So MCAT studying has been rough. I decided to put off my studying until after graduation. I will be studying from 8 AM to 6 PM every day with breaks for food and my best friend’s wedding (Yay!). I’m not looking forward to it, but if that’s what it takes, I have to do it! In the meantime, I have focused on school and an organization at school. However, I do have some tips for you all from my experience so far! Here are some things I wish I knew before I dived into MCAT studying.
1. Planner Babe
“A goal without a plan is only a dream.” It is vital to have a study schedule for the MCAT. Whether you do one subject per week or per day, you must have a plan on how to get to every topic. I highly recommend doing 2 different subjects each day so that your mind does not become bored. I found that studying the same subject for hours or days at a time led me to become distracted and disappointed in the amount of work I accomplished. Plan out hour by hour what you plan to complete so that there is no waste in time. I planned my schedule around my Kaplan course and the homework.
2. Practice Makes Preparedness
There is no point to know all of the material if you don’t know how to take the test. The MCAT isn’t like any other exam. You have to know how to approach it. The best way to do this is to take multiple practice MCAT exams. You should start with a diagnostic exam to see where you are in comparison to your goal score. After finding this, review the material and start taking practice exams to get a feel for the exam. Know how to answer the questions, how to easily eliminate questions, and what specific wording you should be looking for when reading the prompt. You can learn all of this by taking an MCAT course. I recommend taking Kaplan’s course.
3. Be Loyal
Stick with one or two main resources like Kaplan, Princeton, Exam Krackers, etc. You should use one or two MCAT books on your weakest subjects and/or MCAT videos as supplemental material. No more than this. Using more than this can be overwhelming and confusing. Look for resources that have actually studied the MCAT and what it tests. I have been studying with the Kaplan course and their books as my primary source. I also use Leah4Sci, Khan Academy, and other YouTube videos for things that I struggle to understand. I have an EK 1001 Physics Questions that I may use since that is my weakest subject, but I don’t plan to utilize anything else.
4. Positive Vibes Only
This sounds cliché but REMOVE ALL NEGATIVITY FROM YOUR LIFE. The MCAT is hard. You don’t need any distractions or mood killers while you’re studying for this big exam. You have to stay focused and confident during this time and any negativity will ruin this.
5. Know Your Limits
You know yourself better than anyone else. You need to know what type of learner you are and adjust your study methods accordingly. If you are a visual learner, try drawing out pictures or watching videos on certain subjects. If you are an auditory learners, repeat your notes out loud when you study. If you are a reading/writing learner, read the books and write out your notes in a notebook or on your iPad. If you know you’re not ready for the MCAT, postpone or cancel it. The ultimate goal is to get a great score the first time around. If you have reached your limit for the day, take a break. Which leads to the next tip…
6. Treat Yo’self
Sometimes you need to take a break from all of the studying. It’s best to take a break every hour or so. I recommend the 60-60-30 study method, which involves working for 50 minutes and a 10 minute break, another 50 minutes and 10 minute break, and then taking a 30 minute break. You repeat this again until you have completed all of your studying for the day. This method makes me the most productive during my study time. You should have a rest day every week.
You can also give yourself little treats to get through your study day. Some students put candy on each page to get through readings, and others treat themselves to weekend fun like a movie or mall trip. Whatever you like, use it to encourage yourself.
These are all of the tips I have at the moment. I’ll release a part 2 after I finish the exam. In the end, all of your work will pay off. Remember…
Thanks for visiting my blog! Be sure to check out my other posts. There is more to come soon! Until then be kind and remember tomorrow depends on what you do today. Hope you enjoyed reading! — Taylor ❤