Not pre-med? Great! Join the club. There have always been non-pre-med and non-science major students who apply to medical school. Generally, in my biased opinion, non-pre-med backgrounds can help with writing, communication, and being well-rounded. When it comes to the MCAT, there are some specific tips that can help on test day.
Not Pre-Med? 5 MCAT Tips for You
- Focus more on the sciences. This is the obvious one. With a non-pre-med background, the critical analysis and reasoning skills may be the easier section of the MCAT for you. While this might not be the case, the non-pre-med background means that you are slightly behind when it comes to the science topics. This does not mean you cannot do well or even surpass your pre-med colleagues in these sections–it just means you may need to spend more time on them.
- Focus on the tested material. If you’ve taken only the basic sciences classes in biology, physics, chemistry, organic chemistry, and psychology, that should be enough for the MCAT. Do your pre-med colleagues who are taking graduate-level chemistry classes have an upper-hand when it comes to studying for the chemistry section? Possibly, but it’s irrelevant. If you can learn the basic TESTED subjects as well as they can, you will do well on the exam.
- Give yourself enough time. While the aforementioned chemistry major might be able to learn the sciences sections in two weeks, you may need more time. There’s no shame in taking the right amount of time to prepare for the MCAT. Use study resources and practice tests to help guide you in determining how much time you need and be sure to take the time you need.
- Consider taking a prep course. This applies to everyone, but if you’re feeling unsure of the MCAT science topics as a non-pre-med, a prep course can help structure your learning and preparation to make you feel more confident going into the exam.
- Consider taking upper-level science classes. If you’re in college still or doing a post-bacc, consider taking some upper-level science classes. While not required, it can help deepen your understanding of science topics. Only do this if it truly interests you though–slogging through upper-level classes solely for MCAT preparation is not necessary and not worth it.