The desire to become a doctor is nursed by thousands of students and there are a number of them who keep trying every year till they succeed in getting admission to a desired medical college. If you are one of those students who place a career in medicine above all other career options, then you have to be prepared well in order to face the competition for getting admission to a reputed medical institution. Most medical colleges across the US and Canada consider the Medical College Admission Test (MACT) scores along with other criteria for evaluation of your suitability for admission. The other criteria include your college GPA, essays and letters of recommendation.
Though the MCAT scores are not the only criteria for determining your suitability for admissions but high scores increase the probability of your getting selected for a desired medical college program. Therefore, in addition to a good performance in your undergraduate studies, you will also have to garner high scores in order to be considered for admissions by reputed medical institutions. This can be achieved only by a thorough and dedicated test preparation plan.
Don't be deceived into believing that if you have done very well in your undergraduate studies, then you need not bother about high scores. A good GPA and a poor MCAT score will create a negative impression on the medical college admission committees. No matter how high your college GPA is, you should strive to attain at least the national average scores in all the sections of the test. If you have an average GPA, then it is absolutely necessary for you to score high in the test.
The test format consists of the Physical Sciences section, Verbal Reasoning section, Writing Sample section and the Biological Sciences section. The questions asked in each of these sections test your problem solving skills in addition to critical thinking, reasoning and writing skills. These skills would have been developed by you during the course of your undergraduate studies. However, in spite of possessing these skills you will be required to carry out test preparation with extensive review of the content tested by the MCAT. Your knowledge of the fundamentals of the subjects tested by the test may be of a good level; nevertheless, you will require a lot of practice to master the art of applying your knowledge for problem solving.
MCAT Preparation Courses
One of the most effective methods for developing your problem solving skills is by registering for a preparation course. The curriculum of the course covers all aspects of preparation, starting from the study materials to the evaluation of your readiness for taking the test. There are a number of institutes that offer preparation courses. Most of the courses start by identifying your weaknesses. The councilors at the institute will then help you select a suitable preparation course. Most institutes offer a variety of courses depending on the requirements of the students taking the test. You can register for a complete preparation course or a crash course. You may also opt for small group or private tutoring which is preferred by a number of students preparing for the test. In short, there are many options for those of you who are interested in carrying out preparation with the assistance of a preparation course.
Don't get influenced by the tall claims of institutes regarding the quality of the courses offered by them. Carry out a survey on your own before you select a particular preparation course. Consultations with the student councilors at your college and the students who have recently attended the courses will help you in identifying a suitable course. Visit www.kaptest.com and www.princetonreview.com which are the web sites of two leading institutes in the test prep industry. You will be able to learn about the various prep courses offered by these institutes from their web sites.
The test preparation courses may be beneficial when it comes to expert guidance, but there is a large section of the student fraternity that prefers to prepare for the test without the assistance of a course. This choice may be attributed to various factors like the financial implications of registering for a course, lack of a suitable institute in your location, unavailability of time to attend classes etc.
The online preparation courses for MCAT are able to overcome these drawbacks to quite an extent. You can access the online courses from your home. There is no requirement of traveling long distances to attend classes. You may go over the content of the preparation course during night hours or at any other time as per your convenience. The online prep courses may be a trifle cheaper than the regular courses offered by the same institute. You can log on to www.kaptest.com for details of the online preparation course offered by them. Go to www.aamc.org/students/mcat/start.htm, MCAT official web site, for more information on online guidance for test preparation.
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