How to Stay Focused During the MCAT

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

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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. In this post, we’ll give you tips to help you maintain focus, build mental stamina, and increase your likelihood of success.

Don’t stop! Keep Going!

After hours upon hours spent pouring over your MCAT prep book, and notes from your MCAT tutor, you can easily become frustrated.  This is especially common, when tackling difficult concepts, causing students to give up midway through.  Working through mental exhaustion is important.  So, next time you find yourself giving up midway through, push yourself a little further: Do a few more passages, read a few more pages.  Building up this mental stamina now can help you tackle those dull or difficult passages on the examRemove other distractions!

We all have lives, and other concerns, and these issues can creep into our minds, and cause us to lose focus.  Its important during MCAT test preparation to keep your mind clear while you learn the content and practice passages. 

An easy way to maintain focus, and banish those distracting thoughts is to WRITE A LIST.  Create a list of all the things that you need to get done: pay those bills, walk the dog, go to the grocery store.  Once that is done, make a commitment to yourself (say it out loud if necessary) to commit to your studying in the time you’ve blocked for it, and resolve to take care of those other issues later on. 

Another great way to help train your brain to focus, is to physically create that environment.  Next time you find yourself losing focus, cup your hands around your face, and physically remove any distractions around you.  This helps you create a space where your thoughts are centered on the material you are studying. Achieve success and train your brain how to make that switch, and create laser like focus!

Find time to relax!

The worst thing you can do for your productivity is to overwork yourself.  Students, filled with anxiety, often spend TOO MUCH time reviewing material.  It’s important to have some free time to do the things you love: Run, swim, bike, read a book, or watch some mindless television.  Take a little time each day to rest and recharge during your MCAT prep. 

These are just a few tips to help you maintain your focus, and achieve success on test day.  Good Luck sitting for the MCAT!

Tags: MCAT