The majority of medical colleges and schools require applicants to complete the Medical College Admission Test, which is no easy task. In fact, the MCAT and LSAT (Law School Admission Test) are two of the most difficult tests out there. All takers of the test need to do a lot of preparation and studying in order to obtain high marks on the MCAT. Taking the test lightly is almost guaranteed to result in failure. On that note, here are some tips for taking the MCAT.
Take a practice exam once per week leading up to the test.
Without a doubt, you should start taking a practice exam each week long before the test date. Your best course of action is to start 10 to 15 weeks before the actual test. Simply put, you take the test under normal testing conditions one day, grade it the next, and then go over any mistakes afterward. You will become fairly well-acquainted with the materials and will know what to expect for the actual test. Practice is key for this type of test, and you shouldn’t find any surprises on the real exam.
Consider taking a preparation class.
Most preparation courses for tests aren’t necessary or all that helpful, but that isn’t the case with the MCAT. For the most part, anyone can benefit greatly from a well-taught prep class. These classes aren’t cheap, but they can be the key to passing the test on the first try. Prep classes usually go through the basics of the test and smart strategies for answering problems on the exam. So then, you may not have needed a prep class for the SAT, but the MCAT is a different test entirely.
Study up on your pre-med materials.
Your pre-med undergraduate studies will now come in handy for the MCAT. Refreshing yourself on all of these previous materials and subjects can lead to a better understanding of the exam. With that in mind, you should find all those old study packets and whatnot to refresh your memory on each subject. Pre-med studies can be extremely helpful for the MCAT even if the specific materials aren’t on the test that you take. It will lead to a better overall grasp of what’s on the test, which means you’ll score higher.
Take care of studying at the same time every day.
You shouldn’t be studying at random times of the day because that will leave you in a state of disarray. Undoubtedly, you should get your studying done at the same time each day. This will lend a dash of organization to your studies and make things easier because you will know what to expect every day. Also, you will end up more prepared to take the actual exam when the day comes.
Try to free yourself from other educational commitments.
The MCAT is offered at various times, so you should try to choose the date that best suites your schedule. You shouldn’t take the test in the middle of the semester when you are trying to study for finals. Obviously, you need to free yourself from other educational interruptions like classes or internships. Keeping yourself free to study for the MCAT and the MCAT alone will make your studying more fruitful.
Don’t take the MCAT lightly!
Unlike the SATs or the ACT for undergraduate schools, the Medical College Admission Test can’t be treated like a minor annoyance. It’s much more difficult and much more important than those tests. Of course, you should try to score high on the MCAT on attempt number one, but you can take the test again to score better. It’s a smart idea to just study hard for the test, score high the first time, and then be done with the whole thing.
For more information, visit Preparing for the MCAT Exam.