No one ever said getting into med school would be easy. And you’ve probably heard some horror stories about the MCAT. The fact is there’s no need to dread the test when you have the right MCAT prep. With helpful tools and training, you’ll be able to evaluate the many MCAT programs available to choose the one that’s right for you. Here’s what to look for.
How Do You Learn Best?
Being able to learn and retain the material is crucial for succeeding on the MCAT. Because the test is divided into four sections: biological sciences, physical sciences, writing and verbal reasoning, you’ll have to use all your knowledge and expertise to do your best. That’s why it’s important that you understand how you learn best. By now, you’ve been in school enough to know which methods suit your personality better. For example, do you learn better in a traditional classroom setting, or would you prefer to learn at your own pace using online video and interactive lessons? The best MCAT prep courses let you choose, so you get both the flexibility and convenience of the strategy that appeals most to your unique needs.
Guarantees and Track Records
Before you buy any MCAT prep books or programs, take a look at the institution or publisher’s track record. For example, some institutions boldly state that more students get into medical school as a result of their MCAT prep than all other programs combined. Others also offer a money back guarantee if you do not improve your score on the MCAT as a result of taking their courses.
MCAT Test Changes to Keep in Mind
MCAT tests are no longer given in test booklets, the way you may have taken them previously. Today, all MCAT tests are done over the computer, at a proctored examination center. There are several benefits to taking the computerized MCAT test. Most importantly, the test is now three hours shorter since there’s no need to waste time handing in and tracking booklets before each mandatory break. Breaks that you take are optional. Plus, with the computerized test, as long as you haven’t completed a section, you can go back and correct your answers at any time.
Plus, although you can take the MCAT three times per year, by the second time, the admissions officers will expect a substantial improvement in your score, since you would then be familiar with the test and test-taking procedures. That’s why MCAT prep is not something to choose lightly. If you’d like to preview example tests to better understand how the MCAT is laid out, you can order sample MCAT tests from the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) website.
Now that you have these points in mind, you’ll be better suited to taking an MCAT prep course that fits your needs and expectations. By understanding your unique learning style and knowing what to expect on the test, you’ll be better prepared as you work toward your educational goals of getting into medical school.
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