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Will using study cards help me to study for my MCAT?

I’m quite nervous about the coming MCAT exam. I have tried several MCAT study tools to help me get ready. However, I still have that feeling of being inadequately prepared. I would describe myself as a perfectionist and therefore each detail of anything I do matters.

I have about three months to prepare which seems like a short time to me. Can I use study cards to get ready? Is doing a mock or study quiz better? Looking for any tips from experienced people.

Alexa Spicer

in Studying

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Kevin Sutter on March 1, 2018

I would recommend that you first look at the time you have got to be ready to evaluate your preparedness and how well you are likely to be after that period (with the best study method). If you feel the time you have left is inadequate, then reschedule the test. Don’t do it in a rush. That is the number one piece of advice I can give.

Studying cards are good study tools. They will help you:

  • Memorize concepts faster and better: you can use key words on these cards to study and revise.
  • Test what you already know: you can use them to do brain teasers. These are helpful in bringing what you have learnt before to the surface
  • Simplify concepts: you can use them to break down complex stuff into smaller parts.

However, judging from your question, I think what you need is steps on preparing for this important exam. Try the following tips:

  • Make a study timetable/schedule: before you can begin to study, you need a plan. Just like any other important stuff, studying needs planning and objectives to guide you. Sit down and make a study timetable. Schedule 4-5 hours a day depending on how many courses you are yet to complete.
  • Take study quizzes for practice: practice helps to improve your information retention. It also helps to explain and understand harder concepts. Remember, the more you practice the more confident you become.
  • Find good study resources: there are hundreds of study courses for the MCAT exam online. It is important that you know where to get the right resources. The Association of American Medical Colleges has several study materials including practice tests, questions and practice exams that can help you prepare. You may use these along with an MCAT study tool.
  • Schedule study sessions with friends: this is a great way to study areas that you find difficult to grasp when studying alone. However, you need to weigh if studying in a group will help you get prepared or not.
  • Ask advice from those before you: this is a good way of getting the most you can before the test. If you do not know anyone who you can consult, try websites such as AAMC which has testimonial of how medical students got past their MCAT. You won’t believe how knowing another person who overcame what seems really hard to you will give you motivation.

Eric Batesa year ago

I tried the MCAT twice. The first time I failed terribly (I’m quite ashamed about it). The second time I did not take any chances. So what mistake did I do the first time?

  1. Thinking that a few months was plenty of time.
  2. I applied too early.
  3. Poor preparation.

So I would advice you to do the following in addition to what has already been stated:

  1. Take as much time as you need: both before you apply and during preparation. If you think taking more time will help you get better, do it.
  2. Be busy with something else as well: as much as you will need to study between 4-6hours a day, I would advise you to do something on the side else you will go crazy.
  3. Review study material thoroughly: yes, read, review and do study quizzes. Let concepts be on your fingertips.


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