FAQ

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FAQ

Postby Administrator » Fri May 20, 2016 12:15 pm

Hello everyone! Here are some frequently asked questions about our course and other resources. Feel free to reach out on this thread with any other questions that you might have!

Q: Can I change the study plan after it's been generated?

A: Yes! You can go back and build a new study plan if there have been changes in your exam timing or any of the other parameters that you input. The system will remember what resources you've completed and clearly indicate what you've already done with a strikethrough.

Q: How should I use the MCAT diagnostic and science diagnostic to help get started?

A: Review the MCAT diagnostic carefully to identify strengths and weaknesses in terms of both content and strategy. Think about how you took the test (that is, how you read/underlined/took notes on passages, how you approached questions, how you used passage-based versus external information). You'll get more out of the strategy discussions in the first few lessons of the course if you already have a sense of what you've been doing and what has/hasn't been working. The science diagnostic will give you a sense of your strengths and weaknesses in terms of content, and you can use that information to identify areas to prioritize.

Q: What's the difference between the QBank and the QBook?

A: The QBank and QBook are similar resources in that they both contain content questions distributed according to the representation of topics on the MCAT. The QBank contains 1,000 questions and is online, while the QBook contains 2,000 different questions and is in book form. The 3,000 questions contained in these two resources will give you ample opportunity to practice content questions! (And if you need even more practice, consult the end-of-chapter questions and section tests in the content review textbooks!).

Q: What are the Section Tests?

A: We've made our Full Length exams 6-10 available to course students broken down by sections so that you can attempt each section separately. The reason for this is that by the time students have taken 5 or more practice exams, they may have identified areas that they need specific practice in—so if you really need to do more Chemical and Physical Foundations practice, for instance, but aren't as worried about Psych/Soc and don't feel the need to get more practice with 7.5 hours of testing at a time, you could just take a few Chemical and Physical Foundations sections.

Q: What do I need to do to prepare for office hours?

A: As much as you have time for! Especially for passage-based office hours, like CARS and full length reviews, it can't hurt to do some prep work ahead of time. You can download the handouts from the Office Hours Recordings tab under "Resources" on the course website -- just scroll down past the recordings and you'll see them. However, if you don't have time to prepare, you're still welcome! If you can't make the starting time, you're also welcome to drop in at any time during the session. Regardless of any scheduling issues you're facing, we'd love for you to drop by and ask questions!

Q: How can I get in touch with Next Step if I have a question?

A: Well, one step would be to leave a comment on this thread! More generally, you're welcome to post on the forums, which we monitor closely to ensure that a Next Step faculty member will answer your question promptly. Additionally, you can come to office hours with questions that you might have. You can also email mcat@nextsteptestprep.com, and in the course website, if you click on the "Need Help?" button in the upper right, you'll see some other options for sending us a question.

We hope these are helpful! Again, if you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out in this thread :). Best of luck!!
busybrain
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:13 pm

Re: FAQ

Postby busybrain » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:22 pm

I have a few questions about the lessons learned journal:

1) Do you make an entry for the questions you got wrong only or both right and wrong?

2) How would you approach filling out the information for the CARS section? Would I just fill it out the same way as for other sections?

3) For the topic/passage type can I use the AAMC areas like 5A Water or should I be more specific?

Thanks!
NS_Tutor_Raven
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 1:45 pm

Re: FAQ

Postby NS_Tutor_Raven » Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:56 am

Hey Busybrain! Let me address some of these questions:

1) Do you make an entry for the questions you got wrong only or both right and wrong?

Many students only make note of the questions that they got wrong, but a better strategy is to also focus on any questions that you happened to guess correctly or any questions that you weren't absolutely certain of. The idea is to look for opportunities to improve (usually either a pattern of missing questions/wrong answers or gaps in knowledge).

2) How would you approach filling out the information for the CARS section? Would I just fill it out the same way as for other sections?

Correct! Just fill it out like normal. Because the CARS section doesn't require outside knowledge (in fact, outside knowledge can hurt you!), you are going to see alot of "misread question," "went out of scope of passage," "ran out of time," "didn't understand the passage"...etc

3) For the topic/passage type can I use the AAMC areas like 5A Water or should I be more specific?

It's probably a good idea to go a bit more narrow in scope. Keep in mind that the purpose of this is to help you figure out the specific areas you need to improve. So I would narrow "water" to something like "acid-base" or "solubilities."
A360
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 2:41 pm

Re: FAQ

Postby A360 » Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:38 pm

Hello there!

I have a question about transcription. I hope this is the right thread for this (I apologize if there is a better thread for specific content questions).

So, different genes code for different types of RNA, correct? mRNA, tRNA, rRNA? And the majority of RNA transcribed is mRNA? So, why then does rRNA constitute the bulk (~80%) of RNA in the cell and mRNA a fraction of that (~5%)?

Thank you! :)
NS_Tutor_Raven
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 1:45 pm

Re: FAQ

Postby NS_Tutor_Raven » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:40 am

Hey A360,

A360 wrote:So, different genes code for different types of RNA, correct? mRNA, tRNA, rRNA? And the majority of RNA transcribed is mRNA? So, why then does rRNA constitute the bulk (~80%) of RNA in the cell and mRNA a fraction of that (~5%)?


That's a great question! Everything you pointed out is correct and seems to be paradoxical. The answer lies in longevity.

Messenger RNA has a very short lifespan (on the magnitude of minutes). This is important because the body may only need to make a few proteins for a temporary situation (like mitosis, building a flagella, or reacting to a stimulus). If mRNA lasted for a days, our body could make way too many of a certain protein which not only may throw the cellular machinery out of whack, but also would waste ATP in the process. As a result, for those proteins that we constantly need, we constantly have to make a ton of "temporary" mRNA .

Ribosomal RNA on the other hand, can be a lot more long lasting. Our body always needs ribosomes, so it makes sense that our body would make rRNA that will last for a long time.
A360
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 2:41 pm

Re: FAQ

Postby A360 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:42 am

Thank You!!!
MCATnNYC
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:49 pm

Re: FAQ

Postby MCATnNYC » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:56 pm

Hi,

If my schedule recommends watching 3 Physics Content videos on a certain day, do I pick any 3 random videos or do I go in order? Also, I noticed that the schedule doesn't specifically allocate time for using the course books. Should I be reading the content books first and then defer to the content videos? Thank you!
NS_Tutor_Raven
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 1:45 pm

Re: FAQ

Postby NS_Tutor_Raven » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:16 am

Hey MCATnNYC,
So the time set aside for content review videos in your schedule is meant to give you some flexibility to address areas that you know you are weaker in. So anytime you see "watch 3 content review videos" just feel free to pick and choose the ones you feel you need to review. The one exception to this is that some of the videos are designed to be sequential, such as Fluids 1, 2, & 3.

There should be time allotted in your schedule for using the books. Could you check again, and if there isn't: let me know.
Mona7328
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:16 pm

Re: FAQ

Postby Mona7328 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:21 pm

Hi,

So on my study plan it says my to do list After lesson 20 is to Take AAMC sample Test Scored & unscored and Take next step full length 3. But in my study plan lesson 20 is scheduled 2 days before my exam. Secondly, I also skimmed through lesson 20 and its giving me directions like The Final Week " go visit the testing location", but yeah that lesson is 2 days before my exam. I'm confused :?
NS_Tutor_Bryan
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Re: FAQ

Postby NS_Tutor_Bryan » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:59 am

Mona7328 wrote: ... in my study plan lesson 20 is scheduled 2 days before my exam ... directions like The Final Week " go visit the testing location", but yeah that lesson is 2 days before my exam. I'm confused :?


Hey there Mona,

I'm sorry for the confusion! The general homework guidelines in the Lesson Book are based on a typical 3.5-5 month study plan. If you use the study planning tool to craft a study plan that's really short (like 1.5 months) everything is going to be all compressed and the lessons will butt up against Test Day. I'd recommend you pop into office hours tonight (or some time this week) to talk over your situation with a faculty member live. They can help you make customized adjustments.

Good luck!

b.

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