You’ve already gone through the MCAT registration and you’re now ready to begin studying for the MCAT! Understandably, this is a nerve-wracking process because of all the different topics to tackle. Not to worry, as it’s possible to survive the prep and test itself with the right study tips.
- Make Time and Space for the MCAT
It’s common to study for the MCAT while juggling work and school obligations. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons why students would need to extend their preparation or repeat the MCAT.
If possible, consider taking time off from your job or having fewer hours for the next few weeks. If you have other school obligations, do study for the test only once you receive lighter loads.
Besides time, be sure you have mental space as well. Make sure you prioritize yourself and your health!
- Have the Study-Life Balance
While it’s important to make more time to study the MCAT, life shouldn’t only be solely about studying for it. Don’t feel guilty because you took a break for a day, or that you spent a few minutes on your phone!
Don’t expect to study almost 24/7, you should treat this process as you would with school and work. You deserve the short breaks and days off. Sleep and your 3 meals a day are NOT considered as a break!
- What Learning Method Works Best?
There are study methods that work amazingly with some students while others prefer different methods. Reflect on what works best for you and be open to changing the study techniques you are used to. Change it up a bit and experiment with what helps you study more efficiently.
Remember, MCAT is different compared to undergraduate classes, so you do have to go through some reflecting as you find the best technique and game plan.
Adding to this, it is about the quality of how you review, not how much you read. Review the explanations and understand the questions and answers, as well as the concept behind them. Don’t just memorize, as the reviewing process can help generate takeaways to prevent you from making the same mistakes.
- Use Practice Tests
The MCAT is over 7 hours long! It’s best to prepare ahead and build up your stamina, which can help you know what to expect. That’s what MCAT practice tests are for, which can build your endurance.
Don’t take the practice test in one go first. Instead, space out the different tests once a week, then start taking them together as the weeks go by. Furthermore, use practice questions as well, which can help you see if you’re missing out on any details while practicing test-taking strategies beyond the practice tests.
Once you have a consistent studying schedule and follow some of these study tips above, you will have more confidence in yourself and what you learned. Take the test only if you are ready and confident that you’re within the range of your goals. Good luck!