How To Study for the MCAT to Score in the 90th Percentile

Updated on October 8, 2017

Are you unsure of how to start studying for the MCAT?

Are you overwhelmed, confused, or frustrated with the amount of information you need to cover?

Have you already been studying and not seeing scores improve as fast as they should?

We wrote this in-depth article on How To Study for the MCAT and Score in the 90the Percentile for you if you're determined to get a competitive MCAT score but aren't feeling the most confident right now.

We've done months and months of research and I can tell you with 100% certainty that those who destroy the MCAT, are approaching the MCAT from a different, more strategic angle than 90% of MCAT writers out there.

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2018 mcat test date

2018 MCAT Test Dates: How To Pick Your Test Day To Maximize Chances of Med-School Admission

2018 MCAT test dates (list below) are out! Now what? 

Well, it's time...

It's time to decide on the best and smartest testing date for YOU.

It's time to make an optimal study and testing plan based on your unique situation.

And it's time to figure out your overall strategic approach that will put you ahead of all your MCAT and med-school competitors.

We'll cover all of that and more in this post. 

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get a higher mcat score mad scientist strategy

Get A Higher MCAT Score: The Mad Scientist Strategy Used By 510+ Scorers

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. – Jimmy Johnson

Doctors all over the world believed, for decades, that stomach ulcers and stomach cancers were the result of spicy foods, a lot of acid, and too much stress.

Barry Marshall however, had different beliefs. As an Australian physician, and microbiology researcher, he believed that ulcers were in fact, triggered by bacteria; Helicobacter Pylori.

To most, this idea seemed crazy.

But to Marshall and his lab partner, this was the truth.

Unfortunately for both of them, they had been unable to provide evidence for how bacteria and ulcers are linked. They had conducted numerous lab experiments on pigs and now, his grant money was almost finished.

Disheartened, Marshall gained his confidence when he saw that thousands of people were dying from stomach cancer every year.

The cure, he believed, was easily available: anti­biotics. But mainstream gastroenterologists dismissed his conclusions, as they held on to the old beliefs that ulcers were caused by stress.

Not being able to make his case in studies with lab mice since H. pylori only affects primates, Marshall grew desperate.

To make matters worse, he was unable to experiment on people which was the only way he could prove what he already knew, and save thousands of lives.

It was July 1984, when Marshall did the unthinkable.

He experimented on the only human patient he could be allowed to experiment on…


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How To Increase Your CARS Score on the MCAT Fast

Is the CARS section of the MCAT turning out to be one of your biggest challenges during MCAT prep?

Are you finding it difficult to know how to begin tackling the CARS section?

Do you feel like you’re getting different advice from different people on how to do well on this section – and you don’t know which path to take?

Do you want to increase your CARS score as soon as possible?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, this article was written for you.

The tips and techniques in this article have the potential to literally increase your CARS score over night.

So fear not! We’re not going to let one frustrating section ruin your chances of crushing the MCAT this year.

Don’t listen to people who tell you to just continue doing more passages and reviewing your mistakes. If you’re doing that but your scores aren’t improving, there’s something wrong with your process.

Fix your process first, THEN keep doing more passages and reviewing.

This section can definitely be a confusing one and we’re here to give you proven, actionable advice on how you can increase your CARS score quickly and easily.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to use everything here. Try it all and use only what works for you.

Ready? Let’s begin…

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mcat memorization secrets strategies

90th Percentile MCAT Scorer Memorization Secrets: Keys To Studying Efficiently for the MCAT

"If you're studying for the MCAT, this article is a MUST READ if you want to start thinking and studying like a top MCAT scorer."

Memory questions make up 25% of science questions on the MCAT.

But that's not a problem right? All those science heavy classes in your undergrad years have made you quite impressive at memorization...

At least that's what you thought before you came across the big fat monster of an exam that is the MCAT!

The sheer volume of rules, equations, and concepts that we need to memorize for the MCAT still blows my mind.

Not only do you have to memorize it all, but also apply it all to unfamiliar situations. Which means drilling it all into your mind and knowing everything like the back of your hand come exam day.

So it makes sense if you're feeling overwhelmed, fearful, or nervous as you're studying for the MCAT - I'd be too!

But worry not future doctor, we have your back!

If you're struggling with consistently getting the right answer and the scores you're aiming for, memorization might just be your main problem. 

We wrote this detailed article with some of the best ways top-scorers force themselves to deeply understand and remember all they need to know...

To destroy the MCAT once and for all.

Ready? Let's begin...

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how to increase your mcat score

How To Increase Your MCAT Score By 10 Points Within 30 Days

Dear Future Doctor,

For most premeds, there are just a few moments in life as painful as the moment of realizing that med-school is no longer a possibility....

That all those years of hard work and money invested, has gone to waste.

Sadly, this year approximately 60% of med-school applicants aren’t going to get in.

Some will be forced to take a gap year.

Many will watch their friends receive acceptances and won’t be able to help but feel left behind.

Just take a look at the 2016-2017 stats below taken straight from the AAMC website:

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How To Stop Killing Your MCAT Score With These Common Testing Mistakes

Remember that one person in your life told you “we all make mistakes”…

Stay away from them.

(At least until your MCAT is over!)

We as future doctors, can’t afford to be “okay” with mistakes!

Mistakes determine everything in our life and especially on the MCAT.

It’s not only the amount of right answers you get on the MCAT that contribute to your score, but it’s also the amount of mistakes you make that determine your score as well!

Making a mistake as a practicing medical professional can cost you everything!

However, as we’ll cover later in this post, mistakes (during the practice phase) can also be the REASON you succeed.

How? If you know how to use them to your advantage.

We’ll cover more about how to do use them to your advantage later in this post.

First, let’s talk about the stupid mistakes you keep making on the MCAT, or are bound to keep making eventually… (we all experience them!)

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mcat study time

How To Use Your MCAT Study Time Wisely

If your MCAT is coming up, you know that studying for the MCAT is stressful. Personally, I hate the stress. I hate the anxiety.

Once it’s there, especially when it’s regarding something important, it just sits there in the pit of my stomach. It’s the same for everyone….

And what happens when we’re feeling that stress? We try relieve it by doing the only thing that we think will help…

Studying more. Studying harder. Locking ourselves in our room or in the library for hours on end, thinking we’re being productive.

It’s like the anxiety forces us to keep studying. It puts our mind and our body into ‘hyper-drive’, releasing tons of cortisol, as we attempt to ease ourselves.

If you’re writing the MCAT, you’ll definitely experience this as the date gets closer…

In this article, I want to show you:

  • How you can avoid this entire scenario altogether
  • How such behaviour doesn’t help your MCAT score, but actually HURTS it
  • A smarter, scientifically proven way to study to significantly increase your MCAT prep focus, productivity, and score

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Maximize Your MCAT Performance: Unlocking the Door to MCAT Success

One of the biggest failures we see in those who are studying for the MCAT, is that they don’t invest time and energy into maximizing their mental and physical performance abilities during this critical phase of their professional lives.

It’s like most students are trying to create an amazing website using a computer that runs Windows 95! You need to improve your operating system. You can spend 20+ hours a day working really hard making a website, but someone else with a faster performing system can make the same site in half the time and get better and faster results than you.

In the same way, you can study for the MCAT 24/7, but if you haven’t stepped up mental and physical ‘operating system’, which is your mind’s ability to make connections, be more creative, make better decisions, remember concepts better and understand concepts faster, you’re really placing yourself at a disadvantage, to someone else who HAS.

More importantly, you’re not using your MCAT study time to its full potential because you’re not performing at your full potential. You’re in essence, wasting time.

The wisest MCAT writer will ask him/herself:

“How can I make sure I am PERFORMING at my highest physical and mental abilities during MCAT prep study sessions and during the MCAT exam itself?”

The best part is when you get yourself to a point of high efficiency and maximized performance, your ability to find the right answer and make connections in your head amplify automatically.

Most students don’t realize, that by improving the strength of their own mind, they can increase their MCAT score significantly.

I guarantee that 90% of the students who will be writing the MCAT with you on exam day, won’t have taken the time to improve their own ‘operating system’.

But if you choose to stay and read the rest of this article, you will. And that will be one of your strongest competitive edges in this bell-curved exam…

I can almost guarantee it.

There are many ways to maximize the capabilities of your mind and to improve the efficiency of your ‘operating system’.

We’ve written about them all in our MCAT Prep Strategy Guide. Applying them all can catapult your MCAT score to a new level.

However in this article, we’ll cover what we believe to be one of the most powerful techniques in unlocking your door to MCAT success

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A Simple Study Technique To Skyrocket Your MCAT Score

Are you looking to get yourself prepared to completely crush the MCAT this year?

If so, great. You’re in the right place.

At MCAT Mastery, we’re anxious to help students like you who want to get the highest score that is in their capacity.

Here’s a quick tip that isn’t repeated enough and isn’t taken too seriously.

We suggest you take it seriously if you want to see some powerful improvements in your MCAT score.

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how to stop scoring below 500 on the mcat

How To Stop Scoring Below 500 On The MCAT

Are you spending days studying for the MCAT and still seeing low scores?

Do you feel you’re doing a decent job at memorizing and understanding concepts, but still not scoring as high as you want to?

In this short article we’re going to cover some common MCAT studying mistakes that are likely killing your MCAT score. Once you fix these, you’ll be able to avoid constantly getting those low scores.

Truth is that when it comes to studying for the MCAT, it can get stressful.

One of the main reasons it’s stressful is because studying for the MCAT isn’t the same as when you study for your tests in college or university.

The MCAT requires a different approach. Not many people know this and this is the main problem most MCAT writers face…

They’re studying for a test in a way that won’t get them the best results.

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How To Overcome MCAT Stress and Anxiety

A lot of times, while studying or beginning to prepare for the MCAT, our mind gets bogged down with thoughts that make us feel anxious, nervous, or worried.

At MCAT Mastery, we know exactly what you’re going through because we’ve experienced it ourselves. There’s pressure from everywhere. Time pressure especially!

So how do you stay calm in such stress-provoking times?

We’d like to share some guidance and insights that we leverage when we’re getting incredibly stressed.

This has helped us, and will certainly help you, stay calm, collected, and confident throughout MCAT prep…

While reading this, you might be tempted to wonder where this is going, you might be tempted to make assumptions early on, but keep an open mind because this is pretty powerful stuff.

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mcat fear, mcat stress, mcat worry

How To Conquer Your Fear of the MCAT

When we hear from you and all students in our community, that you’re scared of the MCAT coming up, we completely get it.

You might be feeling like people around you, who you look to as ‘role models’, such as family or even profs, don’t get you and your current fear you’re facing. Truth is, they probably don’t get it.

They don’t know what it’s like to work so hard at getting the grades, racking up the extra curriculars, competing for great research and clinical opportunities, while ALSO figuring out how to destroy the MCAT.

They don’t know what it’s like to have the fate of your dreams rest on one standardized test that is known to be one of the hardest standardized tests out there.

So yeah – prepping for the MCAT can get scary. We get it. What’s scarier is that as you move forward in your medical career, this fear is going to show up more often…

It’ll show up when you’re going through interviews, filling out applications, waiting for acceptances, your first day of med-school, and so on.

In this article, we’re going to show you how you can quickly alleviate these negative, mind-clouding emotions… not just for the MCAT, but throughout your entire doctor journey.

In fact, we’re even going to show you how you can use this state as a way to boost your productivity and learning during MCAT prep.

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improve your mcat score

How To Improve Your MCAT Score With Every Practice Exam

Do you want to avoid spending weeks and sometimes months studying for the MCAT, without seeing any significant improvement in your score?

Do you want to know the most effective and efficient way to get a competitive score on the MCAT?

Do you want to know the best way to use your limited time to study for the MCAT?

In this article, we’ll cover all of that and more…
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5 Simple MCAT Strategies To Almost Instantly Increase Your MCAT Score

Do you want to get the highest MCAT score that is within your capabilities?

A lot of students suffer during MCAT prep...

Some start out strong and feel the anxiety when their scores don't improve. Some are strong all the way through until there are only a few weeks left to the MCAT and they realize they're not on route to get the MCAT score they really want and need.

Others are terrified right from the start - not knowing how to even begin studying in the best way possible.

We know exactly what it's like to be in your shoes...

Which is why created MCAT Mastery to give you the keys to succeed on what may literally be the hardest, most stressful exam of your life.

In this article, we put together 5 great MCAT tips you can start using during your MCAT prep right away.

Take the time to read through each one because most of the tips here can lead to an almost immediate increase in your next practice test score.

So let's begin...

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How To Prepare One Week Before The MCAT

The week leading up to the MCAT can be very stressful. Especially if you don’t have any guidance.

Here are some helpful tips to be completely prepared, come test day…

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MCAT Passage Timing Tip: Boost Your Answering Speed & MCAT Score

Not too long ago, we heard the question:

“How much time should I be giving myself per passage per question for the new MCAT?”

This is an important question and you’ll definitely want to incorporate what we’re about to tell you during your MCAT prep, if you want to take your MCAT performance and score to the next level.

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6 MCAT Study Tips to Dominate the New MCAT

As pre-meds everywhere are more stressed than ever before as they take on the new 7.5 hour long monster…

We at MCAT Mastery have decided to share some key MCAT study tips and habits we discovered from analyzing the learning habits of some of the highest scoring test-takers.

Here’s are 6 habits that differentiate the “average-scoring MCAT writers” from the MCAT Masters…

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How To Cross The 500 Mark On The MCAT

Are you frustrated with not being able to consistently get over the 500 hump your MCAT practice exams?

You’re not alone.

We’ve come across many MCAT writers in our community who have faced the same frustration…

But managed to successfully overcome it.

Want to know how?

Let’s look at a real life case study…

We recently came across a great article on PreMedLife (a national magazine for premeds).

The author of this article, Janet Umenta, discussed her journey on how she crossed the 500 mark on her MCAT practice tests.

We’ve summarized her insights for you below.

We’re sharing this advice because most of it is exactly what we’ve seen working as well.

So let’s begin…

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Are You Practicing the Art of MCAT Prep Optimization?

What is MCAT Prep Optimization?

MCAT Prep Optimization is the path by which all the MCAT Masters before you have traveled.

How often do you ask yourself, “what is the most optimal (most favorable or desirable) way for me to study for the MCAT?”

That’s a question MCAT Masters ask themselves all the time.

MCAT Prep Optimization is the art of studying for the MCAT, in the most efficient way possible. It’s what we, your MCAT Mastery Mentors, have dedicated ourselves to figuring out and sharing with you.

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4 Inevitable Fears of the MCAT Writer and How to Conquer Them

“I don’t know how I’m going to do this…”

​For most pre-meds, this is their first thought as they’re looking at their schedule and seeing how much time they have before they take on that beast.

You might be feeling the same way. Well we’re here to tell you that’s okay. It’s normal.

You’re not alone in the way you’re feeling right now.

Check out the following thoughts of current med-school students BEFORE they wrote the MCAT, and see if you can relate…

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4 Steps To Remember Complex MCAT Concepts Within 30 Minutes

Use the 4 step technique outlined in this article, to deeply understand any MCAT concept you choose, often within 30 minutes.

Learning is not about remembering something difficult. It’s about making things easier for yourself. When you force yourself to make something easier to understand, you remember it much better.

Today, we’re going to introduce you to a strategy leveraged by many MCAT Masters, which will enable you to deeply understand, recall, and explain a concept within 30 minutes. And it will remain with you for years to come.

Before we begin, get out a blank piece of paper. You’re going to use this to take action right away on a concept you’re currently studying for.

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