April 2, 2013
March Madness has past and dare I say brackets are busted everywhere! As a college basketball fan this is the most exciting time of year for the sport. With all the fun on TV, remember there is still an MCAT to study for! The March Madness tournament with all its hoopla and competition really has some key lessons that students can pull away.
- Preparation is Key – Think about the players taking those free throws. They practice over and over and over for that. A free throw is just that “free”. The MCAT has “free” easy points to take. Know those flash cards. Know those quick sheets. They are there for a reason, make sure you know the easy facts that will get you those easy points.
- One Shot – The most dramatic appeal of the tournament is the format. 64 teams, winner take all. Treat your MCAT like this. Studying for the MCAT is long and arduous enough. You don’t want to take the exam twice! Study hard and prepare well now.
- Rhythm – Teams play only every few days, but are they practicing in between? Absolutely! Sport just like the MCAT studying has a rhythm to it. It is better for you to study a little bit every day rather than continuing to work only every few days and not have the stamina to get through it. This leads to burnout and is one of the most common complaints from students leading up to test day.
- Have a Game Plan – Championship teams have a plan from day one. Be your own coach in MCAT studying and use your instructor and peers to help motivate and guide you in the right direction. Success is when preparation meets opportunity. The MCAT is your opportunity to show medical school admissions you are prepared. Stick to your game plan.
- Confidence – There is a magical aura around the tournament. People come to play. They put it all on the line. Michael Jordan once said “If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” All of the mistakes you have made in practice are good! Don’t forget that. You want to make mistakes now. They will help you remember not to make them on test day! Find that confidence going into test day and realize the ball is in your hands. YOU are going to make the winning shot!
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!