Jul 25, 2014
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Remind yourself that this test is basically just as important as the GPA you've obtained over the last 4 years of undergrad and that if you do poorly your only option may be a Carribean school and a life with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt.

Just kidding, take a few break days, hang out with friends, go for a run when you start feeling groggy or lose focus. I also found it helped switching up subjects every day and making some days just dedicated to doing practice problems (which I found slightly more enjoyable than reading stuff from a review book). Good luck, its a crappy few months but buckle down and get it over with.
 
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lexswift

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Jul 2, 2016
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I honestly just tell myself that pain is temporary but that the MCAT score is forever. Gets me motivated every time.
 

kb1900

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Oct 4, 2015
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Motivation is fleeting and unreliable, discipline is not.

Treat it like a sport and put in your 6-12 hours a day with breaks as needed. Take a full day off if it means pushing ur limits the next day. Excercise, eat and sleep well. Develop a desire to actually get better and work to push your limits each day within reason.
 

Dr. Trenb

2+ Year Member
Dec 30, 2014
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Do not sit all day, seven days a week studying for it. Really. It is crucial that you sleep well (don't pull an all-nighter, this is not a course exam), exercise (if you're a gym rat, keep working out), and live your life as you would without it.
 
Jul 23, 2016
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For me I told myself that yes, I want to do well the first time, but if worst comes to worst, I am able to retake. I took the exam twice, and obviously people want to take it once ideally. But telling myself that if something happened it wasn't the end of the world really helped.
 

kb1900

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For me I told myself that yes, I want to do well the first time, but if worst comes to worst, I am able to retake. I took the exam twice, and obviously people want to take it once ideally. But telling myself that if something happened it wasn't the end of the world really helped.
Nooo. 99.9999% of the time you're better off delaying than retaking.

I do agree with telling yourself it's not the end of the world but not with the retake thing. You can pretty faithfully predict scores and performance from your practice tests
 
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Jul 23, 2016
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Nooo. 99.9999% of the time you're better off delaying than retaking.

I do agree with telling yourself it's not the end of the world but not with the retake thing. You can pretty faithfully predict scores and performance from your practice tests
What I mean is you get to the test and it seems like everything went well but you ended up doing poorly compared to your practice scores. There are some occasions where you have excellent practice scores and the test seemed fair, but you get a bad score. So nothing to do with delaying haha
 

Horse Apiece

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Apr 30, 2015
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Taking my first full length and seeing a terrible score really motivated me to kick it into high gear (No one can say Kaplan isn't good for motivation, everything else Kaplan though is garbage).
 
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May 31, 2016
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1) Visualize success - before you sit down to study, visualize yourself on test day. Try to picture yourself sitting at the computer in the test center during your exam. You're calm, focused, and confident. This will get you into a better mindset before you sit down and do the work to get to your exam.

2) Take one day off per week - exactly what others have been posting. Plan something fun and rejuvenating during your days off from studying.

3) Make a realistic study schedule - physically write down a weekly schedule that includes your professional and personal obligations. Find chunks of time that you can set aside for focusing solely on studying for the MCAT. Also, it is completely normal to fall behind on your study schedule. Instead of trying to cram in everything you need to do to catch up in one session, prioritize assignments that involve active learning (i.e. flashcards, quizzes, practice tests) rather than catching up on all of your reading.

4) Keep in mind the importance of this exam - it is a crucial piece of your application. As others have posted, use this as motivation to carry you through to test-day success. Think of each time that you sit down to study as an investment in your career in medicine and another step that brings you closer to your goals.

Best of luck!
 

----x----

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Apr 19, 2015
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whenever you study, as soon as you feel yourself fading and not being productive (having to re-read a paragraph for example), take a 5 minute break.

At first you may have to take frequent breaks. Eventually, you will need breaks less often and will increase your stamina to continue studying for longer periods. It makes your study time more effective and more efficient. This also helps as you work up to taking full lengths.

If your problem is just motivation in general, take a break for 1-2 days then come back refreshed. You know the importance of it.
 
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kb1900

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whenever you study, as soon as you feel yourself fading and not being productive (having to re-read a paragraph for example), take a 5 minute break.

At first you may have to take frequent breaks. Eventually, you will need breaks less often and will increase your stamina to continue studying for longer periods. It makes your study time more effective and more efficient. This also helps as you work up to taking full lengths.

If your problem is just motivation in general, take a break for 1-2 days then come back refreshed. You know the importance of it.
this is really good advice
 

putmynameinbold

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Sep 9, 2014
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Look into the Pomodoro app. I started off with fifteen minute breaks every forty-five minutes, then slowly worked on decreasing the length of my breaks and increasing the time inbetween breaks until I was up to the actual test day testing/break ratio. It worked really well for me, and made sure I got up to stretch, eat, and what not inbetween. Good luck!
 

jeshigiu11

5+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2012
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Motivation-wise what worked for me when I was studying was vividly imagining myself getting my score back (literally imagining my heart-pumping as I logged in to check my score) and then seeing an amazing goal score. And imagining how happy I'd be telling my mom and my friends, etc. And then right after that, I'd imagine the same thing, but seeing a much lower score or like a mediocre score. I'd imagine the disappointment, how I'd have to tell my friends and parents that I didn't do well enough, that I wouldn't be able to apply this cycle. Most importantly, I'd think about how I would look back to this very moment and wish that I'd studied more instead of doing __[insert time-wasting activity]____.

So yes, I was fueled by fear.
 

Daenerys Targaryen

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May 30, 2015
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I think the biggest problem I've seen on SDN is people studying WAY too much per day. If you are practicing effective studying, you shouldn't have to do 12 hours per day and can afford days off every week. I studied about 4 hours a day and focused on practice questions & tests/analysis of what I got wrong. Everyone is different, but don't feel like you have to put in crazy hours if your studying is quality. Good luck! :)
 

voteknope

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Aug 17, 2016
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First of all, you can do it!! :) It's a just few months of your life and then it's done! You will so proud of yourself for the work you put in, it will definitely be worth the temporary sacrifice of (some of) your free time.

Make yourself a realistic study plan and then stick to it. I don't know how much time you have left before your test or whether you are taking an official course or anything, but it really worked well for me to break it down by broad topic (ex. General Chemistry), do all of my content review and then practice questions in that area before moving on. On a smaller scale, make sure you really understand a concept before moving on. It will save you time in the long term. This was really helpful for me because when I left a topic behind, I knew I felt comfortable with the material. It didn't work for me to half study something and then move on - I always needed to return to it and the earlier studying was time wasted.

Also, it may be helpful for you to find an MCAT study-buddy to meet up with once a week. Know that you won't get much new reviewing done (maybe you'll end up mostly socializing), but it is really important not to start to feel isolated during this process. Studying alone all the time can be very isolating and difficult. It's great to plan out ahead of time what you want to review and then you can teach the material to each other. Chances are you will both have differing areas of expertise and you could really help each other! Teaching is the best way to prove to yourself that you know something.

Healthy diet, hydration, exercise, sleep, yada yada - all super important, but you know that :)

I have loads of other MCAT suggestions but I don't want to write a gigantic post and annoy everyone. Feel free to message me though :)