To get admission into medical school, it is important to first get a good Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) score. Most colleges will first check the MCAT score and then look at other information like the GPA, application, and experience of the student. However, most students do not realize that they have to study strategically and in a different manner from the way they have prepared for their other tests. Here are some of the top suggested tips for beginning your MCAT test prep:
Practice Your Reading
One of the most important MCAT test prep strategies involves increasing the amount of material which the student can read in a specific period of time. Only after the student reads the question can they understand it and figure out how to answer the other questions. Reading word to word is a very slow way of reading. Though skimming is a faster way of going through the content, the student may miss important parts of the question. The best way of reading in order to understand quickly is by using speed reading techniques which involve reading from one idea to another. Use a pencil or pen to trace the content read, since this will increase focus and decrease distraction.
Focus Your Energy On The Right Subjects
All students only have a limited amount of time available for studying for their exam. Hence, they should focus on the subjects which are most likely to be tested. It is recommended that the time spent studying is divided into 25% Biology, 25% Psychology, 20% Biochemistry, 15% Chemistry, Sociology more than 10%, Physics less than 10%, Organic chemistry approximately 5%. 75-80% of the questions will be on Biology, Psychology, Biochemistry and Chemistry, so most of the students with a good MCAT score are spending their time studying these subjects thoroughly. The questions on other subjects like Organic chemistry are likely to be more basic questions.
Work On Your Timing
Practice tests are a very important part of every student’s MCAT test prep. Since the MCAT has to be completed in a limited amount of time, it is important for the student to be aware of the time they are taking to read questions and answer them correctly. This can help in timing and ensures that they have sufficient time while taking the exam. The student should also improve their ability to identify the correct answer for the question quickly in multiple-choice questions. In some cases, the multiple-choice answers will include a factually correct statement, yet it may answer the specific question incorrectly. All this has to be identified.
Review Your Practice Tests
While almost all students review their incorrect answers in practice tests, top scorers use the practice steps to improve themselves in other ways also. After answering each practice test, they will note down their performance for the test in terms of timing, whether they were nervous, their confidence levels, and fatigue. A few days after the test is over, it is advisable to make a list of the answers which were incorrect and analyze the reason why the answer was wrong. Then the student should take steps to ensure that the error is not repeated in future steps. It is also important to identify patterns in mistakes, so that they can be improved.
This may be the part of your MCAT test prep in which having a tutor will be incredibly helpful. Having somebody else look at your results may help you identify patterns you’ve missed or help you fix problems you’re stuck on. If there’s a gap somewhere that you’re having trouble identifying, having a tutor can help you figure out the problem so you can fix it.