If you’re thinking about attending medical school, you’ll need to pass the MCAT. The exam is known to be more difficult than many other college entrance exams. Therefore, it’s important to have a strategy to pass it.
But don’t let us scare you. Although the MCAT is extremely challenging, it can be mastered if you put the right amount of work into preparing for it. Here are five tips to pass the MCAT and get into the med school of your dreams.
Before you even complete your MCAT registration, it’s important to prepare for the exam. But where do you begin? Here are 5 tips to pass the MCAT and get into the med school of your dreams.
1. Focus on Stress Management
It’s important to find ways to manage your stress. You’ll be more efficient at studying and passing the exam if you’re relaxed. This is good practice for anyone who wants to go to med school, anyway. Becoming a physician isn’t easy, but it’s even more challenging if you’re not well-equipped to cope with stress.
Remember that our minds and bodies are so connected, so self-care is important. Be sure to make sure you’re getting adequate sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, and exercising regularly. If necessary, you might want to take additional steps to deal with your stress, such as meditating or listening to calming music before your study sessions.
2. Take As Many Practice Exams As Possible
One of the most important study tips is to take as many full-length MCAT practice exams as possible. This will help set realistic expectations of the type of questions you might encounter on the exam.
Practicing as much as possible will also help you build confidence, which will prevent the whole process from being so nerve-wracking.
3. Don’t Get Hung Up On One Question
When taking the exam, many people tend to get stuck on one question they don’t know the answer to. If this happens to you, the best thing you can do is skip over that question. With an exam as long as the MCAT, there are bound to be several challenging questions. That’s okay; simply move and allow yourself the time you’ll need to answer the rest.
4. Start With Accuracy, Then Worry About Speed
When you take the MCAT, you’ll encounter more than 200 extremely challenging questions over the course of 6 hours and 15 minutes, so speed does matter. But during your MCAT test prep, it’s important to first focus on accuracy. Take several practice exams and worry about getting the answers right. Once you begin to build confidence over your ability to get the correct answers, then begin timing yourself.
If you begin with trying to get the answers right in a speedy manner, you might put too much pressure on yourself.
5. Don’t Worry About Getting a Perfect Score
Like many future med school students, you might be a perfectionist. It’s possible that you may have gotten perfect scores on other important exams, such as the SATs. But since the MCAT is an extremely challenging exam, experts say the likelihood of receiving a perfect or near-perfect score is extremely low. In fact, it’s so rare to earn a perfect score that doing so has been compared to winning the lottery. Although you’ll want to strive to do the best you can, don’t get upset if your score isn’t within the realm of perfection.
These are just some things to keep in mind when preparing for the MCAT exam. Although it can be challenging, utilizing these study and prep methods can help ensure you pass the test and get into the med school of your choice.