.2 Hz

B. 5.0 Hz

C. 0.2 s

D. 5.0 s

This will check your equations, as well as your answers.

It eliminates wrong answer by both

Units given

Math solved

They can solve symbolic problems too.

Learn units of major variables

(mass, momentum, acceleration, force, E&M,etc)

UNITS

No calculator

The good,

bad,

ugly

**MATH Tips**

Having no calculator is alright, it keeps the computation down.

But if you aren't practiced it can be hard

And they will give you the most common mistakes

Order of magnitude

Separate out the power from the number

Move it around

Play with fractions

Top and bottom

Patterns and short cuts

2, 5, 10 quarters are your friends

Sine, cosine (PERCENTS of whole)

30, 45, 60, 90

sin 30 = .5 (think 2)

cos 30 = .866 (10 and 2 / 85 %)

example

37sine 30 (divide by 2 = = 18.5 )

37 cos 30 (think 10 'tithing = 3.7

now think 2 = 1.85

add them 5.55 and solve

remember steps = = 31.45)

sin 45 = .707 (think 10 and 3 / 70%)

cos 45 = .707

example

23 sine 45 (think 10 = 2.3

times by 3 = 6.9

small steps (16) == 16.1

Take it apart!

2.5 x 10 / ( 5 x 10 )

two parts

NUMBER

2.5 / 5 = .5

POWER

-12 / -15 = + 3

answer .5 x 10 = 500

-12

-15

3

This works for equations as well as answers

1/ L = c/f = = L = f/c

15 / (1/2) = 2 *15 = 30

Take small steps,

if it is times or divide, make the numbers close.

Add and subtract, take whole numbers and then the little bit

Look for nice numbers 2, 10 and branch from there

**Examples**

1200 x 10 = 1.2 x 10

-15

-12

3700 x 10 = 3.7 x 10

+6

+9

0.0004 x 10 = 4.0 x 10

-7

-11

0.0057 x 10 = 5.7 x 10

2

-1

**Principles**

classification

units

math

classification

units

math

-12

-15

3

QUESTIONS?

Buyer be ware, principle is not always enough

(there are some hint though)

Their list of equations is NOT all inclusive.

I would generate your own

Not necessarily for memorization.

It will help you with principles.

Now they have a great work sheet

https://students-residents.aamc.org/advisors/mcat-resources-pre-health-advisors/course-mapping-tool-mcat-exam/

https://students-residents.aamc.org/advisors/mcat-resources-pre-health-advisors/course-mapping-tool-mcat-exam/

SKILLS

Concept categories

Foundational Concepts

Kinematic, dynamics, work, energy

Electrodynamics, circuits

Fluids

Light and sound

Atomic and nuclear

Thermodynamics