Mnemonics for the MCAT
Note: Many of these mnemonics are decades old and may not be politically correct. I hope no one will be offended by any of them.
Also, many are silly; however, if they work for you then please feel free to use them.
- Anterior Pituitary Hormones
- F: Follicle Stimulating Hormone
L: Luteinizing Hormone
G: Growth Hormone
T: Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
O: MSH - melanOcyte stimulating hormone
- FSH in males
directly stimulates spermatogenesis - sperm look like "FiSH." In females, FSH obviously stimulates ovarian follicles (which secrete estrogens, which stimulate endometrial proliferation).
LH in males
stimulates androgen secretion so males become "Like Hairy Apes" (LH ® A). Androgens also stimulate spermatogenesis, so LH also indirectly stimulates spermatogenesis. In females, LH stimulates the corpus luteum (which secretes estrogens and progesterone, which stimulate the endometrium).
Autonomic Nervous System
- Sympathetic: fight or flight
Parasympathetic: rest and digest
Causes of Deviations from Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium
- "Maggie May Does Not Smoke"
- Mutations, Migration, genetic Drift, Non-random mating, Selection.
- "Go Sally Go! Make Children!"
- G1, S, G2, M, C
Growth phase 1, DNA Synthesis (replication), Growth phase 2, Mitosis, Cytokinesis.
- "People Meet And Talk"
- Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase.
- "PMAT x2"
- Prophase I, Metaphase I, Anaphase I, Telophase I,
Prophase II, Metaphase II, Anaphase II, Telophase II,
(Note: 4 haploid daughter cells instead of 2 diploid daughter cells)
- "Do Not Pinch People"
- Dorsal, hollow nerve cord
- "Must Be Good"
- Morula, Blastula, Gastrula
- Vitamins A,D,E, and K
(i.e. ones that originate from the GI tract)
- "Garlic Cloves Smell Exquisite"
|Gastrin||Gastric mucosa||Stomach||Food in stomach, psychic factors||Increased HCl secretion & gastric emptying|
|Cholecystokinin (CCK)||Duodenal mucosa||Gallbladder & pancreas||Amino acids, peptides, fatty acids in duodenum||Contraction of gallbladder & secretion of pancreatic juice|
|Secretin||Gastric mucosa||Pancreas||Acid in duodenum||Increased bicarbonate secretion|
|Enterogastrone (gastric inhibitory peptide)||Duodenal mucosa||Stomach||Fat digestion products in duodenum||Decreases gastric emptying|
Hormones that Increase Blood Glucose
- Somatotropin (growth hormone)
Thyroid hormones (thyroxine and triiodothyronine)
- IgM, IgA, IgD, IgG, IgE
- "My Poor Friend Picks Apples"
- Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plants, Animals
Male Reproductive Tract (path of sperm)
- "SEVEN UP"
- Seminiferous tubules
- "FOL(d) M(a)PS"
- Ovarian cycle: Follicular phase, Ovulatory phase, Luteal phase
Menstrual cycle: Menstrual flow, Proliferative phase, Secretory phase
The ovarian cycle controls the menstrual cycle. The cycles begin (day 0) when menstrual flow starts. At day 14, the luteal and secretory phases begin and last until day 28, after which the cycles begin again.
- "EXons EXpressed, INtrons IN the trash"
- DNA expression into mature mRNA
"CUT the PY"
- Cytosine, Uracil, and Thiamine are PYrimidines (one-ring structures)
- Guanine and Adenine are PURines (two-ring structures)
"All Tigers Can Growl"
- Adenine bonds to Thymine; Cytosine bonds to Guanine
Or, "Pure Silver Taxi"
- Purines, A
and G, bond to pyrimidines, T and C, respectively
Oxyhemoglobin Dissociation Curve
- Think of an exercising muscle for a rightward shift:
- Exercising muscle is:
acidic (lactic acid),
and has increased 2,3-DPG.
Proteases in the Duodenum
- "Eat Tender Chicken Chunks Elegantly"
- Note: The first enzyme is produced by intestinal mucosal cells, while the others are produced in inactive precursor forms by the pancreas.
Enterokinase converts trypsinogen into trypsin
Trypsin converts other trypsinogen molecules into trypsin
Trypsin converts chymotrypsinogen into chymotrypsin
Trypsin converts procarboxypeptidase into carboxypeptidase
Trypsin converts proelastase into elastase
- "IS GOHH"
- Induction: Specific ® General. Or,Observation ® Hypothesis ® Hypothesis-testing.
The inductive process proceeds from specific observations to a general hypothesis.
- Deduction: General ® Specific
The deductive process proceeds from a general hypothesis to predictions about specific observations.
- Rate of SeDimentation is proportional to Size
- More precisely,
terminal velocity of particle µ radius2 x (density - density of medium)
- Z-line, I-band, A-band, H-zone
- "King Phillip Came Over From Great Spain"
- Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species
Closed circulatory system
White Blood Cells
- (In order of decreasing numbers.)
"Nobody Likes My Educational Background"
- N Neutrophils
- H requires 1 more electron in its outer shell to become stable.
O requires 2.
N requires 3.
C requires 4.
- The "t" in cation looks like a plus sign: "ca+ion."
- Reduction occurs at the Cathode; Oxidation at the Anode.
- Remember that the terms beginning with consonants are together, and those beginning with vowels are together.
"LEO is A GERC (jerk)"
- Loss of Electrons is Oxidation, which occurs at the Anode. Gain of Electrons is Reduction, which occurs at the Cathode.
- "MIT enough"
- Moles deposited at an electrode = It/nF
Gibb's Free Energy
- "Good Honey Tastes Sweet"
- DG = DH - TDS
"Gee! Plus Arty! Thank you!"
- DG = DG° + RTlnQ
"Delicious Grapefruit - Not For Everyone"
DG° = -nFE°
- "HK + AHA"
or "Hong Kong + American Hospital Association"
- pH = pKa + log10(A-/HA)
- When a hydrogen atom is attached to either a fluorine, oxygen, or nitrogen atom, it can form a hydrogen bond between it and
another fluorine, oxygen, or nitrogen atom.
- "We minus Arty (is) enough, thank you."
- E = E° - (RT/nF)lnQ
- If a compound has at least one unpaired electron,
it is Paramagnetic,
and will be Pulled toward a magnetic field.
- If not, it is diamagnetic, and is
weakly repelled by a magnetic field. There is also a third type of magnetism: ferromagnetism, which is present in what we casually call
"magnets," e.g. iron, nickel, cobalt.
- "National Library (of) Medicine Sizzles"
- n, l, m, s
l Quantum Numbers
- "Sensual People Do Foreplay"
- s, p, d, f. Then it follows the alphabet: g, h, i, j, k, etc.
- "VG PHEST" (Very Good Festival)
- The following are all state functions:
- V for volume
G for Gibb's free energy
P for pressure
H for enthalpy
E for internal energy
S for entropy
T for temperature
Addition of Amine to Carbonyl Group
- "SE PI" (or "SEe PIe")
- Secondary amine ® Enamine
Primary amine ® Imine
(Note: tertiary and quaternary amines do not react with the C=0 group.)
Cis/trans (Geometric) Isomers
- "Z: Zame Zide
- Z for same side and E for opposite sides
- Gauche conformation: It's "gauche" (inappropriate) forone methyl group to stand too close to another group.
Cyclohexane ring: When you have low energy, you sitdown in a "CHAIR" to rest. "BOATS" can be tippy, so they are less stable.
- "SS - ED - CC"
If the -OH is on the Right, it's D.
- "MeSo compounds have a Mirror of Symmetry"
Thus, even though they may have stereogenic centers, they are achiral and so do not have enantiomers.
- Downfield is Deshielded.
Meta-Directing Groups on a Benezene Ring
- "Queen Elizabeth Second's Navy Commands, Controls, Communicates"
Q Quaternary amino -NR3+
E Ester -COOR
S Sulfonic acid -SO3H
N Nitro -NO2
C Carbonyl -CHO
C Carboxyl -COOH
C Cyano -CN
Ortho- and Para- Directing Groups on a Benezene Ring
- "AHA AHA P"
- A Alkyl -R
H Halogen -X
A Alkoxyl -OR
A Amino -NH2, -NHR, -NR2 (not -NR3+)
H Hydroxyl -OH
A Amide -NHCOR
P Phenyl -C6H5
Types of Reactions
- "SEA MOuRNS CANned PEAs"
- Substitution Electrophilic - Aromatic
Most Other Reactions - Nucleophilic Substitution
Carbonyl - Addition Nucleophilic
Pi bonds - Electrophilic Addition
- Basic Physical Quantities
- "Taking Luxurious Limos More Noxious Than Cycling"
- Temperature (K)
Luminous intensity (Cd)
Number of particles (moles)
- "Quintessential Curriculum Vitae"
- Q = CV
- E (energy stored) = ½QV
- Elastic modulus = str
ess / strain
i.e. "es" / "ai" or "essay"
- Stress is associated with the forss (force) applied.
Strain is the deformation produced.
- Electromagnetic waves in order of increasing frequency:
- Radio waves
Force on a Charge Moving in a Magnetic Field
- "Fast Quality Vitalizes Business"
- F = QvB
(N = C x m/s x T)
i.e., if the direction of travel is perpendicular to the magnetic field
- q = mcDT
where q is heat energy, m is mass, c is specific heat capacity, and DT is the change in temperature.
- "D DUV"
- For Diverging mirrors and lenses,
the image is always Diminished, Upright, and Virtual, regardless of the distance of the object from the mirror or lens.
Prefixes in Units of Measurement
- In order of increasing frequency:
"Roy G. Biv"
"Richard Of York Gained Battles In Vain"
- Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet