Preparing For The MCAT

5 Essentials for MCAT Study

MCAT is a standardized computer based test that is taken by aspiring medical students in order to get admitted into any medical school in USA and Canada. This test consists of four sections out of which three are multiple choice based sections while one is an essay writing section. It usually lasts for around 4.5 to 5 hours. Since this examination covers a number of topics and a wide variety of concepts besides its long duration, it requires some amount of critical preparation, for which you need to follow certain essential steps. An important thing must be noted and that is while you study for MCAT don't try to memorize the concepts. Try and develop the skills that are essential for cracking MCAT like critical thinking ability, problem solving attitude etc. Hence, read this article to know the 5 essentials for MCAT study.

  1. Start early i.e. atleast 6 months prior to your MCAT, so that you can plan, organize and prepare effectively.
  2. Study for the test in an organized manner. List the number of topics you would like to revise. Though this test is basically passage based, you need to memorize few reactions and phenomena. So make a list of all that too. Now make a routine for yourself and follow it dedicatedly. Don't falter.
  3. While you study for MCAT, make sure you keep track of time. Even when you are busy preparing individual sections, always try and complete the section within the time limit. Even in case of the writing sample section, practice writing your responses within time. This will not only increase your typing speed butalso speed up your thought process because in the examination you will not get any extra time for thinking or typing or solving problems. So practice within the time limit.
  4. Your preparation for the test requires a lot of hard work. The ultimate thing that helps you crack MCAT is practice, practice and only practice. Write as many test series as possible. AAMC, Kaplan, Princeton Review etc. provide a large number of free tests. These tests are quite helpful. Besides, there are many websites that provide good study materials for such competitive tests and entrance examinations. Utilize these resources completely. If possible, then try and solve the AAMC questions again and other tests. Evaluate your scores and review them every week. Find out your weak areas and strong points. Continue working on your weaker areas until you improve your scores in them and you are confident of them. While you work on your weak points, don't neglect your strengths because if you do so then at the end of the day you might find your strengths turning into your weak points. Thus, you might finally end up messing your preparation. So it is very important to continue practicing your strengths while you focus more on your weaker areas. This will give you an even preparation. One important thing related to preparation should be noted. As has already been mentioned that practice and hard work are the most important factors in cracking MCAT, however, one should not overwork in the name of hard work. This is because overwork doesn't help you; rather it drains away your energy hence reducing your efficiency. So basically if you overwork, your health will be affected and you won't be able to concentrate on your preparation completely and hence even if you spend a lot of time on your preparation, it won't be effective.
  5. Last but not the least "educated guessing" is a very important aspect of the MCQ sections. In this case what you have to learn is the process of elimination. For example, if you think that choices A, B and D are wrong then straightway mark C as the right answer. Don't try to prove that C is the right option by working on the problem as that might waste your time. So practice educated guessing to save time and make things easier.

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