Pituitary Gland Hormones Made Simple!

Posted by Elizabeth R. on 9/18/20 8:37 AM

What is the pituitary gland?

Even though the pituitary gland is about the size of a pea, it plays a very important role in regulating a lot of our body’s endocrine functions. Located in an area known as the sella turcica at the base of the brain and suspended from the hypothalamus by a stalk, the pituitary gland consists of two parts: the anterior/front lobe (which accounts for the majority of the pituitary gland’s weight), and the posterior/back lobe.

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Tags: biology, medical school admissions, MCAT

How to memorize the amino acids (and not have your brain explode while doing it)

Posted by Tania F. on 8/30/20 11:26 AM

There comes a time in the life of any pre-med when they realize that, yes, they will actually have to memorize all 20 amino acids. Whether it’s for your biochemistry course or the MCAT (absolutely mandatory for the MCAT!), memorizing the amino acids can seem like an impossible task.

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Tags: medical school admissions, MCAT

MCAT Prep: First Steps to a long-term study plan

Posted by Humza Z. on 7/28/20 9:09 AM

A common misconception about the MCAT is that you should only start studying several months to a year before your expected exam date. In reality, some MCAT skills may benefit from a more gradual approach, over the course of months or years. Even a few minutes every day can add up over a long period of time and prepare you to ace the MCAT on test day.

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Tags: MCAT

The one major difference between how high scorers and low scorers study

Posted by Dhruv P. on 7/22/20 11:27 AM

There are many differences between high and low scorers on the MCAT. Many of these differences are difficult to address: reading background, experience with experimental design, and test taking abilities to name a few. However, there is one consistent, notable difference in strategy. I call this strategy mistake analysis.

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Tags: MCAT

Making use of MCAT practice tests: it’s not just about learning content!

Posted by Mandy S. on 7/18/20 10:00 AM

Taking practice tests is a key step in your MCAT preparation, but many students don’t realize everything that goes into preparing to take the test and reviewing the test afterward. Reviewing the test is one of the most essential steps you can take in your MCAT prep work. After sitting through a grueling 7 hours of science and verbal comprehension, it can be tough to imagine doing anything except binge watching Netflix and eating a bowl of ice cream. Although breaks in your study schedule are good to incorporate, it is important to keep in mind that the biggest bang for your buck from practice tests comes from seeing where you went wrong and making a plan for how to avoid those mistakes later on. Follow my guide below for taking and reviewing a practice test!

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Tags: MCAT

Practice testing around the 520s? Here’s how to boost your score into the 100 percentile!

Posted by Terrance M. on 7/8/20 10:00 AM

As a person who was practice testing in the 520-521 range with 2-3 weeks left of studying, I was content with my score; however, I had an idea that I could get to the 100 percentile range if I pushed myself and studied smart for the remaining few weeks. With some slight tweaks to my study plan, I was able to comfortably score in the 100th percentile on test day, which exceeded my wildest expectations when I first began studying.

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Tags: MCAT

Some ways to organize your MCAT biology review of muscle tissue

Posted by Michelle L. on 5/29/20 11:00 AM

There are so many concepts on the MCAT, and sometimes it can be easy to get lost in how different concepts relate to each other. Notecards, flow charts or large maps, and teachbacks are all ways to make sure you solidify these complicated topics! One strategy to study for the MCAT and consolidate information is approaching biology concepts from multiple perspectives — for example, by levels of organization.

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Tags: MCAT

A Perspective on the CARS section from an English Major

Posted by Chang M. on 5/21/20 9:27 AM

One February morning in my junior year, sitting under the harsh lights of the reference room in my college library, I decided to open ExamKrackers’ 101 Passages in MCAT. While I bemoaned the fact that this moment heralded the beginning of the dreadful MCAT study period, I was secretly confident that CARS would be a feel-good start to my MCAT studying. After all, having read thousands of pages of the “great authors” and also having churned out page after page of essays, sometimes analyzing a single word, I thought that reading a few passages and answering some comprehension questions were what I have been training for during the entirety of my undergraduate years. So, I forged ahead, ready to crush the first batch of passages.

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Tags: MCAT

Having agency over your MCAT-studying experience

Posted by Apolline J. on 5/15/20 6:08 PM

Studying for the MCAT is a daunting task, and we’re likely to turn to others for strategies to make it through the experience successfully. People on online forums, students in years ahead of us, mentors, advisors, and friends can all offer meaningful advice. But, sometimes, these suggestions can get scary, especially when people’s suggestions differ based on their own preferences or lived experience. We start wondering whom to believe or trust, and making those calls can make an already difficult time even more overwhelming. The following are some thoughts on being intentional about making your study time your own.

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Tags: MCAT

How to study for the MCAT when you haven’t completed all your science coursework

Posted by John C. on 5/4/20 11:00 AM

A lot of folks have asked me how to study MCAT material that they have never seen in class. It is a good and important question. Many of the topics covered on the MCAT—particularly on the Chem/Phys section—are covered in classes that students tend to take later in their college careers, such as second semester physics (E&M). In this brief post, I hope to share a bit of my own MCAT story, as I took the MCAT while I was in the midst of second semester organic chemistry and second semester physics.

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Tags: MCAT, covid-19