Overview: The purpose of this lesson is to teach you how to utilize this course to its maximum potential.
To maximize your use of this course be sure to have a pencil and a notebook at the ready. You will want to engage with this course as much as possible in order to get every metabolic pathway 100-percent solidified in your brain. This course is going to take hard work and grit.
Each lesson contains 4 activities. The first three activities require you to fill in the missing information. The first activity will require you to name the substrates in the metabolic pathway covered by that lesson. Here is an example:
Simply make a list with your answers on a sheet of paper in your notebook. Then once you’ve written down your answers, click on the “reveal answers” button to check your work:
You’ll notice that for substrates, we’ve included images of each substrate. The AAMC will on a rare occasion test you on the structure of substrates, but because it is not super common and it takes a lot of time and effort to learn them all, you should think of memorizing the structures of substrates as extra credit. In other words: if you have time, go for it; otherwise, don’t worry about it.
For any answers that you got incorrect, make note of them on a separate sheet of paper. Repeat this for the next two activities, which cover the important energy substrates and enzymes. By this point, you should have a list on the separate sheet of paper that looks something like this:
Repeat any one of these first three activities that you got one or more incorrect on. For instance, if you originally got three wrong for each activity as listed above, repeat all three activities. Upon repeating the three activities, let’s say you only got one wrong on the substrates activity and only one wrong on the enzymes activity. Repeat these two activities, and let’s say that after this repeat, you got only one wrong on the enzymes activity. At this point, repeat the enzymes activity until you get it 100-percent correct. The goal is to repeat the first three activities over and over again, until you can do all of them perfectly. Remember, practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.
Once you have “passed off” activities 1 through 3, it is time to move on to the final activity. This activity requires you to draw out the entire metabolic pathway without looking at any of the previous diagrams. For instance, in the first lesson you will be asked to “draw the entire Investment Phase of Glycolysis, including the 6 substrates, 4 energy substrates, and 5 enzymes.” After you have finished your drawing, check your work by clicking “reveal answers”:
Once again, repeat this activity until you can draw it perfectly. This is going to take an immense amount of patience and dedication.
The MCAT doesn’t just expect you to understand the basics of these pathways, but it expects you to know them inside and out. In the final lesson of this course, I outline which AAMC practice problems match up with the concepts taught in this course. Work hard so that you can conquer those practice questions with ease!
Best of luck and please feel free to reach out with any questions along the way!