February 11, 2013
- Study in a different location- Sure your corner in the library or your table at the coffee shop is familiar, but to ensure that you don’t become the mayor of the library’s fourth floor on Foursquare, try a new location! A fresh location can create a new perspective on some tired material. For bonus romance and excitement points, try studying next to a window.
- Spice up your routine- Instead of starting with Kinematics review, then moving on to Work and Energy, start by quizzing yourself on electrostatics with flashcards or creating an exciting quiz about gases for yourself using Q-Bank. The MCAT will not organize the passages based on your desired order for content, so mimic that in your studies and make sure that you are not always practicing your content in the same order.
- Ask a friend for study advice- An MCAT study buddy will have a fresh perspective on how to approach the material and will provide some much-needed human conversation. Checking in with fellow MCAT studiers is also great for helping build mnemonics, memorizing formulas and helping you stay focused while you’re studying. Yes, Facebook does count as losing focus while you study and you’re less likely to creep on everyone else’s Valentine’s Day plans when you’re checking in with another person who can hold you accountable. Besides, who knows? Your platonic study buddy may eventually develop into an actual romantic relationship.
January 22, 2013
- Focus on one solution rather than several. – Don’t go out and just say I am going to study 3 hours every day on each of the sections of the MCAT. If you began with that routine you would be at 9 hours a day of just MCAT studying! Remember those other things in your life… school, research, extracurricular, family and friends, and maybe some down time?!
- Have an accountability buddy, someone close to you that you have to report to – This can be the key to sticking to that MCAT resolution. Try finding someone who will have the right balance of keeping you motivated but also reeling you back in when you are going on 12 hour study marathons and haven’t seen the outside of the library in weeks….
- Focus on the present. What's the one thing you can do today, right now, towards your goal? – Tomorrow you can’t just take a full length practice test and magically see your score increase, because frankly, it won’t. You need to start small and take the appropriate steps to get there. How about today you focus on electrostatics? Yes I know that terribly painful subject in Physics, however, one of your biggest opportunities to increase your score! The small steps build to the great journey!
- Be mindful. Become physically, emotionally and mentally aware of your inner state as each external event happens, moment by moment, rather than living in the past or future. – This is the KEY with MCAT studying. So many students go on “study binges” where they sit in the library for hours on end. While this is great time spent in the library, it tends to burn you out and when you wake up the next morning the last thing you want to do is study for the MCAT. Take care of yourself, you need to find that balance, so that you are physically, emotionally, and mentally happy!
May 2, 2012
- Dr. David Jones, Senior Associate Dean of Admissions, University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio
- Dr. Darrin Latimore, Assistant Dean of Medical and Resident Diversity, University of California, Davis, School of Medicine
- Susan Hanson, Executive Director of Admissions, Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Gina Moses, Associate Director of Application Services and Recruitment, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
- Dr. Danielle Salovich, National President, American Medical Student Association
- Ellen Watts, Assistant Dean for Pre-Health Advising, Fordham University
April 23, 2012
April 17, 2012
April 16, 2012
April 10, 2012
March 26, 2012
- Establish a Regular Sleep Schedule – If your test is at 8:00 in the morning, it is going to be in your best interest to go to sleep early and wake up early throughout the week – that way when test morning comes, your body and mind are well rested and you are used to getting up at the right time. The same thinking goes for an afternoon test, although it’s somewhat less critical.
- Eat Healthy – The phrase “You are what you eat” holds true. Make sure throughout the week that you are consuming enough food to meet the metabolic demand that intense studying and stress call for. Remember, the brain is one of the largest consumers of glucose in the body; by eating healthy you will be able to keep constant energy levels throughout the week that will allow you to rest properly and feel refreshed for test day morning.
- Personal Responsibilities – Everyone has a life outside of studying for their MCAT and it is in your best interest NOT to ignore that! With proper planning your personal responsibilities can be managed so they don’t interfere with test day. If you are still in school ask professors well in advance if you can get assignments/ test dates moved to ease any anxiety; similarly, if you are working ask your boss to see if you can get a couple days off the week before the test.
- Focus on your Strengths – While you are studying in the final week focus on your strengths – this will help boost your confidence going into the test and will also allow you to manage stress in the days leading up to test day. This doesn’t mean you should ignore areas where you don’t feel as strong, but don’t dwell on them either.
- Manage Stress – Be honest with yourself and understand that this week will be stressful. The best thing one can do is to acknowledge that and find helpful avenues to direct your stress. Examples of this could be exercising, cooking, or maybe even talking with a friend. I myself went bowling with friends the week before my test and it made all the difference in the world!
- Build Confidence - The number one thing to remember about the MCAT is that it carries an intimidating factor from the very start of your studies. With that in mind, you need to be sure that you’re approaching the test in the right frame of mind. Think about all of the long hard hours that you have put in studying over the previous weeks. The night before the test, focus on remembering that you have the strategies and knowledge to DOMINATE the MCAT. At the end of test day you are going to be one step close to your true goal: becoming a Doctor!
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