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:
2. Glucose 6-phosphate
3. Fructose 6-phosphate
4. Fructose 1,6-bisphosphate
5. Dihydroxyacetone Phosphate
6. Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate
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!
Each lesson of the eCourse contains links to 1 to 5 Khan Academy science passages for the purpose of providing you with non-AAMC material to practice your science passage reading skills on. By completing all the linked passages within every lesson, you will have finished all the freely available Khan Academy science passages.
To match up the Khan Academy Science Passages with the eCourse lessons, we carefully examined the passage and question content of each one. Then we decided which lesson of the eCourse best correlated with that content. You may notice that some passages don’t match up perfectly with the current lesson. If they don’t match up with the current lesson, they should match up with one of the previous lessons in the module. We did this carefully so that you could practice your science passage reading skills on passages that contain the content you’ve already learned.
We recommend practicing CARS by reading non-AAMC CARS passages but not doing the associated practice problems. The reason we don’t recommend doing the practice problems is because the MCAT is written by the AAMC. They have a very unique style in which they write CARS practice questions that third-party companies (try as they might) are unable to replicate. When students spend time on non-AAMC CARS practice problems, they get familiar with the wrong style of questioning, leading them to overthink and incorrectly respond to the questions written by the AAMC. Thus, it is in your best interest to solely practice on AAMC CARS practice questions.
That said, we highly recommend practicing your reading skills on non-AAMC CARS passages. In our Ultimate CARS Strategy Course, we provide you with 1,000 free CARS passages and 100+ homework assignments, giving you ample material to practice on. Reading countless passages while practicing the proper reading habits and strategies will prepare you well to conquer the CARS section as it was written by the AAMC.
The books we use in each lesson are linked below. We plan to stick with these older editions of the books since very little has changed and the older editions are much more affordable:
The Kaplan Books, Princeton Books, and Khan Academy Videos were all produced by different authors. For this reason, there are some chapters in the Kaplan Book or Princeton Book that are not even found in the Khan Academy Videos and vice versa. For instance, the Kaplan and Princeton Books have chapters that cover certain experimental procedures that the Khan Academy Videos do not cover.
Our goal in matching up the books with the videos was to correlate the content as best as possible while also covering ALL the content from every resource. For this reason, when nothing in the Kaplan Books matched up with one of the video playlists, instead of leaving the reading assignment for Kaplan blank, we inserted material that did not fit in anywhere else (i.e. one of those chapters on an experimental procedure that was not covered by Khan Academy). So, when the assignment doesn’t appear to match up right, please know that this was intentional.
*If you follow the reading assignments outlined, you will finish the entire Kaplan 7-book series and/or Princeton 7-book series by the time you finish all 10 content modules.
If the sections assigned in our eCourse do not match up with the sections contained in your content review book, you may have a different edition. The sections should still match up the large majority of the time, but in the rare instance that they don’t, I’d recommend simply reading sections that do match up and saving the ones that do not for a future lesson.
Before jumping into our free eCourse, you’ll need to complete orientation by watching MCAT Launchpad. During this free 35-minute intro session with Head Tutor Andrew, you’ll learn 6 Keys to Earning a Top MCAT Score, the 5 Essential Elements of an Effective Study Plan, 12 Tips for Taking the Best MCAT Study Notes, and more! Andrew will also provide you with a detailed overview of the Free MCAT Prep Course, teaching you how to get started.