Module 9 Conceptual Integration
The core of the exam
Biochemistry and molecular cell biology are at the heart of the MCAT. Within these subjects you will find many of the more sophisticated passages on the exam and many of the more difficult questions. Furthermore, the ideas in general and organic chemistry that are most important for the test are important to AAMC because they are a foundation for biochemistry and molecular biology. The subjects we have been working through these past few modules, protein structure, the protein lab, enzyme activity, enzyme kinetics, carbohydrates and lipids, need continuous spaced repetition from here on out.
You don't have to memorize everything
Within carbohydrates and lipids, there is a great deal of nomenclature. Even though the nomenclature often finds its way into passages, much of it is not expected foreknowledge for questions. The exam is fond of placing out-of-scope nomenclature within the passages, where the figure of merit it to keep your footing. You may not know the name of a particular medium-chain fatty acid, for example, but there it is in the passage. Caproic acid. Caproate. Is that what it is? It seems like a fatty acid from the context. You manage your uncertainty with a good open question. Plant a flag there. Maintain an open question. This will let you hold onto the overall thread of meaning. The exam is very much about seeing that you know how do this, that you can place out-of-scope information into a schema. It's always better if you have foreknowledge, but no matter what, you never allow a reference to become a floating signifier. Fence it in and manage it. Always reach an accommodation.