How to Memorize Periodic Table Trends

MCAT Adventure: Pathlight

Journey Goal

How to Memorize the Periodic Trends

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

WHY?

There are typically 1-2 MCAT questions about periodic trends: you don't want to miss these easy-money points.

Many people - however - miss these questions, because they don't invest the half hour necessary to truly test if they have a grasp on these concepts. The beauty of learning the periodic trends are multifaceted:

They not only assist with direct questions concerning Basicity, Electromagnetism, Electron Affinity, First and Second Ionization Energies, and Acidity; they moreover reinforce your comprehension of Chemistry concepts - saving tremendous heartache later on in Foundational Concept 5.

MCAT Adventure: How to Memorize the MCAT Periodic Trends
Laminator SleeveMCAT Official Periodic TableStaedtler MarkerTissue PaperWaterMCAT Study FactoryCoffee

Laminator Sleeve

MCAT Adventure: OPTIMAL Lamination Sheets

This Scotch Laminating Sleeve is from the same supplies we use in the highly recommended Eternalizing Study Notes Journey. Instead of wasting money buying transparency film, we thought it best to promote getting more mileage from materials serving dual purpose. If you are against our study methods: feel free to get this transparency film instead.

If not, you can get the sleeves here...
...and your choice of laminator here.

MCAT Official Periodic Table

MCAT Adventure: How to Memorize the MCAT Periodic Trends

This is the exact Periodic Table of Elements the AAMC gives you, except in physical form. Studying with Test Day material not only prepares you for true conditions: it is a helpful transition into the electronic testing format.

You can download the image we provide or get it by creating your own AAMC account and accessing your Practice Material.

On the actual exam, you will be able to access the table as one of several keyboard shortcuts.

Staedtler Marker

MCAT Prep Environment: MCAT Testing Board Colored Pens

This must-have gear not only contains the black marker you will have in the real MCAT - it is a terrific study tool when paired with a practice tablet or, in this case, with a lamination sheet. Write on glass, certain plastics, or any shiny surface and erase with water.

Get them here.

Tissue Paper

MCAT Adventure: Kleenex Box

See! they aren't only for tears after all!

Kleenex are an often overlooked MCAT essential: great for wiping away the Test Board Marker - which you should use often with the testing board.

Get your tissues here.

Water

MCAT Adventure: Filtered Water Bottle

If you are against the pictured use of plastic, BPA-filled water: I highly recommend using filtered water by Brita. This is not only helpful in this tutorial - used for wiping off the transparency - but also for keeping energy levels steady.

MCAT Study Factory

In case you were wondering...

This is my MCAT Study Factory Bin - a repurposed gift from my younger sister: it plays an integral part in my lamination-sticky-note method I completely spell out in this Journey.

Coffee

MCAT Adventure: Best MCAT Energy Drink

Yes...that is indeed coffee.

Let's face it - unless you have disciplined your body - coffee is a useful study tool.
Sample our recommended energy boosts here.

① CREATE a transparency

%

Done

WHY?

 

In the real exam
this transparency will be
in your mind.

For now,
you can recycle lamination scraps
to make a timeless study tool.

NEVER

*Waste time and supplies.

ALWAYS

*Ensure you cut straight.

TIPS

*Follow the Study Note Technique
and laminate only one note.
*The excess transparency is useful for
memorizing many things:
especially MCAT Periodic Trends.

② PRINT the mcat periodic table

%

Done

WHY?

Don’t study with any other Periodic Table
than the one you are two keystrokes
away from during the real MCAT.

NEVER

*Practice with a different Periodic Table

ALWAYS

*Ensure the printed size is
smaller than your transparency.

TIPS

*There is strange comfort in having
the exact periodic table
you will be given on the MCAT.
*Save this image and print it to study the MCAT Periodic Trends.

③ DRAW the trends

%

Done

WHY?

 

Motor memory is the
best way to ensure “you still have it”.

NEVER

*Take your time.
(You won’t have it on the MCAT)

ALWAYS

*Draw them quickly:
if you don’t know it, you don’t know it.

TIPS

*The best mnemonic for MCAT Periodic Trends
we have encountered is “BEAR“:
Basicity, Electronegativity, Electron Affinity, Ionization Energy,
Acidicity, and Atomic Radius.

*Each corner represents
the highest within a certain trends.

④ MATCH the name with the concepts

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Done

WHY?

Mnemonics are useless without depth.

NEVER

*Only look at this as a memorization exercise.

ALWAYS

*Take the time to understand concepts.
(Now it’s ok to take some time).

TIPS

*Unless it’s named after a dead person,
scientific names
almost always just mean what they say.
MCAT Periodic Trends are more
than just mnemonics.
*Ioniza+ion energy = energy it takes
to make an atom a more positive ion
(take away an electron)

⑤ ERASE

%

Done

WHY?

You need consistent practice.
Even if you get it right the first time,
can you do it again 7 days from now?
All this is useless if you are unequipped
come Test Day.

NEVER

*Get your periodic table paper wet.

ALWAYS

*Remove the paper before wiping.

TIPS

⑥ DRAW the mcat periodic trends again

%

Done

WHY?

 

Again. Again. Again!
We do not quit
These points are easy money – practice quickly and move on to a higher yield topic.

NEVER

*Assume you know
or you “got this” until you test yourself.

ALWAYS

*Ensure you recall the trend NAME 
behind the abbreviations.

TIPS

*Treat this like
a video game challenge:
if frustrated with P/S
take 2 minutes to test yourself on
MCAT Periodic Trends.

⑦ PRACTICE with the keyboard shortcut

%

Done

WHY?

 

This begins your transition
to the mnemonic’s application.
Not only are you familiarizing yourself
with the actual exam environment:
you will know what to do
when you encounter a question
asking about MCAT periodic trends.

NEVER

*Be ambitious with your habits.

ALWAYS

*Watch the shortcut video
and try on a real problem set.

TIPS

Be swift.
Reading this tutorial is meant
to save time otherwise wasted asking
“how do I study”.
Now that you know this: do it quickly.

⑧ APPLY on a practice exam

%

Done

WHY?

 

This step is critical: a true application
of the Periodic Trends Mnemonic.
The actual exam may throw in curveballs
like ions. Know what to do in these situations!

MCAT Adventure: How to Memorize the MCAT Periodic Trends

NEVER

*Treat these goals as “must dos”,

ALWAYS

*Reserve the “must do” for the MCAT

TIPS

*Need an AAMC account?
You better make one now!
*Be honest about what you know
and don’t know.
*If you lack conceptual understanding:
see step 4.
*If you just forget the trends: see step 3.

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