Module 16

Main Progression - Evolution, and Ecology

Review & Preview - This is a light week for content. Focus on global review and addressing weak areas. Make your focus preparing for another practice test.

Testing - Practice MCAT.

Main Progression

Assignments


Evolution is a topic where you need a good comfort level, but the MCAT does not often have extremely detailed questions. Browse the images and study the Evolution vocabulary (at least through Level 2) in the MCAT Primer. Use the question mask for a final drill and then test yourself on the basic terms with the Crossword Puzzle. Here is the Solution. You can also work on the vocabulary online at the Question Server.
Read pp 181-182 in ExamKrackers Biology. Perform the questions on pg 183.
Take a thorough review tour of the Evolution external resources in the Learning Center. The Evolution 101 Course from UC Berkeley is especially good. Although this tutorial starts at a basic level, it steadily builds to provide excellent coverage of MCAT level material.

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Goals


Understand the scientific definition of evolution in terms of changes in gene frequency within a population over time.
Be able to name and understand the processes underlying evolutionary change: germ line mutation, gene flow, genetic drift, and natural selection.
Know how ontogeny can help interpret phylogeny (but that it doesn’t recapitulate it).
Understand the scientific definition of fitness.
Become comfortable with the sophisticated way a biologist will employ the concept of adaptation. Know what an exaptation is.
Be familiar with the various scenarios in which coevolution may occur.
Understand the conceptual progression from microevolution, speciation, to macroevolution.
Be able to distinguish allopatric, peripatric, parapatric, and sympatric speciation.
Possess the vocabulary of lineage and speciation to interpret phylogenetic trees.
Have familiarity with major clades of Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukaryota.
Have at least basic familiarity with the natural history of the Earth including theories of the origin of life with some knowledge of subsequent eras, periods, and epochs.

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Assignments


Ecology is not a huge MCAT topic, but because ecology concepts show up every so often in passages, especially population genetics, you should spend some time on the subject. Browse the images and study the Evolution vocabulary (at least through Level 2) in the MCAT Primer. Use the question mask for a final drill and then test yourself on the basic terms with the Crossword Puzzle. Here is the Solution. You can also work on the vocabulary online at the Question Server.
Take a thorough review tour of the Ecology external resources in the Learning Center.

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Goals


Have a clear sense of the scientific domain of ecology.
Be able to conceptualize the evolution of the biosphere from the abiotic early Earth as an evolving feedback loop between the ecological processes of life, geochemistry, and Earth's atmosphere.
Understand the distinctions between ecosystems, biomes and habitats.
Recognize the different biomes.
Have a good feel for the conceptual vocabulary for describing ecological energy flow through food webs.
Possess at least a basic familiarity with the major processes involved in the primary biogeochemical cycles.
Be familiar with the nomenclature for describing the ecology of a freshwater lake, an important model for teaching ecology.
Be ready for discussions involving the basics of population biology including the main principles of population genetics and population growth.

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Review & Preview

Assignments


Now we are at the third practice test. As we get further along in the practice regimin, the study assignments will become less specific. Your study time for this third test should be comprehensive cycling balanced by focus on your own specific weaknesses. Use ExamKrackers, WikiPremed materials, online resources, and whatever other study materials you prefer to finish preparing for your third practice test this week.

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Goals


Be prepared for your third practice MCAT by ensuring that you have a solid foundation in the entire body of basic factual and conceptual knowledge required for the exam.
Be able to picture all four disciplines at the topic level from the bird's eye view.
Possess comfortable cover to cover recognition of your study materials.
Be able to place phenomena within the proper field reference within the scientific disciplines.

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Testing

Assignments


It is time for your third practice test. Although the best MCATs are located at the AAMC site at www.e-mcat.com, there are other quality free MCATs available online. For example, the first rate out-fit Gold Standard offers a free test HERE. Kaplan also often offers free practice tests, sometimes online and sometimes at special events on college campuses, although their practice tests are known for being extremely difficult. Set aside six or seven hours when you can guarantee you will be undisturbed. Secure pencils, scratch paper, and a clean desk with only your computer. If you have a WikiPremed study group, try to arrange for everyone to take the same practice tests in the same order so that you can discuss them together. Good luck!
Remember: the harder the passage the easier the questions.

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Goals


When you go through the solutions and score report, try to gain as much insight into your strengths and weaknesses. However, take this with a grain of salt. There aren't enough question instances on an MCAT for fine-grained diagnostics. Not necessarilly by topic, but which kind of questions give you trouble?
Understand the MCAT pace and the nature of MCAT passages and questions. The MCAT is a good test. The more you understand the point of view of its authors the better you will do.

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MECHANICS & WAVES
MCAT course 
syllabus module 1
Kinematics
Newton's Laws
Work, Energy, & Power
Momentum & Impulse
MCAT course syllabus module 2
Rotation  
Harmonic Motion
Elastic Properties of Solids
Fluid Mechanics
Waves
FUNDAMENTAL FORCES
MCAT course syllabus module 3
Gravitation
Electricity
THE STRUCTURE OF MATTER
MCAT course 
syllabus module 4
Atomic Theory
Periodic Properties
The Chemical Bond
Intermolecular Forces
MCAT course syllabus module 5
Functional Groups
Stereochemistry
THERMODYNAMICS & KINETICS
MCAT course syllabus module 6
Temperature & Heat Flow
Ideal Gas & Kinetic Theory
1st Law of Thermodynamics
Stoichiometry
Thermochemistry
MCAT course syllabus module 7
2nd Law & Heat Engines
Chemical Thermodynamics
The States of Matter
Orgo Physical Properties
Chemical Kinetics
AQUEOUS SYSTEMS
MCAT course syllabus module 8
Water
Solutions
Acids & Bases
Organic Acids & Bases
ORGANIC REACTION CHEMISTRY
MCAT course syllabus module 9
Nucleophiles & Electrophiles
Rearrangements
Radical Intermediates
Conjugation & Aromaticity
Alkanes
Alkenes  optional
Alkynes  optional
Alkyl Halides
Allylic Conjugation
Aromatic Compounds  optional
Alcohols & Ethers
Aldehydes & Ketones
Carboxylic Acids
Amines
Phosphorus Compounds
Sulfur Compounds
MCAT course 
syllabus module 10Overall Review
BIOMOLECULES
MCAT course syllabus module 11
Proteins
Carbohydrates
Nucleic Acids
Lipids
THE CELL
Biological Membranes
The Prokaryotic Cell
The Eukaryotic Cell
BIOENERGETICS & BIOSYNTHESIS
MCAT course syllabus module 12
Coordination Chemistry
Oxidation/Reduction
Redox in Organic Chemistry
Electrochemistry
Cellular Respiration
Photosynthesis  optional
Integration of Metabolism
GENETICS & REPRODUCTION
MCAT course syllabus module 13
Gene Expression
Cellular Reproduction
Mendelian Genetics
Recombination & Mutation
Molecular Biology Lab
Human Genetics
DIVERSITY OF LIFE
MCAT course syllabus module 14
Viruses
Bacteria & Archaea
Protista  taxonomy optional
Fungi
Plants  optional
Animals  taxonomy optional
Embryology
MCAT course 
syllabus module 15
Tissues & Histology
HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY
Nervous System
Sensory Systems
Endocrine System
Musculoskeletal System
Cardiovascular System
Blood
Respiratory System
Lymphatic System & Immunity
Urinary System
Digestive System
Reproductive System
POPULATION BIOLOGY
MCAT course syllabus module 16
Evolution
Ecology
ELECTROMAGNETISM, LIGHT, & MODERN PHYSICS
MCAT course syllabus module 17
Electricity
DC Current
Magnetism
Electomagnetic Induction
AC Current
MCAT course syllabus module 18
Properties of Light
Geometric Optics
Wave Optics
MCAT course syllabus module 19
Modern Physics  relativity optional
Molecular Spectroscopy
Nuclear Physics
MCAT course 
syllabus module 20Overall Review
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