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AdaptPrep MCAT
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2+ Year Member
Jan 19, 2017
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MCAT Hints & Tips:

1. Register and prepare early! Register earlier rather than later for the MCAT so that you can apply to medical school sooner as well

U.S. MCAT Testing Calendar and Score Release Dates


1. Review the AAMC guidelines regarding what the MCAT covers. About the MCAT® Exam

2. Know when registration opens for your desired test dates:


1. Consider taking Intro to Psych &/or Intro to Sociology prior to taking the MCAT. This will help with the Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior section.

2. Humanities students on average score better in the Biological Section of the MCAT than biology majors because the test is a reading comprehension and reasoning test.

3. Keep old textbooks or borrow from a library to help study

4. Look into whether or not your school has a pre-med club. Get involved.

5. Review central physiology concepts

6. Study macro rather than micro – remember general concepts and be able to apply them

7. Talk to your academic advisor and people in the Career Development Center.

8. Understanding research design. Listen in your classes for when research concepts and critique are discussed. Be an active student in the classroom and ask about the research that has gone into producing the “facts” being presented in class.

9. Look for useful websites


b. Course Saver: excellent place to study and review (Some videos are free, or you will have a membership cost MCAT Videos | CourseSaver)

c. Make use of Khan Academy's free online lectures and question sets. Khan Academy (You can use this for other classes as well.)

10. Follow @AAMC_MCAT and @AAMCPreMed on twitter to learn about MCAT updates, information, and resources.


1. Establish a baseline of knowledge by taking a full-length practice exam. Find out where your strengths and weaknesses are.

2. Make a study plan and follow it and log your hours. You may even consider creating incentives (i.e., night out with friends after so many hours of prepping). Find a balance between your coursework, extracurricular activities, social life, and MCAT prep time. You’ll learn to be a well-functioning adult, not just someone who is ready to take the MCAT.

3. Set aside time for studying. Up to this point this is the biggest test you have ever taken, prepare wisely. Consider studying 4-6 hours per week for a year leading up to the MCAT, then 6-8 hours a day if possible for the weeks between finals and the MCAT.

4. Equal partner teaching (Pair up, learn and chapter and teach the other person with no study material present)

5. Constantly review the material you have studied least recently, so your queue of information is always being re-learned.

6. If you have a hard time focusing while reading, practice analyzing the text as a TA would in order to focus on the meaning and find inconsistencies/and changes in the passages.


a. Take multiple practice tests. Take a full length exam in one day. A big part of the test is being able to think at a high level for an extended period of time. Take as many practice tests as you can before the actual test day. While memorization is important, you also need to work on your ability to reason and make the best choice under pressure.

b. Practice taking full length tests in somewhat distracting areas. You never know what it's going to be like come test day (e.g., One student remarked, “I remember when I took my ACT there was someone who was sniffling constantly, and another person smacking their gum. It really made me lose my focus. That being said, practicing in areas where there is some noise may end up being beneficial”).

c. Review practice tests in order to figure out what you did wrong and how to correctly solve the problem in order to eliminate weak spots.


1. Don't stress, it's a waste of valuable energy.

2. Get a lot of sleep the last few days before the exam so your brain could be at its top performance.

3. Bring something that helps you relax during the exam (e.g., If you like to listen to music, do so during your breaks. Hopefully it will help you relax. Try out this method during your practice exams)

4. Start to condition your sleep schedule and such now so that when you take your test, it doesn’t mess you up.

5. Don’t do any heavy studying the day before you take the test. Cramming won’t help. You will perform better on test day if you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep.


1. Don't forget to eat well before the exam. And, eat lunch! Your brain needs the calories to stay focused.

2. You’re only allowed to have anything in the testing center that they don’t give you. Not even a watch or something like that.

3. Take a short break between passages to think about something else and give your mind a break.

4. Read the questions slowly and carefully the first time even if you read the passages quickly.

5. You will never feel ready for it, be confident and trust what you know.

6. During the MCAT, if time if running out, select B or C for unanswered questions (I actually saw this more than once so I figured it was somewhat legitimate).

7. Scratch paper and pencils are provided at the test center

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