Jul 22, 2016
6
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey guys I recently took the MCATs and did not do so hot. How I studied was by taking practice test and then reviewing all the questions and answer choices that I did not know. I studied for about a month and ended up getting a 498. Just looking for tips or how you guys went about preparing for your MCATs. Thanks!
 

I'm No Superman

Crushin' scones
5+ Year Member
May 7, 2011
1,947
382
Ann Arbor
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
There are about a million MCAT study guides on this site for you to browse at your convenience, here's my "guide" taken from my "highly successful" hSDN AMA:

Alright, here goes my MCAT/Big tests strategies.

1: Make a plan. Know how you study.
-Before you even open a book, you should hash out a rough outline of how your time is going to be spent over the next few months. For me personally, I know that I like to get a lot done at a time, and then take breaks. So for the 2 months before the MCAT, I planned on putting in a fair amount of work (6-12 hours depending on how ambitious/scared I was feeling) on the weekdays, and relaxed on the weekends. I also didn't take a prep course because I didn't think it would help me. Maybe you are different, and like doing a moderate amount of study every day. Whatever works best for you is 100% how you should study for the test. I broke mine down into five subjects, and tackled them one at a time, starting with inorganic chemistry and I ended with verbal I think.

2: Study your weakest subjects first.
-You are going to be the most receptive to learning new information during the first few weeks or so before you start re-evaluating your life choices, pulling your hair out, etc. Therefore it makes sense to work on the things you don't have the best grasp on before you tackle the easier review stuff like biology (generally). Then once you get to the review stage, you'll be able to see how much progress you have made since starting.

3: Take practice quizzes earlier than you think you should.
-Full ones. Sit down and take one a month and a half out, maybe even a month out. DON'T be like me and start taking them two weeks out, because your first two will most likely suck and you will freak out a bit (a lot). Practice tests are where you figure out what you still suck at, so give yourself time to fix it. Also just learning how to take these tests helps a ton with respect to speed, looking for patterns, figuring out their expectations etc.

4. Don't get in your head, stick to the plan.
-One of the things I did/do really well when it comes to tests like these is to not let myself dwell on any insecurities I might have had at different points during the studying. Just keep chugging along, and you'll be alright. Obsessively worrying about how verbal is tricky or that you have X amount of time left is 100% not helpful at all.

5. Stay sane, take a day off once in a while.
-You can't just go full speed all the time with tests like these. Pick a day every week/every other week, and just chill. Play volleyball, go to the bar, or do both. Nothing gets the mind recharged and ready to work like drunk volleyball.

So I know that this isn't a specific "Follow these specifically and you will get whatever a good score is on the MCAT" type guide, but applying these to however you decide to tackle the MCAT should help out to some degree.
 

MareNostrummm

D.O. Class of 2022
2+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2015
1,435
1,541
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Hey guys I recently took the MCATs and did not do so hot. How I studied was by taking practice test and then reviewing all the questions and answer choices that I did not know. I studied for about a month and ended up getting a 498. Just looking for tips or how you guys went about preparing for your MCATs. Thanks!
Most people study about 3 months total for the MCAT, 2 months of content review and 1 month of practice FLs. I personally took 4 months since I had not taken biochem or sociology. Don't feel bad if you need to take 3 months to study for your retake in order to ensure a solid score.

If you just jumped straight into doing practice tests you may have been missing a lot of the background content knowledge, which the MCAT likes to test on with discretes. How were you scoring on your practice FLs, specifically the AAMC sample and scored FLs?
 

YoushallpassthyMCAT

Almost halfway through MS4!
2+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2015
136
50
Status
Medical Student
What you did should be the last stage of the prep. A bad score may hurt you a lot, so you gotta do a lot better next time.
In general:
1)you should spend some time to go over a review book, usually 1-2 months. Make sure you understand them, not just memorize them.
2)start taking practice tests, review the question and note down why you got it wrong. Was it your reasoning? the concept? the question type?
3)review the topics you are weak on. Is it circuit? Is it thermodynamic? Is it genetic? etc.
4)start taking AAMC materials, the question packs and the unscore AAMC full length. Are you on par with your target score?
5)take the scored AAMC and see how you do.

P.S. Use the search function next time. You can learn a lot more from other posts in the past.
 
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jcdo

2+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2016
30
4
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey guys I recently took the MCATs and did not do so hot. How I studied was by taking practice test and then reviewing all the questions and answer choices that I did not know. I studied for about a month and ended up getting a 498. Just looking for tips or how you guys went about preparing for your MCATs. Thanks!
a 498/528??
 

sushilover2015

2+ Year Member
Feb 5, 2017
4
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hey guys! If you are interested, you can easily connect to current medical school students at https://thrivespace.herokuapp.com It's a website i helped build and partially inspired by the challenges I went through. Hope it helps someone!
And feel free to let me know if you have any feedback/questions/concerns!