March 26, 2013

Tips for a Successful MCAT Test Day – Part 1 Plan for the Worst

Most MCAT students spend their time worrying about memorizing content and practicing their critical thinking skills. They focus on knowing all of the physics equations, general chemistry constants and organic chemistry nomenclature. But, a large part of test day success is not contingent on knowledge and critical reasoning, but careful planning in the weeks leading up to and the day of the test. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that you’re 100% prepared for test day success!

  1. Scope out your driving route in advance - Especially as the weather gets warmer, construction projects start to spring up unexpectedly. Drive your exact route at the same time of day you will be driving on your test to make sure that you don’t run into traffic or detours which will add stress on test day.

  2. Evaluate additional variables - Do you usually drink coffee or take a medication at the same time of day? Do you get hungry at a certain time? Make sure that the week before the test, you get into a test-friendly routine and don’t get crippled by a 9:15 caffeine craving.

  3. Prepare for the unexpected- Pack yourself a mini-pharmacy for your test. You don’t want your great score to be derailed by a stomach ache, cough, headache or sniffly nose. Make sure your mini-pharmacy includes Kleenex, Advil, Tums, Chapstick, Robitussin, and Claritin, anything you could possibly need in a during-test emergency.

  4. Plan how you’re going to use your breaks-  When you will use the bathroom and what your snacks will be. A solid break-time routine will eliminate anxiety and stress between sections.

  5. Check your ID and bring a back-up ID just in case - Some students take the MCAT near their birthday which, in some states, is the expiration date for having a valid driver’s license. Make sure your ID will still be valid on your test date and bring a spare ID, such as a passport, just in case.

Using these tips, you will be prepared for the worst case test day scenarios and no unforeseen variables can bring down your rockin’ MCAT score!

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