Abdul El-Sayed

Recent Posts

MCAT Tutor: The Physical Sciences Section

Posted by Abdul El-Sayed on 5/28/13 9:45 AM

At first, studying for the physical sciences section of the MCAT seems impossible.  As a student, how could I possibly review years of material in the couple of months before I take the MCAT?

As an MCAT tutor, it’s become clear that you really don’t have to. Instead, absolutely understanding a few example situations (preferably from everyday life), and then being comfortable enough with the concepts to branch out from there will serve much better.

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Tags: MCAT

Taking the MCAT—but when?

Posted by Abdul El-Sayed on 4/5/13 8:00 AM

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Tags: medical school admissions, MD/PhD admissions, MCAT

Standardized Test Preparation: What’s the MCAT all about?

Posted by Abdul El-Sayed on 3/18/13 7:00 AM

To exam buffs and MCAT tutors, the MCAT is one of the most beautiful exams out there. 

When it comes to exam elegance, it is the standardized test version of Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” What makes the MCAT so beautiful? Well, unlike some things that are only beautiful on the outside, it’s the core of what the exam is all about. While the MCAT ostensibly covers a wide range of topics, ranging from physiology to physics, it’s actually only interested in one thing: your capacity to reason—and it tests that capacity masterfully.

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Tags: MCAT

Life and the MCAT: 5 ways to be human while studying

Posted by Abdul El-Sayed on 3/13/13 9:11 AM

Preparing for a standardized tests, like the MCAT, GMAT, LSAT, or GRE can be an all-encompassing experience. Students believe that to do well, they have to put the rest of their lives on hold—by dealing with their exam in the most neurotic way possible, they believe that they can exert control over it.  As an MCAT tutor, I have seen that the problem, though, is that putting the rest of your life on hold can, itself, paradoxically increase your anxiety as the detritus starts to pile up and ruin any of your well-groomed study skills.

Here are five must-do’s that can help make sure that you are your best on exam day:

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Tags: MCAT

MCAT Tutoring: Standardized Test Preparation & Test Anxiety

Posted by Abdul El-Sayed on 2/14/13 9:30 AM

Five steps to beating test anxiety

As an MD/PhD candidate, I've taken and prepared for countless standardized tests. I also know that tests are scary for everyone, even the most seasoned test-takers. After all, exams have implications—and big exams have big implications. In that respect, a little anxiety is natural. But too much can be debilitating...Dealing with your anxiety is just as valuable a study skills as mastering test strategy. 

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Tags: test anxiety, MCAT

Application Consulting: Choosing the Right Medical School for You

Posted by Abdul El-Sayed on 1/23/13 9:32 AM

There are 141 accredited MD-granting medical schools in the US, as well as an additional 29 DO-granting schools. Now, how do you choose the right medical school?

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Tags: medical school admissions, MD/PhD admissions

Medical School Admissions: MD, DO, or the Caribbean?

Posted by Abdul El-Sayed on 1/14/13 9:31 AM

Gaining acceptance to medical school can be a Herculean task. Between meeting pre-med requirements with stellar grades, studying for and taking the MCAT, and navigating the medical school admissions maze, it can be quite the effort.

Differentiating between the different medical school paths you can take adds an extra level of complexity. There’s the traditional MD route, the increasingly popular DO route, and then international routes. Here, we’ll break down some of the strengths and weaknesses of each.

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Tags: medical school admissions, MD/PhD admissions

How to Stay Focused During the MCAT

Posted by Abdul El-Sayed on 12/20/12 10:07 AM

Studying for the MCAT is heartbreaking, laborious and anxiety provoking for most (if not all) students.  Like the exam itself, MCAT preparation is a marathon.  As with all standardized test preparation, over the course of studying, it’s easy to become distracted and lose focus.  This can directly affect your chances for success on the exam. 

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Tags: MCAT

Struggling with Procrastination? Jumpstart Standardized Test Preparation.

Posted by Abdul El-Sayed on 12/13/12 9:06 AM

One of the cardinal challenges that many students preparing for standardized exams struggle with is procrastination.

Unlike classes, for example, where regular exams force students to catch up with the material at regular intervals, when studying for a standardized exam, there is, by definition, only one exam. What’s worse, that fact plays to procrastinators’ worst devices because the exam can seem so far away.

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Tags: MCAT

Medical School Admissions: Busting Pre-Med Myths

Posted by Abdul El-Sayed on 12/5/12 10:41 AM

The medical school application process is so competitive nowadays that it is easy to get caught up in myths and preconceptions about being premed and applying to medical school. Let’s bust some of those below:

1. You need to start preparing for medical school during your freshman year, or you won’t be able to take all your premedical courses. And you need to be a science major.

First of all, medicine is not something you want to rush into. And second, there is no premedical program you must follow. Take some time to explore different courses, and choose your field of study based on personal interest. You will likely have a more fulfilling undergraduate experience if you are truly interested in your studies. Medical schools do not require applicants to major in a science. In fact, non-science majors who have similar grades/MCAT scores are just as successful as science majors in the application process.

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Tags: medical school admissions, MD/PhD admissions