October 8, 2014

Which MCAT Test Date Is Best For You?

[caption id="attachment_1644" align="alignright" width="300"] BREAKING NEWS: AAMC just added an additional MCAT test date on Saturday, December 6, 2014! Find out more at https://services.aamc.org/20/mcat/[/caption] One of the first major hurdles you’ll face on your way to unlocking the good life as a doctor is taking the MCAT. And there are many things you have to consider as you prep, including when you should schedule your MCAT test date to maximize your score. Deciding when to take the exam isn’t always easy, and every student has his or her own unique situation, commitments, and timeline. Read on to find out what Kaplan recommends for you!  

Which MCAT test dates should you avoid?

While the test is administered year-round, there are definitely some MCAT test dates that are advisable to avoid, such as many that fall during your application year. The AMCAS primary application and ACOMAS open up in May and can be submitted beginning in June. These dates are important to keep in mind, since you want to send everything in as soon as possible. As for how this affects your MCAT exam date, taking the test in June and July of the year in which you plan to apply not only means that schools will receive your MCAT score later than those of most applicants, but it also leaves you with no chance for retaking the exam if you don’t do as well as you would have liked the first time around. Do yourself a favor now and cross those dates off your list.  

Should I take the MCAT in April or May?

April and May also make for very popular MCAT test dates, but ones you might want to avoid if you are a traditional university student. Many students decide they want to study through the semester and take the MCAT right after school ends. However, it can be difficult to find the right balance between studying for the MCAT and handling full-time coursework. Finals can also occupy several weeks in April or May, leaving you underprepared for a test date so soon after the semester. Set yourself up for success by taking your MCAT prep into account when planning your spring semester’s coursework.  

What are the best MCAT test dates?

The remaining MCAT test dates can be narrowed down based on your personal circumstances, but January and August dates are rather popular. Why? For most university students, those dates fall right after winter break and summer vacation, meaning there is a ton of class-free study time that can be used to focus solely on the MCAT. As an added bonus, if you don’t get the score you like, both of these test dates provide you the opportunity to take the test again—in September for a previous August administration and in March for a previous January administration. With the Kaplan Higher Score Guarantee, you’re covered if you want to take the test later for any reason!  

What date and time are best for my MCAT score?

While perhaps not as important as the test date itself, the day and time you choose to take the exam can also affect your MCAT score. Being in a good state of mind for the MCAT is imperative. If you’re busy during the week, taking the test on Saturday might be a good idea—sometime you can be well-rested and focused. If you have to travel to another city or state to take the MCAT, it may be prudent to get to the testing location early, spend the night at a hotel, and take the exam the next day, instead of traveling straight to the testing center. As far as test time goes, consider what works with your circadian rhythm. If you’re a morning person, then 8:00 a.m. exams are for you. If not, you might enjoy having some time to wake up, shower, get dressed, and eat something fulfilling before you hit the ground running for the 1:00 p.m. exam. One important tip to keep in mind: take your practice tests at the same time of day you plan to take the actual MCAT.  

One last piece of advice…

Most importantly, you want to take the MCAT when you feel ready for it. Keep a close eye on the gold, silver, and bronze deadlines created by the AAMC Registration Schedule. By taking our full-length practice exams, Kaplan students can get a good idea of whether or not they’re ready to take the MCAT prior to the bronze deadline. Congratulations on the huge step you’re taking toward becoming a doctor! Now you just need to explore the Kaplan resources that are at your disposal. Check out our road maps to the good life to see what the average MCAT score requirements are for your top schools, and, while you’re at it, enter our Good Life Sweepstakes for a chance to win $10K! ...read more
October 10, 2013

11th Annual UC Davis Pre-Health & Pre-Medical National Conference October 12 – 13

Kaplan is the exclusive test prep partner of the UC Davis Pre-Health and Pre-Medical Professions Conference! Want to get an inside look at what happens over the most in depth pre-health weekend around? Check out their youtube channel! Don't forget their twitter feed as well! Lets take a closer look!     There is still time to register! Don't delay! Is you are unable to attend the AAMC will be running some live workshops to stream. Don't miss it! [cf]skyword_tracking_tag[/cf] ...read more
September 27, 2013

11th Annual UC Davis Pre-Health & Pre-Medical National Conference

Kaplan is proud to be the exclusive test prep partner of the UC Davis Pre-Health and Pre-Medical Professions Conference! Attend the 11th Annual Pre-Health and Pre-Medical Professions Conference October 12th and 13th! With over 1100 speakers, 110 Medical Schools, 200 workshops and experts from all aspects of the application and test prep process, this is an event you can't afford to miss it! Kaplan, the exclusive Test Prep sponsor of the UC Davis Pre-Health and Pre-Medical Professions Conference, is giving away books, expert advice and test taking tips. Register to attend the conference today! [cf]skyword_tracking_tag[/cf] ...read more
Applying to Med School
September 25, 2013

What Are The Different Types of Medical School Interviews?

A review of Kaplan's The Pulse, experts join us as they discuss what you need to know about the Medical School Interview and what things you can do to be prepared! In this video, Alicia Carlson-Bryant, explains what the different styles of Medical School Interviews are and how to be prepared! For more great videos, check Kaplan's MCAT YouTube Channel! [cf]skyword_tracking_tag[/cf] ...read more

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