Attempting the MCAT with standard preparation is like thinking back flips are easy just because you can roll a somersault. Suffice to say, without the right training and habits the results are normally embarrassing. Like training to do a back flip, researching how to study for the MCAT is part of the larger project.
Good thing plenty of MCAT tips float about, even on eHow. But you cannot perfect the MCAT by skimming through a study guide (but they’re a good start), just as you can’t perfect acrobatic stunts by simply reading “Gymnastics 101.” An MCAT study plan that will help you improve your score will help you internalize certain test-taking habits that you need to master if you want to succeed on the MCAT. Call it behavioral memory — or endurance training.
Plenty of test-takers assume they know how to study for the MCAT because we’ve all busted out the flashcards, cracked open the books, and took a few breaks to keep the mind fresh.
With the “normal” MCAT study techniques we usually:
- Obsess over Test Material — Normal studying practices place a premium on memorizing the content we should know.
- Get Specific- Others research exact answers to the questions they go wrong.
- Sprint Through Study Sessions — A couple of hours per week seems enough.
- Study the Practice Questions — Most classes provide some sort of condensed study guide, which most of us are glad to review.
But you need more than just the basic features. That’s plain old ordinary studying, not a study plan that will maximize your score one of the most challenging tests you’ll ever take. The traditional study methods are a good start — in the same way that strength training is the first step towards landing a back flip. But strength training doesn’t make you ready to accomplish a set of back flips, and that’s exactly what you’ll feel like you’re doing when you take the MCAT. So get ready to implement MCAT tips that will prepare you for the real thing.
A strong MCAT study plan includes:
- The Long Haul — Take the entire test in one sitting. Multiple times. Get used to the migraines and fatigue — you’ll soon be used to the Long Haul, like a Siberian living in the cold without complaint.
- Generalization — Learn how the test is written, and how you can apply that knowledge to any scenario
- Studying the Actual Test — Examine the actual test and patterns of questions asked and pinpoint sections that need improvement.
- Multiple Practice Test Versions — Practice, Practice, Practice. Each MCAT practice test you take will feature all new questions, but the fundamental theories and formulas will remain the same.
The best MCAT study plan will change the way you approach test-taking and turn you into an MCAT expert who understands how to test is written, and how to avoid the traps that test-writers set for you.
After all, accomplishing a shaky backflip is one thing, but perfecting it into a gymnastic masterpiece is another. An intergral component of your study plan should be my MCAT Club. After you join you get access to a huge library of online MCAT prep and review (more than 350 hours!).