Fall’s approaching … and if you’re a premed thinking about medical school admissions, then you’re probably thinking about the MCAT.
Yep, it’s getting to be that time … a time of added study, a giant pile of test prep materials, and less time than ever.
How do you juggle between keeping your grades up, studying for the MCAT, and doing everything else you have to do? Here’s five timesavers to help you sort it all out.
Top 5 Back to School MCAT Test Prep Timesavers
1. A little every day — Forget about the marathon 12-hour MCAT study sessions; those will come soon enough. For now, just do 15 to 30 mins every day, and do this first thing when you wake up if you can bear it. Why? My experience with students has shown that keeping some momentum on the MCAT greatly aids your score. A little every day will really help your momentum.
2. Start two months earlier than you think you need to — Every student I’ve talked to has told me s/he wishes s/he had more time to prepare for the test. This complaint usually shows up around 10 to 15 days before the scheduled test date. You can learn from their mistakes. You’re not going to have as much time to study as you think you will (sorry, get over it). And you will procrastinate (you know I’m right). So start a couple months earlier than you think you need to, and that way you won’t feel quite as unprepared when the Big Day rolls around.
3. Study Buddy — Nothing tests your knowledge more than teaching someone else. Think you have chemistry down cold? No problem, find an MCAT study buddy, have him/her pick five chem questions, and then teach them how to solve those questions. Be sure you include the process-of-elimination steps! No cheating — if you find yourself saying, “well, that’s just the way it works” to your buddy, you don’t know the material as well as you thought.
4. Focus on your weakest sections — Sure, it feels really good to get a near-perfect score on the bio section of a practice test. But if you have a 6 in verbal, you’re not going to medical school anytime soon. Let go of avoidance, set aside your resistance, and dive in to the topics on the MCAT where you’re the weakest. You get two benefits: First, you get the crappy/un-fun part of MCAT prep out of the way; second, you take direct action to raise your score by the most points the fastest.
5. Don’t sweat the writing section — The writing section of the MCAT is the least important part of the test, by 1 million miles. Most students spend way too much time writing practice essays and fretting over an “O” versus a “P.” Meh. Just do a couple practice essays, get your outline memorized and don’t stress. You’re a lot better off with a 12 12 12 O, than an 8 9 10 S.
Let me know your MCAT tips and tricks in the comments.
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