Ninefingers

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2+ Year Member
Oct 10, 2016
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Hi everyone, if you search the internet, you'll find literally hundreds of ways people have studied to achieve a high MCAT, but I have never seen anyone post about the score benefits of physical health.

1. Cardio. Everyday. Run for 25+ minutes to get double the amount of hippocampal neurogenesis (as you know, hippocampus partly responsible for long-term memory formation), and improved reading comprehension.

2. Enough sleep. I could lay in bed for 1-2 hours before falling into a fitful sleep. One day I took some magnesium and enjoyed good sleep very quickly. I highly recommend it. There's conjecture that REM sleep helps with memory consolidation.

That's really it. I did this and started doing much better on practice exams immediately. I think just these two factors could easily raise your scores at least 3 points.
 
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workaholic181

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2017
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Hi everyone, if you search the internet, you'll find literally hundreds of ways people have studied to achieve a high MCAT, but I have never seen anyone post about the score benefits of physical health.

1. Cardio. Everyday. Run for 25+ minutes to get double the amount of hippocampal neurogenesis (as you know, hippocampus partly responsible for long-term memory formation), and improved reading comprehension.

2. Enough sleep. I could lay in bed for 1-2 hours before falling into a fitful sleep. One day I took some magnesium and enjoyed good sleep very quickly. I highly recommend it. There's conjecture that REM sleep helps with memory consolidation.

That's really it. I did this and started doing much better on practice exams immediately. I think just these two factors could easily raise your scores at least 3 points.
I second the cardio; I always lifted in college but when studying for MCAT started to run and I do feel like it helped oddly enough.
 

Zenabi90

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
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Medical Student
I'm going to throw out another underutilized activity.

Meditation.

People often take "rest breaks" while studying, 10 min every 2 hours. Which is great, except they may spend their breaks on their phone or email or social media. This tends to fracture one's focus and serve as a distractor, as well as a threat to one's schedule if you get stuck on YouTube for an hour.

Meditation is a great way to rest the mind and reset the clutter, while maintaining the appropriate focus level needed throughout the day. It can be as simple as 5 minutes of breathing exercises (sit upright, relaxed and focus on your breath sounds) with a gentle phone timer (read: not the biohazard alarm many favor to get them up in the morning), or something more advanced like walking meditation.

It can work wonders for mental focus and acuity during such a grueling mental exertion.
 
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wildcherry

7+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2012
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I'm going to throw out another underutilized activity.

Meditation.

People often take "rest breaks" while studying, 10 min every 2 hours. Which is great, except they may spend their breaks on their phone or email or social media. This tends to fracture one's focus and serve as a distractor, as well as a threat to one's schedule if you get stuck on YouTube for an hour.

Meditation is a great way to rest the mind and reset the clutter, while maintaining the appropriate focus level needed throughout the day. It can be as simple as 5 minutes of breathing exercises (sit upright, relaxed and focus on your breath sounds) with a gentle phone timer (read: not the biohazard alarm many favor to get them up in the morning), or something more advanced like walking meditation.

It can work wonders for mental focus and acuity during such a grueling mental exertion.
Indeed, the literature supports that meditation/mindfulness improves focus and memory.

Does mindfulness training improve cognitive abilities? A systematic review of neuropsychological findings - ScienceDirect
 
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