One of the scariest things about applying to Medical School is taking the MCAT, the Medical College Admissions Test. It’s intimidating especially if it’s your first time. Many MCAT test takers
1. Know when you’re ready: I can’t emphasize the importance of being ready to take this test. This test will determine your placement amongst other applicants. The goal is test when you’re at your best. If you go into the test unprepared, it will definitely show in your scores. Take your time because this isn’t just your average test.
2. Take multiple practice tests and have a study method: Sure, these probably aren’t the exact same questions on the actual MCAT but they’re similar enough to give you an idea. Take one test and see what your score is. Focus on the areas you didn’t score so high in and then take it again. Repeat this until you’re comfortable with your test taking. Study methods are easy to come around. I created my own flashcards and had them laminated. I threw them in my purse so any extra down time I had, I would study. I’m sure your schedules are busy with work or other school priorities so put a study book in your most visited places. Believe it or not, I had a study book in my bathroom and inside my car. I had access to studying my MCAT almost anywhere I went.
3. Be prepared: Sounds simple enough but even post graduate students forget the little things. Double check that you have everything you need before you leave and double check them again when you’re in your car. One time a test taker completely forgot to bring their ID and was completely horrified. Luckily, he made it in time to be admitted but you never want a close call like that.
4. There is no such thing as cramming: Cramming in high school and college could be doable but definitely not for this test. You never want to cram because cramming will only allow you to second guess yourself and most importantly, your answers. You want to go into this test feeling confident. Cramming any information the night before will decrease your confidence and most likely throw you off. The biggest factor in the MCAT is taking your time. Don’t speed through the questions because you might miss something important. Read the question once slowly and read it again. Be aware of the time limit and pace yourselves!
5. Have a calm day before the test day and get a good nights rest: Studying before the day or even the day of your MCAT will only make you more nervous. You’ll probably feel more anxious and it will deprive you of getting a good nights rest. You should get a full amount of rest so you’re not tired going into the test. The best thing to do before the day of the test is to treat yourself out! Get your mind off of taking the test and grab an ice cream cone. Just relax and try to get rid of the pre-test taking jitters.
With these 5 tips in mind, you should be well on your way to having a successful MCAT test day. Good luck!