MCAT 2010 Registration is OPEN

If you’re on top of things and want to register for the MCAT now’s the time.

Click here to register for the 2010 MCAT.

I personally chose to take the MCAT in January and it worked well. I had no stress deciding whether to apply to schools or not waiting for my score. Read more about my experience and find some MCAT tips.

Some more MCAT links.

Will you be registering for the exam? If so, what is your biggest fear regarding the MCAT?

My MCAT Strategy- Part 1

I took the MCAT Jan 31st, and am very happy with the 32 I received. Now that I have a good score back I feel comfortable sharing the methods I used to achieve that score. 936394705_3de472288a_b

(New to the MCAT? Check out my basic MCAT overview)

Let me preface this by admitting that I did not study as much as I could have. I say this not to sound arrogant, but rather to give you hope that it is possible to score well without sacrificing your entire life for 6 months. It still takes a lot of hard work, but don’t dread studying for the MCAT thinking that it will take over your life.

That said, here are a couple tips and strategies that I found useful.

Take as many Biology, Chemistry and Physics classes as possible before taking the test.

Because I decided to take time off before medical school, I finished a degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry before taking the MCAT. This helped immensely. Biology classes hammer home the basic concepts (even if it’s just a quick review in the advanced courses), which is what you really need to know for the MCAT. I struggled the most with the Physical sciences section, which directly corresponded to the amount of General Physics and Chemistry classes I had taken.

Practice Tests. Start taking them early and take as many as possible.

I took two practice MCAT exams early on in my studying (5 months and 3 months before the test) to identify weak areas. Then I studied those weak areas and did a quick overview. With about 3 weeks til the test I started taking practice tests more often. Again I identified the weak areas and focused my studying there.

While practice tests are useful for identifying weak areas to study they are most useful to give you an idea of the pace of the real test. You need to know about how much time you can spend on each passage.

I found some practice tests from the local library, but the most useful are the tests you can by directly from the AAMC. Click here to access these tests. Be ready to drop $35 per test. Lame, I know.

Stay tuned for part 2 of my MCAT strategy. I’ll give some more tips and talk about the types of preparation material I used.

(Source pic)

The Basic MCAT Overview

One of the most feared stepping stones in the journey to medical school is the Medical College Admission Test or MCAT. Fear is often of the unknown, and I know that the MCAT is a huge unknown for many pre-med students. Don’t be afraid! Here is a brief, hopefully useful basic overview of what the MCAT is all about.

What is the MCAT?

The MCAT is a test administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges. You must take the MCAT to complete an application to any medical school in the United States.

What does the MCAT test?

The MCAT focuses on basic science principles from Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Organic chemistry. It also tests reading comprehension through the Verbal Reasoning section as well as basic writing skills.

How is the MCAT organized?

The test is divided into four major sections:
1. Physical Sciences. This focuses on Physics and Chemistry. It is 70 minutes long.
2. Verbal Reasoning. This section features 7 reading passages, each with questions about that particular passage.
3. Writing. Here you write 2 essays with 30 minutes to write each one. There is no break in between, so it lasts 60 minutes.
4. Biological Sciences. This section tests mostly biology concepts with some organic chemistry thrown in. It is 70 minutes long.
Between each of these four sections is a 10 minute break.

When should I take the MCAT?

That depends on a variety of factors. Most important is when you want to go to medical school. The AAMC recommends taking the MCAT the year you want to apply. If you want to start the application process in 2009, you should take the MCAT some time in 2009. However, many schools will accept scores from 2-3 years back.

I think the best answer to the question is this: you should take the MCAT when you’re ready to! If you’re in school and don’t feel like studying for the MCAT is a possibility, wait for the summertime or when you’re no longer in school.

Important MCAT Links:
The AAMC MCAT site: http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/

Studentdoctor.net MCAT discussion:

 http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forumdisplay.php?f=31

2009 MCAT Schedule: http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/mcatschedule.htm

Do you have any other questions about the MCAT?

The MCAT is Over!

Wahoo!

I took the MCAT today. Crossing my fingers that I never have to take it again. I feel great, like a huge weight has been lifted. I’m still apprehensive about the score, but at least it is done!

I was scoring between 30-32 on the practice exams, and I had similiar feelings about the actual test, so I’m hoping that’s where my score will be.

I came home to relax, and I layed in bed reading some digg.com. Lo and behold I come across this lovely article – Study: Medical Students More Depressed Than General Population.

So if I actually get in, I’ll be twice as likely to be depressed! That was a nice way to be greeted after taking the MCAT. : )

If you took the MCAT either of the last two days, I hope it went well. If you’re planning on taking it in the future, I’ll be posting some study tips that I found helpful soon.

I’m looking forward to writing on a more regular basis. Take care fellow journeyers!

27 MCAT

Did you score a 27 on your MCAT? Wondering what to do next?

A 27 on the MCAT is a good score and is above average. However, the average score of students admitted into MD medical schools hovers around 30 on the MCAT each year. This score is above the average for DO schools, so you’ll probably be a good candidate in those programs especially if the rest of your application is acceptable.

If you’re looking to get into an MD school, your application will have to be very strong. A high GPA (greater than 3.8) will help, as well as some activities that make you stand out. Enthusiastic letters of recommendation are always necessary.

If you choose to retake the MCAT, try taking a review course or using the MCAT Examkrackers Complete Review books. Check out the links below.

 

Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions (Kaptest.com)