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Preparing for the Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior section on the new MCAT.

April 23, 2015

 

1. First, I would suggest getting a prep book that lists all of the theories, famous researchers, and concepts that you have to know. A solid study book is MCAT Psychology and Sociology Review by Princeton Review. You might be surprised by the number of theories and concepts that you need to memorize, but unfortunate truth is that this section is very heavy on route memorization. For example, it would be impossible to choose the correct answer to the question about fundamental attribution error, if you have no idea what the fundamental attribution error is.

The good news is that, if you have memorized all the terms and have done lots of practice, the section will not be too hard to do well on.

 

 

2. After reading each chapter, I suggest putting the terms and theories on flash cards or notes. Each night before you go to sleep, give yourself 20 minutes to go over the terms and make sure you remember them. This is especially important, because you will be memorizing 4 more subjects full of notes as well, and it will help you remember later on what you have done a long time ago.

 

 

3. Practice, Practice, Practice! It really does make you perfect. After going over a chapter, you should do the questions at the end of the chapter. But that’s not enough! Khan academy gives a lot of questions for the chapter for free, which you can find . I love Khan academy tutorial videos and questions. I must warn that some of the questions are either too hard or too easy, but overall it’s a great way to practice and learn information for free! I can’t praise it highly enough!

The more different questions you do, the better you will do on the actual exam.  When you get the question wrong, put the correct answer in your notes. If you realize you are unfamiliar with the concept or topic, google it or youtube it until you know it very very well.

 

 

4. Once, you have gone through the book, and feel good about your knowledge, it is time to practice more. What other sources are there?

AAMC study guide has 30 psych questions, and AAMC sample test also has a section of 59 questions for your practice ( I suggest taking the whole test under test conditions after you are done with all of the concept review for all subjects to see where you stand, since this is the only official test available now).

The more questions you have to practice the better! So, buying more books, or sources is great. I have tried both m-prep and next step books, but have not found either one that great. I did find Princeton review questions to be very useful, but there is not enough sociology there. 

 

 

5. Finally, I suggest going through the AAMC outline for this section, which can be found https://www.aamc.org/students/download/374014/data/mcat2015-psbb.pdf and seeing which topics or terms you still don’t know. Even though Princeton review book did a good job, it still missed a good number of terms, and theories you must know.  You can listen to Khan academy tutorials on these topics.

 

 

Please respond with any questions you have, and I will gladly advice you on your studying.

 

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