January 25, 2020
For Medical School
There are many different ways to prepare for the MCAT. Some people study on their own while others take courses offered by companies. I took one of those courses and found it very helpful because it forced me to stick to a schedule and stay on track. The course also really condensed the material to the most important themes, making studying more manageable. The mock exams the course provided were also good for practicing in a more authentic test environment. No matter how you decide to study, make sure you have enough time to go through all the material. There’s nothing more stressful than rushing to finish right before you write the MCAT.
There are some strategies for when to write the MCAT. Writing after second-year undergrad in April will give you the most opportunities to re-write the exam if you do poorly. A lot of those science courses overlap with the MCAT science content, making it fresher on the mind. However, you’ll have to study the extra MCAT content in addition to your regular university course load, which may be heavy. And don’t forget that final exams are also in April, so prepare to be exhausted.
Medical School Admission
You can also choose to write the MCAT just after second year undergrad in August. You’ll have more time to focus on studying purely for the MCAT during the summer. This is when I wrote my MCAT and I didn’t feel rushed at all. Other options include third year undergrad in April or August, but at these dates, the science material may be less fresh. How the MCAT will affect your admission to a medical school depends on the school. Some schools factor it into your final score, others use it as a cut-off, while others still don’t include it at all. Do your research to find out how your school of interest uses the MCAT.
Take Home Points
Applying To Medical School
The day before the exam, I went to the movie and relaxed – no studying. A few days before, I drove to the testing centre to make sure I knew the route and there wasn’t any new construction on the road. I went to sleep early, woke up early, and arrived at the testing centre early. I ate a light breakfast and wore comfortable clothing. After I finished each section, I didn’t think about it and just focused on the new section. And after the MCAT, I just let it fall from my mind. When it’s done and over with, there’s nothing more you can do, so there’s no use in stressing out.
Take Home Points:
- Find out how your medical school of interest uses the MCAT for admissions.
- Decide how you want to study: by yourself or with a prep course.
- Decide when you want to write the MCAT.
- Go to the exam centre before your exam date to be familiar with the route.
- Focus on one section of the exam at a time and don’t stress about what’s done.
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