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 and keeping it below the 500 mark.
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.
And when you don't get results you're looking for, when your score isn't increasing, when you can't get beyond the 500 mark on the MCAT, you get worried, frustrated, and stressed.
That's understandable and it's not your fault.
It's not your fault because you haven't been taught the correct way to study for the MCAT. You haven't fully developed the skills necessary to analyze passages, or think critically.
One of the most common mistake students make when studying for the MCAT is that after a practice test they say to themselves...
"This was just a practice test, I’ll do much better on test day when it really matters".
Don't fall into this trap. This is the mindset that keeps your score below average.
To put it bluntly, if you are making stupid mistakes on your practice tests, you will most likely make even more stupid mistakes on test day.
The key is to use your mistakes on practice tests to identify your weaknesses, whether it's mental endurance, your understanding of the content, your speed, etc.
You need to devote extra time to improving in those areas.
If you want to avoid getting low MCAT scores, you need to keep in mind this one simple fact...
Testing is very important, but analysis is much more important.
Every time you take a test, you should do a careful post-test analysis.
Not doing enough analysis is the another common mistake students make during MCAT prep.
As a rule of thumb, you should spend 2-3 times the amount of time you spend going over your questions as you spend actually doing them.
Analyze why you got the question wrong and if you got it right, analyze why you got it right.
Analyze why the responses were wrong and think of how to make that wrong response a right one.
A simple example:
Testosterone cannot pass through the cell membrane because it is a protein hormone.
This is wrong, how can we make it right?
Testosterone CAN pass through the cell membrane because it’s a STEROID hormone.
Doing this constantly will allow you to tie in multiple concepts and quickly identify when answers are wrong, and why they are wrong.
Now you're sharpening your critical thinking and reasoning skills that will be valuable throughout the MCAT, and especially on CARS.
Also, make your post-test analysis twice as thorough for AAMC practice tests.
This is how you study for the MCAT the right way.
Remember, there is a gem in each question.
A gem that will give you insights into your strengths and weaknesses and the power of your strategy.
Questions top MCAT-scorers are always asking themselves:
Once you start start doing this type of analysis, I can almost guarantee that you will notice how you keep making the same few mistakes over and over again.
Increasing your MCAT score is all about strategy.
No extra content studying.
No extra hours of cramming.
Just simple problem solving and strategy.
If you want to start scoring over the 500 mark consistently, you need to start studying smarter instead of just studying hard. The tips in this article are valuable - but are just a tiny sample of all the other extremely valuable MCAT strategies, techniques, hacks, and shortcuts we have for you.
We have an entire guide dedicated to showing you how to study for the MCAT in the smartest way possible. This MCAT Mastery manual consists of research-based, proven strategies that are recommended and used by top MCAT scorers and MCAT experts:
If for some reason you don't need to drastically improve your MCAT score with our guide, feel free to browse around our site for some great free articles that could be valuable for you.
Good luck on your MCAT - although you won't need it anymore...
You got this,
The MCAT Mastery Team
Your MCAT Success Mentors