Mnemonics for the Physics Section of the MCAT

November 8, 2023

minute read

Preparing for the MCAT requires time, effort, determination… and memorization. The MCAT is a test of your scientific background and knowledge. Thus, your memory skills will evidently be put to the test. 

This is especially true for the MCAT Chemistry and Physics section, where there are a lot of terms and equations to memorize. 

The good news is that there are mnemonics that can aid you in remembering these critical pieces of information. If you want to learn the many MCAT physics mnemonics, keep reading.


What Do I Need to Memorize for the MCAT Physics Section?

25% of the MCAT covers physics. It may not be that much compared to other topics in the Chemistry and Physics section, but that does not mean that you should put less effort into studying for this 25%. The fact is, like any other section of the test, physics is just as challenging. 

The following are the physics key concepts that you should review and memorize for the MCAT: 

What are Mnemonics?

A mnemonic is a technique created to aid in remembering crucial information. Through the use of visual and aural cues, this approach links new learning to existing information. 

Basic mnemonic techniques focus on using acronyms, keywords, or rhyming words. 

Mnemonics are techniques that can be adjusted to match a range of subject matter. This technique encourages improved learning retention and improves the recollection of difficult words or concepts.

Do Mnemonics Work on the MCAT?

The MCAT covers a wide range of topics. These include biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, and sociology. 

This suggests that learning chemical principles, reaction mechanisms, biological processes, metabolic pathways, electrochemical equations, and developmental theories by heart is essential.

The good news is that because of the way our brain is organized, all this information may already be instantaneously perceived and encoded. 

With MCAT mnemonics, more significant amounts of information are simpler to remember. Especially when presented in lists like attributes, steps, stages, components, phases, etc. 

It can be especially helpful for studying for the MCAT Chemistry and Physics section, which contains a lot of concepts and equations that need to be retained.

How Can I Best Utilize Mnemonics for the MCAT?

You can improve your memorization skills by creating MCAT mnemonics. Without them, 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.

The following advice will help you make the most of MCAT mnemonics.

  • Make up your own mnemonics that are representative of who you are. Make sure it is simple to recall.
  • Make it outrageous, sinister, particular, or any mix of these. Personal information and emotional ties are easier to recall.
  • Use your friends, family, personal experiences, or favorite movie to create a mnemonic that, as opposed to someone else's, is more likely to stick with you.
  • Decide which approach works best for you. Mnemonics should not be used as your primary defense method but as a last option.
  • To help you remember MCAT mnemonics, you might add flashcards into your regular MCAT practice.
  • List your mnemonics among the equations and study aids you can jot down during the instructional period before the exam.

Mnemonics for the Physics Section of the MCAT

Preparing and studying for physics on the MCAT requires significant time and effort. MCAT physics mnemonics are one technique to guarantee that you get to keep the facts and knowledge you need, especially with so many other topics to study for.

Here are a few MCAT physics mnemonics that will be useful to you as you study.

Topics

Sub-topics 

Mnemonics

Formula for work 

Work = Mass * Acceleration * Distance 

Lots of WORK makes me MAD

Ideal Gas law

PV = nRT

Pure Vodka Needs Red Tabasco 

Gibbs's free energy formula

Δ G = Δ HT Δ S

Good Honey Tastes Sweet

Ohm’s law

Volts = Amps x Resistance

Vampires Aren’t Real

Relation between resistivity and resistance

Resistance = ρ (Length/Area)

Rich People Love Automobiles

Order of rainbow colors

Red

Orange

Yellow

Green

Blue

Indigo

Violet

Richard

Of

York

Gave

Battle

In

Vain

Speed of light

299,792,458 meters per second

Represented by the number of letters in each word in the sentence:

We guarantee certainty, clearly referring to this light mnemonic.

Capacitive and inductive circuits

The EMF (E) for an inductive (L) circuit is greater than the current (I)


While the current (I) for a capacitive circuit (C) is greater than the EMF (E).

ELI the ICE man

Sequence of decreasing wavelength or increasing frequency of electromagnetic waves

Radio waves

Microwaves

Infrared

Visible light

Ultraviolet

X-Rays

Gamma Rays

Rich

Men

Invented

Very

Unusual

X-Ray

Guns

Order of increasing wavelength

Gamma Rays

X-Rays

Ultraviolet

Visible light

Infrared

Microwaves

Radio waves

Great

Xylophones

Use

Very

Interesting

Musical

Rhythms

Prefixes of the metric system

Kilo

Hector

Deca

Base

Deci

Centi

Milli

Micro

Kings

Hate

Dragons

Because

Dragons

Can’t

Make

Money

Steps in the scientific method

Problem

Research

Hypothesis

Experiment/data

Analyze

Conclusion

Communicate

Pete

Really 

Hate 

Eggs,

Donuts and 

Cold 

Coffee

Levels of the atmosphere

Troposphere

Stratosphere

Mesosphere

Thermosphere

Exosphere

The

Silly

Man

Tackles the 

Elephant

Resistor color code

Black (0)

Brown (1)

Red (2)

Orange (3)

Yellow (4)

Green (5)

Blue (6)

Violet/purple (7)

Gray (8)

White (9)

Better

Be

Ready

Or

Your

Great

Big

Venture

Goes

West

Relationship between object and image distance, and focal length, from a lens or mirror

1/f = 1/do + 1/di

Focal length

Distance of object

Image distance

If I Do I Die

Additional FAQs – Mnemonics for the Physics Section of the MCAT

How Many Questions are There in the MCAT Physics?

Physics topics make up 25% of the MCAT Chemistry and Physics section. This means that around 15 questions out of the 59 will require your knowledge and background in physics.

This will include equations and calculations, and we strongly recommend that you refer to the MCAT physics mnemonics we have stated above.

Can I Use a Calculator in the MCAT Physics?

You are not allowed to use a calculator not only in the MCAT Chemistry and Physics section but in all parts of the MCAT. 

You must practice performing arithmetic calculations by hand. Fortunately, the number of computations you will need to perform is not a lot.

Can I Ace the MCAT Without Mnemonics Knowledge?

Some candidates have achieved a great MCAT score without the use of mnemonic devices. Keep in mind, though that does not necessarily mean you will too. 

When it comes to memorizing information, mnemonics have been shown to be an effective strategy. 

Additionally, the students who did great on the MCAT also applied additional strategies that worked well for them. Finding the methods and tactics that work best for you is the key.

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