- Prepare and study for this test. You may be amazed to know that many of your fellow medical school applicants do not take the MCAT exam seriously and do not study for it the way they do their school exams. (Yes, as a matter of fact I am facepalming as I type this.) This test counts more heavily in the admission decision than any other single test you will take in college. No pressure … but don’t make the mistaken assumption that your upper-level science course work can replace your study preparations.
- Cut your course load. When you take the exam (hopefully by the spring semester of your junior year), try not to take more than 12 credit hours of classes at the same time. This should help you “free up” time for your MCAT studies.
- Organize your study approach. We recommend that if you decide not to take a review course that you at least purchase some good test study books for your preparations. Do not rely entirely on your text books. It is far too inefficient.
- Learn the concepts – do not just memorize. Only 15% of the MCAT exam questions are now designed to directly test your ability to memorize factoids. As a result, be sure you understand the material you are studying.
- Try to take this test only once, and in the spring. It is always preferable to be able to state “1” on the AMCAS form next to where you are asked “number of times you took the MCAT exam”. You can also free yourself of this test and focus your full attention on the rest of the medical school admission process throughout the summer and fall.