Blog of MCAT Mastery: Score Maximizing Articles – MCAT Mastery
how to increase your mcat score

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

Dear future doctor,

If your MCAT score isn't increasing fast enough....

If you got a disappointing score on your recent practice exam...

If you feel like you have a super long way to go before you reach your MCAT score goal, that you absolutely NEED in order to open doors to med-school...

The first thing we want to say to you is...

It's going to be okay. 

How do we know?

What if we told you that almost every 90+ percentile MCAT scorer felt the same way, at some point during their MCAT prep?

What if we told you that there came a point in every "current med-schoolers" MCAT prep journey where they felt 'stuck', where they felt like there was not enough time, where they feel like there was way too much information to study, where they felt like med-school admission might just be unattainable...

Yet today, those same students are on their way to becoming physicians. 

Over the the years at MCAT Mastery, we’ve seen premeds who have improved their MCAT scores from 499 to 512, from 489 to 509, from 500 to 521, from 505 to 517, from 50th percentiles to 90th percentiles (and the list goes on)... in a matter of weeks.

Clearly, something "clicks" for these top scorers that enables them to skyrocket their MCAT score very quickly. There comes a moment where they just 'get it'.  Our goal is to give you the key insights you need to make it 'click' for you too.

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mcat test dates

2021 MCAT Test Dates List: How To Choose Your MCAT Date To Maximize Your Chances Of Med-School Admission

2021 MCAT test dates are out! It's time to decide on when is the best and smartest testing date for you 🙂

THE GOAL: Maximize your chances of med-school admission.

Over the years, we've helped a lot of premeds get into med-school and we recognize that each student is different, with different strengths, weaknesses, circumstances, resources, etc.

We're never claimed to have one template that works for each student. Instead we like working with each student's situation individually. 

BUT there are some key guidelines every student should follow and that's what we'll highlight here in this article. 

This will help you figure out your strategic approach for your unique situation, to ensure you never have to write the MCAT again.

But before we get to all that good stuff, here are the US and Canada 2021 MCAT test dates if you haven't seen them already:

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My MCAT Retake Story: I Went From 500 to 514 In 6 Weeks!

My name is Hope and I'm an MCAT Mentor here at MCAT Mastery! I want to share with you some of the important lessons I learned during my MCAT journey!

Even though my experience with the MCAT was initially negative, I learned so much about myself, and about the exam, so if you’re struggling right now too, know that you can do this and I hope my advice helps 🙂

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How To Conquer MCAT Stress and Anxiety So It Stops Holding Your Score Down

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.

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How I Dealt With MCAT Stress/Anxiety Using Mindfulness

I know it's hard when you're studying for the MCAT and are feeling stressed, anxious, and frustrated...

When I was studying I had a full course load, a job, extracurriculars, some serious personal/family challenges, and scores that were refusing to improve...

So I HAD to figure out ways to stay calm, otherwise I knew my MCAT score had no hope of getting to where I needed it to be! 

And I'm happy to say I did figure it out and made it through with a score I was happy applying with 🙂

Which is why in this article, I want to share three of my most favorite techniques that I used to stay calm and collected when dealing with the challenges of MCAT prep.

I still recommend them to my students I work with and continue to use them throughout med-school!

I'd love to know how they helped you so please comment below and share your thoughts/questions!

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522 mcat score - 99th percentile MCAT score

How Sara Scored 522 On The MCAT: Key Points From Her MCAT Master Interview

How do top scorers study for the MCAT? This is a question we've been obsessed with answering for MANY years. 

It's the reason why we interview top MCAT scorers, so we can extract their methods, strategies, recommendations, and piece together the most efficient, smartest, highest leverage MCAT study system on the planet, which we then deliver to you 🙂

In a recent interview, we interviewed a 99th percentile scorer, Sara Zayed. She scored a 522 and as you'll discover in her interview, getting to this score wasn't easy for her...

"Being able to achieve the score that I did took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears."

In fact, Sara was intimidated by the MCAT for years! It was one of the biggest barriers keeping her from the idea of applying to med-school...

If you haven't heard her interview yet, you can download it here:

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How I Went From 500 To 513 on the MCAT In 4 Weeks

Today we want to introduce you to a future doctor with a really inspiring MCAT success story! His name is Tim Knebel and he's one of the MCAT Mentors on our team 🙂 Enjoy!


Hi I'm Tim and in this article, I want to give you some of my top strategies on how I scored a 513 on the MCAT, even when I was barely scoring a 500 just weeks before my test date.

I hope reading about my insights, my mistakes, and my successes, can inspire you and help you in increasing your own score to a competitive level, no matter how bad you might think your situation currently is. 

I know many premeds are nontraditional students, so hopefully my story can help remind some of them that having a different path to medicine is actually an asset.

It started after graduating high school, when I went to community college but soon dropped out because I had absolutely no academic motivation and was dealing with a lot of personal issues. 

For the next three years I worked, played in a band, and slowly got my life together which eventually culminated in me finding an intense passion for mental health and caring for people.

I also became interested in science for the first time in my life, but the thought of actually being able to study science never crossed my mind. 

Strangely, the thought did cross my mind one day and after several months of thinking about what the path actually meant and whether I could do it or not, I decided that I needed to embark on the path to becoming a physician.

After three years and with no study skills from previous schooling, I went back to community college and started completely from scratch. By scratch, I mean in the three semesters I went to community college (the first time, before dropping out) I got one B and everything else was an F or W. 

I spent 3 1/2 years there and then transferred to UC San Diego for Biochemistry.

If I Can Do It, You Can Do It


The reason I'm sharing all of this is for that stereotypical "if I can do it, you can do it" factor.

I managed to claw my way from being a very dysfunctional person with a nearly incalculably low GPA and no study skills to going to a top university and getting a 513 on the MCAT. 

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Should I Retake The MCAT? How Top Scorers Decided!

After getting your MCAT score back, if you missed the mark you set by even just a little bit or unfortunately a lot, you're likely wondering if you should retake the MCAT.

You're not alone. A lot of top MCAT scorers felt the same way when they wrote the MCAT the first time and got a disappointing score. How do we know?

We've researched and interviewed hundreds of top MCAT scorers over the last several years with the sole purpose of figuring out how they studied for the MCAT, what strategies they used, how they scheduled their prep, and more.

Now we bring all those insights to you and other premeds in the MCAT Mastery Community who want to increase their scores quickly. 

We know that getting your MCAT score back marks the end of one of the biggest hurdles to achieving your med-school dream. For some, it's not a clear cut answer if the hurdle has truly ended. 

We get that struggle. Some of us at MCAT Mastery faced it ourselves.

Andrew Mannisto for example (an MCAT Mastery tutor), almost gave up his doctor dream after his first MCAT. He made his second MCAT attempt three years later and killed it with a 21 point score increase. You can read his story here after you're done reading this article. 

Last year, AAMC data reported that 24% of MCAT takers took the test more than once from 2015-2017. After all, medical school admission greatly relies on your GPA and MCAT score.

To make the best call, we recommend taking the following steps and asking the following questions. We'll explain each one in depth. 

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How To Retain >80% of What You Study For The MCAT

There comes a moment in every premed journey where they are overwhelmed with not knowing how to remember everything for the MCAT.

We know because we've been there ourselves. Over the years, we've discovered many (extremely common) ways most MCAT writers are putting themselves at a disadvantage with the way they're trying to remember all the content.

The good news is that once all of these 'MCAT prep disadvantages' are taken care of, many find themselves remembering more content easily and see their MCAT scores increase as a result!

A lot of these MCAT prep mistakes are specific to the MCAT itself, others are specific to studying overall. Regardless, top scorers always addressed both types.

As a bonus, top scorers carried these insights with them to med-school, to dominate there as well. It is our knowing that once you understand and implement these insights for yourself, you too will be well equipped to do extremely well in med-school once you master the MCAT 🙂

With that said, in this article we want to cover a common study mistake we see a lot of students making when it comes to the way they try to remember everything for the MCAT.

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How To Adapt When Your MCAT Plans Suddenly Change


Sometimes life happens and your plans end up changing and this video is really about that because it is inevitable that some sort of change will happen during your MCAT study schedule. 

This can be anything from having a really difficult finals week and missing out on some studying that you were looking to get done, to ending up catching the flu and not being able to study for an entire week, to a national pandemic or a worldwide pandemic where you’re not able to do anything and everything gets canceled and you’re stuck at home!

In this video, we'll talk about some strategies to overcome change while you’re studying for the MCAT so you can go forward and conquer your goals! 

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Most Popular MCAT Prep Books & Resources 2020: Pros & Cons List

Looking for the best MCAT prep books? There are hundreds of published resources out there to aid in your review and prep for the MCAT.

It’s understandable that since it’s the hardest exam you've written yet, there are going to be MANY options and MCAT prep books to choose from. We want to make sure you're not like most premeds who will be buried upon piles and piles of MCAT prep books, which will only bring you unnecessary stress.

You should only be reading the most effective, most recommended material. In this post, we cover just that.

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From 490 To 511 On The MCAT: His 21 Point Score Increase

Imagine taking the MCAT and getting a score so far below your expectations that you can’t find the courage to write it again...

For another three years.

Now imagine for two years within that time, being so scared to take the MCAT again that you deeply contemplate giving up your dream of being a doctor.

This was what Andrew experienced after he first wrote the MCAT in 2017 and scored a 490.

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[MCAT Master Interview Transcript] From 499 to 512 on the MCAT in 24 Days

Full Interview Transcript


Hello future doctor!

This is Sam and welcome to another episode of the MCAT Master Interview series where it is my job to interview top MCAT scorers and extract their highest-impact MCAT study strategies, their research recommendations, the inspirational moments, and so much more, so that you can get the most reliable guidance to maximize your own MCAT score.  

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Troy Dolmetsch.

Troy scored an awesome 512 on the MCAT, but here's where it gets even more impressive. When there was just three and a half weeks left before his MCAT testing day, Troy was scoring a 499. 

So he managed to boost his MCAT score by 13 points in less than 30 days. Of course, in this interview we're going to find out what he did to make that happen, and Troy is also currently in med-school so towards the end of this interview, I'll be asking him questions about med-school admissions, so make sure to stick around for that!

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Old MCAT to New MCAT

Old To New MCAT Score Conversion & Percentiles

In this article, we'll discuss MCAT score and percentile changes from the old MCAT to the new MCAT and what that means for you.

You may have written the old MCAT and are now planning to write the new one. In that case, you need to know where you stood before in comparison to now. Here we have some tables to enable you to convert your old MCAT scores to new ones, including the appropriate MCAT percentiles for those scores so you can know your true standing. 

The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) was introduced in 1928. The test has since evolved into the most recent MCAT which was released in 2015. The scoring system changed. The sections changed. The length changed. 

Overall, it got harder and more competitive! But don't worry, we've got you covered. After you're done this article and have made note of your new MCAT score conversion, we'll guide you to further steps you can take to get started.

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MCAT Study Groups: Why & How to Find A Good One

The Ultimate Guide To MCAT Study Groups: How To Find, Create, and Make The Most of One

Are you considering joining or creating an MCAT study group? Are you already in one and want to find a better one? Or do you want to learn how to better utilize the one you're already in? If so, then this article was written for you.

Our focus at MCAT Mastery is on one thing; how can you hack your MCAT studying. In other words, what are those few key things you can do to get maximum results in your MCAT score.

This is why we've interviewed and researched 90+ percentile MCAT scorers over the last 6+ years, constantly refining our understanding of the highest yield paths to a top score. 

And guess what? Being in an MCAT study group is a great hack (IF you know how to create/choose and utilize one to its full potential).

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Major MCAT Update from AAMC: Key Points

COVID-19 & The MCAT: New AAMC Update Summary

Big updates from the AAMC released on April 24, 2020...

You may be hearing a lot of things from a lot of different people.

Here's a short, simply summary breakdown of the changes.

We hope this makes things easier to process:

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How To Study For The MCAT As A Non-Traditional Student_v1

How To Study For The MCAT As A Non-Traditional Student

The MCAT is no fairytale. A lot of aspiring doctors put rigorous time, effort, and a lot of focus into studying for it. But it’s an added hardship when you are a non-traditional student and have been far removed from the academic world for quite some time.

Say, your last exam taken was years ago, and you are bound to take your MCAT in a few months. That’s a pretty tough scenario you’ve got there.

Too many premeds on forums dole out tips on how to study, which mostly just involves empty affirmations like “You can do it! Just focus and study.” But we know that’s easier said than done, especially if you have been out of the routine of school.

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What Is A Good MCAT Score? The Ultimate To Guide To How MCAT Scoring Works

As you’re thinking about what you can do to get into your dream medical school, you may be wondering how you can be sure you’re a competitive applicant. Which leads you to wonder, what is a good MCAT score anyway? 

In this post, we’ll not only cover everything about the structure of how the MCAT is scored, but most importantly, we'll also cover how you can use that information to create your score goal and then how you can achieve it!

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MCAT Accommodations: All You Need To Know + How To ‘Level The Playing Field’

If you have learning disabilities and need extra time, the AAMC offers flexible MCAT accommodations for you on test day.

This is a comprehensive MCAT Accommodations guide.

Later we also cover a student's experience with having learning disabilities, plus how you can 'level the playing field' and succeed on the MCAT even when you feel like you're at a disadvantage. 

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Last-Minute MCAT Tips

11 Last-Minute MCAT Tips Recommended By Top Scorers

The big day to take the MCAT exam is now closer than ever before... In fact, it's here! To help you through this, here are 11 last-minute MCAT tips to make sure you maximize your chances of hitting your score goal!

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How Long Is The MCAT Exam

How Long Is The MCAT Exam? Plus Other Key MCAT Timing Information

In this detailed post, we'll cover everything you need to know about the length of the MCAT exam, the exact start and end times, the length of each section, the total length of the entire MCAT day, tips on timing, and a lot more. 

Part of the planning and preparation for the MCAT is knowing the length of the exam, how much time you’ll be allotted for breaks, and how long you are going to be in the testing center.

Remember that it is an extensive exam composed of 230 multiple-choice questions, so prepare to be in your testing area for a full day.

Before the examination, you will need to sign in and present your valid ID, have your fingerprints validated and corrected, and have your test day photo taken.

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mcat test date cancellations

COVID-19 and MCAT Test Date Cancellations

MCAT testing dates are getting cancelled due to COVID-19. Now what? What do you do?

A lot of our students have reached out in panic, unsure of what to do. Here's what we would do and what we're recommending... 

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How This Mindset Is Hurting Your MCAT Score


Many feel that having a group of pre-med friends can be a big stress relief because you have a built-in group of people who understand what you are going through. 

Not exactly.

The problem is that when you are in a group like this you hear so many thoughts, ideas, and opinions from others. 

You hear about how someone studied for 4 weeks and got a 520. Or how someone studied 6 months and got a 487. Or how a friend of a friend recommended you don’t study physics because its barley tested!

My capstone course in my last semester of college (when I took the MCAT) had two students who sat across from me planning retakes for low scores and one next to me who got a 520 and got accepted! 

They were constantly talking about the MCAT/applying to med school and it stressed me out!

I realized this has to be addressed because med school will be the same way...

"So and so got perfect score, so and so failed their test."

Which is why today I want to give you 6 tips to help you combat the "premed comparison" issue; a huge stress trigger that almost every MCAT writer faces…

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496 to 515 on the MCAT in 10 weeks while working full time

19 Point MCAT Score Increase In 6 Weeks While Working Full Time

When she first took the MCAT in her junior year of undergrad, Annabella didn't know how to study for the MCAT and ended up scoring a 496.

A year later, she gave herself 10 weeks to study while working full time. 

3-4 weeks in, her score hadn't really improved. However in the next 6 weeks she managed to improve her score by 19 points and achieve an awesome 515 MCAT score! 

How did she do it? What did she do differently the second time?

We're about to find out 🙂

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MCAT Registration

MCAT Registration Tips: When Should I Take The MCAT?

MCAT registration for 2021 spring dates (January - June) open in November 2020 and MCAT registration for 2021 summer dates (July - Sept) opens February 2021.

The exact registration dates get announced by AAMC on their website and on their Twitter profile

If you haven't registered yet, this article was written to help you decide when you should take the MCAT and register.

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How Jennifer Increased Her MCAT Score By 10 Points In Less Than 30 Days

How She Increased Her MCAT Score By 10 Points In Less Than 30 Days

Imagine this...

You take your baseline test at the beginning of your MCAT prep, and you score a 500! Not bad right?

In fact, you're kind of pumped because you have 4.5 months before you write your MCAT! That's a lot of time to improve your score by 10 or more points! Especially since you're investing in a big-name MCAT prep company to help you study...

So you take the exam 4.5 months later, you get your score and you can't believe your eyes when you see that you scored a 501! Just a ONE point score increase from your baseline test!

This is the true story and situation of today's featured top scorer, Jennifer Nedimyer...

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how she improved her mcat score by 20 points

From 489 To 509: How She Improved Her MCAT Score By 20 Points

Have you ever wondered how some students increase their MCAT score in such huge jumps?

We're talking 20 point score increases! We're talking 20 point score increases WHILE managing full course loads and a job!

Well in today's case study, you're about to hear from someone who did just that... 

We'd like to introduce you to Miriam A., a 509 scorer:

20 point MCAT score increase

Click image to enlarge.

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how to improve bio biochem mcat score

4 Strategies To Increase Your Bio/Biochem (B/B) Score On The MCAT Fast

Is your Bio/Biochem score suffering on the MCAT? Did you recently do a practice exam and were surprised at how low your Bio/Biochem score was? Do you need to increase it as soon as possible? 

If so, you're in the right place...

Maybe you know all amino acids and most of the content, but you feel like something isn't connecting. Maybe you've asked people for advice and all you hear is "just do more practice passages".  Maybe you're worried that you haven't taken a Biochem course and won't know how to do well in this section.

We've heard it all and we have your solution...

What you need are PROVEN tips, strategies, and thought processes on how to approach B/B passages. 

Over the years, we’ve helped thousands of MCAT test takers increase their scores to competitive levels. As we research and interview 515+ scorers and their strategies they used to dominate the MCAT, we also single out those who score over 130 (we usually single out 132 scorers) in particular sections and try to drill down on the most powerful strategies they used for those specific sections.

In this post, we’re going to provide you with some of the most effective 130+ Bio/Biochem MCAT scorer strategies which you can apply right away to increase your B/B score fast and get over that 130 level yourself.

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514 MCAT Score In 3 Months

How Tanmay Scored 514 On The MCAT In Just 3 Months!

There’s nothing we love more than when a member reaches out with their awesome MCAT score and shares their MCAT success insights and strategies with the entire MCAT Mastery family 🙂

In today’s success story, you’ll meet someone who managed to achieve a 90th percentile MCAT score in just 3 months of MCAT prep!

However, it definitely didn't come easy. He dealt with many struggles during his MCAT prep…

A lot of which you’re probably experiencing (or have experienced) yourself; like plateauing scores and constantly feeling burned out!

These struggles are part of the process and most of us experience them, but only a few conquer them.

Which is why it's important to learn from those do, so we can follow in their footsteps.

In today’s MCAT success story, we’d like to introduce you to Tanmay Patil, a 514 scorer

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510 MCAT Score - Tara Success Story

Tara’s MCAT Study Advice Based On Her 510 MCAT Score

Every now and then, one of our students who scored a 510+ reaches out, excited to give back and share their journey with the community...

Today's featured top scorer was one of our students who just took the MCAT, scored a 510, and is now here to share her insights with you (and there are a lot of them!)...

We'd like to introduce you to Tara Shannon...

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Is MCAT tutoring worth it

Is MCAT Tutoring Worth It For You? This Is How To Decide…

It's a good question...

Is it worth it for every student to get tutored for the MCAT?

You might expect us to say "yes", but to be honest, tutoring isn't for everyone.

Of course, there are the obvious few who shouldn't get tutoring like if you're just starting MCAT prep. Why not try to study yourself first and see if you can increase your scores continuously and hit your score goal?

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