Often, while studying or preparing for the MCAT, our minds become cluttered with things that make us feel uncomfortable, tense, or scared. But first, what exactly is the MCAT? The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized exam required of all new medical students as part of the admissions process to medical school.
It may seem difficult to cope with MCAT pressure and avoiding MCAT fatigue when studying. So, how do you de-stress when studying for this exam? You can have fruitful study sessions and a good MCAT-life balance if you follow the recommendations indicated below. Let’s get started.
1. Start by Studying for The MCAT
Take a diagnostic exam before you begin actively studying for the MCAT. This will reveal where your strengths and limitations are, as well as how to best plan out your study for the coming months. Make your plan as specific as possible so that you know precisely what you’ll be doing when you sit down to study.
How much time should you devote to studying for the MCAT? Pre-med students should study for 240 hours over the course of 12 weeks on average. However, this depends on several factors such as how strong is your science background, when you will be studying for the MCAT, your schedule, and your study style. These factors will also assist you in preparing for test day and increasing your chances of receiving the highest MCAT score possible.
2. Change Your MCAT Study Plan Sometimes
Take an hour every week or two to adjust your MCAT strategy for the coming week(s). However, this should depend on how you fared on your last practice test, which strategies you think you need to work on the most, and which topic areas you’re having trouble with. Spending so much time on your study plans rather than preparing for the MCAT may appear to be a waste of time at first, but it will help in the long run. Above all, you’ll have productive study sessions that are tailored to your specific requirements.
So, how do you make your MCAT preparation more efficient? Include quizzes in your content review, complete different practice tests set by online MCAT tutors to gain endurance, focus on the quality of the review, rather than the volume of practice completed. Preparing for the MCAT will be less stressful with such study methods.
3. Set Both Short and Long Term MCAT Prep and Score Goals
It’s vital to have an overall MCAT score objective but split it down into manageable chunks while studying. For instance, if you aim to improve your score by ten points, you might take a whole week to improve your score in one area by one point.
After that, use the following week to get familiar with a specific question and then use the subsequent week to master a specific content area. Set these smaller goals during your initial MCAT study planning session, and reevaluate them regularly to ensure that they are still assisting you in achieving your larger score objective.
4. Start Exercising, Get Sufficient Sleep, and Eat a Balanced Diet
Risking your physical well-being will almost certainly reduce your chances of passing the MCAT. Don’t get into the trap of staying up all night studying, eating just fast food, and skipping exercise in order to make more time for studying. Rather, incorporate sleep, a balanced diet, and exercise into your daily routine. Taking care of your body will aid in your ability to remain attentive and think effectively.
5. While Studying for the MCAT, Organize Break Times and Greatly Reduce Disruptions
Assuming that you would be able to study without resting or attending to other tasks is unrealistic and unhealthy. Set aside free time each week to focus on other things that are not related to the MCAT. Depending on your tastes, this could be a few hours off each day, a full day off once a week, or a combination of the two.
You should also select a quiet, isolated area where you can put out your materials when studying for the MCAT. Stop watching TV and put your phone in silence. If you’re going to listen to music, make sure it won’t distract you. This will help you feel at ease and be productive when preparing for your MCAT.
Studying or preparing for the MCAT makes our minds become cluttered with things that make us feel uncomfortable, tense, or scared. But the tips I have outlined above can help you ease the stress of preparing for the MCAT.