1. Day 2: REASON With Me


    Also, this is kind of a long post…sorry.

    Verbal Reasoning:

        From the Kaplan book: “The Passages you’ll confront on test day probably won’t be fun to read. Odds are, they’ll be boring. If they’re too engaging, check the cover. You may be taking the wrong test” (31)

             I read this chapter and then took the first practice test and thought, “Well this is awkward, I like most of these passages…” (probably because they were about things that related to my major, which is not put under “Science” but under “Arts”/Social Sciences). Anyways….

            Kaplan has done and amazing job, yet again, at breaking down the Verbal Reasoning section of the “Pre-2015” MCAT. Here, I will be paraphrasing and quoting what they are saying. I am mixing what they are telling me with stuff I have personally learned and what I have been told. I am not a paid sponsor of Kaplan, I just really like how they’ve laid out the information.

             They, and other test preppers, make a point that most students “blow-off” this section because its “just reading and responding to content questions”… HAAAAAA… what a joke. 

                Bottom line: Its just like any other section, YOU MUST STUDY AND PRACTICE. 

    Break down: 

          60 Minutes

          7 passages—> 4 to 7 questions per passage. 

                Time per passage: (60 minutes/7 passages)=8.5714285~ 8 minutes 

    Passages pull from: Social Sciences (no wonder, anthro=social science), philosophy, and other humanities, and sciences 

    Types of Questions: "Successfully answering the questions depends on your ability to quickly glean the author’s point, to map out the passage in your mind, and to assess the inferences" (32)

         1. Main Point: looking for exactly what it says, the main point usually can be found in (1) the first paragraph (2) the last paragraph (3) somewhere else. Look for the main point in those areas in order. Strategy: wrong answers will either be too narrow or too broad

                Ex: "The author’s main purpose is…", "The main idea of the Passage…", "The general theme is…"

         2. Detail: looking for you to recall a specific point and this will come FROM THE PASSAGE. You can point these out from words like EXCEPT or INCLUDINGStrategy: refer to your notes you’ve made in the margins (I write everywhere). YOU DO NOT NEED TO MEMORIZE DETAILS. Look for answers that don’t make sense and eliminate them, 

                Ex: “According to the Passage…”, “Based on the information in the passage…”

         3. Inference: Now its time to make the small leap. The important part of this is the correct answers with have a certain degree of distance from the passage. Not too close to be a detail but not illogical. It won’t be a restatement of information already presented within the text. Strategy: sit is not going to be super out of the way, its going to be LOGICAL

                Ex:"It can be inferred from the passage that…", or "the author suggests…"

         4. Application: Here you are taking the main idea and relating it to a new context. (Wait, but what does that mean, you ask?) It means that you’ll need to figure out how certain metaphors and analogies relate to the passage, it must parallel the passage. Strategy: the answer will “translate” an idea parallel to the passage. 

                 Ex: "the passage was probably written by a…", "The example in paragraph 2 would be most similar to…"

         5. Tone: looking to determine the attitude of the passage, do this by using your “gut-feeling”(at least that’s what my notes say…crazy notes, whaaaaa). Kaplan says your “gut-feeling” is either “positive, neutral or negative" (40). Strategy: gut-feeling. You really have to get the true meaning of what “tone” is from an english class, but really its how the author is feeling about the topic they are writing about. 

                  Ex: "The author’s attitude can best be described as….", "The author would likely agree with…", "The tone of the passage is best described as…"

         6. Logic: okay, now you can analyze… most often, however, it is based off of the structure or layout of the passage. Look at your "mental" or written map of the passage. Strategy: the answer will maintain “integrity” of the layout of the passage. 

                 Ex: “The third paragraph serves to…”, “Which of the following would strengthen the author’s point of view?”, “The author raises the point in paragraph 3 in order to…”

    Tips and Guidelines

         It gives you NO advantage to read the questions first. Just remember that. (also this is not the SAT or ACT )

         The Passages are generally well structured. They are indeed pretty logical to follow. Mostly all of your important stuff for is in the first and last paragraph and the first sentence of every other paragraph. (Im not saying that is all you need to read, just briefly skim the other stuff). You want to know structure and the main point of the passage.

             Main Point: might not always be in the first paragraph, if not the first then look in the last paragraph. Not there? It’s in the middle… 

         Stay OBJECTIVE. Don’t analyze. Just don’t do it, okay?

         Look for KEYWORDS that “hold ideas together” (e.g. consequently). Your goal is to “figure out what the author is saying and how the ideas are linked" (32).

          You do not need to know a ton of outside knowledge about the topic to answer the question, all of the answers can be found in the passage. (thank goodness, right?)


    Okay, I am tired now… I had my first day of class, and everyone else is going out and I am studying and blogging #nerdalert 

      But, I love you guys and I promised to keep up with this! Dedication is key. 

    In February I start with Biology… with my involvement on campus and stuff its gonna be difficult to blog (challenge accepted!)…. I’ll try to update every weekend to tell my progress. 

    Breathe y’all, its only the first few weeks of class. 

         GO TO CLASS and do the detailed work, it’ll pay off at the end of the semester when you aren’t killing yourself. 


  2. Day 1: Study Prep

    Hey Everyone, 

      For us Pre-Medical Students there is only one thing on our mind that shaped and determines how we act, speak, and deal with our school work, and that is the want and passion for becoming a medical doctor. 

      Now, for me (Grace Myers, Premed Social Media), I am just now starting a certain chapter within my Pre-Medical journey which is studying for the MCAT. Some facts about me:

         Name: Grace Katharine Elizabeth Myers

         School: University of Mississippi, Oxford Campus

         Classification: Second Semester Junior 

         Major: Anthropology Minor: English

         Hometown: Austin, TX

      Some of you all might think that it might be a little late for me to just be starting to study. I would both agree and disagree with you on that one, I have friends (that are juniors) who have already taken the MCAT and have done wonderfully on it, but I started at a time that was convenient for me. 

    1. Buy a book

      So starting out this journey I decided to start where anyone would, after they panic from realizing that you’re about to start studying for the MCAT, by buying a book. Being an AMSA junkie, I chose our awesome sponsor to help me through this very important and life changing time, Kaplan. I bought the Kaplan MCAT Premiere Book in August. It is now January might I tell you and I just cracked this thing open (better late than never, right?). 

      Anyways this book is amazing, Kaplan has done a great job of breaking all the important relevant information down and helping you review what you need to know. The book has helpful hints in the margin and is colorful with larger print, which keeps your eyes awake and alert. Plus it has the added benefit of online stuff!! 

       I had some help and broke down the book even further into it’s own sections of Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Physics, into separate binders with their own calendars taped into them and separate tabs for each chapter.

    You don’t have to do this, do it the way you KNOW is the best way for you, don’t go the easy way because if you do you only cheat yourself.

    2. Decide when you’re going to take the MCAT

       Find a day, FAR OUT IN THE FUTURE, and sign up. 

    3. Make a schedule

        Break down how and when you are going to study. It is important to have enough time to go over all the big topics in each of the Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physics. Kaplan has done a wonderful job of giving you the topics, and for me I broke the topics down and decided to take on each topic/chapter a day at a time.

       I wrote on a monthly calendar what topics and chapters I wanted to cover, with time for practice tests and time for me to catch up if I fall behind. 

    4. Stick to the schedule 

       For me, this entire thing has been so overwhelming, it was a big book. Writing it down into a schedule has allowed for my brain to relax and see each compartment of the test. I now have the next few months to go through my binders and go at my own pace. 

    5. But, really, stick to it. 

        Remember, not sticking to it is only cheating yourself.

    6. Don’t overwhelm yourself. 

        Go at your pace, rushing through anything you don’t understand or just skipping over what you think you already know. Go through everything at your pace. You know what is best for you, so just do it. 

         If you are super swamped, reschedule, don’t just keep putting it off until later. Write it in a planner, on your hand, on 8,000 sticky notes and put them around your house, whatever works for you. 



    Okay, well I will blog again after I start on my verbal reasoning section, so if you’d like to keep me on my toes or ask any questions, email me at premed.socialmedia@amsa.org.

     Hopefully this should be a way to help you with your MCAT anxiety.

    Just remember to breathe.


  3. So, at the AMSA National Leadership get together there was a huge spark between our Premed Team. We sat around a table for a few hours and worked out how the year was going to go and we worked really hard for our fellow premeds out there:

    All hilariousness of that photo aside, we made many decisions that will help premeds in the future. One thing we realized is that not many people know how to use Inspiration Exchange (http://inspirationexchange.amsa.org/Home/) or even what that is. 

    Inspiration Exchange (or InEx) is a very useful site that is kind of like Facebook for AMSA members. It is your top place for getting information about what is going on with AMSA and in the world of medicine. One thing that we were told at our national leadership meeting is that InEx has a very interesting feature about it and we premeds, took that to heart. Please watch to see what became of this information. 

  4. Hello Fellow Premeds!
  Now it has been a long time indeed, but have no fear because We have multiple posts coming out so don’t worry. First post for this week is about the PLT Leader, Cole Mossman. This guy is really awesome and he gets things done, so without further adieu:

Cole Mossman, Premed Leadership Team Chair 
Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI
School: Western Michigan University
Major: Biomedical Sciences and Philosophy
FoI: aerospace medicine/flight surgery
Fun fact: “my dream job is to be the chief medical officer on a starship”

    Hello Fellow Premeds!

      Now it has been a long time indeed, but have no fear because We have multiple posts coming out so don’t worry. First post for this week is about the PLT Leader, Cole Mossman. This guy is really awesome and he gets things done, so without further adieu:

    Cole Mossman, Premed Leadership Team Chair 

    Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI

    School: Western Michigan University
    Major: Biomedical Sciences and Philosophy
    FoI: aerospace medicine/flight surgery
    Fun fact: “my dream job is to be the chief medical officer on a starship”

  5. Premedical LeadershipTeam 2013, cont.

    That being said, lets bring out the troops: 

    Tim Smith, Programming

    Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI
    School: Western Michigan University
    Major: Behavioral Sciences
    Field of Intrest: Neurology
    Fun Fact about Tim: He is desperately trying to learn to how to dougie
    Ariana Feuvrier, Education
    Hometown: Redondo Beach, CA
    School: San Diego State University
    Major: Psychology
    Field of Interest: Rural Surgery
    Fun Fact about Ariana: ”I’ve ridden a camel, but I couldn’t enjoy it at the time because I’m afraid of heights!!”

    Grace Myers, Social Media and Outreach 

    Hometown: Austin,TX
    School: University of Mississippi
    Major: Anthropology
    Field of Interest: Cardiology
    Fun Fact about Grace: Grace has been chased around a car by a Zebra
    Stacy Cotton, Advocacy 
    Hometown: Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
    School: University of Texas at Austin 
    Major: Public Health in Management, Policy and Community Health, with concentration in Global Health,
    Field of Interest: Emergency Medicine and Disaster Relief
    Fun Fact about Stacy : ”I’ve forgotten how to whistle” and she is already a nurse! 

  6. Tuesday June 26th 2013 

    Hello fellow premeds,
    As we journey into applying for medical school we must arm ourselves in our knowledge of the past 3 or so years. We will be filling out our AMCAS and preparing ourselves with current events in medicine. Today (and yesterday) was one of those days that changed the way we think in society

    1. TEXAS Senate Bill 5 (the Omnibus Anti-Abortion Bill) was successfully filibustered by Texas Democrats (yes, they exist)

    2. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5-4 that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional

    3. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5-4 that California’s Proposition 8 should not be ruled on by the SCOTUS and was sent back to the lower courts.

    But, what do these mean to you as an undergrad being asked these questions?
    A: Many things.
    1. Women’s rights and reproductive rights. TX SB-5 if passed, would be one of the toughest laws against Abortion. The law, broken down, basically states that clinics must create a hospital- sterile environment to provide service, proscription abortion drugs must be prescribed in person, no abortions after 20 weeks, and that doctors preforming abortions must be on staff of a local hospital within a 30 mile radius of the clinic. Looking at both sides:
    “Pro-Life”: these sterile environments will protect women from dangerous complications within surgery and also protect the rights of the unborn fetus.
    “Pro-Choice”: this will shut down all but 5 abortion clinics in the 2nd largest state in the union and cause women to possibly make drastic measure and end up in the hospital because they used a back alley instead of a clinic.
    Looking at this is important and if you are pro-life or pro-choice you,as a doctor, might be affected if your patient resorts to desperate measures because she lives on the boarder of TX and Mexico and cannot afford to go 300 miles. It also raises women’s rights issues. Is it right for the government to tell a women what she can do with her private lady parts? Should TX have better sex education (abstinence works 100% for those who follow, what about those who don’t?) dealing with the fact that maybe teens are having sex regardless and have strict abortion laws?
    2. And 3. Gay marriage.
    It is a happy day for LGBTQs!!! The outdated 1996 law, DOMA, staying that marriage is between a man and a woman has been ruled unconstitutional by the SCOTUS! Also,Cali’s Prop 8, banning gay marriage, has been sent back to the lower courts that have already deemed it unconstitutional! So now those same-sex couples can enjoy the benefits of being married in the eyes of the federal law and the 13 states that deem it legal. If asked about how this is changing health care you can spin it many different ways you seem fit, because this opens a lot of doors for those in the LGBTQ community. Maybe you could even spin it to promote the need to stress to everyone that its actually super Important that EVERYONE no matter what sex you are to use protection to stop the spread of STD’s and STI’s.

    We will be updating you with what comes of the TX SB5 next Monday (July 1st) Two of our Premed Staff will be at the capital so please come out and join if you can!

  7. Premedical LeadershipTeam 2013

    Hello Fellow Pre-Med Students, 

       Congratulations. Well we are all done with spring semester and after pots of coffee and many all-nighters it is safe to say we have survived.  

      That being said, I (Grace Myers, Social Media and Outreach Coordinator), would like to introduce you to your Premedical Leadership Team for this 2013! As you can probably tell we are quite the unique and spirited bunch, as well as hard-working and passionate for medicine.

      But what is our purpose, you ask? Well, our job is to inform. Inform you, the pre-medical student, with the knowledge and tools to aid you whilst applying for medical school. 

      That, however, is not all that we want to do. We want to truly incorporate the pre-medical students into all that we do, because you’re the reason for the season. So, please feel free to email in photos of your chapter out working in the community, receiving awards, and even getting A’s in physics or organic chemistry. 

  8. New Webinar!

    If you are anxious about getting into medical school, there is no need to fret! National AMSA started a webinar series titled ”The Path to Medical School”. This series is comprised of many different pre-med topics, all geared towards getting pre-med students tons of information that will assist them in getting into medical school. Our newest webinar is all about non-allopathic/combined degree routes. If you are interested in learning more about DO, ND, and MD/PhD routes, this webinar is for you!


    Join us for our third webinar of the series!

    "Non-Allopathic/Combined Degrees"

    Presenters: Perry Tsai and Abbie Ellsworth

    Date: April 28th

    Time: 8pm-10pm EST (5pm-7pm PST)


    RSVP to premed.education@amsa.org to be put on the list for this event. You must RSVP in order to receive the link to the webinar.

    Current D.O., N.D., and M.D./Ph.D. students will discuss their experiences in medical school, the structure of medical school, and what a typical day looks like as a medical student. There will be a Q&A session at the end of the presentation. You won’t want to miss it! Email premed.education@amsa.org for any questions.

  9. Medical Education Community Collaborates with Khan Academy to Help Prepare Students for New MCAT® Exam - News Releases - Newsroom - AAMC →

  10. Transitions

    Yay! We have reached 100 followers! Thanks, everyone, for following our blog. Our blog will be 1 year old this summer (wow, really?!), and we have learned a lot while running it. 

    Personally, my time as social media coordinator for AMSA is almost done. Soon, the new coordinator will be taking over and, no doubt, will continue to make this blog a special place for keeping premeds informed. I will be moving onto my first year of medical school in the fall, and after this experience, I am definitely going to keep blogging on Tumblr—but for myself!

    Thanks again for checking us out, and good luck on the upcoming application cycle! Take care!