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Staying Focused During MCAT

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Hi!

I've started realizing a pattern with my practice tests. About half way through the BB section (the most difficult one for me), I lose some focus and stamina. Most of my missed questions from this section are disproportionately in the second half! I think I just get frustrated with the questions and also feel a bit more tired after lunch.

I know I can do better if I stay focused. Does anyone have any tips on how to keep up stamina? My test is in a few days!
 

Dr. Let 'er Buck

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Make sure you actually take your longer 'lunch' break. Get out of the testing center as best you can and walk around. Stretch out your neck and back, indulge in some junk food and maybe caffeine. Be well hydrated (but not so much you need to pee) also.

Getting the blood flowing and clearing my head seemed to help a bunch. I was lucky in that, despite not being able to leave my testing center building, they had floor to ceiling windows which let in tons of natural light. I just walked in the sun while snacking and such.

Even if you can't do that just be sure you don't simply sit and stew over past sections. That always seemed to just sap my energy.
 
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deleted987519

Hi!

I've started realizing a pattern with my practice tests. About half way through the BB section (the most difficult one for me), I lose some focus and stamina. Most of my missed questions from this section are disproportionately in the second half! I think I just get frustrated with the questions and also feel a bit more tired after lunch.

I know I can do better if I stay focused. Does anyone have any tips on how to keep up stamina? My test is in a few days!

I definitely recommend taking the full 30-minute break, finding something to eat that won't cause a food coma (for me it was peanut butter and banana sandwich), and drink some caffeine if you want (I brought a cold brew).
 
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PlsLetMeIn21

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I sometimes lost focus during my practice exams, especially the P/S section near the end. Don't worry, on the real deal, you stay focused. I was worried about stamina and focus at first, but it's not an issue when the stakes are real.
 
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Blueprint MCAT Tutor

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This is actually a very common problem! As others have said, take the full break and decompress for a bit. My own opinion on what happens is that adrenaline really carries us through the first two sections, at least on the real exam. However, when that lunch break hits we relax a bit and that adrenaline dies down. That's why most people get tired during B/B. One good thing is that you have already recognized that this is an issue for you!

Bring little snacks to keep your energy up and coffee as well if you like it. However, I don't think there is anything that'll keep you fully awake and focused 100% because the exam is so long and difficult, it saps a lot of energy. You know that that energy drain is coming at some point and you just have to do your best to fight through it. I always told myself when I started to feel tired during the exam that I just needed to push through and I could sleep for the next week if I wanted to.

Also, doing problems in a tired state (I wouldn't recommend this during a practice exam, but more like just random passages) will help you be able to practice focus while tired. End of the day just do your best to push through it. Even if you need 30 seconds to close your eyes and reset, just do it so you can get through the rest of the section as focused as possible. I hope that helps and please reach out if you have any other questions!
 
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deleted980662

in addition to what others have mentioned, the examkrackers CARS book has a decent suggestion – take five seconds before reading each passage, just to breathe and relax. this takes up some of your time, but it pays off by increasing your focus and efficiency.
 
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907914

Hi!

I've started realizing a pattern with my practice tests. About half way through the BB section (the most difficult one for me), I lose some focus and stamina. Most of my missed questions from this section are disproportionately in the second half! I think I just get frustrated with the questions and also feel a bit more tired after lunch.

I know I can do better if I stay focused. Does anyone have any tips on how to keep up stamina? My test is in a few days!
I made sure to take my full breaks, eat a slice of pizza and drink only sugary beverages (no water on test day), and I hummed old McDonald when I was bored. Worked out well!
 
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