Mindfulness meditation for SAT success

Posted by Bryan P. on 3/19/21 12:00 PM

When you take the SAT, you’re really taking two tests in one. The first is the test you know (and probably strongly dislike). The second test is an internal challenge: you have to manage your mind, stress, and emotions. You might know everything about math, reading, and writingbut if you can’t master the inner test, you won’t get that score you want.

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Tags: SSAT, SAT, PSAT

“Tell me about your research”

Posted by Vera T. on 3/17/21 12:15 PM

If you did any research work at all before applying to medical school, you are likely to encounter this question. And if you apply to MD/PhD, you will encounter it multiple times at every institution. So it’s especially worth your while to be prepared.

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Tags: medical school admissions, MD/PhD admissions

“If you had to choose a career outside of medicine, what would it be?”

Posted by David M. on 3/15/21 12:00 PM

It’s interview season. You’ve spent at least the past six months writing, writing, writing to convince admissions committees that medicine is the only possible career for you, the one that will allow you to fulfill your personal and professional goals, the one your passions have driven you towards. So what should you make of this common interview question?

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Tags: medical school admissions, MD/PhD admissions

How to balance redox reactions in acidic and basic solutions

Posted by Ellen Y. on 3/12/21 12:01 PM

Balancing redox reactions is an essential skill for the Chemical and Physical Foundations section of the MCAT, the GRE Chemistry Subject Test, and the AP Chemistry Exam. Today, we will learn how to use the half-cell method for balancing redox reactions in acidic and basic solutions. We will first balance a redox reaction in acidic solution, then we will balance the same redox reaction in basic solution.

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Tags: chemistry, MCAT, chemistry SAT subject test

Top grammar errors to avoid

Posted by Tess M. on 3/10/21 12:00 PM

Throughout the years I’ve spent reading and writing, I’ve seen my fair share of grammar errors. But few are peskier, or more pervasive, than the two I’ll discuss in this post. So common are these two grammar errors that I regularly encounter them in professional writing—sometimes even in articles by full blown professors! These two errors often mark a crucial difference: between merely intelligible and actually correct English prose. Eliminate them from your writing, and you’ll improve it by more than you realize. 

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Tags: English, expository writing

"How would you contribute diversity to our medical school?"

Posted by Connie Z. on 3/8/21 12:00 PM

During the MD admissions process, this question is often dreaded, as applicants reminisce on the mundaneness of premed requirements and volunteer experiences. As with questions of, "What are your strengths?", "Why should we accept you?", and "What makes you unique?", applicants may fear coming off too arrogant and self-promoting. In all these questions, the interviewer is trying to get a sense of how you would add to the medical school class and what unique perspectives you can bring. Instead of dreading this question, take this as an opportunity to highlight something that may not be apparent in your application or to emphasize what drives you and all that you've accomplished!

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Tags: medical school admissions, MD/PhD admissions

The pigeonhole principle: a counting concept with countless applications

Posted by Jack M. on 3/5/21 12:00 PM

Consider the following questions:

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Tags: math

Four tricks to becoming a better academic reader

Posted by Joseph F. on 3/3/21 12:15 PM

College professors often assign their students hundreds of pages of difficult academic reading per week. These reading-intensive assignments reflect a faulty assumption on the part of those professors: that college students arrive on campus already knowing how to make sense of dense texts and process information in huge quantities. Freshman writing classes at universities across the US demonstrate a tacit acknowledgement that when students first come to college they still need to meaningfully develop advanced writing skills. Why is this not also the case for reading? Why are “critical” or “analytical” reading practices so rarely taught in college classrooms? Given this glaring absence, here are four tricks that can help students tackle high-level reading assignments. 

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Tags: study skills, homework help, English

Hormones of the female reproductive system

Posted by Tania F. on 3/1/21 12:00 PM

The female reproductive system can at times feel like a difficult jumble of hormones that all seem to be related, but fluctuate in unpredictable ways. To make sense of the particularities of the female reproductive system, especially for exams like the MCAT, it is important to not only know what hormones are involved, but also to understand what their purpose is and how that purpose is connected to their seemingly random (but actually quite predictable!) cyclic fluctuations. Once you know all that, the reproductive system transforms from a confusing jumble of terms to a beautiful concert of hormones working together to drive and maintain the complex processes of ovulation, menstruation, and pregnancy.

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Tags: biology, MCAT

Gametogenesis and spermatogenesis and oogenesis, oh my!

Posted by Tania F. on 2/26/21 12:00 PM

Meiosis is one of those processes that we all learned about in high school biology as a deceptively simple concept. You take the diploid cell, divide it twice, and it becomes four haploid gametes that are each capable of participating in fertilization. Easy, right?

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Tags: biology, MCAT