We know you're getting 43.5 emails per day about COVID-19 updates from all the different companies you've given your email to.
We didn't plan on being one of them because we don't want to propel the fear that's already circulating...
But since test dates started getting cancelled, many of the students we're tutoring and many of you in the community have been expressing your concerns.
If your test date was one of the ones that got cancelled, we know how frustrating that can be. Especially when you've been studying for months and were looking forward to getting this done with!
At the same time if your test date is coming up or if you've had it rescheduled, we can't imagine the amount of uncertainty and anxiety you must be feeling, being unsure of whether or not it will also get rescheduled.
If you're like most, you have the year's plan mapped out - when you're going to get your score back, when you're going to apply, all of that. Now everything's been thrown off. It sucks. And we're sorry you're having to experience this.
At the same time however, it's now more than ever before, that you don't forget everything we've taught you about mindset.
Are you going to perceive this situation in a way that makes you a victim, or are you going to perceive it in a way that empowers you?
A victim mindset will paralyze you from studying, stress you more, make you less effective in your studying, negatively impact your sleep, rub off on those around you, and worst of all... stress will weaken your immune system, at a time when you can't afford to weaken it.
Or you can see it in a positive way, in a way that empowers you. Ask yourself what good can come of this? For each person the answer will be different. Maybe you get a much needed break without any guilt because you did nothing to cause it.
A student on Reddit said it well…
"We can choose to pout and feel sorry for ourselves, or we can make the choice to accept the reality of the situation and find some way to turn it into a positive.
Maybe that means take the gap year, and go from a fringe candidate to a solid MD candidate. Maybe that means go from a solid MD candidate to a strong T20 applicant. Or maybe this means test in a few months, and get an even higher score than you would’ve now. No matter what any of our situations are, we all have a choice to make."
This isn't to say you shouldn't be angry. If you're upset, you have a right to be upset. A lot of this seems unfair.
But at the end of the day, once you process your emotions, it's important to mentally step out of the 'woods' and come into the light where you can get some clarity about the next steps on your journey.
Now with that said, let's talk a little practical strategy.
Unfortunately something like this hasn’t happened in the past so we don’t have a reference point on what to expect. But we can trust that AAMC will come up with a fair solution once all of this is over.
For example, there’s a strong chance that the application cycle may be extended since it’s been done before for hurricanes, and this is a global pandemic. Also more testing dates will likely be added.
A strategy might be to reschedule for a date that’s far enough that you can be relatively certain it won’t be cancelled (like in June). Of course, that can have an impact in other ways.
We know a lot of students are having to leave school/move home too. If this is your situation, we recommend that while you are getting resettled, try to study for just two hours a day - which is much more manageable with the chaos and since the time frame is extended.
One hour for reviewing notes/flashcards and one for questions via Uworld if possible. Saving AAMC for later is a good idea. CARS practice every other day is also a good idea.
Regardless, constant practice is essential to stay on top of your prep, so neither content knowledge nor test-taking skills, slip out from your long-term memory.
If you're saving material for when there's a month left before test date, unsure of if your test date will be cancelled or not, the best route might be to take a middle ground of using your AAMC material, but interleaving that with other practice material.
AAMC will be giving updates on this whole situation here: https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/article/coronavirus-mcat-faqs/
We'll reach out again if needed.
Just remember to take care of yourself. That's the most important thing.
Take care of your mind, your body, and spirit...
As that is truly the most strategic action you can take at a time like this.
Meditate, exercise, eat well, sleep well, stay positive...
We got this,
The MCAT Mastery Team
Your "MCAT Success" Mentors
P.S. If you feel working with one of us will be a good idea for to you at this time, we're here for you.
Every year MCAT Mastery helps thousands of premeds in achieving their target MCAT score goal so they can get into the med-school of their dreams. The dedicated team at MCAT Mastery accomplishes this by conducting ongoing research and paid interviews with 90+ percentile MCAT scorers, to bring you the most credible, most proven MCAT prep strategies on the planet.
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