Cole

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Structuring and Strategizing your MCAT Studying: Phase 6

Posted by Cole on 9/7/18 6:00 PM

Welcome to the very last article in this series! You’ve managed to read about MCAT strategies for 5 articles without having your head explode, so well done. In this last article, I want to leave you with a few more tips that I have yet to mention. These tips are just as helpful as the ones I have already talked about, so definitely give them a skim! As always, feel free to use them, ignore them entirely, or adapt them as you see fit. I tested a lot of strategies during the months I spent studying, some were great some, and many were not. So, let me give you the ones I found to be helpful.

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Tags: MCAT

Structuring and Strategizing your MCAT Studying: Phase 5

Posted by Cole on 8/10/18 4:21 PM

Pssst... this is part of a series.  Be sure to read Cole's other posts on the MCAT by going to his profile here.

We’re almost there!! Fair warning, this article is word heavy, but bear with me. At this point, you are probably splitting your time between practice passages and content review (with a heavier emphasis on the former). Depending on which company you decided upon (i.e. Princeton Review, Kaplan or Examkrackers), you have been using the practice passages/exams that their company had provided. While this material is intended to imitate the type of material you will see on the real MCAT, many times it is very different. The biggest difference I found was that material produced by companies other than the AAMC focus heavily on content and don’t force you to dissect the passage as much. For example, the passage you read may be about some bacteria, but the questions they ask don’t refer back to the passage but instead ask you something about DNA. These passages are helpful for ensuring you have memorized your content, but don’t exactly reflect the type of questions you will be asked on the real MCAT. So, to make sure we are ready for the real MCAT, we need to transition into working exclusively with AAMC material.

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Tags: MCAT

Structuring and Strategizing your MCAT Studying: Phase 4

Posted by Cole on 7/27/18 5:29 PM

pssst...this is part of a series.  Read the first and the second post!

Now that you have made your super study guide (applause all around), we want to review it but also begin to focus more heavily on practice passages. Just to reiterate, at this point we are in the Period B of studying (see Phase 1 article if confused). We have reviewed all of our content and are now trying to make sure we can recall it. As time ticks down and the MCAT date approaches, we want to be continuously adjusting our daily study schedule. See the diagram below for a less-wordy explanation (yay diagrams!).

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Tags: MCAT

Structuring and Strategizing your MCAT Studying: Phase 3

Posted by Cole on 7/6/18 3:55 PM

You made it to Phase 3 and you are still alive, so congratulations! At this point, we are now in ‘Period B’ studying (if that makes no sense, refer back to the Phase 1 article). By now we have successfully reviewed all of the content in our books and have taken a few MCAT practice exams. Things should be starting to feel a little more comfortable, but I wouldn’t expect you to have the exact pathway and effects of adrenocorticotropic hormone memorized right now. However, Phase 3 is where we change that! The primary purpose of this article is to help provide tips for internalizing material. I purposefully use the word ‘internalize’ rather than ‘memorize’ because the goal is to create a massive web of interconnected details rather than memorize isolated facts.

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Tags: MCAT

Structuring and Strategizing your MCAT Studying: Phase 2

Posted by Cole on 6/27/18 6:26 PM

Phase 2: Reviewing Content While Staying Sane

Welcome back! Having learned about Period A and Period B from the Phase 1 article (see link), we will delve deeper into the structure of Period A. As mentioned, the major focus of Period A is content review (fun!). While the structure offered by online prep courses can help (again, I took the Princeton Review course and liked it), it is by no means necessary for proper review. The major obstacle during Period A studying is breaking all the material you have into small chunks that you can digest daily. So, what does that mean?

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Structuring and Strategizing your MCAT Studying: Phase 1

Posted by Cole on 6/20/18 5:49 PM

Phase 1 - Introduction & Scheduling the MCAT; Tips for Timing

Introduction

Right now, you might feel that even hearing the word “MCAT” may induce a full-blown panic attack. I get it, not too long ago that word (acronym, technically speaking I guess?) was the bane of my existence. It’s an exam that requires painstaking diligence, long hours, sacrifices, relentless studying and enduring patience. In many ways, having completed that journey, I found that it also requires much more. You might be thinking right now, “Okay, enough with this article it’s stressing me out.” If you feel that way, you’re not alone. To give you some numbers (albeit, slightly dated numbers), in 2015 and 2016 over 125,000 people took the MCAT {1} (yikes). What’s even sadder than the culminative stress generated by all those anxious pre-med students is this one tragic fact – the vast majority of them were structuring their study habits entirely wrong, likely causing them to receive a lower score than what they were capable of attaining. My goal, in this series of 6 articles, is to try and help you avoid that same fate.

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Tags: MCAT

Surviving the MD Admissions Process as a Student-Athlete

Posted by Cole on 6/1/18 6:12 PM

For those of us who are pre-med collegiate athletes, or those considering this route, there is one inescapable and terrifying truth: the day consists of only 24 hours. While I was playing NCAA ice hockey at Wesleyan University, 5 hours each day were devoted to athletics. Additionally, most weekends were spent traveling for games and sleeping in hotels. This wouldn’t have been an issue if the MD admissions officers didn’t expect so much on top of the normal course load. As a student-athlete, it felt like I was demanded to play my sport while also taking orgo, physics, chemistry, English, bio, labs, conducting research, tutoring, volunteering and winning a Nobel Prize all at the same time. We student-athletes spend endless hours competing on the ice, field or court, but we are also expected to compete with others as an MD applicant. At times (most times) this process seems overwhelming and impossible. You might be sitting there, right this second, thinking this process is impossible. Before I was accepted to Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, I was right there with you. Student-athletes are presented with unique challenges due to our athletic and academic demands. However, we are also uniquely positioned with an edge over other MD applicants.

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