How to Memorize the Amino Acids
Goal: Ability to Recite All Amino Acids and Understand Structural Function
Amino Acid Mnemonic Drawing
This easy-to-draw mnemonic - once mastered - is not only a means to write down all the Amino Acid abbreviations: it gives context for each functional group, polarity, hydrophobicity, charge, and general characteristics.
Not to mention it is fun and as life-long as the alphabet.
Find the full version in the official book:
MCAT Testing Pad
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① GET the book.
Let’s face it: we’re going
to need to memorize the Amino Acids
for life: not just for Biochemistry nor
the MCAT. Time is precious: this mnemonic
literally takes a day to learn – the rest is just
contextual. Here’s why we are so proud of this book:
it is the only book – as far as we know – that teaches
Biology’s alphabet the way you learned your native
Unconvinced? Sample the book with a free flash card.
We put this book on different markets,
and have the price lineup below:
Also in Kindle,
Barnes and Noble Hardback coming soon.
Don’t wait for the book to come:
go ahead and check out
more free material below.
② WATCH the video
While the book offers an in-depth
glance at each amino acid, which you can
sample here, the below free video offers
a fun overview of the main mnemonic.
Watching it is like listening to the
“ABC” song for the first time: where
each letter represents one of the 20 Amino Acids.
The repeated “P” is not mistake.
The book explains it – but both stand
*Rearrange the order:
the order has significant meaning
③ PRACTICE drawing the mountain
④ READ the book guide
Also, don’t miss the Forward. There are
a few hidden tidbits in there: like a
hidden mnemonic regarding the
physiological pH for Amino Acids!
⑤ ENJOY the book
The book was designed to make MCAT prep
more enjoyable. It was meant to be
ridiculous, so you can strongly associate
the Amino Acid one-letter abbreviations with the
full names. If you like the anthropomorphic amino
acids, we are flattered! If you hate them, at least
your retinae have been scarred – to make their structure
⑥ COMPARE the tails.
Unless you are taking Biochemistry;
you don’t need to know how to draw the
Amino Acid structures – you just need to
recognize them: playing a game of Where’s
Waldo. Comparing and contrasting the
character tails is a much more efficient method.
Slack off on this exercise: it will cost you.
*Associate, contrast the tail with neighbors within
the Amino Acid’s location.
*Count the number of carbons.
It is okay to draw them as a “getting
to know you” exercise, rather than a
“I need to memorize you” one.
⑦ REFERENCE the map
*Lose the meaning behind the mnemonic.
*Spot clean your knowledge
⑧ CHERISH the mnemonics
The book’s most important mnemonic
is the map and it’s overarching “legend”,
but each individual Amino Acid is filled
with playful mnemonics to help you remember
discrepancies. Sometimes “pseudoreasoning”
the truth reinforces factoids.
⑨ TELL a friend
Storybooks are best read aloud.
Teach your youngest sibling or cousin
some biochemistry. Teaching is a
terrific means to solidify knowledge
in your mind: certainly
helping to memorize
the amino acids.
*Condescend with knowledge. (Stories
are gifts to children).
⑩ TEST with a practice exam
*Take too much time drawing
*Ensure you draw the dotted
line between ED and RHK, and
place the negative and positive
signs in the correct placements.
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