If your dream is to become a doctor in the U.S.A., then the MCAT is a make-or-break test for you. MCAT is certainly not the hardest part of the journey, it is more of a necessary evil that you need to conquer. The benefit is that if you do well in this exam then you are almost sure of getting into a good medical school in the United States. Thus, it pays to professionally prepare for this exam. This literally translates into being disciplined, hard working and focused. At times, you might be struck with a lot of information at one, but then that's the price of ambition! What you will learn in medical school, over the years, will be a lot more than this. Read below for a few tips and advices on how to go about preparing for the dreaded MCAT!
MCAT Test Preparation
MCAT Preparation materials include text books, sample tests and various web resources. Read this article to find out more on MCAT test preparation.
- Beginning your preparation well in advance, probably 3 months prior to the D-day. During this time, make a study plan and stick to it. Remember that it is almost close to impossible to study every single synthesis reaction or every variant of Kirchhoff's Laws. For this purpose, draw out a general outline of your 2 month study plan. For example, set specific study goals each week.
- Start your preparation with chapters on introductory biology, physical chemistry, physics and organic chemistry. As soon as you complete a certain area, prepare short notes on them. This will help you during times of revision before the MCAT test. An important tip here would be to understand the logic behind the basic concepts rather than memorizing them.
- The MCAT has its own unique and specific ways of questioning. Therefore, it is advisable that you do your homework by taking as many MCAT practice tests (from websites and reputed coaching institutes) as possible.
- The verbal reasoning section tests your understanding of the basic and fundamental concepts rather than your memorising abilities. The physical sciences section is generally a 'scoring section' and with a good brushing up of the chemistry, you will be able to crack this part easily.
- Thoroughly cover common topics such as work-energy, Newtonian mechanics, electrochemistry and acid/base chemistry. In the biological sciences section, topics like general reaction mechanisms, physiology and cell biology requires concentration.
- As you might already know, the writing sample section has two essays. Here, the ability to effectively present your thoughts is tested. Two readers (one human and the other, a computer) will evaluate your work and sometimes there may be a third reader as well. Therefore, you must aim at convincing the target audience by effectively presenting your views. Written communication skills i.e. in English grammar, sentence construction and expression of your thoughts are all evaluated in these essays. Usually, the topics in this section are non-medical.
- The pace at which you are taking the practice tests should be monitored from day one. Work on your speed, precision and comprehension abilities. Take up model papers and sample tests in the computerised format to completely prepare yourself for the real MCAT. This way you won't be surprised with anything new on the big day.
Avoid last minute cramming and go to the examination venue with a good night's sleep. Hope the information above was helpful. All the best in acing your MCAT!