The closer you it gets to your planned MCAT test date, the more daunting the idea becomes. You’ve been Googling “how to study for the MCAT” and “the best way to prep for the MCAT” to no avail. But the truth is, there is no set wrong and right way to prep for the MCAT exam.
Resources to Help You Prep for the MCAT Exam
There are numerous resources, practice tests and study methods that have proven to work. For most people, the hardest part is figuring out where to start. And once you do, there has to be a way to track your progress. That way, you know you’re ready when test day arrives.
When searching the web for the wrong and right way to prep for the MCAT, you’ll find hundreds, possibly thousands of places online to get assistance:
- Online forums
- Authoritative blogs
- Personal blogs
- How-To Guides
- Advice columns
- Tutoring websites
- Online prep courses
- Social media groups
Google too much and you’ll find your head spinning from all the advice, opinions and search results. You need to figure out which resources are best for you and which study methods bring you the best results.
Create a daily schedule that allows you to review what you know and learn what you don’t. Make sure you stick to your study schedule each day, so the information remains fresh in your mind. If you can’t commit to seven days per week, at least commit to five.
How I Prepared for the MCAT Exam
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) published a collection of profiles showcasing study tips from various medical students. They share the approaches they used to get scores they’re proud of in the AAMC resource How I Prepared for the MCAT Exam.
Each med student’s profile includes the following MCAT study tips:
- Dos and Don’ts
There are 21 different student profiles. They are all narrated by the students themselves, who highlight the various ways they prepared for this US medical exam. As you read through them, you’ll discover that there really is no wrong and right way to prep for the MCAT.
Each story is unique. Use them to learn different study approaches that helped them achieve passing scores. Learn how, what and when to study for the MCAT exam in How I Prepared for the MCAT Exam from AAMC. Find out what these students learned, approaches taken study tips and each one’s score.
7 Key Essentials Needed: The Right Way to Prep for the MCAT Exam
You have access to numerous tools that help you prepare for the MCAT. The AAMC recommends that pre-meds spend about 300-350 hours prepping for this US medical exam over a 3-month period. Yes, three months!
You also need to create a weekly schedule for reviewing MCAT material. Stick to your weekly study plan to ensure you’re ready to get a high score on your exam. This is definitely the right way to prep for the MCAT exam, so you can get into a good medical school..
MCAT Study Essentials
Here are seven essential tools to prepare you for the MCAT:
1. AAMC MCAT Essential’s Guide
The AAMC MCAT Essential’s Guide helps you understand test content, timing information and logistics. Use this as a starting point for your test prep.
2. AAMC Practice Questions
There are two different practice exam packages available on the AAMC website:
- Official MCAT Section Bank – Contains 300 sample questions broken up into three sections:
- Behavioral Sciences
- Natural Sciences
- Social Sciences
- Official MCAT Question Packs – Contains questions and passages from MCAT exams no longer in circulation which cover the following:
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS)
3. AAMC Full-Length Tests
The AAMC website features two full-length MCAT practice exams:
- Sample Test – Gives you a pass/fail grade on each question with an unscaled percentage
- Practice Test – Timed sample exam that gives you the real-world MCAT experience along with a scaled score and percentile ranking
4. Online Calendar
It’s recommended that you begin studying for the MCAT about three months in advance. Using an online calendar, such as Outlook’s or Google’s, allows you to keep track of your study plan anywhere in the world. You can even share your calendar with classmates and help each other stay on track.
5. MCAT Test Prep
Take an in-person or online MCAT prep class to learn how to pass this exam while engaging with others. MedSmarter offers an MCAT exam prep course that’s taught by licensed healthcare professionals. Learn tips and tricks from industry experts who know how to pass this US medical exam in Atlanta, Georgia.
If you prefer to learn one-on-one with no distractions from others, MedSmarter MCAT tutoring is the best resource for you. Review everything you learned as a pre-med. Identify areas where you fall short while learning skills and strategies to help you get a high score. Tutoring takes place on the Atlanta campus or online via video conferencing.
Don’t wait until close to your test day to get the help you need. Register for MCAT tutoring and test prep services from MedSmarter and get started preparing now.
Click the link below to learn more about MedSmarter’s MCAT test prep services.