MCAT Motivation- Tips to Help You Study

October 24, 2014
Patrick Boyle

TodayMonday can be the day where it is hardest to find motivation.  With so many MCAT test dates coming up I thought it would be important to talk about something often overlooked by the majority of students. When a student comes to me and says their scores are not increasing and they just simply can’t find enough time to study I often respond with one simple question, “How motivated are you feeling right now?”  The answers I get would astonish you. Many students regularly say that they feel terrible and it is painful even to drag themselves to the library or class.

This IS normal. Many students at one point in their MCAT studies go through a point of burnout. They simply don’t want to study anymore. They need to analyze what obstacle is in their way. Today, I want you to talk yourself through 4 simple questions to ask yourself what is missing from that initial motivation you had when you first started studying for the MCAT.

Recognize – What is the problem holding you back?
-Ask yourself what are things in your way. Are you physically not feeling well? Is your schedule too busy? Do you have too many distractions?

Identify – How can I fix the behavior?
-What can you eliminate or work on to improve the quality of studying that you have? Is the behavior even able to be fixed?

-Can I introduce a new behavior instead? What are positive things you could add that might give you more, and better, quality study time?

Practice – Hone desired skill/ behavior by practicing using it.
-Are you studying in a place that will promote healthy studying? What time of day are you studying at? Are you studying without distractions?

Remember – Keep the big picture in mind.
-Remember to think of the MCAT as your stepping stone to the big picture, medical school and beyond! With the hard work comes success!

In a follow up to today’s post we are going to look at a case study of the typical pre-med student who is studying for their MCAT and see how they can apply these steps to better all-around MCAT studying!

Patrick Boyle

Patrick Boyle 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!

About Kaplan Test Prep

Building futures, one success story at a time. We know test prep. We invented it. Through innovative technology and a personalized approach to learning we’ll equip you with the test insights and advice you need to achieve your personal best. Results, guaranteed*.

*Higher Score Guarantee: Conditions and restrictions apply. For complete guarantee eligibility requirements, visit

© 2014 The Med School Pulse. All Rights Reserved