How to Ace the MCAT in 3 Steps!

Posted by Nate on 2/1/19 5:26 PM

The MCAT is not a memorization test. Let me be more specific: it’s much more about recall than it is about recognition.

When you’re prepping for the Psych/Soc section of the MCAT, you’ll learn about different types of memory—sensory, working, procedural, episodic—how memory is stored, and how it’s retrieved. You can retrieve stored memories through recall—rattling off everything you remember about ADH—or through recognition—noticing that aldosterone is one of the answer choices and remembering you read about its role in the renal system. So don’t worry about memorizing every single detail in your prep books.

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Tags: MCAT

Your Medical School Timeline Checklist - Planning Ahead

Posted by Martha C. on 1/21/19 5:48 PM

So you've decided to apply to medical school this June -- congratulations!  You should take a moment and pat yourself on the back for getting this far.  It's no small feat to find yourself in the applicant pool this year!

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Tags: medical school admissions, MCAT, DO

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

7 Essential Tips for ANY Standardized Test

Posted by Zoe Balaconis on 8/15/18 6:56 PM

Whether you’re applying to college, graduate school, law school, medical school, or even some jobs, standardized tests are often part of the process. They can be intimidating, long, arduous, and confusing, but with some practice, you’ll learn how to overcome any test-taking anxiety and stay focused. Here are a few tips and tricks for going into a test calm and prepared.

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Tags: test anxiety, study skills, SAT, ACT, PSAT, LSAT, GMAT, 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 whether you've decided to go the self-study route, with a company, or with one-on-one tutoring, you have been using the practice passages/exams that associated with the choice. 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 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

How To Prep For the MCAT As A Full Time Student

Posted by Connor on 2/7/18 5:38 PM

The hardest part of studying for the MCAT isn’t the studying itself. Given enough time, most people could study enough to do reasonably well. The problem is, most of us don’t have all that time: the majority of MCAT preppers are in college or work full time jobs. Both of these commitments are enough on their own, so trying to stack studying for the hardest graduate school entrance test in the country on top of that is a tall order. It’s not something one can head into blindly. Thankfully, there are several organizational strategies that can help the full time student or professional study for the MCAT in their off time.

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Tags: MCAT

My Strategy for a Perfect Score: ACT Reading and MCAT CARS

Posted by Shaq on 1/5/18 6:16 PM

If you’re reading this, I imagine you’re looking to improve your reading score on either the ACT or the MCAT and ideally, you’re in one of two boats:

1) You are consistently a few points shy of that 36 on the ACT Reading or 132 on MCAT CARS and are looking to bridge that last gap

2) Are struggling with the reading section in general, and are looking for a strategy that will give you a clear, structured approach

Both the ACT and MCAT reading sections can be fickle contributors to your composite score—just missing one additional question can bring your score down a whole point. Here’s the portion of the raw score to scale score chart for the ACT on Princeton Review’s website.

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Tags: MCAT, ACT