MCAT Physics Kinematic Equations and Knowing Which To Use

Leah4sci MCAT
17 Jul 201409:02
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TLDRLeah from explains how to choose the right kinematic equation for MCAT Physics problems. She breaks down the four main equations, showing different forms and their applications. Leah emphasizes understanding which units (displacement, velocity, acceleration, time) are present in each equation to determine the correct one for solving specific problems. She also offers detailed tutorials, practice problems, and a kinematic cheat sheet on her website. Additionally, Leah provides private online tutoring and a free MCAT study guide to help students develop effective study plans and excel in their exams.

  • ๐ŸŽ“ Leah explains how to determine which Kinematic equation to use for MCAT Physics problems.
  • ๐Ÿ“š For detailed tutorials on individual topics, visit
  • ๐Ÿ“„ The four main Kinematic equations are crucial for understanding MCAT Physics.
  • โž— Leah breaks down each equation and demonstrates different forms and simplifications.
  • ๐Ÿ›  The first equation is X final = X initial + vt, with variations depending on initial conditions.
  • ๐Ÿ•ฐ The second equation is V final = V initial + at, derived from the formula for Acceleration.
  • ๐Ÿ’ก The third equation is V final squared = V initial squared + 2aฮ”x, often simplified if initial velocity is zero.
  • ๐Ÿ”ข The fourth equation is ฮ”x = V initial t + 1/2 at squared, with various representations to avoid confusion.
  • ๐Ÿ“Š Leah emphasizes identifying the given units and solving for the third unit to choose the correct equation.
  • ๐Ÿ“ˆ The kinematic concepts apply to both X and Y components, with gravity considered in the Y component.
  • ๐Ÿ†˜ Leah offers private online tutoring for personalized MCAT preparation at
  • ๐Ÿ“– Leah's eBook, The MCAT Exam Strategy, provides a 6-week guide to mastering the MCAT, available for free with email newsletter sign-up at
Q & A
  • What is the main purpose of the video by Leah from

    -The main purpose of the video is to show how to quickly and easily determine which kinematic equation to use when faced with an MCAT Physics problem.

  • Where can viewers find detailed tutorials on individual topics and practice problems?

    -Viewers can find detailed tutorials on individual topics and practice problems on Leah's website at

  • What are the four main kinematic equations mentioned in the video?

    -The four main kinematic equations mentioned are: 1) X_final = X_initial + vt, 2) V_final = V_initial + at, 3) V_final^2 = V_initial^2 + 2aฮ”x, 4) ฮ”x = V_initial t + 1/2 at^2.

  • How can the equation X_final = X_initial + vt be simplified if the problem starts at X = 0?

    -If the problem starts at X = 0, the equation can be simplified to X = vt.

  • How do you find the average velocity in kinematic problems?

    -The average velocity can be found by taking the sum of the initial and final velocities and dividing by two: (V1 + V2) / 2.

  • How is the equation V_final = V_initial + at derived?

    -The equation V_final = V_initial + at is derived from the definition of acceleration, which is the change in velocity over time. By isolating V_final from the acceleration formula (a = ฮ”V / t), we get V_final = V_initial + at.

  • What is the simplified form of the equation V_final^2 = V_initial^2 + 2aฮ”x when the initial velocity is zero?

    -When the initial velocity is zero, the simplified form of the equation is V_final^2 = 2aฮ”x.

  • How can the equation ฮ”x = V_initial t + 1/2 at^2 be rewritten to avoid confusion?

    -The equation can be rewritten as X_final = X_initial + V_initial t + 1/2 at^2 to avoid confusion, making it clear that X_final is the final position.

  • What should you consider when choosing which kinematic equation to use in a problem?

    -When choosing which kinematic equation to use, consider the units given (displacement, velocity, acceleration, time), the units asked for, and identify the equation that includes the three relevant units while excluding the irrelevant one.

  • How can the kinematic equations be adapted for the Y component and acceleration due to gravity?

    -For the Y component, swap X with Y and use the acceleration due to gravity (approximately 10 m/s^2) in place of the horizontal acceleration.

๐Ÿ“š Introduction to Kinematic Equations for MCAT Physics

In this introductory segment, Leah from presents a guide on identifying the appropriate kinematic equation to use when tackling MCAT Physics problems. She emphasizes the importance of understanding the four main kinematic equations and offers a cheat sheet on her website for further clarification. Leah also explains how to rewrite these equations to recognize different forms they may appear in during the exam. She begins with the basic equation involving initial and final positions and velocities, then moves on to discuss the relationship between acceleration, velocity, and time, and how to derive the other kinematic equations from these fundamental principles.

๐Ÿ” Decoding Kinematic Equations and Problem-Solving Strategy

This paragraph delves into the specifics of how to choose the right kinematic equation for a given MCAT Physics problem. Leah breaks down the four main equations, explaining that each equation is missing one of the four key units (displacement, final velocity, acceleration, and time). She advises viewers to identify the two units provided in the problem and the one they need to solve for, then select the equation that includes those three units. Leah also clarifies common points of confusion, such as the representation of initial velocity and the correct interpretation of displacement in the equations. She encourages students to review her videos on various kinematic topics to practice applying these concepts to different problems. Additionally, Leah offers private tutoring for personalized support and mentions her new eBook, 'The MCAT Exam Strategy,' which provides a 6-week study plan to help students prepare for the MCAT effectively.

๐Ÿ’กKinematic Equations
Kinematic equations are mathematical formulas used to describe the motion of objects under the influence of various forces. In the video, Leah explains how to determine which kinematic equation to use for different MCAT Physics problems. These equations include variables such as displacement, velocity, acceleration, and time.
Displacement refers to the change in position of an object. It is a vector quantity, meaning it has both magnitude and direction. In the video, displacement is used in the context of kinematic equations to solve for the total distance traveled by an object, factoring in its initial and final positions.
Velocity is the rate of change of an object's position with respect to time, including direction. It is distinct from speed, which is a scalar quantity. Leah explains how to use initial and final velocities in kinematic equations to solve for other variables such as displacement and time.
Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity with respect to time. It is a crucial component of kinematic equations, as it helps determine how an object's velocity changes over time. In the video, Leah demonstrates how to isolate acceleration in equations to solve for other variables like final velocity and displacement.
๐Ÿ’กTranslational Motion
Translational motion refers to the movement of an object along a path from one point to another. It involves changes in position, velocity, and acceleration. Leah's series on translational motion covers various aspects of this type of movement, providing detailed tutorials and practice problems to help students understand the concepts.
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized examination for prospective medical students in the United States and Canada. The video is targeted at students preparing for the MCAT, offering strategies and resources to tackle the physics portion of the exam effectively.
๐Ÿ’กCheat Sheet
A cheat sheet is a concise set of notes used for quick reference. In the video, Leah offers an MCAT Kinematic Cheat Sheet on her website, which provides a detailed breakdown of the kinematic equations and other essential concepts to help students prepare for the exam.
๐Ÿ’กAverage Velocity
Average velocity is calculated by taking the sum of initial and final velocities divided by two. Leah explains this concept in the context of kinematic equations, demonstrating how to find the average velocity when acceleration is not present.
๐Ÿ’กProjectile Motion
Projectile motion is the motion of an object thrown or projected into the air, subject to only the acceleration of gravity. In the video, Leah mentions that her series covers examples of projectile motion, helping students understand the principles and equations governing this type of motion.
Freefall refers to the motion of an object under the influence of gravity alone, without any other forces acting on it. Leah includes freefall as one of the topics in her kinematic video series, providing examples and equations to solve related physics problems.

Introduction to the video on determining which kinematic equation to use for MCAT Physics problems.

Recommendation to visit for detailed tutorials on translational motion.

Explanation that there are four main kinematic equations to know.

Availability of the MCAT Kinematic Cheat Sheet on Leah's website.

Rewriting the first kinematic equation (Xf = Xi + vt) for clarity.

Introduction to the concept of average velocity and its calculation.

Derivation of the second kinematic equation (Vf = Vi + at) from the acceleration formula.

Simplification of the second equation for scenarios starting with zero velocity.

Explanation of the third kinematic equation involving Vfยฒ in relation to displacement.

Clarification on the misuse of the term 'distance' instead of 'displacement' in kinematic equations.

The fourth kinematic equation's various representations and potential confusions.

How to relate different forms of the fourth equation for better understanding.

Guidance on identifying which kinematic equation to use based on given and required units.

Strategy for solving kinematic problems by focusing on the given and required units.

Mention of Leah's private online tutoring services for MCAT preparation.

Introduction of Leah's eBook 'The MCAT Exam Strategy' as a 6-Week Guide to help with MCAT preparation.

Invitation to sign up for Leah's email newsletter for updates on new videos and study materials.

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