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Private In-Home and Online MCAT Tutoring in Inglewood, CA

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Session Summaries by MCAT Tutors

Inglewood, CA MCAT tutoring
[COVERED]: We started by reviewing some concepts in Acid/Base. The student had reviewed most of it from my website, but she was getting hung up on the concept of equivalents. By defining it clearly for her, and drilling her on the fundamentals, I was able to lead her through the concepts she found confusing. We next moved on to solutions, which given the work the student had done to master Equilibrium and Acid-Base chemistry, was much more manageable. I was able to clarify many of the difficult concepts, by means of a live whiteboard animation I had designed to clarify the concept of dissociation of ionic salts. We discussed how both temperature and pressure can affect the K-eq, and how the direction in which a rxn is written determines whether the K-eq is directly or indirectly related to temperature. We discussed solvation shells and, using a video, demonstrated how the solubility of a salt arising as the interaction between lattice energy and solvation energy. We discussed precipitation, and how rapid recrystallization can lead to impure crystals. We discussed the ion product and its relation to the K-sp, paralleling our general equilibrium discussions. I emphasized the caveat of how to apply Le Chatelier's to solutions by clearly defining how to arrive at a supersaturated solution. We discussed the quantitation of solubility by the K-sp. We discussed molar solubility, and how the common ion effect diminishes it. We underlined this by discussing a systematic approach to solubility calculations. Finally, we discussed Phase Equilibria. We started by defining the Vapor Pressure. We discussed the heating curve for water, using it to define specific heat and the Heats of Fusion and Vaporization. We discussed Raoult's Law, as well as the definition and utility of an Azeotrope. We discussed Phase diagrams, and all the many points of information that can be extracted from them. We discussed how the one for water differs in terms of Le Chatelier's. We discussed BP elevation and Freezing Point Depression in terms of their causes and the formulas used to quantify them. We discussed colligative properties and how the are all based on the osmolality. [PROGRESS]: This session was a turning point for the student. She was able to process quite a lot of information during this session, largely because she has truly mastered the central concept in Chemistry, Equilibrium. She was able to see on her own that the Vapor-Pressure is the K-eq of the vaporization reaction. The student has also integrated the arguments about Electrostatic Potential Energy, being able to understand the relative size of the Heats of Fusion and Vaporization with a previously-atypical ease. [EXTRA PRACTICE]: The student will review the material and next time we will cover circuits.
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Inglewood, CA MCAT tutoring
Tonight we covered microbiology from the MCAT's viewpoint. We went through the chapter, as usual, pointing out any key terms, things to be aware of, and working the in-chapter questions. After covering that, we moved on to the free-standing end-of-chapter and passage-based questions. The student has a good grasp of the subject; I am trying to help him navigate the tricky logic of MCAT question phrasing. I hope he gets a gut feeling for it and can increase his speed on test day. Another successful session!
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Inglewood, CA MCAT tutoring
Tonight: AAMC Stoich passage, Biochem (IMTG) passage, Bio (tumor suppressor gene) passage, Physics discretes. Next time: AAMC Rate Law passage, review ray diagrams, review O Chem rxns, CARS passage, psych discretes - learning and memory, and 1 more experimental bio passage.
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Inglewood, CA MCAT tutoring
The student and I continued our work to discover any holes in his knowledge and passage reading strategy. We began with several chem/phys passages covering protein structure, ion transport, and plasma membranes. After this we reviewed several physics questions from his own practice, covering fluid dynamics, mechanics and work, and electrostatics. We then worked a couple of passages in psychology on social stratification. After this we finished the session with a couple CARS passages in the arts.
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Inglewood, CA MCAT tutoring
We focused solely on reading comprehension. The student tends to rush through the exam, so we talked about strategies for slowing down, including breathing techniques and active reading. The student is positive about the exam. I advised that he practice both timed and untimed full reading comprehension sections so that he can master the content and also practice using his time wisely. He hasn't taken a full practice exam yet, so we don't know his scores. He is a pleasure to work with!
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Inglewood, CA MCAT tutoring
We focused today on working through a couple of the practice sequencing games that the student did for homework since our last session. We also worked through an additional game that utilized more of the loose sequencing format. His technique and strategy for games in general is getting much better; he is creating a master sketch regularly, attacking the questions in a logical order, and creating single-question sketches as needed. His accuracy is greatly improved so far, and tomorrow, we will move on to look at selection games as well as two additional argument question types.
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