The MCAT practice test is one of the most challenging exams for medical students. Many students take this test every year and if you are planning to sit for it, you have to dedicate some time to prepare for it. Preparing for the test requires discipline, dedication and focus. We have detailed some of the top tips that will help you in your preparation. Below are the different hints you can use to prepare for your test to ensure you achieve success at the end of the day.
• Practice Questions
It is important to point out that the MCAT test is not based on only formulas that you have to memorize. As a fact, you cannot expect to attain success by just memorizing the course contents. The test is designed to evaluate your ability to apply knowledge of scientific theories to new scenarios. The best way to understand and perfect your ability in this area is through practice questions.
• Take Practice Tests
The MCAT is a comprehensive test that requires a serious preparation. The exam itself is long, it takes about 6 hours and 15 minutes to complete. You have a total of 7 hours and 15 minutes to complete this test which includes a one hour break. Taking the exam requires a lot of practice. You need to build your mental strength to be able to maintain focus all through the exam. You can only achieve this by taking practice test. In addition to help you build mental focus, it also helps you to learn how to pace on the exam. Taking a complete MCAT practice tests will equip you with all you need to be able to write the exam and excel at it.
• Use Recommended Resource Materials
There are numerous materials that are available to you as you prepare for your MCAT test. This practice exam has official study resources that you can get from its official website. There are other materials you can access online to help in your preparation. One of the most important resource materials you need to study is from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). AAMC is the creator of the MCAT test. In addition to the resource materials, you should also try to get all the practice questions and practice tests available with AAMC. This is because most of the MCAT test questions are developed from the old MCAT tests. Using these old questions will ensure you are as close to real test scenario as you can ever be.
• Schedule Your Exam after Preparation not before
You should only take the MCAT test when you are satisfied that you have studied enough. If you are not ready, do not sit for the test. Take time to study and prepare with practice questions and practice tests. As you do this, you build your confidence and knowledge level. One of the ways to know that you are ready to take the exam is when you score high during your practice test. If you don't achieve your target score while taking practice test, then you should know that you are not totally ready to sit for the exam. Many students believe that scheduling the exam will help them focus on their preparation. This might be true for some exams but not the MCAT. You need to be fully prepared before sitting for this test, so give yourself enough time to prepare for the exam.
• Set a Deadline with a Study Plan
As mentioned earlier, the MCAT is an extensive test and there are many course contents you need to master and review. You also have to take many practice tests while preparing for the exam. It is very easy to lose track of your goal if you are not careful. To ensure you keep your goal (which is to write and pass the MCAT exam) in view, develop a study plan with a timeline. This will help you to keep track of your study time and get you ready for the exam. With a deadline, you know how much time you have to study before you schedule your exam and how much extra time you need to invest to be able to meet your study deadline. This will not only help you in your study, it will also help you in knowing when you will be ready to take the exam.
• Study at Your Pace
This is very important if you really want to be familiar with the course content. Studying depends on your level of assimilation and how long you can study at a stretch. The fact that some others can study at 12 hours at a stretch does not mean you have to do the same. If you are comfortable with breaking up your study time into 2 hours per time, then all well and good. Create as many 2 hours period as you can have in a day and fix your study plan around the time. If you can study for 15 hours at a stretch, then go ahead and do what you are comfortable with. The bottom line is to study and cover the course contents before you take your exam.
• Read and Re-read the Course Content
You have to be familiar with the course content and the only way you can do this is to read and re-read it. If there is any area you do not understand, go back to it and study it again. Remember, you have to apply your knowledge of science to attempt the test questions. You therefore need to review the course content to be able to do this.
Preparing for exams can be quite boring, especially if you are doing it alone. So why not look for a couple of friends who are writing the same exam and study with them? It makes it more interesting and you can learn one or two things from others too. You might also want to have a chat with some test takers who have succeeded in the exam. You can gain a lot of insights from their personal experience with MCAT test.