Scientific Journals for MCAT Passage Reading Practice

Scientific Journals for MCAT Passage Reading Practice


Hey guys, what I wanna discuss today is scientific
Journals for the MCAT as a twist on the newspaper strategy which is something you can find on
my website, I put the url in the comments so let me know if you find that helpful. Uh let’s see what we have in a quick outline. So the first question, why Scientific Journals? If you’ve been following the changes to
the MCAT in the last few years in 2015 the new MCAT came out where there’s a lot more
focus on research and data analysis. And many of the passages are actually taken
out of research articles so there’s the aspect for MCAT prep where you study the content
and you do practice passages but then a lot of students say that they can follow along
for the most part but the experiments become overwhelming. One way that you prepare for this type of
passages, one way that you get comfortable following the logic of a confusing and in-depth
experiment is by reading scientific journals. The more you read, the more you get familiar
with the language, the data, the structure, the format, the less confused you’ll be
on the MCAT. So the purpose is to practice in advance so
that you’re confident with that aspect and you can take your mental power and focus on
questioning, on the reasoning on all the other good stuff that’ll give you points. When should you be reading the journals and
how often? The closer you are to your MCAT, the more
you want to do it especially if this is something you’re just starting out. For those of you testing this year you don’t
have a lot of time I would recommend if possible even one hour a day if you can. And the way you’ll break it up would be
ideally every other day, a scientific journal, and every other day something related to CARS
like boring articles on. I say boring because I find them boring anywhere
from economics, politics, religion, arts, music, history, anything that’s not science
coz you’re premed, science is our thing right? So these are the other topics that you’re
not interested in but you wanna get comfortable with. Today I wanna focus on the Science aspect
though. Every other day expose yourself to some type
of scientific journal. If it’s long, if it is detailed. If it’s tedious, if there are graphs, tables,
and chart, you’re on the right track. If you’re bored and you hate it, you’re
on the right track unfortunately that is what it’s going to take. If you’re just starting out because you’re
preparing for next year then you don’t wanna go as crazy, you wanna do a long term integration,
a long term strategy. For example maybe set aside one to two days
a week where you spend an hour or so reading, and then as you get closer to the MCAT maybe
up until three times a week but you should be okay. I mean if you’re thinking between now and
January you have months and months, two to three hours a week you will be very very comfortable
by the time your MCAT rolls around. How to read them? That’s a very good question. So you don’t want to treat this like your
textbook where you read it from start to finish. You fly through you don’t follow anything
and you get overwhelmed and you don’t remember anything. You also don’t want to read it from the
perspective of let me learn what this is about because this article could be on something
that is very very in-depth and if you try to learn every term and every enzyme, every
crazy little thing you’re going to be overwhelmed. So I want you to treat this like you do any
other Science passage on the MCAT. You are reading for the single purpose of
getting the main idea, understanding what is going on but not looking up every definition,
not looking up every factor. So start the article from the beginning and
just read the first sentence ask yourself, what was the point? What was the main idea? Don’t worry about the names, the enzymes,
the molecules, the pathways none of that. What was the main idea? Why did they bother writing this? Then go to the next sentence, the next sentence. When you get through the entire paragraph
stop for a minute and think, what was the purpose of all this? Then go to the next paragraph, the next one. Now here’s the thing, some of these articles
will take a long long time, you don’t have to finish them. If your goal is to reach for an hour and the
first article it will take you 40 minutes and the second article takes you to the top
of the hour and you’re only halfway through, you can stop there. It’s about the exercise of doing it rather
than completing the story coz you’re not looking to learn the Science, you’re looking
to learn how to understand when you read the science. So the purpose again is not to learn, it’s
to learn how to read, how to be comfortable with it. Which subject should you be reading? Ideally, everything. So each day, try to focus on one type of Science
that relates to the MCAT. For example a Chemistry passage, a Physics,
a chemistry journal article, a Physics journal article, Organic Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry,
Psychology and Sociology. If you can continually expose yourself to
each type of research then no matter what they throw at you uh during the MCAT you will
be prepared because you will have seen everything in some format and it won’t scare you when
you see those big words or multiple steps and crazy experiments that they ran. You’ve seen it before, that’s the goal. Where are you going to find these articles? That’s the million dollar question. There is so much good research out there. That to tell you to stick to one is limiting
yourself. So instead, give yourself a very simple role. If it’s long, if it’s hard, if it’s
boring, if it looks legit it’s good enough. So where do you find them? Honestly? Anywhere! For example if you have friends who are doing
research, either in class or work in a lab, ask them what’s some of the sources are
that they use for their research and if they recommend it, you can read some of that. Go on. Here’s one that I like to do. If you hear about a scientific topic that
interest you, go on Wikipedia and not necessarily focus on the Wiki article because they’re
not always the type that you want instead go to the very bottom and look for the sources. For example, I was looking up a Zika vaccine
and there were some interesting sources which led down the rabbit hole and I got to read
some pretty interesting research. Then you have a, you can do a google search
like Scientific evidence for and you can follow anything that interest you. Look up diabetes medication, look up viruses
vaccines, uhm, honestly the Genetics whatever interest you try to find a Scientific research
subject related to that and you can use that don’t always find what interest you though,
you want to get comfortable reading what bores you as well. Try to look for articles that were published
within the last 5 to 10 years because students who have taken the MCAT say that’s typically
what they see. If it’s too old, the research might be outdated,
if it’s too new, it might not show up on the MCAT coz they’re looking for the last
5 to 10 years is ideal in terms of a general rule. It could be exemptions that’s the general
rule If you want specific examples. Here are some of the ones that I have seen
and used with students in sessions. Google NCBI, and Pubmed there’s a site AAON.co
and nature.com. These are just the ones that I have on top
of my head and again, anything legit works so if you have any questions on scientific
journal reading as it relates to the MCAT go ahead and post it here. Um, I know that I picked a random time during
the day were not a lot of students are on so I’ll give you a chance to watch it later
and read all your comments and hope to answer all your question. If you need help preparing for the MCAT, I
have seen and heard so many horror stories of students not being prepared the right way
and frankly I got sick and tired of hearing their horror stories so I took matters into
my own hands and I have made it so you have no excuse. I published a guide called the Ultimate Guide
to MCAT Prep. And the goal is to have everything that you
would need to know, to understand what the MCAT is all about, When to study, how to study
all of that and it’s free on my website so you have no excuses. The URL, I’ll put it in the description,
leah4sci.com/Ultimate and that will take you to the homepage and that will link all the
chapters. With that guys, have a great day!

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