Mastering the Medical Entrance Exam
As a college freshman who wants to become a doctor, how do you plan for how you will be able to get into medical school?
Here are some things you’ll need to find out:
- · What undergrad classes do you need to take to do well on the Medical College Admission Test?
- · What lifestyle changes do you need to make to ensure you get enough sleep, exercise, rest, and proper nutrition to handle the stress of preparation?
- · What extracurricular activities should you join to refresh your mind after the pressure of studying?
- · When should you take the MCAT?
- · Should you join a professional tutorial program like Next Step Test Prep for one-on-one private MCAT tutoring?
How Difficult Is It?
Many top students start preparing for their application early – as early as their sophomore year! While the MCAT was challenging in the past, the new version has become even more challenging. In the past, it was about 4 ½ hours. Now it is closer to 6 ½ hours. Those extra two hours were necessary to add more subjects like psychology and sociology. The new MCAT tests for more detail and requires more in-depth knowledge.
Adopting A New Attitude
Since the exam isn’t easy to pass with some heavy cramming, even if this strategy has worked for you in the past, you will literally need to become a new person to pass it. You will need much more than understanding the benefits of coffee machine capsules to pull all-nighters to do well in the MCAT
What does this mean?
- It means that you must focus most of your time on goal-achieving activities and minimize your tension-relieving activities.
- It means that you have to think twice about joining a study group where your fellow students are easy-going and fun-loving.
- Or means that it may be time to hang up your hat of rugged individualism with which you aced previous examinations. Instead of a do-it-yourself attitude when it comes to test preparation, you may need the help of an able guide to help you navigate the treacherous waters of the new MCAT.
A new attitude is essential for preparation; the right attitude is essential for receiving a competitive MCAT score.
Studying By Yourself
While you may be keen on studying by yourself—since this strategy worked so well for you in the past—it may be time to change. You may need to find study partners who are as eager as you to do well. This will help keep you constantly motivated to stay competitive. In addition, you may need to get tutoring to ensure that you are studying the right things at the right pace.
Theoretically, if you are highly intelligent and diligent, you might be able to study on your own and stick to a schedule, but you stack the deck in your favor by working with like-minded fellow students and getting a tutor to maximize the value of the time you spend studying.
The Best Type of Tutoring
A tutor is helpful for three reasons:
- · A tutor will increase your level of accountability. You will stick to your study schedule and report to someone about your progress.
- · You will be able to create a realistic structure for your studies. While you only have a vague understanding on what to study, a tutor will have the knowledge and experience to tell you what to focus on at all time.
- · A tutor will help you avoid getting stuck in any one area. He or she will clarify things you don’t understand.
While an individual tutor is better than no tutor, large test preparation companies not only prescreen your tutors, but are able to give you many more student resources.
With the new MCAT, you probably don’t have the time or energy to thoroughly research the best way to prepare for it. Accidentally using dated study materials will set you back. What’s more, if you hire an individual tutor, he or she will probably have done well in the old MCAT. So by working with a tutoring organization rather than an individual, you will have a fairly good idea of what’s really going on in the new test. You will also know to what degree and depth topics will be tested.
What Do Test Preparation Companies Do?
A good test preparation company does not just hire tutors and then assign them to students who sign up. It does much more.
Here are a few things a test preparation company does to prepare its students for success:
- · It pours money into research. It investigates how well recent test-takers performed and it reviews the questions that tripped them up.
- · Based on this research, it then devises the best preparation strategy.
- · It gives new students a diagnostic exam to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
- · The assigned tutor will draft schedule for each student based on their study profiles. While beginning students will review the substantive science sections more advanced students will work on bringing up their weak areas.
- · Students meet with the tutor a few times a week for an hour or more. It can, for example, be twice a week for two hours. These sessions review homework, clear up any confusion about study material, and develop the next steps necessary for progress.
While many students take the test, only a few do well. Usually, the reason they don’t do well is not because they aren’t smart but because they have not prepared well for the challenging MCAT exam. Those who thoroughly prepare with the help of expert guidance, rank among the top students in the nation.