5 Tips for Preparing for the MCAT

June 30, 2019

There is no simple answer to what is the best way to prepare for the MCAT exam. Some aspiring physicians have found success studying with a partner, some spend their study time in small groups, and others have passed the exam after studying alone. Despite the many study strategies that have been successfully used, there are some tips that can benefit all who are scheduled to take the MCAT exam.

Giver Yourself Time

This point should be obvious but it is important enough to repeat. You should not attempt to cram for the MCAT exam. It is recommended that you spend a minimum of three months preparing for the exam. Some experts suggest you devote at least three hundred hours of clock time to study efforts. The regimen you set for yourself should be etched in stone and nothing should be allowed to interfere.

Understanding Over Memory

The MCAT is not a test of your memorization skills. The test is designed to measure your ability to reason and critically analyze data. Your study time should be devoted to making sure you comprehend the material and not just committing things to memory. To pass the MCAT, you need to demonstrate the ability to read a passage, find the pertinent information, and use your ability to reason and analyze to find the correct answer.

Eliminate Distractions

Your performance on the MCAT will greatly impact your future. You should eliminate all activities from your calendar that may get in the way of your preparation. Some students will have work and family responsibilities but will still need to remain laser-focused to guarantee they perform up to their capabilities on the MCAT.

Utilize Practice Exams

Most students take practice exams to identify test areas they need to work on more. Once identifying these areas, they will spend more time on them in their studies. This is a good strategy but more can be accomplished with practice exams.

After taking a practice exam, take a careful look at your answer to each question. Do not only look to see what questions you had correct or incorrect. Make sure you have a complete understanding of why each answer was right or wrong.

Build Stamina

You will need to focus for several hours to perform well on the MCAT exam. Build your stamina while preparing for the test by working test questions for longer and longer periods and decreasing the duration of the breaks you take.

There is no one size fits all study regimen to prepare for the MCAT. Successful test takers in the past have used a variety of methods. However, the five tips shared above can be of benefit to everyone taking the MCAT.

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