On the MCAT, chemistry problems can be difficult. They can leave you feeling frustrated since they range from ostensibly difficult arithmetic problems to formulae that you just cannot seem to recall.
To make it worse, most terms are too technical to remember. But worry no more. That’s what mnemonics are for.
If you are looking for chemistry mnemonics to help you study and prepare for the MCAT, you have come to the right page. Let’s get started!
What Do I Need to Memorize for the MCAT Chemistry Section?
You will be tested on chemistry (General Chemistry – 30%, Organic Chemistry – 15%) in roughly 50% of your MCAT chemistry/physics section and 10% (General Chemistry – 5%, Organic Chemistry – 5%) of your biology/biochemistry section.
In other words, chemistry will be covered by about 29 questions in the chemistry/physics section and 6 in the MCAT bio/biochem section.
The following are the chemistry topics you should devote yourself to as you prepare for the MCAT.
What are Mnemonics?
A mnemonic is a method for helping us recall a lot of information or specific facts. They could be expressed as a rhyme, song, acronym, picture, word, or entire statement.
When the sequence of events is crucial, mnemonics are very helpful for helping us recall knowledge.Mnemonic devices can be adjusted to fit a range of subject matters. This technique promotes improved learning retention and aids in recalling difficult words or concepts.
Do Mnemonics Work on the MCAT?
As previously established, the MCAT has two sections that cover topics related to both general chemistry and organic chemistry. Thus, it is important that you remember chemical structures and equations.
The good news is that because of the way our brains are wired, each of these details (which are kept in long-term memory) may have already been quickly observed and recorded.
It is simpler to recall larger amounts of information when you use mnemonics, especially when the material is provided in lists like qualities, steps, stages, components, phases, etc.
It can be very helpful to prepare for the chemistry and physics section, as well as the bio and biochem section, which require memorization of a variety of concepts, structures, and words.
How Can I Best Utilize Mnemonics for the MCAT?
You can sharpen your memory by creating mnemonics. Mnemonics can raise your memory retention and test-taking efficiency, both of which will boost your MCAT score.
Here are some pointers for making efficient use of mnemonics.
Mnemonics for the Chemistry Section of the MCAT
There is a lot of memorization required for the MCAT's chemistry section. From chemical terms to chemical structures, needless it is to say, your memory skills will be out to the test.
Mnemonics are a method that has been successful in helping us remember important details and information.
Here are some chemistry (both general and organic) mnemonics to make studying for the exam simpler and easier.
Sequence of orbitals
Periodic table – Periods 1-3
Periodic table – Period 4
Periodic table – Period 5
Xylophone and aRadio
First transition metals
Second transition metals
Third transition metals
Gold (Au)Mercury (Hg)
Alkaline earth metals
Properties of elements according to:
Abundance of elements on the crust of the earth
Oxygen(O) > Silicon(Si) > Aluminum(Al) > Iron(Fe) > Calcium(Ca) > Sodium (Na) > Potassium(K) > Magnesium (Mg)
*The remainder just contributes 1%.
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Activity series of metals
Potassium > Sodium > Calcium > Magnesium > Aluminum> (Carbon)* > Zinc > Chromium > Iron> Tin > Lead > (Hydrogen)* > Copper > Mercury > Silver > Gold > Platinum
*Note: Hydrogen and Carbon are non-metals used as a baseline.
Prefixes for naming carbon chains
3 Prop4 But
Aromatic substituent prefixes
Take note that the purpose of these chemistry mnemonics is to aid you in memorizing important ideas for the test. You can always be more creative and modify them to suit your learning style.
Additional FAQs – Mnemonics for the Chemistry Section of the MCAT
How Many Questions About Chemistry are There in the MCAT?
Furthermore, chemistry topics also make up 10% of the bio and biochem section, making it 6 (out of 59) questions.
Am I Allowed to Use a Periodic Table in the MCAT Chemistry?
You may not need to memorize the atomic number and order of elements for the MCAT, but your background and knowledge about the compositions and properties of the elements are essentially required.
You also need to have a deeper understanding of the reactions between chemicals and substances.
Can I Use a Calculator in the MCAT Chemistry?
You need to practice performing manual math computations. Fortunately, there aren’t a lot of computations for you to do.