It's easy to get overwhelmed when studying for the MCAT. In fact, overwhelm can be one of your biggest hurdles on this journey...
Especially when there is so much to learn and remember. Especially if you keep getting lower scores than you want on your practice exams.
In this MCAT success story, you'll hear how a fellow MCAT Mastery Community member dealt with and overcame many of these challenges.
At the end of it all, she achieved an impressive, balanced MCAT score that is sure to open doors to some of her top picks in med-school...
We'd like to introduce you to Jenny Paul, a 511 scorer:
Most students feel like the MCAT and fear go hand in hand. If you're writing the MCAT, you may have just accepted fear as part of your daily life, dealing with it until test day is over.
That's an unfortunate but common situation; premeds are spending months chasing a higher MCAT score, but struggle to reach it because of one thing that they refuse to let go of... fear.
When you’re just beginning to prep for the MCAT and creating an MCAT study plan , a lot of feelings show up...
On the one hand, it’s kind of exciting to get the only remaining barrier to med-school out of the way. It’s just one exam – and you’ve written many exams before!
On the other hand, it's also kind of scary! There’s a lot riding on this one exam. It holds A LOT of power in whether or not you get called for an interview. Plus, it’s extremely comprehensive of the sciences, with subjects like CARS and Psych/Soc thrown in there. Not to mention it’s a whopping 7 ½ hours long…
So we can understand why so many students come to us feeling stressed, worried, frustrated, confused and lacking in confidence, when it comes to preparing for the MCAT. If you’re feeling any of these things, don’t worry, it’s normal and you’re in the right place...
By the time you’ve reached the end of this article, you’ll have everything you need to approach this beast of an exam from a place of calm, confidence, and clarity.
Our goal at MCAT Mastery to make sure you prep for the MCAT in the smartest, smoothest and most strategic way possible, so you can stay on track to achieve your target score goal without any roadblocks or stress.
The basis for all the guidance we provide is from our research of the MCAT prep strategies and approaches used only by top MCAT scorers.
Most top scorers are strategic in their approach to MCAT prep, which is why they get high scores. That strategic mindset also translates to med-school admission strategy, for which the foundation lies in creating the most optimal MCAT study plan...
Which is exactly what this post is designed to help you create. However, before we discuss how top scorers create their optimal MCAT study plan, it’s important for you to be aware of the three steps that are absolutely necessary to achieve your target MCAT score…
This top scorer MCAT case study is jam packed with a lot of valuable information, so we highly suggest you read it all the way through to the end.
You'll very likely pick up on one or two golden nuggets of information that will help you in your MCAT prep.
With that said, in this article we'd like to introduce you to Kayla S., a 511 scorer...
Throughout MCAT prep, you’re likely going to come across several disappointments. How do we know? Because everyone does. We’ve seen it over the years. Even those who end up scoring 520+...
Maybe you’ll write a practice test and won’t see your score increase. Maybe you’ll see it decrease! Maybe you just can’t seem to get your score up in a certain section. Maybe you forget key pieces of information during the exam, that you remember easily when not writing the test. Maybe you wrote the MCAT, and scored way lower than you expected. The list of MCAT failures and disappointments are endless…
But here’s the key: the way you deal with these struggles, plays a critical role in you eventually scoring 510+ on the MCAT, and eventually getting into med-school. So how do you deal with them? How do top scorers deal with them?
The way a scientist would.
We've come across a lot of MCAT test takers who struggle to know for sure if they can achieve a competitive MCAT score while maintaining a part time or full time job during their MCAT prep...
Some people quit their jobs and don't want to risk it. Others don't have a choice and have to keep their jobs.
In this MCAT success case study article, you'll hear from a top scorer who not only worked for an average of 30 hours a week during her MCAT prep, but also managed to increase her MCAT score by 12 points...
All in the same amount of prep time that it generally takes the average student studying full time for the MCAT!
With that, we'd like to introduce you to Morgan Saiko, a 511 scorer...
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.
As we continue to research and interview 90+ percentile MCAT scorers, in order to bring you the best and the most proven MCAT prep strategies in the world, here's one of the biggest insights we've had...
When 510+ scorers first take the MCAT and get a disappointing score, there are two main benefits that they usually gain from it...
Perspective and motivation.
This MCAT success story will show you how a 510+ scorer we interviewed, leveraged those two benefits to transform her MCAT prep mindset and strategy, to gain a 12 point score increase in just 6 weeks.
In this article, we'd like to introduce you to Taylor Evangelisti, a 511 scorer:
Recently, one of our MCAT Mastery Community members wrote in to us and expressed their biggest frustration with the MCAT...
My biggest challenge is timing. No matter how hard I try, I cannot get it down and that is when my anxiety kicks in, and it all goes downhill from there. My biggest fear is that this will be the one obstacle that will keep me from going to medical school. I am hoping to increase by around 25 points.
Someone else wrote in and said...
I am a slow test taker so timing on the exam is what really stresses me. I have a very competitive GPA and resume but I fear that my MCAT score will hold me back in the admissions process. I need about a 10 point score increase.
Timing is one of the biggest frustrations of students writing the MCAT and we completely get it.
Nothing can be worse than not being able to finish passages or having to guess on answer choices that you intuitively know you can answer correctly.
After years of researching the MCAT prep strategies of top MCAT scorers, we've discovered the solutions to the 'MCAT timing' problem.
It takes a little practice, but you can get to the point where you finish the MCAT with extra time left over to double check all your flagged answers.
So let's begin...
One of the most common, most painful experiences for MCAT test-takers everywhere is taking the MCAT and receiving a disappointing MCAT score...
Knowing you'll have re-test.
It can be discouraging and we hope this MCAT success story inspires you.
We want this to be the last time you ever write the MCAT.
We hope these MCAT success stories give you the confidence you need to know that you CAN get a significant increase in your MCAT score that makes you competitive for med-school.
We also hope you use these case studies to not only use the top scorer tips recommended, but also to learn from their mistakes so you don't make similar ones.
With that said, in this article, we'd like to introduce you to Suman Ali, a top scorer at MCAT Mastery.
When Suman first wrote the MCAT, she scored a 503:
Did you know that 130+ scorers actually know and label the different types of sentences they come across in a typical CARS passage?
They know that if they can identify which type of sentence they’re reading, they’ll be able to gain a much better understanding of the passage, and pinpoint more correct answer choices.
This strategy is especially helpful for breaking down and understanding the messaging of the most difficult CARS passages.
Top MCAT scorers know a cold truth about the MCAT that most average scorers don’t (and they use this to their advantage)...
They know that the MCAT was designed, as it’s main purpose, to identify the most viable med-school candidates; those who are most likely to succeed in med-schools.
They want to identify the outliers – those who clearly stand out from the average applicants.
So how do they ensure that only the outliers reveal themselves?
We know for a lot of premeds, CARS is one of the biggest hurdles in getting a BALANCED, competitive score.
It’s frustrating to have one section holding you back from seeing the score improvement you need to hit your target score goal.
We completely get it and that’s why we decided to put some extra focus on CARS by recently releasing more articles and resources showing you exactly how 130+ scorers increased their CARS score and ended up dominating this section.
Plus, a lot of CARS strategies are also transferrable to other sections of the MCAT as well…
Which is why many top scorers have found that once they get a handle on CARS, everything else becomes easier.
We were surprised to find out how underrated and often ignored CARS strategy (and CARS overall) is by premeds studying for the MCAT.
130+ CARS scorers on the other hand, take this section very seriously (sometimes even more than other sections).
The problem is most premeds view it as having a familiar format of passages and questions, and assume it's going to be easy.
As you've probably seen during practice exams, it's not. In fact, AAMC themselves tell you how complex this section is on their website...
"Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills passages are relatively short, typically between 500 and 600 words, but they are complex, often thought-provoking pieces of writing with sophisticated vocabulary and at times, intricate writing styles." - AAMC
Our focus at MCAT Mastery is to help you dominate the MCAT using the only method that has been proven to work over and over again…
Using strategy. Proven top MCAT scorer strategies.
In this case, in order to help you dominate CARS, we're going to focus on proven strategies from 130+ CARS scorers.
One of the biggest causes of disappointing MCAT scores is premeds not knowing how to deeply learn the vast amount of information the MCAT covers.
As we're sure you've already seen by now if you've started your MCAT prep, the MCAT covers a massive amount of information that you're expected to know.
This is information that you can't get away with just simply reading once or twice or simply just 'memorizing' either. You need to understand it all on an in-depth level.
Have you ever wondered how some premeds just simply ‘get’ the CARS section? How they easily master CARS with scores over 129?
Don't you wonder what they're doing differently than others who can’t stop scoring in the low 120s?
We wondered it too...
So we did some research on strictly 130+ CARS scorers (several 132 scorers). If they didn’t score 130 or more, we weren’t listening. We kept it exclusive.
We heard what these CARS Masters had to say and we discovered A LOT of powerful CARS strategies that most premeds don’t know about and aren’t applying.
And of course, we did this so we can share their secrets with you.
So you’ve decided to retake the MCAT…
We’re here to help you do this properly.
Perhaps you didn’t hit your target score the first time. Perhaps you’re worried your score isn’t good enough to get into your dream med school…
Regardless, you’ve made a bold decision and we’re here to support it.
If your MCAT is coming up, you know that studying for the MCAT is really stressful. Personally, we all hate the stress. We hate the anxiety.
Once it's there, especially when it's regarding something important, it just sits there in the pit of the 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 by (ironically) stressing ourselves more.
If you're writing the MCAT, you'll likely experience this as the date gets closer and closer...
In this article, we want to show you:
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.
Here’s a simple and very common top MCAT scorer strategy that isn’t repeated enough and isn’t taken as seriously as it should be...
We suggest you take it seriously if you want to see some powerful improvements in your MCAT score:
Did you know at least two weeks before your MCAT test date, as you're constantly doing practice exams...
You need to be consistently scoring near or above your target score.
If you're achieving this, you can confidently walk into the MCAT knowing you have a high chance of hitting your score goal.
But what if you're not scoring in the range of your goal score during MCAT practice exams?
If this is the case for you, you may need to reschedule your test date, depending on how bad you want and need that score.
Or if your MCAT is still a while away, how do you make sure you're scoring in that range when there are only a few weeks left?
One major factor is in how you're approaching MCAT practice exams.
In this article, we're going to cover 515+ scorer recommendations on how to strategically take and review MCAT practice exams.
Getting consistently low MCAT scores and feeling confused, frustrated, worried, and stressed during MCAT prep is the result of one simple but crucial failure on your part...
Your failure to use the correct MCAT study strategies.
If you know someone who scored high on the MCAT, they had a strategy.
Whether they actually know it or not, they were using techniques and shortcuts that most others weren't using, which led them to getting a competitive score.
At MCAT Mastery, we provide you with the secrets 510, 515, and even 520+ scorers used to master the MCAT.
In this article, you'll discover:
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...
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, those who are closest to you, don't get you and your current fear that 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 improve your MCAT score to your score goal mark.
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.
What if fear could become your own powerful weapon? What if you could use fear, as a tool to succeed?
In this post we're going to show you how you can use this 'negative' state as a way to boost your productivity and learning during MCAT prep.
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.
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!)
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...
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…
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…
Firstly, approximately a week before the MCAT, you should make an effort to actually visit the testing centre.
Kind of like a practice run.
Why should you do this?
On exam day, you want your mind to be as fresh and clear as possible before writing. If you’re going to be using mental focus and energy to figure out directions, plan your morning, plan your day, look for parking, looking for where to go at the testing centre, and hundreds of other things, you’re going to be at a disadvantage when it comes to starting the exam.
What should you do?
Have your entire morning planned from the day before. Get everything you need packed and ready to go. Have your breakfast figured out. The morning of, you should have no stress whatsoever. Plan for optimal performance.
For even safer and better results, practice this entire day once a week before. The same day you go to the testing center, wake up on the same time you’d wake up for the MCAT.
There is huge value in doing this – though it may not be obvious to you right now.
Action Steps The Day Before The Exam
1 - Go through your flashcards. Write out your key memorized information on one sheet.
2 - Recognize where you were when you first started MCAT prep, and where you are now. Think of how much you’ve learned.
3 - Read over your mistakes book. Is there any mistake in there that doesn’t make you feel as comfortable as the others?
4 - You need to sleep early. However, you might also be nervous. Anxiety often causes us to not be able to sleep. Most MCAT Masters made sure that they slept only 5 or 6 hours two nights before their final night. This allowed them to be tired enough to pass out, regardless of their nerves acting up.
Did we miss any good tips? Leave your last-week recommendations in the comments section below...
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…