Take a Practice MCAT Test!
October 16, 2012
The MCAT. Yes, I said it. Let’s all say it together. MCAT! What seems to carry the most negative connotation in a pre-med’s life is really the best opportunity a student has. The MCAT seems to resonate with all of us in one way or another and one of the biggest pitfalls I see with students is the utter disdain they have for the exam before they even begin to study!
The MCAT needs to be seen as an opportunity. I admit, yes, when I began my MCAT studies I had a dislike for the MCAT. I saw it as a hurdle in the pre-med track that I would have to overcome. But once I started taking my Kaplan course and began taking practice MCAT exams that all changed. Why may you ask? Attitude.
All I had to do was take my first Full Length Exam. Did I score well? Absolutely not! But that was OK, because that was not what the first couple practice exams are all about. You want to take as many of them as you can because it helps build confidence! Once I took that first exam I realized it really wasn’t that bad, there was just more work I had to do to get the score I was looking for. This re-energized my studying and helped me to start studying smarter, not harder! I could now focus on the weak areas of my studies and make sure that I was utilizing focused, structured study sessions.
The key things to remember when taking your MCAT Practice Exams:
- Treat them as the real thing. This will give you an accurate representation in where you are at in your studies.
- Realize that you are going to make mistakes. This is a good thing! When you make a mistake on a practice test you will not make that mistake on test day.
- Use your practice exams to get used to timing and the format. Here at Kaplan we live by the motto: practice as you play! You are taking the exams so there are no surprise on test day.
- Remember the simplest and most effective way to raise your MCAT score is to study your weak areas. When you do poorly on a section or passages don’t look at that as discouraging. Realize that is your biggest area of opportunity!
I see far too many students wait too long to take their first practice MCAT because they are scared or feel they are not ready. Go ahead and take it! You might be surprised what your strength and opportunity really are!
I am a former Kaplan MCAT student that excelled on my exam through the Kaplan methods and began teaching for Kaplan at the University of Illinois – Urbana – Champaign center. Upon graduation I moved back to the Chicagoland area and became a full time teacher in our Chicago centers. I really strive to bring enthusiasm and energy to the classroom believing a positive attitude sets the tone for success! When I am not teaching the MCAT, you can find me training for triathlons or picking which bow tie to wear next!