Read study tips and approaches used by students who performed well on the MCAT® exam. Featured students share study schedules, strategies, and do's and don'ts that helped them prepare and perform well on the exam.
Feeling ready for the MCAT® is not how you feel right before the exam or even the days leading up to the exam but your long-term progress over the many practice exams you’ve taken by test day.
You do not have to spend a lot of money. If you are dedicated, committed, and stick to a plan, you can study effectively and receive a high score on your own with the use of full-length tests and free online resources.
Read a lot. Even books for pleasure. Always have a book with you to read during a break. I thought this was the most helpful for the CARS section.
Find your own groove. A lot of people told me to take a course or have someone tutor me because they didn’t think I could get a better score by myself. But I did, and I saved a lot of money, and it was a lot more satisfying. Find what works for you.
"Just because you made a plan doesn’t mean you have to stick with it. You can adjust it as you go along."
CARS [Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills] was my weakness. I read a lot of stuff outside of science, things that were artistic or political.
Don’t freak out. I panicked after seeing my first full-length test result and I almost gave up. Take it in and keep pushing forward.
The process of organizing notes, categorizing them, and comparing them with the AAMC's What's on the MCAT®? online tool is valuable. I could visualize sections of my notes during the exam.
"Take a lot of full-length tests and do practice questions, especially the ones offered by the AAMC. I was surprised at how representative they were."
"It will never feel like enough prep, but at some point, you have to trust yourself and take the exam."
"Don’t get too worried if one of your full-length tests doesn’t go as well as you had hoped."
"I’d recommend that people read. I read a lot of books in general and that helped me read quickly."
"Don’t get used to testing with distractions. You shouldn’t complete full-length tests or study with music, while snacking, etc."