4 Ways to Prepare for the MCAT


The Medical College Admissions Test is one of the most difficult academic admission tests to complete successfully over the course of any training to enter this popular sector. The test is taken by pre-med students in a bid to gain entry to medical school with institutions across North America now making this the most important aspect of their assessment of individual students. The Princeton review reports one of the biggest mistakes you can make when studying for the MCAT is not to prepare well enough with around half of all students sitting the exam a second because of their preparation failings. Those students who perform the best on the MCAT report studying for approximately 200 to 300 hours alongside their everyday studies, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities.

1. Turn weaknesses into strengths

The Association of American Medical Colleges administers the MCAT and explains there are four main areas of concern for students who are looking to gain entry to medical school. The four different areas are biology, chemistry, biological foundations of behavior, and critical writing. It is impossible for each student to attain perfection in each of these areas but those who want to achieve a score above the base of 500 should look to improve their areas of weakness. By the time you take the MCAT, you should have already achieved a proficiency in most areas of academic achievement and should know where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Building a high score on the MCAT is often best achieved by focusing on areas of weakness rather than continuing to improve existing strengths.

2. Start out with a pretest

When you prepare for the MCAT, you will not be able to prepare in a timely and efficient way if you have not created a base level of knowledge. The test itself lasts for seven and one-half hours, which means the level of required knowledge is high across a range of subject areas. Hunter College recommends starting any study plan with an Online test providing a baseline for knowledge. Signing up with an Online study guide to prepare for the MCAT is a good option as detailed feedback will help guide future study.

3. Practice the exam day experience

No amount of practice or study can help you when you are finally faced with the exam day experience. Online practice tests can help guide your learning, but the practice tests can be taken at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home. A good way of practicing for the MCAT is to create a mock exam experience simulating the experiences of the actual test. Advisors are usually willing to act as moderators for these tests with some Online practice tests including a timer similar to those used on the actual test. Creating a mock exam day for your fellow students will only add to the feeling of pressure and fear felt on the actual MCAT testing day.

4. Prepare your body and mind

The huge expectations placed on individuals when studying for the MCAT can create problems with living everyday life. It is vital you continue to eat correctly and sleep enough in the days before the MCAT is taken to make sure you are as ready as possible for the test to take place.