June 07, 2021 Acids and also Bases for the MCAT: Everypoint You Need to Kcurrently June 07, 2021/ Vikram Shaw, M.S. (Head of Tutoring Services)
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(Note: This overview is part of our MCAT General Chemisattempt series.)

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction to acids and also bases

Part 2: Definitions

a) Lewis and also Bronsted-Lowry acids and bases

b) Important acids and also bases

c) Amphoteric species

d) Equilibrium constants

e) pH and also pOH

Part 3: Buffer systems

a) Buffer systems

b) Henderson-Hasselbalch equation

Part 4: Titrations

a) Titrating a strong acid and strong base

b) Titrating weak acids and also bases

c) pKa of multiprotic acids

Part 5: High-yield terms

Part 6: Passage-based concerns and also answers

Part 7: Standalone concerns and answers


Part 1: Review to acids and bases

Maintaining equilibrium in acids and bases is an essential component of keeping homeostasis. Understanding the habits of acidic and standard settings is crucial to knowledge the basis of many type of organic reactions and organic devices.

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This overview will cover properties that specify acids and also bases, buffer devices, and also the fundamentals of titrations. By the end of this guide, you’ll be ready for whatever the MCAT throws at you on acids and bases come test day. At the end of this post, tbelow are also a number of MCAT-style practice inquiries for you to test your expertise with.

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Many type of students think of acids and bases in regards to hydrogen and also hydroxide ions. For instance, a solution that has actually a high concentration of hydrogen ions (H+) is considered acidic while a solution that has actually a high concentration of hydroxide ions (OH-) is thought about basic. While this is certainly a valid method of looking at acids and also bases, it’s not the just one! 

The Lewis and Bronsted-Lowry definitions define various properties of acids and also bases. Lewis acids and bases are based upon electron activity. A Lewis acid accepts an electron pair, while a Lewis base donates a pair of electrons.


Out of all the definitions of acids and bases, the Lewis definitions are the a lot of inclusive. The Bronsted-Lowry meanings are slightly less inclusive and also emphasis on proton motion. A Bronsted-Lowry acid is one that donates a proton (H+), while a Bronsted-Lowry base is one that accepts a proton. Eexceptionally Bronsted-Lowry base is additionally a Lewis base. However before, not eextremely Lewis base is a Bronsted-Lowry base.

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All acids and bases have actually conjugates, which are formed after shedding or getting a hydrogen ion. A conjugate acid is a Bronsted-Lowry base that has obtained a proton. A conjugate base is a Bronsted-Lowry acid that has lost a proton. Strong acids have weak conjugate bases and also solid bases have weak conjugate acids. This is because a strong acid will not form a varieties that easily accepts a proton. If it did, then it would certainly not be a strong acid. The very same logic uses to strong bases and also their weak conjugate acids. As you may expect, this also implies that weak acids tfinish to form solid conjugate bases and weak bases tfinish to develop solid conjugate acids.


Initial species Dissociates right into Weak acid
Strong acid Weak conjugate base and also H+
Strong conjugate base and H+
Strong base Weak conjugate acid and also OH-
Weak base Strong conjugate acid and also OH-