Tips on Studying for the MCAT

February 9, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Tips on Studying for the MCAT

What is the MCAT?

What is the MCAT? The Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT for short, is a standardized multiple-choice test that prospective medical students in the United States and Canada take to determine their knowledge and ability levels. The MCAT is a requirement for most medical schools, and the results of the test have a big effect on the admissions process. Read on to learn some of the tips on studying for the MCAT.

When to start studying for MCAT?

What to start studying for MCAT? The best time to begin studying for the MCAT might change depending on a variety of variables, including the student’s study habits and the amount of free time they have. Nevertheless, one of the tips on studying for the MCAT by the majority of experts is to begin your MCAT study at least six to twelve months before the anticipated test date.

Female student holding a folder in a room with her classmates.

This gives you enough time to thoroughly review all of the pertinent information as well as to hone your test-taking techniques. Additionally, getting a head start might lessen stress and improve your chances of getting the desired score.

How to start studying for MCAT?

How to start studying for MCAT? Here are some general instructions by AdmissionSight on how to begin your MCAT preparation:

  • Become familiar with the test’s structure and content. Review the MCAT test structure, subject matter, and scoring methodology to gain a better idea of what to expect on test day.
  • Plan your study time: Consider the amount of time you have before the exam, your other responsibilities, and your favorite study techniques when creating a study plan that works for you.
  • Obtain study materials: Get the official MCAT preparation guides and think about adding extra materials like textbooks, review guides, and practice exams.
  • Establish a regimen and adhere to it in order to develop effective study habits. Instead of just reading or watching videos, schedule time each day to learn and actively connect with the subject.
  • Practice, practice, practice: Take mock exams frequently to monitor your development and pinpoint areas in which you need to concentrate your efforts.
  • Maintain organization: Track your progress and establish a list of the things you need to improve on.
  • Seek assistance: Think about signing up for a study group, hiring a tutor, or asking other MCAT test takers for help.

Find what works best for you and stick with it because every person has a different learning style and speed.

Tips on studying for the MCAT

Are there any tips on studying for the MCAT? Any pre-med student is aware that studying for MCAT is a difficult task that demands time, effort, and unshakable dedication. Students who are up for the challenge and want to ace this test must be motivated to work hard. Although there are no fast cuts, there are some MCAT tactics, study tips, and behaviors that set top achievers apart.

Are you curious about the most effective MCAT study techniques? Here are five brilliant Mtips on studying for the MCAT that will help you increase your score:

1. Use as few study resources as possible.

t is certainly daunting how many different MCAT study options are offered to students. It may be tempting to want to use as many resources as you can as a dedicated pre-med student to feel confident that you’re well prepared and covering all of your bases. In actuality, it’s easy to overextend yourself and end up employing too many MCAT study aids and strategies ineffectively rather than making the greatest use of the few tools and resources that are most compatible with your particular learning style.

Young nurse talking to an old patient.

Ultimately, the majority of MCAT preparation materials fall into the categories of question banks, practice exams, flash cards, and sources for topic review. When planning your study, it can be useful to choose one important resource per category in order to focus your efforts.

Spend some time getting to know the materials you like, and concentrate on those that make preparing for the MCAT enjoyable. The phrase “less is more” applies here, and it’s one of the best MCAT study tips to keep in mind!

2. Prepare physically for your MCAT test day.

Having mastered all of the MCAT curriculum is only half the battle. The MCAT, like any other standardized test, assesses both your knowledge and your test-taking skills.

The exam lasts approximately 7.5 hours in total and is divided into 4 blocks of 53–59 questions each. What a lot of sitting that is! Students must maintain their attention and mental sharpness for extended periods of time due to the exam’s length, which is no small task.

What is one of the tips on studying for the MCAT to keep in mind? Learning how to take tests generally and sit still for a long time. Studying for MCAT is challenging so building your endurance through practice is the best way to be sure you can make it through the test!

Your MCAT preparation regimen should include practice tests so you can develop the habit of just sitting through the exam. This not only increases your endurance so you can comfortably finish the exam, but it also gives you a chance to get comfortable with the MCAT’s format and schedule, including the gaps between each part.

3. When taking practice exams, simulate the conditions of the actual test day.

One of the greatest MCAT tips you can follow is to strive to make your testing settings as close to test day as you can while taking practice MCAT exams to improve your endurance and familiarity with the style and structure of the exam. To eliminate any variables, take your breaks as scheduled and try to munch on the foods you intended to bring to the testing facility. Try not to pause or leave the practice exam while working in a calm area without any electronics.

Additionally, make an effort to ignore any interruptions. On test day, distractions can and will happen, so if you’re already accustomed to completing a physics passage while someone taps their pen or clears their throat across from you, you’re already one step closer to maintaining composure throughout the exam. After a few practice sessions, you’ll become more comfortable with what to anticipate on test day, and that comfort will help to reduce test-day anxiety.

This brilliant technique for studying for MCAT will not only reduce your anxiety before the exam, but it can also increase your confidence after the test by giving you some assurance about your score before you ever find out. Utilize this to your advantage because the AAMC’s official full-length examinations are the closest thing to the real MCAT exam that you’ll find outside of test day.

The AAMC full durations will accurately predict your actual MCAT score as long as you adhere to test-day conditions.The best indicator of your actual score will be the average of your four AAMC full-length practice scores. Knowing your score ahead of time will make the 30-day wait more comfortable.

5. Adapt your sleeping pattern to the MCAT.

Studying for the MCAT is challenging. A good MCAT test taker will alter their sleep schedule to coincide with their ideal MCAT study schedule, which is one of the most crucial things they will do. To teach your brain to be attentive and prepared on test day, for instance, if you are taking the 7:30 a.m. exam, develop the habit of waking up early and starting your practice tests at the same time.

Alternatively, if your test is at 3 p.m., set later alarms so that you can feel confident about remaining alert and focused well into the evening. Whatever your time slot, make sure to adjust your circadian cycle to the MCAT exam’s timetable.

To avoid feeling sleepy or uncomfortable on test day, begin working on this at least two weeks before your real MCAT, whether that entails going to bed earlier or later. Make changes to your daily routine and plan your best MCAT study strategy to establish routines that will help you on test day. To get the best grade, put your best effort forward!

5. Take rest days and breaks to plan your MCAT study time effectively.

Even though you might feel compelled to study nonstop in order to master every concept relevant to the MCAT, it is important to take pauses and arrange days off from studying. The best MCAT study plan includes regular breaks, but at the very least, take one afternoon off.

View of a doctor holding nutritious food.

Over-studying can result in burnout, which will actually lower your grade rather than raise it. Studying for MCAT can be enjoyable, especially when your hard work starts to pay off in higher practice test results. But if all you do is study for the MCAT, it can start to feel like a nuisance. Taking breaks or days off enables you to have some alone time and return rejuvenated and prepared to dive back in.

Although you must devote yourself fully to this exam, make time for the things that make you happy and motivate you. Learning how to study for the MCAT is like working out at the gym: growth requires rest days!

Would you like to learn more tips on studying for the MCAT and raising your chances of getting into the medical school of your choice? We’ve got you! Over the past ten years, AdmissionSight has assisted students in navigating the challenging admissions process. With AdmissionSight, you can apply to colleges this fall with confidence. Book your consultation today!



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