How to Create a Master B/B Study Map

MCAT Adventure: Pathlight

Journey Goal

How to Create a Master B/B Study Map

Explore the image to find out more about this MCAT journey...

WHY?

If you don't make a map, you will likely get lost.

The Biology and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Section covers different material than what most people study.
A day spent mapping what the AAMC prioritizes may save you months of wasted study time.

Map every Biology/Biochemistry topic; and concepts will no longer fall through the cracks. The key to B/B is anticipating the concepts: appreciating life's good stuff, where reading a question and skimming a passage instantly recalls the necessary equations to achieve success.

How does this work?
Keywords are better introduced as a network, then as Anki flashcards.
After all...that's how your brain works.

MCAT Adventure: Master B/B Study Plan
Thick Colored TapeSticky NotesStudy ScissorsScotch Laminator SleevesThin Concept TapeColored Fine Sharpie MarkersP/S Study MapC/P Study MapB/B Study MapGlass ContainersSharpie MarkersSharpie PensDrawer DividersScotch LaminatorFountain Pen

Thick Colored Tape

MCAT Normal Colored Concept Tape

A main ingredient! Necessary for adhering the labels to the glass.

Colored tape is oddly life-changing: used frequently in research settings - it can be an amazing study tool, as seen in this tutorial. Not only is it sticky - it's relatively cheap for the amount you get.
Get it here.

Sticky Notes

Behold: the ULTIMATE MCAT Study Tool

The ultimate study tool - Colored Sticky Notes are an absolute essential in this journey.

Doubtlessly useful for any aspect of life - we used them as our central study method for the MCAT.

Get the best brand we've encountered here.

Study Scissors

MCAT Adventure: MCAT Scissors

A handy pair of scissors in your desk amplifies creative juices. Used in step 4 of this tutorial, this pair of Scotch scissors go hand-in-hand with the laminator-study-method.

Scotch Laminator Sleeves

MCAT Adventure: OPTIMAL Lamination Sheets

A laminator?

Are you kidding me?
No. No I'm not. A laminator and lamination sleeves are profoundly important investments. They allow a person to "eternalize" their study notes.

Get your laminator sleeves here.

Thin Concept Tape

MCAT Thin Colored Concept Tape

The main ingredient!
Necessary for connecting all concepts in a linear, simple fashion.

Colored tape is oddly life-changing: used frequently in research settings - it can be an amazing study tool, as seen in this tutorial. Not only is it sticky - it's relatively cheap for the amount you get.
Get it here.

Colored Fine Sharpie Markers

MCAT Adventure: The Best Fine Point Markers

Get your thin sharpies - used for FC topics - here. The hierarchy of pen thicknesses below is on full display in this tutorial:

 Fine Tipped Pens: Black and Color + Fountain Pen
 Fine Tipped Markers: Black and Color
 Regular Sharpie Markers: Black and Color

The hierarchy of size and variation of color allows your sticky notes to emphasize what is important – to create a reference note worth preserving. After all, that is how the Amino Acid Legend was first conceived.

P/S Study Map

A different - but equally rewarding - journey.

Embark here...

C/P Study Map

A different - but equally rewarding - journey.

Embark here...

B/B Study Map

MCAT Adventure: BB Topic Nutshell

This is the fruit of this journey:

An actionable study tool - altering your environment to invite you to engage the content. Take the Pre-School attitude of humility: engage with and use your knowledge rather than assuming ownership of it.

The end product takes less than a few hours to make, granting you:

  • A Hierarchy of Concepts, and - thus - Study Attacks: allowing you to prioritize what the AAMC values most and is more likely to test on.
  • Space to "tether" newly learned topics to the AAMC 10 Foundational Concepts. Write this in with an inexpensive Staedtler Pen.
  • Detachable labels that invite you to prioritize context over memorization; so when you are tested, you can triumphantly strike through non-contextual answer options.
  • A daily reminder you are, indeed, on top of concepts covering 25% of the MCAT.

Glass Containers

Using containers - like these recycled yogurt glasses - are helpful for creating concept mapping stations.

Sharpie Markers

MCAT Adventure: Sharpie: the king of markers. Also the king of bold MCAT study sheets.

Get your sharpies - used for Foundational Concepts - here.

Sharpie Pens

MCAT Adventure: Optimal Color Study Pen

Get your sharpies pens - used for FC subtopics - here.

The hierarchy of pen thicknesses below is on full display in this tutorial:

Fine Tipped Pens: Black and Color + Fountain Pen

Fine Tipped Markers: Black and Color

Regular Sharpie Markers: Black and Color

The hierarchy of size and variation of color allows your sticky notes to emphasize what is important – to create a reference note worth preserving. After all, that is how the Amino Acid Legend was first conceived.

Drawer Dividers

MCAT Adventure: Desk Organizers to Prepare for Battle

Drawers have this way of turning into useless junk collectors. Not anymore. These transparent drawer dividers help you keep your writing weapons accessible, portable, and actionably useful - as pictured.

Get them here.

Scotch Laminator

MCAT Adventure: Memory Preserver: Scotch Standard Laminator

A laminator?

Are you kidding me?
No. No I'm not. A laminator and lamination sleeves are profoundly important investments. They allow a person to "eternalize" their study notes.

Get this Scotch laminator here.

Fountain Pen

MCAT Adventure: The Best Affordable Writing Weapon

A fountain pen is the ultimate writing weapon! Get your affordable pen here. This is a useful alternative to sharpie pens in step 2.

The hierarchy of pen thicknesses below is on full display in this tutorial:

 Fine Tipped Pens: Black and Color + Fountain Pen
 Fine Tipped Markers: Black and Color
 Regular Sharpie Markers: Black and Color

The hierarchy of size and variation of color allows your sticky notes to emphasize what is important – to create a reference note worth preserving. After all, that is how the Amino Acid Legend was first conceived.

① DOWNLOAD free mcat master document

%

Done

WHY?

 

Concept simplification not only
mirrors neurobiology, it solidifies context:
the key to higher
MCAT B/B concept comprehension
and scoring.
This free guide directly reorganizes AAMC’s
official topics into
an applicable B/B Study Map.
Downloading the plan isn’t enough.
Let’s put it to work.

 

NEVER

*Overlook the forest for the trees.

ALWAYS

*Examine the material the way the AAMC does.

TIPS

*Print this out in fine ink,
or make a shortcut on your phone.

 

② WRITE fcs, topics, and subtopics

%

Done

WHY?

 

These B/B Study Map labels
are the skeleton of the MCAT.
Take a day to recreate the structure,
and all learned details will fall into place.
Placing the finished notes
in a laminator sleeve
paves the way for the next step.

NEVER

*Rush and write messily.

ALWAYS

*Ensure there is adequate space to cut out these labels.
*Take your time: this is foundational.

TIPS

*Write in three different sizes
using a hierarchy of writing weapons:
Sharpies for Foundational Concepts,
Fine Point Sharpies for topics,
and Sharpie Pens/Fountain Pen for subtopics.

 

③ LAMINATE concept labels

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Done

WHY?

 

Part of “eternalizing” memory is to attempt
to do so physically.
Laminated labels make your B/B Study Map actionable:
where you can rearrange and engage with concepts,
and test yourself.

NEVER

*Stuff the sleeve into the machine.

ALWAYS

*Wait until the machine is ready.

TIPS

*Turn on the laminator early to save time.
*Feed the sleeve through laminator
twice to ensure a hot seal.

 

④ CUT OUT concept labels

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Done

WHY?

This is where your notes become mobilized
into separate laminated labels.
These labels can be used:
on a table or – as seen next – on a window.

NEVER

*Snip through your writing.

ALWAYS

*Start thinking about what the terms mean.

TIPS

*The Scotch laminator sleeves are terrific:
the plastic won’t separate.
*Cut downward to ensure your labels
don’t fly away.

 

⑤ SCOPE b/b study map location

%

Done

WHY?

Scope an accessible
surface – preferably a window – where
you can tape every label onto.
This is where you ask:
“Where do I want my B/B Study Map?”
“Does it fit?”

NEVER

*Stow away these labels and neglect them.

ALWAYS

*Approach this task with childlike enthusiasm.

TIPS

*If the surface is glass or a white board –
you can write on it.
*Consider future practice exams: can you easily remove/hide this B/B study map?
*A tabletop also works.

 

⑥ TAPE concept lines

%

Done

WHY?

 

Just as neurons link together,
thin concept tape will tie together
all, seemingly unrelated Biology/Biochemistry topics into the three Foundational Concepts
you already have on your fingertips.

NEVER

*Underestimate the power of a concept map.

ALWAYS

*Ensure the strips are well-spaced

TIPS

*Place a strip for every topic under each Foundational Concept.
*In order of FC1-3: 4, 3, and 2 strips.

⑦ TAPE label spots

%

Done

WHY?

 

Hand constructing the B/B study map may
seem like a waste of time.
It. Is. Not.
It forces you to spend time with each topic, and will encourage you to use your creation.
Taping the spots rather than
labels allows you to practice sorting each concept.

NEVER

*Skimp on tape,

ALWAYS

*Ensure exposed tape is sticky.

TIPS

*Use scissors to cut tape loops.
*Spread these out so you can have room
to pen in new concepts.

⑧ ORGANIZE concept hierarchy

%

Done

WHY?

 

This not only charts your B/B study map,
it is the quickest way to actionably study
Biology/Biochemistry content review.
All later deeper digging and note creation
will reference back to this map.

NEVER

*Rush through this step.

ALWAYS

*Ponder what each concept is…Google it.

TIPS

*Treat this as “getting to know” each concept.
*Take a picture at the end as an
answer key.

⑨ WRITE IN notes

%

Done

WHY?

 

The ability to write in recently-learned material
nearby context allows you
to group concepts:
VITAL practice for the
multiple choice presentation of the MCAT.

NEVER

*Use sharpie on windows!

ALWAYS

*Use a wet erase/dry erase pen.

TIPS

*The Staedler pen you use with your test board should work fine.
*Try
teaching while writing in concepts.
*Make a video or teach the air
if no one is willing to listen.

⑩ TEST yourself

%

Done

WHY?

In the actual MCAT,
you will be bombarded with answers.
The best means to the correct answer
is to eliminate on the basis of contextual topic relevance.

NEVER

*Assume you remember everything
on the B/B Study Map
.

ALWAYS

  *Focus on lost sheep.

TIPS

*Don’t be afraid of failure or frustration.
*Create memory pegs and associations/narratives.

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