The Medical College Admission Test or MCAT registration for 2021 has started last November and February, and the last one will be in May. 31 test dates are available this year, spread from January to September. If you are thinking of taking the test this year or in the near future, read on and we’ll share some tips so that you can prepare accordingly.
- Emphasize Accuracy
You have 7 hours and 30 minutes to complete the MCAT, including breaks. While the test is timed, this does not mean that you should focus on speed. When you are practicing for the exam, it is more important to be accurate. Answer the questions untimed and later, record the time that it takes to finish each section so that you will know what you have to work on.
- Talk to Those Who Took the Test
Learn from the wisdom and experiences of others. Find someone who has already taken the exam and ask for tips. Their first-hand experience will give you practical insights that will increase the chances of passing. You will also find many online groups or discussion forums that can be a source of insights about MCAT.
- Learn How to Manage Stress
Stress management is one thing that you will need to learn while studying for MCAT. Many of the questions might come as a surprise to you and you will feel pressured to complete the exam timely. If you know how to manage stress effectively, it is easier to prevent cramming. Know how to maintain your composure despite the difficulty of the exam.
- Find a Routine that Works
Create a schedule that works best for you. Do not over-do studying as this can add unnecessary stress. Dedicate a certain time of the day to review for the exam, depending on when you are most productive or when there are minimal distractions. Find the right tools that will help in your study, such as concept maps, prep books and flashcards. While it might seem old-fashioned, the best MCAT prep books can be an indispensable resource when you’re trying to improve your practice scores. They serve as a great reference point, and publishers have decades of experience in getting students ready for the exam.
- Take a Practice Test
Go online and look for an MCAT practice test so you will have realistic expectations of what to anticipate. This way, you will have an idea of the kind of questions that will appear during the exam. Without enough practice, the test might come as a shock.
- Simulate Real Testing Conditions
Before taking the MCAT exam, it will help to simulate the real exam conditions. This requires taking the practice test timed and in one sitting. While taking the test, do not eat or drink. Take a break, but only based on what the test allows – two 10-minute and one 30-minute breaks.
Passing the MCAT is a must before getting into your medical school of choice. Out of the tens and thousands who take the test, be one of those fortunate to get a good score by taking note of the tips mentioned above.