MCAT study tips are extremely easy to come by. You got a hundred people telling you every day what worked for them, or what didn't work for them. They tell you how to study, where to study, what to study, etc. That is fine and it is better than no MCAT study tips, but is it ideal? Is what worked for them going to guarantee that it will work for you? NO!!! Of course it MAY work...but do you really want to take that chance? What you need is a individualized plan that will help you understand what you actually need and how far you actually need to come.
If you have not yet done so, start with a practice test using the strategy that I teach on that page. It will help you to start thinking about the things you will need to bring yourself from that score (where you are) to the dream score (where you need to be). If you take that excercise seriously you should have a very clear idea of exactly what you are looking for in a program.
Next, you should make sure that you have a program picked out that fits those individual needs. There are many review courses available and I talk about many of the most successful ones there. Again, the important thing is to find a course that fits YOUR individual needs. Be it a comprehensive course or a short one. Be it a live course or a do it yourself. All the MCAT study tips in the world won't help you if you fail to allow your foundational study helps fit you individually.
Ok now that we've made it that far, lets talk about logistics. You have your program and you know how far you need to come, fantastic. Most programs will come with a study schedule as part of the program. If you are doing live classes it will be in your best interest to not deviate from that schedule. In order to get the most out of live classes you NEED to be at every one with a very solid fountational knowledge and have a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish while at the class. That way you can make sure either through taking notes or talking with the professors after, that you meet each and every one of those goals. Do that for every class.
If, however, you are on more of a study-on-your-own program you will have a little more wiggle room with your schedule. Take an honest inventor for how far you need to go. How many points improvement do you want from your practice exam. If it is a lot (10+ points) try and spread out the schedule. Take smaller bites of the material and really learn each piece of it. If it is a smaller amount, obviously stay with the schedule given or even condense it a bit.
This may not be new for any of you but repetition when it comes to these concepts is definately golden. Research show that repetition leads to maximum long term learning of material. You should try and read the material to skim it, then read it to learn it, then read it again to learn it again all within 2-3 days of each other. I recommend once per day for 3 days you read the material and try and absorb what you can from it. On the third day you should ask and answer questions either from the program or questions you make for yourself. This will solidify the material well in your mind. Many people do this with flashcards or on the computer. Once those three days are up, put it away for a week, at which point you should review the questions. Once you get all those right put them away for several weeks to a month. As test day approaches you won't be able to put them away for a whole month so either try and get through all the material with at least a month to spare for questions and practice tests, or just do the best you can.
That will take care of MCAT study tips of memorization, but what about critical thinking. Well you should do many questions in your preparation for the MCAT. Practice tests, practice passages, etc. that all help you to get a good grasp on the strategy you should employ to anwer questions correctly. You can only get good at this through practice. Not only practice but the practice must be delibratly looking at the questions with the intent of figuring out how you could have THOUGHT of the question differently. Ask yourself, what words could have been changed that would allow you to answer the question? Where where the clues to the answer that you missed? If the question were reversed how could that have helped? or hurt? Try and think JUST LIKE the MCAT writers do. Get into their heads and figure them out. That is the kind of practice that will lead to fantastic MCAT scores.
Try and think of the time in undergrad that you had to study very hard. Maybe you had a big final coming up. Maybe you were taking organic chemistry and physics at the same time and you really had to work hard. Think of the things that went well during that time and the things that hurt you. What things helped you study your best? What things distracted you from your studies? What did you eat? How did you sleep? Did those things help? or hurt? What hours of the day were most effective for you? What hours were least effective? Try and spend 5 minutes writing down everything you know that has worked really well and the things that didn't work too well. Research states that most people learn better in a quiet envirnment, with no distractions, and low soft or no music. However you aren't most people. You are YOU. You may fall into the 20% of people who don't operate best under those conditions, so find the conditions that you DO work best under and stay in that comfort zone.
Really just one MCAT study tip. But this is a big one. Whatever you do in your preparation, however you have set up to here, all of it could be utterly wasted if you don't follow through BIG TIME. Preparation for this test WILL BE the hardest thing most of you ever do. So do NOT waste your time. Set up time that you can study for the MCAT, make sure it is enough hours to get through the material, and make sure it is during you absolute BEST study time of the day. Then sit down, take a breath, relax, and start studying. DO NOT STOP studying for any reason AT ALL until you are done and it is done well. This is the single best advice I can give. I believe 80% or more of people leave points on the table simply because they don't do this principle. Just remember: sit down, take a breath, relax, and start studying - and don't stop until you are done with that days studies and they are DONE WELL.
Good luck on the MCAT, if you followed this MCAT mini-guide you will be so far ahead of your peers who didn't follow it you will be scared at how well you do.
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