The MCAT is a difficult exam that covers a wide variety of topics. Doing well on the MCAT requires a lot of hard work and dedication both in college level studies and in test preparation. While the exact formula for success varies from person to person, there are some general principles that can be applied to MCAT test preparation. This post will go over five general strategies for scoring well on the revised MCAT.
Five general strategies for scoring well on the revised MCAT
- Study hard in the college courses that apply to the MCAT. The MCAT covers chemistry, physics, biology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, psychology, and reading comprehension. While it’s a standardized exam, it’s meant to cover the college level courses in these subjects. By studying hard and doing well in these courses in college, you will prepare yourself well for the MCAT, and also earn yourself a good GPA for your application to medical school.
- Start early. The MCAT (like most exams) is not one that is best crammed. Give yourself enough time to thoroughly cover the material. You’ll want to review the entirety of content at least once, and preferably more than that. Starting early also gives you enough time to brush up on your weak points, which leads us to…
- Don’t be afraid of your weaknesses. In your studies, you will inevitably come across topics where you are weaker and where you are performing below what you would like. It’s human nature to want to avoid these topics and feel good about subjects you are good at. But you earn your points by strengthening your weakest subjects. In my studying, I tried to make my initial weak subjects the areas where I would score highest on the actual exam.
- Do practice questions—lots of them. There is no doubt you will need an MCAT “reader” or textbooks to help explain and learn the content. But there is also no substitute to doing questions. Try to get as many MCAT-type questions as you possibly can. This practice will help you in medical school as well, where doing thousands of board questions is key for licensing exams.
- Get a good night’s rest before the exam. Once you’ve worked hard for weeks or months, be sure to get a good night’s rest the day before the exam. The MCAT is a one-day performance and you should treat it as such. Athletes, performers, and musicians would not go into a game or performance without proper rest and nutrition and neither should you for the MCAT. Work hard in the practice leading up to the exam, but treat yourself to a nice meal and good sleep the day before.