Studying for the MCAT can be challenging. With many scientific terms and equations to master, you cannot help but feel overwhelmed.
Thankfully, you can employ many techniques and strategies to make preparing for the MCAT a little less challenging.
One such technique is the use of mnemonics. When information is structured into lists like attributes, processes, stages, components, phases, etc., it is simpler to recall larger amounts of it.
This article will provide you with an MCAT mnemonics guide; if that is what you are looking for, you have come to the right page. Let’s keep going.
What Do I Need to Memorize for the MCAT?
Below are the different topics and disciplines that you need to study and memorize important concepts for the MCAT:
What are Mnemonics?
A mnemonic device is a memory strategy that can improve your capacity for information recall and retention. This learning technique originated in Greece. You can use mnemonic devices as memory aids to transfer information from your short-term memory to your long-term memory.
Mnemonics could be expressed as a rhyme, song, acronym, picture, word, or entire statement. When the sequence of events is crucial, mnemonics are very helpful in recalling details and information.
Do Mnemonics Work on the MCAT?
Having mentioned the different topics included and covered in the MCAT, it is obvious that retaining information is vital.
Learning reaction mechanisms, chemical principles, biological processes, electrochemical equations, metabolic pathways, and developmental theories by heart is essential.
However, there is nothing to worry about. Because of how your brain is organized, all this information may already be instantaneously perceived and encoded (stored in long-term memory).
With the use of MCAT mnemonics, larger amounts of information are simpler to remember, especially when they are presented in lists like steps, attributes, components, stages, phases, etc.
Mnemonic devices are indeed beneficial and will help you ace the MCAT.
Different Types of Mnemonics
There are different kinds of mnemonics that you can use while studying for the MCAT.
Depending on your preference (and creativity), you can always choose from the different types of mnemonics we have below, which one best suits your learning style.
Acronyms and Acrostics
A term or words created using the first letter(s) of the things you want to remember are called acronyms.
Colors of the rainbow – ROYGBIV
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet
Order of operations – PEMDASPlease Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally
Chunking is a type of organization mnemonic in which you separate knowledge into smaller units and memorize each one separately before putting it all together. Chunking is helpful for retaining more information than the typical short-term memory limit of seven items.
Phone Number – 2125489870
Chunked: 212 – 548 – 9870
Password – P3850tf21
Chunked: P385 – 50 – tf21
Songs and Rhymes
Making use of music can help you successfully encode information in your brain. The "A-B-C" song is a well-known illustration, but there is no end to the lessons that can be taught when they are put to music.
You can learn math equations, memory verses, science cycles, the nations of Africa, and more.
For instance, some kids will sing the "ABC" song while they learn their ABCs. Others use the song "50 Nifty United States" to teach them the alphabetical order of all the states.
Method of Loci
This mnemonic device uses visualizations and is often referred to as the memory journey method.Utilize the loci method by visualizing oneself moving through a familiar environment. This type of picture mnemonic can help you recall lists, directions, and locations.
Imagery and Visualization
Transforming pieces of information you wish to remember into mental images can be a powerful mnemonic strategy because our brains remember visuals considerably more quickly than words or sounds.
If you are trying to learn a new term, for instance, you might find it helpful to visualize some of the vocabulary words:
You could picture a tiger sipping gray tea because the Spanish word for tiger is “tigre”.
“Sol” is Spanish for sun, so you might picture the sun scorching the sole of your foot.
The information that has to be remembered is linked to previously learned information in this sort of mnemonic.
When you understand that the long lines on a globe that travel North and South coincide with LONGitude, it is simpler to remember the direction of longitude and latitude.
There is an N in LONGitude and an N in North, as demonstrated by another connection mnemonic.
There is no N in latitude; hence latitude lines must run from east to west.
MCAT Mnemonics Examples and Use Cases
It is a fact that studying for the MCAT requires significant time and effort. Employing mnemonics is one technique to guarantee that you get to keep the facts and knowledge you need, especially with so many other parts to study for.
Here are a few MCAT mnemonics you can utilize as you prepare for the test.
MCAT Biochemistry Mnemonics
Polar uncharged amino acids
Cysteine (Cys)Threonine (Thr)
Electric amino acids
Histidine (His, H)
Arginine (Arg, R)
Aspartic acid (Asp, D)
Lysine (Lys, K)Glutamic acid (Glu, E)
Aromatic amino acids
Molecules in the TCA cycle
Enzymes in the TCA cycle
A-α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase Succinyl CoA synthetase
Enzymes in irreversible steps
Three stop codons
U Are Annoying
U Go AwayU Are Gone
Different kinds of blots
Southern blot = DNA
Northern blot = RNA
O OWestern blot = Proteins
Click here to learn more MCAT Biochemistry Mnemonics.
MCAT Chemistry Mnemonics
Sequence of orbitals
Football and is
Alkaline earth metals
Prefixes for naming carbon chains
3 Prop4 But
Aromatic substituent prefixes
Click here to learn more MCAT Chemistry Mnemonics.
MCAT Physics Mnemonics
Ideal Gas law
PV = nRT
Pure Vinegar Needs Raw Tomatoes
Gibbs's free energy formula
Δ G = Δ H – T Δ S
Grandma Hates To Swim
Volts = Amps x Resistance
Vegetables Are Raw
Relation between resistivity and resistance
Resistance = ρ (Length/Area)
Rude People Likes Arrogance
Sequence of decreasing wavelength or increasing frequency of electromagnetic waves
Order of increasing wavelength
Prefixes of the metric system
Levels of the atmosphere
Click here to learn more MCAT Physics Mnemonics.
MCAT Psychology Mnemonics
Kubler-Ross stages of grief
Types of reinforcement
Theories of personality
Most common mental and psychiatric disorders
Four primary factors for motivation
Components of general adaptation syndrome
E A R
Sequential order of brain waves
BATs Drink blood.
Four primary stimuli
Physiological markers of emotions
B - TRAP
Click here for more MCAT Psychology Mnemonics.
MCAT Sociology Mnemonics
Different types of identities
Types of social norms
Elements of culture
Factors of globalization
Characteristics of an ideal bureaucracy
Division of Labor
Formalized RulesHierarchy of Organization
Types of non-verbal communication
Facial ExpressionsEye Contact
Click here to learn more MCAT Sociology Mnemonics.
How To Make Your Own MCAT Mnemonics?
Mnemonics are a great tool to use during the MCAT, but just how do you go about making them?
Well if you're looking for a quick guide on how you can start making some easy and effective mnemonics to help you in your MCAT prep, check out her video below!'
Music: Pick a popular song, tune, or nursery rhyme such as hot cross buns or ABCS. Music mnemonics work best with long lists such as remembering your scientific elements.
Name: These work best with shorter lists. For example, Fluorine, Oxygen and Nitrogen are the three electronegative atoms important in hydrogen bonding. To remember this, you would create the name - FON.
Expression/Word: Try using the letters of the short list of words you need to memorize to make a ridiculous phrase or word to help have everything stick in your memory! An example is "SAME DAVE" for the nerve fibers and their associated location on the spinal cord - Sensory Afferent, Motor Efferent, Dorsal Afferent, Ventral Efferent.
Your mentors at MCAT mastery have developed their own mnemonics to use when studying for the MCAT exam, Check out some of our MCAT biology mnemonics here!
While it may take more time than using someone else's, it's always more effective when you make your own mnemonics!
How Can I Best Utilize Mnemonics for the MCAT?
You can improve your memory by creating MCAT mnemonics. Without it, you might have to spend more time trying to remember crucial details.
Mnemonics aid in memory retention and speed up test-taking, which will both help you earn a competitive MCAT score.
Below are some tips to help you best utilize MCAT mnemonics.
Additional FAQs – MCAT Mnemonics Guide
What is the Easiest Way to Remember Mnemonics?
Furthermore, we recommend that you add a personal touch when creating your own mnemonics, like using your family’s and friends’ names. Incorporate titles of your favorite songs and movies.