7 MCAT Tips for Preparation
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is said to be the passport for each and every student who wish to pursue their career in medicine studies. However, taking MCAT is not as easy as it sounds. There are certain things that you need to know before you sit for the exam. MCAT is one of the oldest admission tests (since 1920) that every single med school applicant needs to pass in order to get admission to a medical school. MCAT, tests the capability of all med school applicants on subjects like physical and biological sciences and also on verbal reasoning. There are three sections, each section having a score range of 1-15.There is also a writing section which puts the student's creative instincts to test and the score is recorded on an alphabetical scale that ranges from alphabet J to T.
Undoubtedly, MCAT is regarded to be a "high stake" exam as it is equivalent to other graduate level tests. Here are 7 great MCAT tips which shall help you to face the test with brimming confidence and lessen your chances of failure.
1. Chalk out a Study Plan and Stick to It
MCAT is an important exam. Hence, you need to take caution. If you are planning to ace the test with a week over study and a few late night preparations, think again. MCAT tips by study experts show that a minimum of three months is required to get prepared for the exam. Moreover, you need to have a clear and concise idea about how to approach the questions and the scoring capacity for each subject group.
The study plan you make should be a step by step process where you can spend maximum amount of time in learning and then practising the same. You should also keep a daily calendar to mark the dates on which you shall study a particular subject. Time management is the keyword here. You may invite your friends for a group study which usually help to sort out doubts and problems within yourselves. Make sure, you follow what you have planned. Following a plan is more important than making one. Only strict adherence to your routine study can make things happen for you.
2. Look Over Your Past Tests
A test, contrary to what we believe, doesn't end with a grade. You will realize this each and every time when you sit to prepare yourself for MCAT. Browsing through your old test papers is a good idea to trace back your mistakes. In that way, you shall have a chance to avoid them in the future. Tracing back the mistakes will also make you more competent and hence add to your concentration skills during the preparation of MCAT. If you have appeared for MCAT once, then it's time to perform better than what you had done before. Identify the errors in the questions which you had analysed wrong during your first stint and mark them in bold. As you go over the test papers, you will be able to spot them at once and refrain from doing the same mistake in the future. MCAT tips like this, shall also help you to come up with own way of handling the difficult questions.
3. Get Your Mind and Body in Shape
That's right. Although, you won't be preparing for Olympics, it's necessary to be in shape, physically and mentally. Exercise is necessary to pump up your energy and keep your mental strain away. When it comes to MCAT tips for students, research studies have proved, that 30 percent of medical school applicants in US suffer heavily from mental anxiety before the exam.
Keeping your eyes closed for a while and practising deep breaths can lower your mental tension and hence help you to achieve a stable mind before you sit for MCAT. Michele Krouse, who happens to be a student counsellor, recommends yoga sessions to his students to keep their mind and body at peace before the exam.
4. Few Are Good, More Are Better
Many academic experts believe that group studies help students to prepare their lessons much better than self-studies. When you are studying in a group along with your friends or class mates, you tend to exchange a lot of information which helps each other in resolving their doubts. When likeminded friends sit together for a group study session, the solutions to difficult questions come out quite easily. Your study group should focus upon being productive all the time. It's necessary to set individual goals among the members of the study group and they can be assigned different time bounded tasks to complete.
5. Keep an Eye on Other Exams
Although, the primary focus should be on MCAT, it's necessary to keep an eye on other exams as well. Exams like GRE and LSAT have striking similarities with MCAT and hence, following the exam trends shall help you to gather more information on MCAT. The idea is to get yourself familiarized with the language of the exam where the GRE and the LSAT tests are quite helpful in building a foundation of verbal comprehension.
6. Consult a Senior
If you know anyone in your neighbourhood or outside school, who have successfully cleared MCAT, then it's wise to pay him a visit. Seniors can give you great MCAT tips which can help you to ace the test. Beside MCAT tips, they can also suggest ways to prepare yourself for the big day and how to ease off the tension that usually mounts as the test day appears.
7. MCAT Mentors
Joining a MCAT training course might be a good idea to get some professional mentoring before you take on MCAT. Many a times, students have found the mentoring sessions to be amazingly rewarding. Way back in 2007, students enrolled in a nursing program reported that, they all shared a unique bond with their trainers and mentors, who made them address their issues with confidence. They were also of the opinion, that the training sessions had turned out to be great stress busters and helped them relieve their mental stress.
At the end, when everything is done, it's all left for you. So, have faith in yourself and go forward. If all goes well, you shall come out with flying colours in the exam.
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