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2006 Ayaz Najafov

2006 Ayaz Najafov

Copyright 2005-2006 and All rights reserved. No part of this
publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any
means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written
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DISCLAIMER: This eBook was prepared based on the experience of previous test-takers. This
eBook was prepared with the best efforts of the authors and the publisher, but the authors and the
publisher do not bear any responsibility for the actions taken by the users of this eBook. and are not affiliated with and not endorsed by ETS.

2006 Ayaz Najafov

Before the exam:

Registration for the test

Try to take a quick look at all the figures of THE CELL book (Molecular Biology of the
Cell, Alberts et al.). If you do not have this book, you can access it online here:

Just type in keywords or chapter numbers (e.g. type in chapter 1 or type in apoptosis)
and then analyze the figures and read the figure captions or you can just read the whole
text of the book.
Alternatively, you can go to and search in the by typing:
apoptosis AND mboc4[book]
(do not forget to change the PubMed to Books in the drop-down menu just at the left
of the search box).

Decide to which institutions you want to send the scores to. This test is paper-based, so
you have to know before the exam, where you want to send the scores and get the
institution codes. You may not want to send the scores if exam doesnt go as desired, but
having the institution code numbers in your pocket before the exam is a good idea, of
course, if you want to send 3 score reports for free.

Study these topics in detail. Steps should be memorized to be able answer some of the
short but difficult questions.

Krebs cycle (TCA or Citric acid cycle)

Electron Transport Chain
Urea Cycle
Photosynthesis system I
Photosynthesis system II
Replication fork

An important note: review your classical genetics very well. Last time I took the test,
most of the questions that I found difficult were the basic genetics questions involving
simple crosses. Solve several pedigree and cross problems before you take the exam, to
refresh your knowledge of basic genetics.

Solve the practice test provided by ETS (can download it from here: and solve our practice questions
and identify your weaknesses (i.e. the topics at which you are not very good yet).
Make sure you strengthen your knowledge in those topics before the exam.

Whenever you dont understand or know a term, just look here in the glossary:
You are expected to know or at least be familiar with most of the terms in this glossary.

2006 Ayaz Najafov

The exam:

Dont forget to take an ID that has your photo, a couple of soft pencils and an eraser.

It is a long exam, so have a chocolate or something sweet before the exam. However,
remember that you will not be allowed to eat or drink during the exam, so make sure you
will not be too thirsty.

Make sure that you complete all questions. Though, dont panic if you have many
blanks left I have left 14 blanks and still got 93% in April 2005 test!

Dont just guess. It is better to leave it blank if youre not sure youll lose 1 point for
every 4 wrong answers. Try to eliminate some of the choices and decrease the chance of
being wrong (you start with 4/5) to 2/5-3/5 so that your chance of guessing and being
right is 40-50%.

Save time for the last questions the experiment questions are usually easy to solve,
given you have enough time. So, manage your 180 minutes so that you have enough
time to read those long experiment paragraphs. It is important to figure out whether you
will be able to solve the questions given that you read the whole paragraph. If the
technique is something TOTALLY unfamiliar to you just skip it and save it to the end of
the exam.

There will be questions of the following type:

1) Which of

the followings are zymogens?


I only
II only
III and IV

Use ELIMINATION strategy effectively in these types of questions.

For instance, if you know that gastrin is not a zymogen, but you are not sure of
others, FIRST OF ALL, eliminate choices that have IV (C and E will be eliminated).
You will be left with fewer choices to work on.

Remember that this is a paper-based test and thus, you will be filling in circles on
an answering sheet. The sheet will be provided as a separate piece of paper that
is thicker than regular printing paper, which makes it easier to fill in the circles.
Make sure that you do not frameshift your answers if you leave some of the
questions blank.

Some people like to first answer all the questions on the questionnaire and then
fill in the circles on the answering sheet at the last 10 minutes of the test. Be
aware though that when the time is out, there is no more filling in the circles, so
manage your time wisely if you are going to use this strategy! And make sure that
the fillings are nice and beautiful, because the optical reader may not read a badly
filled in circle.

2006 Ayaz Najafov

After the exam:

Learn your scores and consider taking the exam second time, if time constraint
allows you to. You should be improving your score by at least 5% if you take it
second time just because it is not your FIRST TIME anymore.

Make sure that you order additional score reports from ETS at least a couple of
weeks before the application deadline. Ordering the scores via a phone call
reduces the time it takes ETS to send the scores down to 5 days. But, it is better
to be safe than sorry, so manage this score reporting issue smartly.

Additional score reports can be ordered from ETS: