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## How to MCAT is made...

Since the MCAT tests a student’s understanding of basic concepts, relatively few mathematical calculations will appear on the exam. This means that students will have to recall from memory only the most basic equations (such as F = ma, λf = v, etc.). Furthermore, relationships between quantities – especially proportionality and inverse proportionality – in equations must be understood. Stress this approach and how proportionality is expressed graphically. (For example, most students think that every straight-line graph represents a proportion, whether or not the line passes through the origin.) Students must know definitions of physical quantities. For example, they must know that power is work (or energy) divided by time, so that the units are joules per second (or Watts). They must know that an ampere is one coulomb per second, and so forth. Often the answer to a question only requires them to know the definition and/or unit of the quantity involved. Students must memorize the value of g near the surface of the earth (g ≈ 10 m/s2) and the speed of light (c = 3 x 108 m/s).

The MCAT is not a knowledge-based exam; it is a reasoning-based exam. This means that students are not tested on how many details they know, but rather on how well they can analyze.