Mcat

We found 152 articles

My MCAT experience (or how I learned to be more productive)
It was January 2019, and there was about a month left before my MCAT test date. I was exhausted by this point: the test prep was taking up the majority of my time outside of school. During a study break, I vividly recall looking at the data usage statistics on my cell phone and being shocked. These metrics indicated that I had been using my phone ...
How to crush MCAT content review
The MCAT is a monster of a test. Even talented test takers approach this exam with some degree of apprehension. Fortunately, the MCAT is all about how you prepare, and I'm here to tell you that you can absolutely hit your target score with the right preparation.
How to study for the MCAT while working full-time
Just as there is no one right path to medical school, there is no one right time to take the MCAT. And as it turns out, there’s never a perfect time to drop everything and study full-time for a six to seven-hour multiple choice examination. Studying for the MCAT is challenging even if you have all day to focus on it, let alone if you’re also ...
Drawing the chair conformation of a pyranose ring
Welcome back! In this blog post, we will complete the following example problem:
Achieving the MCAT body of your dreams (part II)
Welcome back! If you missed part I of this post, please check it out here. Now that you've made an MCAT study schedule, adjusted your lifestyle, and figured out the fuel your body needs, you're probably wondering...
Achieving the MCAT body of your dreams (part I)
Summer is officially upon us, and some of you may be working on your ideal summer physique. No, I’m not talking about washboard abs or a chiseled upper back (though those are great goals to have as well). If you’ve found this post on your own (or read the title), then you already know what I’m talking about: preparing your body for the MCAT! 
Fetal circulation: three shunts, one rule
Hearts are pretty cool, and so are developing fetuses. Unfortunately for the student preparing for the MCAT, they’re also both pretty complicated, and fetal circulation differs from adult circulation in three main structures. In the next couple paragraphs, I’m going to break down these structures with one rule. If you’re not familiar with adult ...
MCAT Lab Techniques Part 2: SDS-PAGE is Still About Dinosaurs
Welcome to Part 2 of our foray into lab techniques! In my last post, we discussed the basic principles behind gel electrophoresis. In this post, we’ll build off the principles behind gel electrophoresis and talk about its cousin, SDS-PAGE, with a focus on how it is different from gel electrophoresis. If you need a refresher on gel electrophoresis, ...
MCAT Lab Techniques Part 1: Dinosaurs and Gel Electrophoresis
There are a lot of lab techniques tested on the MCAT. Many will be techniques you haven’t seen before in real life. They might have meaningless names like “Western blot” or “SDS-PAGE.” And the MCAT expects you to know not just what they are used for, but also how they work. Sucks, right?
8 tips for MCAT success
1. Take a diagnostic test The MCAT is a monster of a test, and it will very likely be the most comprehensive exam you’ve ever taken. Everything from mRNA to Sigmund Freud will be on there, and it will encompass all that you’ve learned in your college science courses...and then some. So how do you even start? Well, we all have our own strengths and ...
How to make an MCAT study plan
When I taught high school science in DC Public Schools, my colleague had a saying whenever he would assign lengthy class projects. “There’s only one way to eat an elephant,” he would say, “one bite at a time.” Although his advice was intended for our class of grumbling adolescents, I found it increasingly applicable to my own extra-curricular ...
How to make the most of the two weeks before your MCAT
I’ve always been someone who gets caught between cycles of procrastination and wild activity when a deadline is impending. The MCAT was no different for me; however, I really made the most out of those two weeks leading up to my exam date. With the right study execution, the final two weeks can be used to sharpen your exam-taking skills, leading ...
Pearls of knowledge: what my older pre-med mentors taught me
As I suddenly realize that I am halfway through my gap year and that 2020 has been swallowed by the gaping maws of that-which-shall-not-be-named, I find myself with more time than usual to sit still. To be quiet and reflect on the years that have led me to the point at which I find myself. 
Managing your MCAT practice exam score expectations
You’ve done it. You’ve taken that first (or second, or third, or tenth) practice test. Maybe you’ve been studying for weeks, or perhaps this is your first step in analyzing where you are. Either way, this practice test score may not be the score you want to end up with. In fact, it may not even be close. This may send some students into a panic, ...
How to balance redox reactions in acidic and basic solutions
Balancing redox reactions is an essential skill for the Chemical and Physical Foundations section of the MCAT, the GRE Chemistry Subject Test, and the AP Chemistry Exam. Today, we will learn how to use the half-cell method for balancing redox reactions in acidic and basic solutions. We will first balance a redox reaction in acidic solution, then ...
Hormones of the female reproductive system
The female reproductive system can at times feel like a difficult jumble of hormones that all seem to be related, but fluctuate in unpredictable ways. To make sense of the particularities of the female reproductive system, especially for exams like the MCAT, it is important to not only know what hormones are involved, but also to understand what ...
Gametogenesis and spermatogenesis and oogenesis, oh my!
Meiosis is one of those processes that we all learned about in high school biology as a deceptively simple concept. You take the diploid cell, divide it twice, and it becomes four haploid gametes that are each capable of participating in fertilization. Easy, right?
How to learn enzyme inhibition without memorizing facts
The MCAT contains LOTS of material that can often feel quite overwhelming. With this mountain before you, it can feel like the best thing to do is to memorize as many facts as possible to simply regurgitate on test day. I’m here to tell you: this isn’t your only option!
How Sherlock helped me ace my MCAT!
If you’re a fan of BBC’s Sherlock or have devoured Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels, you’re probably wishing you had the memory prowess of Holmes, and not Watson. At least I sure did when I began my MCAT journey. Sherlock’s seemingly inhuman ability to recall even the most obscure details derives from a Roman legend about the poet Simonides of ...
Mnemonics for memory: your MCAT best friend
Anyone who has studied for the MCAT will tell you: there is A LOT to learn. At times, learning new information about your own body can feel pretty rewarding. Other times, the sheer magnitude of information you are responsible for can feel quite overwhelming. At its best, conquering content related to the MCAT should feel like an ambitious ...
Want to save hundreds of dollars and precious hours? Don’t retake the MCAT.
Everything about the MCAT is stressful, from creating a study plan to fine-tuning your test strategies. And then there’s the day of reckoning when you take the exam. If that’s not enough, perhaps the most stressful day is score report day. After working so hard for so many months towards the exciting and honorable goal of attending medical school, ...
What is Anki and how it transforms your MCAT studying
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably never taken a strong liking to flashcards. Sure, I used the occasional Quizlet, but it always felt mundane and ineffective. Then I heard about an application called Anki. And let me tell you, it has completely changed the efficacy of my studying. So here’s my guide for how you can use Anki to study for ...
Pituitary gland hormones made simple
What is the pituitary gland? Even though the pituitary gland is about the size of a pea, it plays a very important role in regulating a lot of our body’s endocrine functions. Located in an area known as the sella turcica at the base of the brain and suspended from the hypothalamus by a stalk, the pituitary gland consists of two parts: the ...
How to memorize the amino acids (and not have your brain explode while doing it)
There comes a time in the life of any pre-med when they realize that, yes, they will actually have to memorize all 20 amino acids. Whether it’s for your biochemistry course or the MCAT (absolutely mandatory for the MCAT!), memorizing the amino acids can seem like an impossible task.
MCAT Prep: First Steps to a long-term study plan
A common misconception about the MCAT is that you should only start studying several months to a year before your expected exam date. In reality, some MCAT skills may benefit from a more gradual approach, over the course of months or years. Even a few minutes every day can add up over a long period of time and prepare you to ace the MCAT on test ...
The one major difference between how high scorers and low scorers study
There are many differences between high and low scorers on the MCAT. Many of these differences are difficult to address: reading background, experience with experimental design, and test taking abilities to name a few. However, there is one consistent, notable difference in strategy. I call this strategy mistake analysis.
Making use of MCAT practice tests: it’s not just about learning content!
Taking practice tests is a key step in your MCAT preparation, but many students don’t realize everything that goes into preparing to take the test and reviewing the test afterward. Reviewing the test is one of the most essential steps you can take in your MCAT prep work. After sitting through a grueling 7 hours of science and verbal comprehension, ...
Practice testing around the 520s? Here’s how to boost your score into the 100 percentile!
As a person who was practice testing in the 520-521 range with 2-3 weeks left of studying, I was content with my score; however, I had an idea that I could get to the 100 percentile range if I pushed myself and studied smart for the remaining few weeks. With some slight tweaks to my study plan, I was able to comfortably score in the 100th ...
Some ways to organize your MCAT biology review of muscle tissue
There are so many concepts on the MCAT, and sometimes it can be easy to get lost in how different concepts relate to each other. Notecards, flow charts or large maps, and teachbacks are all ways to make sure you solidify these complicated topics! One strategy to study for the MCAT and consolidate information is approaching biology concepts from ...
A perspective on the CARS section from an English major
One February morning in my junior year, sitting under the harsh lights of the reference room in my college library, I decided to open ExamKrackers’ 101 Passages in MCAT. While I bemoaned the fact that this moment heralded the beginning of the dreadful MCAT study period, I was secretly confident that CARS would be a feel-good start to my MCAT ...
Working with lenses and mirrors: how to draw a ray diagram
Ray diagrams can look intimidating, but they don’t have to be! In this blog post, we will tackle five examples of ray diagrams.
Having agency over your MCAT-studying experience
Studying for the MCAT is a daunting task, and we’re likely to turn to others for strategies to make it through the experience successfully. People on online forums, students in years ahead of us, mentors, advisors, and friends can all offer meaningful advice. But, sometimes, these suggestions can get scary, especially when people’s suggestions ...
Applying to medical school with a low MCAT score
Pre-meds all over the world freak about the MCAT. It’s a long, overwhelming test that functions as a predictor for how well you might perform in medical school. For some schools, it’s the metric for whether or not you are offered an interview. So, pre-meds study hard, and some do well, while others are less than pleased with their scores. Low ...
How to study for the MCAT when you're not done with science coursework
A lot of folks have asked me how to study MCAT material that they have never seen in class. It is a good and important question. Many of the topics covered on the MCAT—particularly on the Chem/Phys section—are covered in classes that students tend to take later in their college careers, such as second-semester physics (E&M). In this brief ...
Premed during COVID-19? How to put your time at home to good use
A common concern among undergraduate premed students these days is how COVID-19 may impact their application plans to medical school. Before offering some ideas for using this time productively, a gentle reminder: Most medical school committees are comprised of physicians, all of whom would much prefer that you practice social distancing and basic ...
The-MCAT-subsection-that-must-not-be-named: CARS
When you’re talking about the MCAT, there’s one subsection whose name strikes fear into the hearts of science-oriented premeds: CARS. As someone who never took more than the bare minimum of required humanities classes and learned English as a second language, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way.
How to stay focused (and off social media) while studying for the MCAT
There’s no question that studying for a test like the MCAT takes discipline—from making a study plan to reading prep materials and taking those dreaded 7-hour practice tests. When I prepared for the MCAT, I struggled to stay focused for long periods of time: after doing just a couple practice questions, I would find myself on Twitter or Facebook, ...
Three Key Lessons from a Lifetime of Test Taking
As someone who’s spent over twenty years in school and is currently pursuing both MD and MPP degrees, I’ve taken my fair share of tests. For as long as I can remember, tests have been both milestones and gatekeepers. The first “high-stakes” tests I took were the SAT and ACT in preparation for college admissions. After many midterms and finals in ...
Staying Productive During Self Quarantine
Regardless of what your living situation is like right now, these are unprecedented times in terms of practicing social distancing. Many of my peers consider this a period for unwavering focus on work, school, and milestones such as the MCAT. Even before the era of self-quarantining, locking yourself in your room for days to study was not ...
So, your MCAT's been canceled, now what?
We’ve been fielding questions from many of you about how to cope with the changing circumstances around the MCAT and this year’s medical school admissions cycle.  
Grad school standardized testing: To re-test or not to re-test?
So you got your score back, and you’re not thrilled. What now?
Spaced repetition and why it’s important while studying for the MCAT
Spaced repetition at its simplest is the idea that the more frequently you’re exposed to information, the better you remember it. It’s more effective to repeat something 7 times over the course of one week than over the course of a single day. Your brain needs time to process the information you’ve learned and make connections with other stuff you ...
CARS: Dos and Don’ts for Studying Success
Some students can feel adrift when setting out to study for CARS. These helpful Dos and Don’ts you help you get started!
3 essential tips for the MCAT Psychology/Sociology section
Studying for the MCAT Psychology/Sociology section can feel daunting at first – there are so many terms to memorize, and often test-takers have never taken a formal psychology class. Though it may seem impossible to learn this on your own, there are several techniques that can make preparing for this section manageable (and even fun!).
Building on existing reading skills to improve your MCAT CARS score
As an MCAT tutor and former test taker, I have often encountered a subset of students who struggle with the Critical Analysis and Reasoning section (CARS) of the test. It can become a significant source of frustration during studying, and there are many students who may even have to re-take as a result of a poor CARS performance.
MCAT score plateaus: why they happen, and what to do about them
One of the most common frustrations that I’ve seen students run into during their MCAT studying is the dreaded score plateau. A student’s studying is going well, they are improving on their practice exam scores and feel confident in their content mastery, but then several exams in a row show the same score. It can feel demoralizing, but remember, ...
5 ways to improve your MCAT studying without studying for the MCAT
OK, let’s state the obvious – the MCAT is daunting. Just take a look at the MCAT topic list PDF provided by the AAMC. It is one-hundred and twenty-five pages of topics alone. And while there is no substitute for good old-fashioned content studying, there are strategies to improve your studying that have nothing to do with studying itself.
One tutor’s guide to MCAT study materials
One of the very first questions a student asks about a standardized exam is invariably, “Which study resources should I use?”. For the MCAT, the answer is far from simple. With the multitude of test prep publishers out there, each claiming to guarantee students the best possible score, it can often be difficult to find sources that are truly ...
A comprehensive guide to MCAT resources
The purpose of this post is to update a previous I had written about MCAT practice tests. Since that post, my recommendation for practice tests has remained the same. AAMC tests (sample test, practice 1-3, in total 4 tests, practice 1-3 are scored) are still your best resource. After that, the next best thing would be the Examkracker tests for the ...
How to ace the MCAT in 3 steps!
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 ...
Your Medical School Timeline Checklist - Planning Ahead
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!
Structuring and Strategizing your MCAT Studying: Phase 6
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 ...
7 essential tips for ANY standardized test
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 ...
Structuring and strategizing your MCAT studying: phase 5
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 ...
Structuring and Strategizing your MCAT Studying: Phase 4
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 ...
Structuring and Strategizing your MCAT Studying: Phase 3
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, ...
Structuring and strategizing your MCAT studying: Phase 2
  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 ...
Structuring and strategizing your MCAT studying: phase 1
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, ...
How to prep for the MCAT as a full time student
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 ...
Mindfulness and the MCAT: 3 steps for avoiding burnout
Pre-Med students are no strangers to stress. From Physics midterms, to O-Chem lab reports, to the inevitable march into finals week, you have plenty of experience juggling assignments and managing that cortical response of your brain saying, Yeah, this is a little too much. Stress itself isn’t the problem. In fact, after a certain point it shows ...
My Strategy for a Perfect Score: ACT Reading and MCAT CARS
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 ...
How long does it take to study for the MCAT Test?
I am going to estimate how long a student might take to study for the MCAT test using the books I recommend for my students under the premise that someone is studying full time. This is an estimate, but I think it paints a decent picturse of what a fulltime MCAT student can expect. For part time students, they would spread this over a longer ...
CARS: proven strategies for the MCAT’s strangest section
  As a premed student, you’re likely comfortable with science questions. Even if you don’t know all the material, you’ve had plenty of practice answering experimental and knowledge-based questions, and generally know how to approach them. That experience will serve you well in the bulk of the MCAT.
The Best Standardized Test Tip? Comparitive Process of Elimination
Last month I wrote a post on how I initially teach my students to look at multiple choice problems. If you have not read it, I would recommend doing that first before reading on. As I wrote, I initially give my students two dimensions on which to assess an answer choice: truth and relevance. I start with these two for a few reasons. Firstly, ...
How to take a systematic approach to problems on the MCAT 
Before I went to college, I was professional ballet dancer and I loved to practice pirouettes—turning around on the tiptoes of one foot.  One of the first things I learned about pirouettes is that if I tried something completely different in my technique every time I practiced, I wouldn’t improve. Occasionally I would get lucky and do a few more ...
Equations Guide for the MCAT: Your Key to Success
Equations are a MCAT test taker’s best friend, yet many students are afraid of them. They are powerful tools because they encapsulate a huge amount of information in a tiny package that you can easily memorize. They’re not everything—you still need to learn loads of conceptual information and facts to do well, but understanding how to use them is ...
Essential tips for learning the anterior pituitary hormones
Learning the anterior pituitary hormones for your biology class or the MCAT can be a little overwhelming. It is easy to get lost in the weeds and struggle to see how it all connects. One thing that helped me when I was learning the anterior pituitary hormones was to visualize the connections between the most important structures. This both helped ...
Total Justification: the best question strategy for the MCAT
What is Total Justification? Most students pick the correct answer on a multiple-choice practice problem, and think they have gotten the most they can out of the problem; they are wrong. Answering a question on the MCAT is essentially the task of appraising answer choices to see if they fit certain criteria, such as being factually correct or ...
Biology on the MCAT: How to Simplify Complex Problems
Many problems on the MCAT seem quite complex upon first inspection but can actually be reframed to be more simple. This allows a test-taker to serve time as well as avoid the errors that come with repeated detailed analysis. To demonstrate this tactic, see the example below.
The four most essential MCAT resources, ranked by an expert
Are you ready for the four most essential MCAT resources, ranked by our expert MCAT tutor Weike?  Read on to get the essential list!
Why you're picking the wrong answer on the MCAT
While many students blame incorrect answers on a lack of knowledge or careless mistakes, these explanations don’t account for the many ways an MCAT test writer can mess with a poor unsuspecting test-takers brain. If the MCAT were a simple matter of knowledge and diligence, the studying process would be far easier. Knowledge is easily acquired ...
Two Study Habits That Will Boost Your MCAT Score
Reflection is not what spectators see during a basketball game; spending hours watching game tapes and discussing strategic nuances with a coach does not make the high light reel on Sports Center, but it is essential to continued improvement and success. After every game, athletes and coaches discuss what happened: what went well, what went badly, ...
How to Select Your MCAT Test Prep Resources
Image sourced from the New York Times Picking MCAT test prep resources can feel a little bit like trying to pick one ice cream flavor at Coldstone (although perhaps significantly less fun…) – there are so many options, all of them seem to work, and you don’t want to miss out by picking the wrong ones.  Unfortunately, MCAT students too often try to ...
Planning Your MCAT Study Schedule
  One of the most daunting things about the MCAT is the sheer amount of material that is on the exam. At minimum, it covers the first year of intro classes for all of the sciences (Physics, Biology, Chemistry), some advanced level coursework (Organic Chemistry - and many students now say they would like to take Biochemistry and Genetics as well), ...
Why you should take the MCAT CARS seriously
 In my opening email to students, where I introduce myself as their tutor, I will frequently ask about their reading comprehension ability.  My exact words are “Think back to your SAT, ACT days and how you did on the verbal sections”.  The reason I do this is because verbal (or CARS, as the MCAT calls it, which stands for critical analysis and ...
When should you take the MCAT?
As all pre-med students know, the MCAT is one of the biggest (and sometimes scariest!) hurdles on the way to medical school. It is also steeped in uncertainty -- how do you study? What score should I be aiming towards? When will I be ready to take it? 
MCAT Tutoring Approaches with Max
  This week we're spotlighting Max, a member of our MCAT tutor team. Max graduated from Yale Phi Beta Kappa with both a B.S. and M.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. He is an author on multiple scientific papers and is currently pursuing a M.D. and a Ph.D. through the combined Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) ...
A comprehensive guide to MCAT practice tests
The MCAT is a daunting test. I think I have said this to every one of my students. These students then ask me what is the best way to study and my answer to that really varies student by student. Some students need more structure, a day-to-day agenda. Some students like more flexibility. But what has not varied from student to student is taking ...
Enzyme inhibition and Lineweaver-Burk plots: MCAT test prep
We’ve already covered a little bit about the basics of enzyme kinetics,  so now let’s move on to discuss an important application of enzyme kinetics in the body (and in medicine)...
Advice on MCAT breakdowns, depression, and stress
The MCAT is a brutal test.  Having taken it and tutored numerous MCAT students (as well GMAT and GRE students), I can say with absolute certainty that I seen more students break down over the MCAT than they have with any other test.  Every one of my MCAT students has, at some point, teared up over this test and cursed it to hell.
MCAT Tutoring Approaches with Dan W.
This week we're spotlighting Boston-based MCAT tutor, Dan, who is currently a research analyst at the Broad Institute of Harvard & MIT. He’s taught the MCAT, Biology, Chemistry, and the ACT. He scored on the 99th percentile of the new 2015 MCAT! Interested in working with Dan either in-person in Boston, or online? Check out Dan's tutor page ...
Last Minute Tips for the MCAT
  Ready for your big expedition? photo source:  National Geographic.  Although everyone will approach the MCAT slightly differently, a bird's-eye view of studying will often show a predictable pattern. Typically, when students start studying, they get overwhelmed by the amount of material they need to cover and they don't necessarily know how to ...
MCAT statistics crash course: what do I need to know? (part 2)
We already talked about Research Design and Execution, but there’s more to know about MCAT statistics! Here, we will be discussing topics that AMCAS wants you to know about Data-Based and Statistical Reasoning. Here’s what AMCAS wants you to know, and some tips to help you learn it! Use this post as an outline to guide your studying, and then come ...
A guide to enzyme kinetics on the MCAT
Enzymes are hugely important in the human body both for normal function and for drug therapies. Their kinetics (or function with respect to time) are also easily graphable, making them a very testable MCAT topic. Even more importantly, once you’ve aced the big, bad MCAT, you will need to revisit enzyme kinetics in every medical school curriculum, ...
How to Prepare for a Medical School Interview
Ready to step into a whole new world?  You can (and should) do research about specific schools before you visit them, but preparing for the personal interview is less concrete, and sometimes more difficult. Your goal is show your interviewer that you deserve a spot at their school. Here are a few points to think about before an interview, and to ...
How to Quickly Get the Information You Need From an MCAT Science Passage
A lot of students struggle with the timing aspect of the MCAT -- between reading all of the passages and thinking through all of the questions, it’s easy to lose track of time and start feeling rushed towards the end. If timing is a problem for you, try switching up your technique.
MCAT statistics crash course: what do I need to know? (part 1)
As most of you know, the AAMC has published an extensive outline of topics and skills assessed by the new MCAT (the complete guide can be found HERE). It is important to look at this list before you start studying a subject, and going back to it periodically to make sure you are on the right track. This list is not exhaustive, and only covers ...
Gametogenesis on the MCAT
Imagine programming your food to play! Spermatogenesis is a pretty complicated process, and can easily seem intimidating. However, it’s important to remember that the MCAT is a test that asks you to know a little bit about a lot of topics. Therefore, let’s focus on the most testable part of gametogenesis for the purposes of the MCAT: the ...
Why The New MCAT Section Seems Scary, But Is Actually Totally Doable
Nice try! The new MCAT is full of changes. At six hours and fifteen minutes, it is significantly longer than the previous version. There is a new focus on biochemistry that appears across two sections of the test, pushing out some of the more obscure organic chemistry that appeared in the past. And there is now an entirely new section of content: ...
Tackling the MCAT Verbal Section as a Science Major
Let's get practical about studying for the MCAT verbal section! The MCAT verbal section is often seen as the trickiest section of the exam, especially for those of us who haven’t necessarily taken a ton of verbal-type classes in college. The content in the science parts is hard, but at least there seems to be some method of approaching the passage ...
Mentally Conquering the MCAT
 Test anxiety is real! Good thing is it's manageable. For many pre-med students, the MCAT can feel like the final ‘hurdle’ before an application cycle begins. You’ve spent a couple years in college trying to do your best in school, be involved in extracurriculars, and form relationships with professors who will eventually provide recommendation ...
What to do when you don’t understand a science passage on the MCAT
One overarching theme of the MCAT exam is its unusual application of basic knowledge (well, “basic” once you’ve completed four years of pre-med classes and studied for a few months). Passages will often present familiar phenomena in the context of complex systems, or expect test-takers to predict the outcomes of perturbations to the novel scenario ...
What To Do If You Want To Retake the MCAT?
Good thing there's always room for improvement! You’ve decided you want to retake the MCAT (if you haven’t decided yet, check out our blog post Should I Retake the MCAT?), and now it’s time to sit down and figure out how. Here are a couple things to consider as you start to make your study plan and head in to round 2.
The MCAT Tutor: When Should I Take the MCAT Exam?
In MCAT prep, as in photography, timing is everything. Figuring out when to schedule your MCAT exam can be intimidating, but it is very important in making sure you have the right amount of time to study.
The MCAT Tutor: 2 Simple Tips to Help You Start Your MCAT Prep
Listen to the man. The MCAT is more like a game than you might think. If there’s one thing I’ve learned as an MCAT tutor, it’s that success is not determined exclusively by what you know. Instead, a higher percentage of your score than you might imagine is a result of your test-taking strategy. Although memorizing the hormones and knowing the ...
The MCAT Tutor: The Vital Importance of a Study Buddy
Everyone needs a buddy The start of the spring semester can be a great time for students hoping to do well on the MCAT this summer to start studying for the test. At the beginning of a semester, you can start to set the habits that will prepare you to maximize your performance on the test. While I’m not doing private MCAT tutoring in Boston, as a ...
The MCAT Tutor: 4 Last Minute Tips to Raise Your Verbal Score
  Hang on tight for your impending MCAT flight!
The MCAT Tutor: What You Need to Know About the 2015 MCAT
Let's celebrate the New Year / New MCAT together!  So you’ve heard that starting in April 2015, the MCAT will change dramatically. Here at Cambridge Coaching (based in Boston and New York,) we MCAT test prep tutors are getting prepared. In this blog post, I’ll outline some of the most important differences between the 2014 MCAT and the new MCAT. ...
MCAT Tutor: Why Reading is the Best Way to Boost Your Verbal Score
Mister Rogers and Eric Carle are here to provide ample emotional support.  Many pre-medical students consider the MCAT verbal section the most daunting section on the test. It is also arguably the most important. The good news is that preparing for the MCAT verbal section can be fun! As an experienced online MCAT tutor, I’ve distilled my knowledge ...
MCAT Tutor: Memorization, the Dark Side of the MCAT
And milk, too?  When used correctly, memorization can be one of the most powerful tools available to increase the power of your MCAT preparation. Building a solid foundation of information which you call on so often that it becomes second nature will increase your speed and accuracy on the MCAT. But memorization is a difficult thing; it takes time ...
MCAT Tutor: Why Writing is the Most Important MCAT Skill of All
The AAMC content outline for the MCAT comprises an exhaustive list of topics. After all, it probably took you two years of physics and chemistry and biology classes to cover the material the first time around, and it’s natural to want to prioritize to get the most out of your MCAT prep. So what is the single most important college course for acing ...
The basics of amino acids
I have met two groups of people who are VERY excited about amino acids. The first group is bodybuilders. Bodybuilders are OBSESSED with amino acids, because amino acids make up protein, and protein make up muscles and muscles are what bodybuilders want. Since you are reading this blog looking for an MCAT tutor, I feel it is relatively unlikely ...
Physics & translational motion
Because MCAT physics often relies on calculation, this part of the physical sciences section of the test often produces an outsize level of anxiety in students. As an MCAT tutor and Physics tutor, I can help you overcome your anxiety around this section of the MCAT. Consider this the first in a series of indeterminate duration and frequency that ...
The MCAT Tutor: A Smarter Type of MCAT Flashcards
Isn't it time we started working smarter, not harder?
MCAT Tutoring: Saving Time on MCAT Passages
Like any standardized test, the MCAT pressures students by limiting the time available to them.  The stress of the ticking clock—and the fear that they'll simply be unable to finish—prevent students from achieving the score they deserve. Therefore, in this blog post, I’ll discuss some strategies to replace other time-consuming and error-prone ...
How to Crack Open MCAT Passages
Like any standardized test, the MCAT pressures students by limiting the time available to them. The stress of the ticking clock—and the fear that they'll simply be unable to finish—prevent students from achieving the score they deserve. Therefore, in this blog post, I’ll discuss some strategies to replace other time-consuming and error-prone ...
MCAT Tutoring Tips: Using the answer key effectively
MCAT prep is extremely time consuming, not to mention emotionally draining, especially as medical school admissions loom. 
MCAT Tutor Tell All: MCAT 2013, 2014, and 2015 - What changed?
For years, countless prospective medical students have taken the MCAT in the hopes of improving their chances for medical school admissions or MD/PhD admissions.  This year, the MCAT underwent a small change which altered the layout of the test.  In this post, I (an MCAT tutor) will give you some background on the history of the test, how and why ...
MCAT Tutor: The Physical Sciences Section
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 ...
Standardized Test Preparation: Summer Edition
With the school year drawing to a close, many students are gearing up for summer classes for standardized test preparation. The summer can be an optimal time to prepare for an exam such as the SAT, LSAT, MCAT, or a number of other standardized exams. Students can focus all their energies into studying for an exam, without the extra demand of ...
Standardized Test Preparation: What’s the MCAT all about?
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. ...
Life and the MCAT: 5 ways to be human while studying
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 ...
MCAT Tutoring: Standardized Test Preparation & Test Anxiety
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 ...
MCAT game plan: Achieving your maximum score
Taking the MCAT is extremely anxiety provoking.   But the preparation leading up to the exam can be grueling and soul-crushing.  These weeks/months are painful, filled with endless reading, questions, and practice exams.  Often, these monotonous routine days can cause students to become discouraged, frustrated, and bored.  Having a game plan ...
Taking the MCAT more efficiently: Tips for speeding up on the MCAT
Time management on the exam is one of the biggest issues for students taking the MCAT.   It’s not only about content, but efficiency when it comes to mastering the exam.  In our post we’ll give you the best tips/tricks for speeding up on the exam, and ensuring that you can complete all the questions on the exam.  These tips will put you on the ...
How to Stay Focused During the MCAT
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. 
Struggling with Procrastination? Jumpstart Standardized Test Preparation.
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 ...
Beat the MCAT Blues: Dealing with depression and anxiety
It’s likely that you’ve never prepared as deeply or intensely for an exam before, as you will preparing for the MCAT. Its common to feel anxiety, and even depression during the days leading up to the exam. In our post, we’ll give you some tips on how to cope and maintain your mental health through this difficult time.
Ready to Do Some Standardized Test Preparation Over the Holidays?
While holidays are certainly a time for most of us to wind down from a busy work or school year and spend time with family and friends, the holidays can also be the best time to complete some standardized test preparation.  With the right discipline and schedule, the focused student can find a way to knock out a couple of good hours of test ...
Should You Void Your MCAT Score?
Taking the MCAT can be extremely anxiety provoking!   With the medical school admissions process looming in the distance, even with intense MCAT prep courses, and the countless number of practice passages you’ve done, fear and doubt can get the better of any of us.  On test day, this may leave you with the feeling that you’ve bombed the exam and ...
MCAT Prep: The Pros & Cons of Re-taking the Test
The 2012 MCATs are over, and the holiday season is rolling around. And quickly approaching is the 2013 season of MCATs. It’s very easy to get sucked into a vortex of obsessing over MCAT, feeling discouraged by your score, and hoping to score better next time.
What to do the week of the MCAT exam?
You’ve spent months studying—and you’re ready. The MCAT is one week away. The anxiety is starting to brew, and you’re doing your best to ebb it. What should you do to maximize this one last week while keep the anxiety at bay?
MCAT Tutor Tells-All: The History of the MCAT
As you gear up for MCAT season this winter, you might wonder about the origins of the test. The MCAT has evolved since its introduction in 1928. Take a look below for a brief timeline! History The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) (of which we know all of you are intimately aware) is the rite of passage for students intending on applying to ...
Standardized Test Preparation as a Conduit to Enhanced Metacognition
What is metacognition you may say (unless you have been exposed to the growing literature and popularity of this word in recent years)?  Metacognition, at its most basic can be described as knowing how you think. 
The Seven elements of a worthwhile MCAT review program: Part II
Studying for the MCAT isn’t always sunshine and lollipops, so most people want to make sure that they get it over with the first time around. And what’s the most important predictor of their success in doing so? Their study program. To quote a proverb: “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.”
7 elements of a worthwhile MCAT review program: Part I
Studying for the MCAT isn’t always sunshine and lollipops, so most people want to make sure that they get it over with the first time around. And what’s the most important predictor of their success in doing so? Their study program. To quote a proverb: “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.”
The Importance of Taking It Easy: Sitting for a Standardized Test
Lost in the whirlwind of test-taking strategies and practice problems that make up the bulk of test prep is the simple fact that there is an immense psychological component to any test as critical as the SAT, GMAT, GRE, LSAT, or MCAT.
Learning to Love Standardized Tests: Preparing for Test Day
Lost in the whirlwind of test-taking strategies and practice problems that make up the bulk of test prep is the simple fact that there is an immense psychological component to any test as critical as the SAT, GMAT, GRE, LSAT, or MCAT.
Why Choose an MCAT Tutor?
The decision about how to prepare for the MCAT is an important one.
Know Your Opponent: A Brief History of the MCAT
Let's explore the history of the MCAT: The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) (of which we know all of you are intimately aware) is the rite of passage for students intending on applying to medical schools (MD and DO), as well as certain other fields ancillary to medicine in the United States and Canada. The exam was first developed in 1928 in ...