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...
He filled his beaker with a cloudy, brown liquid swamped with H. pylori and drank it down in one swoop. He knew he was swallowing a poison, a carcinogen. He knew it would create a precancerous state in his stomach.
The next two weeks, he suffered with nausea and non-stop vomiting, while his partner was taking samples of the bacteria in his stomach lining. They recorded physiological changes as Marshall suffered an extreme period of gastritis.
But at that point, Marshall had the evidence he needed and initiated the taking of antibiotics.
Fortunately, Marshall recovered completely and within a few weeks, sent his experiment and results to the Medical Journal of Australia for publication.
They had proven that H. pylori was the source of stomach ulcers and a precursor to stomach cancer.
Barry Marshal and his lab partner, Robin Warren, earned the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Some might call Barry Marshal crazy for doing what he did. Some might say he's a 'mad scientist', or obsessed.
Whatever anyone labels him, you can't argue with the fact that he was and is successful. You can't argue that he achieved his goal.
We believe that many students who are writing the MCAT this year, can learn from his Marshall and his success.
The Commonality Between Marshall and Top MCAT Scorers
Although Marshall was an extreme example and we would never advise risking your life, but it's the reasons behind the actions he took to succeed is what we want to highlight for you today.
The commonality between Marshall and many top MCAT scorers is that they both possess one extremely valuable quality:
The courage to go the extra mile and do what others won't do in order to achieve a goal.
Go the extra mile. It's never crowded. - Unknown
This is an exam where you're graded based on how everyone else does. It's competitive. Just like most college or university exams.
BUT this is also different because it's not an exam that you're used to.
No first time writer understands what they're in for when they get into this exam.
Which is why they also don't know that they need to study for this exam DIFFERENTLY than how they've been studying for exams all their life. They need to evolve their approach to tackling this unique exam.
Getting a competitive score is going to require that you try strategies that are outside your comfort zone. Strategies that 90% of MCAT writers aren't aware of.
Most people will be preparing for the MCAT by buying the same prep course as everyone, studying in the same way as everyone else. We've all grown up with similar exam structures and we've figured those out by now.
The MCAT is not like that... And once you truly grasp this truth, you'll already be ahead of the competition.
So here we want to share with you just some of the proven ways 510+ scorers of the MCAT have gone the extra mile to achieve their MCAT and med-school goals...
6 Ways 510+ Scorers Went the Extra Mile to Crush the MCAT
1 - They refused to get comfortable just going over the sections that they knew they were good at.
They made sure to spend enough time on the parts that made them uncomfortable or were more challenging for them.
The average MCAT writer won't do this because as humans, we almost instinctually take the easier route without even thinking about it.
It's not their fault because most of them are not even aware that this is what they're doing and this is how they're hurting themselves in the long term.
But now, you're aware. The next time you come across sections you're not good at, go the extra mile and have the courage to spend even more time on it.
2 - They read a lot. Almost all the time and especially during MCAT prep.
Scientifically proven benefits of reading:
Each and every single one of those benefits are huge advantages you can leverage for getting a higher MCAT score.
You could even read just for pleasure. You don't have to read something related to science. Just read something that interests you when you're not studying for the MCAT.
Going the extra mile in this way will not only give you an edge over other MCAT writers, but it will be especially helpful for the CARS section.
Also, if you're a slow reader in general, you'll become faster by reading more, therefore you'll read faster on the MCAT and end up with more time than you normally would have.
3 - They were extremely thorough in their studying.
In fact, they gave themselves permission to forget what they thought they knew and start with the basics. They never skipped something by thinking it won’t show up on the exam.
Most people will have the tendency to skip information or not worry about the basics. Going the extra mile means covering ALL the material, especially that which the average MCAT writer will avoid.
4 - They were always willing to ask for help.
They didn't let pride get in the way. Do you know someone who is amazing at something you're struggling in?
People are more helpful than most of us think.
I have gotten so much in life just from simply asking. People enjoy helping because it makes them feel valuable. People enjoy being of value and feeling important.
Plus, there's never any harm in asking. You have nothing to lose.
You can get creative and exchange knowledge.
They don't have to be taking the MCAT as well, or even be premed. For example, you can ask your friend's friend who's a math whiz to help you with math questions.
Having the courage to take such steps is what going the extra mile is all about.
5 - They practiced strategically.
You can understand something in theory to the highest degree, but you will never get a result in your life without having the bravery to take action on what you think you’ve “learned”.
So many students read through chapters and chapters of information, assuming they'll remember everything or that they've 'learned' the material. Top scorers will ensure they've learned it by testing themselves through application.
Most pre-meds get so caught up with reading and understanding theory to such an extreme degree, that they push off “application” because they don’t feel they have completely finished reading and trying to absorb information. Top MCAT scorers on the other hand, are eager to start applying what they read.
Practice is by far, one of the most powerful forms of learning.
When you don’t take action or make an attempt to practice, it’s called passive learning. Passive learning is not a bad thing – it’s great if you’re learning for the sake of learning – but that’s not what the creators of the MCAT are testing you on. They want to test you on how you apply what you say you understand.
Active practice is the key to dominating the MCAT. It’s the best form of learning because the errors you’ll make while you practice will reveal crucial insights on your understanding that you wouldn’t have come across otherwise.
Do practice questions constantly. You don’t have to do practice tests right away. Do one practice test in the beginning stages of your MCAT prep, to see where you stand. Most likely, your score won’t be very pleasing to you. That’s fine – at least you know where you are.
However, schedule practice tests consistently and as the date of your MCAT approaches, practice test marathons are what you should be doing. Use your practice tests as a way to improve.
Through practice, top scorers were able to figure out how the questions are phrased and pick up on patterns.
This is how you train your mind and body to be ready for a seven-hour exam.
Giving practice tests this level of importance is something that the average MCAT writer won't do and it's exactly how you can go the extra mile to achieve a competitive MCAT score.
6. They knew exactly what their mission was, what their goal was.
Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. - Tony Robbins
Do you know exactly what you're aiming to get on the MCAT? The exact score you want to see?
Think of the number right now. The specific number, not a range.
Is it 505? 508? 510? 515?
Now, get a piece of paper out and write down that number. Could be on the front page of your notebook. Could be on a whiteboard.
Or better yet open up Paint or another image editing software, write down your goal, save it as an image and make that your computer wallpaper.
Or write it in Word and screen capture it.
Doesn't matter what you do. Just somehow figure out how to keep that number in front of you at all times.
This is very important, and you have nothing to lose except a minute or two to do it.
When you see your mission and your aim are in front of you at all times, it'll drive you obsessively towards achieving it.
Marshall and the most successful people of today are obsessed with their goal.
Are you obsessed about getting your desired MCAT score?
Have you thought about what doors that score will open for you?
Do you truly and honestly realize how important it is for you to reach that goal?
And are you willing to do whatever it takes to get that score?
Sounds cliché but the drive to do whatever it takes is important.
The drive to go that extra mile.
That's half the secret.
If you don't have that drive, you won't achieve MCAT mastery. It's as simple as that.
And remember, top scorers on the MCAT rarely doubt themselves. If doubtful thoughts come up, they ignore them.
Remember friend, if you've managed to be in this position to write the MCAT, even if English isn't your first language, you ARE capable of achieving your goal.
I want you to remember that you DO HAVE the capacity and the ability to achieve your goal, no matter what your situation.
It's been done many times before and the evidence is there.
If you have even a tiny bit of doubt about your goal being achievable for you, I want you to add to that score that you wrote down, the words: "I can and will achieve a ___ MCAT score".
Keep that in front of you instead.
When you feed your mind that thought daily, your drive and confidence will skyrocket and it will reflect significantly in your MCAT score. Such a simple trick will lead to a HUGE advantage.
It may not feel like it will make much of a difference right now, but over time as you constantly see it in front of you and feed it to your subconscious mind, it will result in you putting in that extra hour to study, or it'll get you looking forward to opening up your books.
Confidence breeds success, but first we need you to breed confidence.
Top MCAT scorers and those who are in the med schools of their dreams, knew exactly what they wanted, had the knowing that they had the capacity to get it, and went the extra mile to make it happen.
The extra mile is what matters. It's the second most important thing after drive.
The extra mile separates those like Marshall who see succeed, from those like the average MCAT writer who will be re-writing the MCAT next year.
Do you want this to be the last time you write the MCAT so you can be done with the MCAT and start focusing on med-school admission?
Are you willing to go the extra mile to make it happen?
Then stay with us because we're going to give you a map we created to achieving your MCAT goal.
This map to beating the MCAT is what we call the MCAT Mastery Strategy Guide.
You might be wondering how we know the study strategies of top scorers on the MCAT.
It's because we've spent months doing the research and figuring out HOW the best of the best achieve their MCAT goal so that they can get into the med-school of their dreams.
Remember, the information we have for you is research backed. If you want to achieve a goal, the easiest and fastest way to make it happen is to learn from those who have already achieved it.
That's why at MCAT Mastery, our main purpose is to bring you the wisdom of top MCAT scorers and MCAT experts.
Learning from those who are already where you want to be (i.e. med-school) and have achieved what you want to achieve, is the easiest and fastest way to shave a massive amount of time in achieving what you want.
Think about it, they've already made the mistakes you're bound to make! Plus they've already experimented and figured out what works! Imagine how much leverage you get talking to just one top MCAT scorer.
Well we've connected with way more than just one...
Everything we know is in the MCAT Mastery Strategy Guide.
You can download it today and go through it in a day.
I can guarantee you that 90% of the students writing the MCAT on the big day with you, won't have a clue about most of the strategies in this guide.
But you will...
Because you will do what other's won't do...
Because you'll use the proven strategies that consist of all the shortcuts, hacks, techniques, templates, and frameworks of MCAT masters...
Because on exam day you'll be one of the few top scorers...
Who chose to go the extra mile...
Today I'll do what others won't do, so tomorrow I can do what others can't. - Unknown
You got this,
The MCAT Mastery Team
Your MCAT Success Mentors