MCAT: The Best Test Preparation for the Medical College Admission Test

Alvarez M.A., Joseph A., Beard Ph.D., Pauline, Chasnov, R., Davis Ed.D., Anita Price, Giesmann, L. A., Greif, G. F., Hagle, T. M., Hankins, M., Kenned

Published by Research & Education Association, 2004
ISBN 10: 0738600342 / ISBN 13: 9780738600345
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Master the MCAT! Our medical test experts show you how to pass the test and score higher. Our newly updated 4th edition combines advanced practice with powerhouse strategies so the student is prepared for every question type on the MCAT. Features 5 comprehensive reviews and 6 full-length practice exams that cover the entire scope of the MCAT. Comprehensive explanations for all exam questions. Follow up your study with REA`s powerhouse test-taking strategies and study schedule that get you ready for test day. REA`s CD-ROM software offers two full-length, timed, computerized exams that give you the closest thing to experiencing a live exam at a testing center. System Requirements: CPU: 75 MHz Pentium or compatible. 300MHz or higher recommended. Operating System: Windows 98, Me, 2000 and XP. RAM: 64MB available minimum 100 MB Hard Disk space available Additional Software: Internet Explorer 5.5

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.: Preparing for the MCAT

About this Book & TESTware
By reviewing and studying the material in this book, you can achieve a top score on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). This book has been designed to thoroughly prepare you for the MCAT by providing you with six full-length exams that accurately reflect the MCAT in both the level of difficulty and nature of the questions. The exams provided are based on the current format of the MCAT and include every type of question you may encounter during the actual examination.
Following each exam you will find an answer key, complete with detailed explanations and solutions designed to clarify the material. Our objective is not only to provide you with the answers, but also to explain to you why one answer is more acceptable than another. Our topical reviews will take you through the very material you're most likely to encounter on the MCAT. By completing all six practice exams and studying the explanations that follow, you can discover your strengths and weaknesses. Then you can concentrate on the sections of the exam that give you the most difficulty. Our reviews cover each topic on the test: chemistry, biology, physics, as well as mathematics. You'll also find powerful tips on writing the essays. The reviews themselves are interspersed with drills to raise your comfort level.
Two of the practice tests in this book and software package are included in two formats: in printed form in this book, and in TESTware format on the enclosed CD. We recommend that you begin your preparation by first taking the practice exams on your computer. The software provides timed conditions, automatic scoring, and scoring information that makes it easier to target your strengths and weaknesses.

About the MCAT
The MCAT is required by virtually all American medical schools and is a top criterion for admission. Every year, about 40,000 applicants to U.S. and Canadian medical schools submit MCAT results, along with other undergraduate records, as part of the highly competitive medical school admissions process.
Every medical school has its own formula for evaluating your application and attaches a different weight to your MCAT scores. As a general rule, however, MCAT scores are equally as important as your overall grade-point average and interview performance. In a word, you must achieve a high MCAT score to have a reasonable chance for admission. And of course, the MCAT's importance is heightened if you are applying to a highly competitive medical school.
The MCAT is administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges twice a yearÑin the spring and in late summer. You should choose the test date appropriate to the application requirements of the medical school(s) of your choice. However, medical school admissions advisors generally suggest that you take the MCAT in the spring prior to the year you plan to begin your studies. Spring test dates are preferable because your test results will be ready in time for early processing of your medical school application. In addition, in the event you perform poorly during the spring administration of the MCAT, you will have an opportunity to retake the MCAT in the summer. Scores for the late summer administration of the MCAT are available in time to meet most application deadlines.
The only way to register for the MCAT is online. You will be able to access the Web registration site approximately 8 to 12 weeks prior to each test date. Candidates are urged to register early; registrations are processed in the order received, so submitting your registration early increases your chance to get tested at your first-choice test center.
About five weeks prior to each test date, the MCAT Program Office begins mailing admission tickets and ID cards. If you do not receive your confirmation email, admission ticket, and ID card within a reasonable time after registration, call the MCAT Program Office. The admission ticket will show the exact address of the test center and the date and time of your test. Keep it in a safe place and remember to bring it to the test.
If you have any further questions, ask your academic supervisor, or contact:
MCAT Program Office
P.O. Box 4056
Iowa City, IA 52243-4056
Phone: (319) 337-1357
TDD: (319) 337-1701

More information is available by contacting:

AMCAS
Association of American Medical Colleges
2450 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037-1127
Phone: (202) 828-0600
Website: www.aamc.org
E-mail: amcas@aamc.org

Format of the MCAT
In addition to testing your basic scientific knowledge in the fields of biology, chemistry, and physics, the MCAT will test your problem-solving, critical thinking, and writing skills. The exam, which lasts five hours and 45 minutes (with two 10-minute rest breaks and a 60-minute lunch break), is composed of four basic sections, each containing brief passages that outline a situation. Following the passages are multiple-choice questions, which are designed to test your knowledge and various skills that the Association of American Medical Colleges has determined are prerequisites for medical school and the practice of medicine.

Physical Sciences (100 minutes)
This section consists of 77 physics and general chemistry questions. Approximately 10 or 11 passages will be the basis for 62 of the questions; the remaining 15 will be independent.
Verbal Reasoning (85 minutes)
This section consists of 60 reading comprehension questions based on nine passages.
Writing Sample (30 minutes each essay)
This section consists of two separate essays on assigned topics.
Biological Sciences (100 minutes)
This section consists of 77 general biology and organic chemistry questions. Approximately 10 or 11 passages will be the basis for 62 of the questions; the remaining 15 will be independent.
Total Testing Time: 5 hours and 45 minutes
The overall length of the test day is approximately nine and one-half hours. Candidates report to the test centers by 8 a.m., and the exam ends at approximately 5:30 p.m.
Number of Minutes Per Minutes Per
Test Section Questions Section Break Period

Physical Sciences 77 100 10
Verbal Reasoning 60 85 60 (lunch)
Writing Sample 2 essays 60 10
Biological Sciences 77 100 --

The Review Sections
* The Biology Review provides a comprehensive summary of the main areas tested in the Biological Sciences Test section. It discusses topics in both general biology and organic chemistry.
* The Chemistry Review presents all of the topics that constitute the general chemistry half of the Physical Sciences Test section.
* The Physics Review covers all of the topics that constitute the general physics half of the Physical Sciences Test section.
* The Mathematics Review helps sharpen the necessary skills required for the science sections of the MCAT by reviewing the key areas of math you'll need to master before taking the exam.
* The Writing Sample Review provides some pointers on answering the Writing Sample section of the MCAT. It also discusses ways to gear your writing skills and organize your thoughts in a limited amount of time.
* The Verbal Reasoning Review introduces all the skills that will help you succeed in this section of the MCAT.

The Test Sections
As discussed earlier, the MCAT contains four separate sections: Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, the Writing Samples, and Biological Sciences. The following outline explains these sections in detail and suggests helpful hints for selecting the correct answer.

Physical Sciences
The Physical Sciences section is based on several mini-passages that outline a situation. You will be required to interpret, analyze, and apply the information provided as you answer the questions. This section will require you to:
* Understand and apply basic concepts
* Balance simple chemical equations
* Solve general physics problems
All of the questions asked will be at the level of first-year college material. You will not need advanced or special knowledge to answer these questions.
Suggested Techniques for Answering Physical Sciences Questions
* Read each mini-passage thoroughly.
* Be sure you understand what each question is asking.
* Take notes in the margins of your test booklet.
* Do not try to work out the problems in your head.
* If you do not know the answer to a question, try to make an educated guess.

Verbal Reasoning
The Verbal Reasoning section will ask interpretive, applicative, and inferential questions that refer to nine reading passages. Each passage will be approximately 500 to 600 words in length and followed by five to ten questions. The questions will not ask about detailed facts from the passage but will include material that will call for the following:
* Understanding the theme of a passage
* Determining and evaluating the important points of an argument
* Drawing inferences from facts and reaching conclusions
All questions will be answerable solely on the basis of information provided in the passages and will not require any medical or special knowledge. The passages for this section will be drawn from many disciplines, including the social sciences, the humanities, and philosophy.
The Verbal Reasoning section in our practice tests contains slightly more questions than the actual test. This does not affect the set-up of the section: like the real thing, our practice tests feature nine reading passages that are followed by five to ten questions. The only difference is that the total number of questions spanning the full section is slightly higher in our practice tests. Time is a crucial factor in this section, and the pressure to answer every question can be daunting. Answering slightly more questions in the same amount of time while you practice can serve to boost your confidence and help relieve anxiety on exam day.

Suggested Techniques for Answering Verbal Reasoning Questions
* Read the passage for content. Be sure you understand the words and statements in it.
* Skim some of the ques...

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Title: MCAT: The Best Test Preparation for the ...
Publisher: Research & Education Association
Publication Date: 2004
Book Condition: Very Good
Edition: 2004th Edition.

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