lexswift

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MCAT or any other test...do you have a strategy that you feel like has always been helpful?

I think mine is to go into as confident as possible as nerves can really negatively impact your performance.
 

Crayola227

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RogueBanana

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Don't study to hit an hour mark. I know a lot of people who do this. Study as long as you have to so you truly understand something. Then stop. If you understand a concept in 30 minutes. Don't spend an hour going over it just so you feel like you did something because you hit the hour mark. I didn't study nearly as long as some of my fellow pre-meds, I focused on learning/retaining and listened to my instincts. It paid off since I got a 512 holding a full time job while studying ~10 hours per week. At the end of the day just trust yourself. Deep down you know if you actually learned a concept or not. Don't be so focused on recorded hours so much as concepts mastered.
 

alpha-GTP

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Read questions really carefully. On practice tests, I found myself missing easy questions because I misread and missed words like "not", "except", and "least likely". Watching out for these things saved me on test day.

Also, if you're not sure about a particular question and you feel like you may need several minutes to figure out the answer, mark the question and come back to it at the end. I sometimes found myself wasting time on questions that I would never get no matter how much time I spent on them, and this took away time from easy questions that I likely knew the answers to. Time management is really essential to doing well on the MCAT.

Lastly, take lots and lots of practice exams. I found that when I took the exam, most of the background knowledge that you needed was really surface-level. Half of doing well on the test is just becoming good at standardized tests and getting familiar with the format and the type of questions asked.
 
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lexswift

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Read questions really carefully. On practice tests, I found myself missing easy questions because I misread and missed words like "not", "except", and "least likely". Watching out for these things saved me on test day.

Also, if you're not sure about a particular question and you feel like you may need several minutes to figure out the answer, mark the question and come back to it at the end. I sometimes found myself wasting time on questions that I would never get no matter how much time I spent on them, and this took away time from easy questions that I likely knew the answers to. Time management is really essential to doing well on the MCAT.

Lastly, take lots and lots of practice exams. I found that when I took the exam, most of the background knowledge that you needed was really surface-level. Half of doing well on the test is just becoming good at standardized tests and getting familiar with the format and the type of questions asked.
I hate when I make stupid mistakes too! Sometimes I'll go over a practice test or passage and I'm like huh????? How did I miss this??? It's usually cause I read the question too fast and got excited because I thought I knew the answer but end up overlooking something so I actually answered it wrong. And that is extremely frustrating. Do you have any suggestions on how to fix this? I like to get these easy questions out of the way first so I can spend more time on hard questions. I feel like if I read too slowly I'll end up hurting myself by not finishing all the questions on time etc.
 

alpha-GTP

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I hate when I make stupid mistakes too! Sometimes I'll go over a practice test or passage and I'm like huh????? How did I miss this??? It's usually cause I read the question too fast and got excited because I thought I knew the answer but end up overlooking something so I actually answered it wrong. And that is extremely frustrating. Do you have any suggestions on how to fix this? I like to get these easy questions out of the way first so I can spend more time on hard questions. I feel like if I read too slowly I'll end up hurting myself by not finishing all the questions on time etc.
When it comes to avoiding careless mistakes, I had to actively work to read questions more carefully. I started training myself to look for key words in the question when I was taking practice tests. I didn't find that I lost any significant amount of time doing this, and it saved me from losing points several times. On the day before my exam, I redid the question banks, but I used the option where you can check your answer to each question immediately and I was working at a leisurely pace. This helped me identify careless mistakes immediately so I can learn them for subsequent questions. Doing the section bank the day before was also useful because it helped retain these habits better for the test the next morning, so they were more fresh in my head.
 

DameJulie

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Go to the restroom whenever you can, seriously.
 

studentdocftw

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Bring coffee and take all of your breaks. Even if it means staring at your locker, a break away from that screen will be refreshing.
 
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Karabo

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Spend a good portion of the day prior to the exam doing something fun/stress free (Netflix, hiking, hang out with friends, etc). I spent most of the day before the MCAT watching my favorite comedy tv show, which I think made me much more relaxed on exam day. Cramming the day before will just stress you out

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Ho0v-man

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Just remember that no matter what happens, you will live. Your life will not end no matter what the outcome. So turn off your fight or flight instincts because the MCAT can't kill you.

If the worst thing that ever happened to you is an MCAT retake, then you've lived a charmed life.


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alpha-GTP

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  1. Just remember that no matter what happens, you will live. Your life will not end no matter what the outcome. So turn off your fight or flight instincts
    because the MCAT can't kill you. If the worst thing that ever happened to you is an MCAT retake, then you've lived a charmed life.

Are you sure about that? Because I literally felt like I was fighting for my life in there LOL.
 
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kamakazi5

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Be confident and answer quickly off your first instinct. Don't change an answer unless are completely sure what you're new answer is correct.
 

AnatomyGrey12

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Concur with the pre-game toilet experience, does wonders for the psyche. I would add just trust yourself and be confident, only if you haven't prepared should you be messing your pants (this also means you didn't follow step one)