As an MCAT instructor for a test prep company, I have taught hundreds of students. From my experience, I can say that MCAT prep burnout is real. Studying for the MCAT is very difficult and burnout can make it exponentially worse. To help with this, we’ve provided below some tips on how to avoid MCAT prep burnout.
Do Other Things Besides Studying
One of the worst things you can possibly do is lock yourself up in a room and do nothing besides studying for the MCAT. This is an extreme situation but many students do something close to this. These students feel that they must drop all of their other obligations in order to focus on their studies. That’s not true. You do need to study hard for the MCAT but you can also be doing other things at the same time, such as getting more research, volunteer, or clinical experience. You certainly don’t want to overload yourself but you need other things to do besides studying. It gives you a way to see other people to help maintain sanity. At the same time, it’s also helping to build your medical school application. Remember, your MCAT score is just one part of your entire application that medical school admissions committees will review.
Study with Others
If you can, you should try to study with other people that are also studying for the MCAT. It will make the entire process feel less isolating. In addition, you can also help each other study for the exams. You will have to be careful to make sure that you both stay focused though. To help you with this, you can read our previous post on How to Make Use of an MCAT Study Buddy.
Take Breaks When You Need It
If you feel yourself burning out, you need to take a break. Sometimes, you just find your brain not taking in any information while reading. Other times, you might just be bombing passages over and over again. If you reach either of these points, just take a break. Continuing your studies for the day clearly is not going to help. You would be better served by doing something else to relax yourself and starting up again when you are ready.
Hopefully, this post gives you an idea of how to avoid MCAT prep burnout. Remember, the MCAT is an exam that all pre-medical students have to take. You are definitely not alone in the process!