5 Tips for Studying for the MCAT

Studying for the MCAT can be difficult. In this post, I’ll share my tips to preparing effectively for the exam.

Preparing for the MCAT is hard. Not only do you have to study a ton of material, but you also miss out on all the fun your friends are having. But trust me, all that hard work is worth it. Now that I’m matriculating into medical school this fall, I’m here to share 5 tips to help you prepare for the MCAT, and get the score you want on test day.

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Create a Study Plan

Creating a study plan is paramount to effective MCAT preparation.

There’s a lot of material to cover, and it can feel overwhelming. Break it down and set weekly goals for yourself – that way, studying will feel more manageable. Furthermore, make a daily schedule for yourself – block out time for studying, breaks, and other necessities (meals, work, academics, etc).

Test Yourself with Practice Questions

Do practice questions to prepare yourself for the real MCAT exam.

Doing practice questions/exams is just as important, if not more important, as studying material (make sure to check out our Guide to MCAT Practice Exams). Before you crack open any books, take a diagnostic exam so you can target your weaknesses while studying. After you start studying, don’t wait too long before starting practice questions/exams. There will always be more material to study, and you will never feel “ready.” Just dive in and go for it!

Think Critically about the Material You Learn

Don’t just memorize the material for the MCAT exam – seek to really understand it.

Instead of blindly memorizing material and then doing practice questions, think about how the material is being tested. It may be that you need to know the nitty-gritty details of a concept, or it may be that you just need to recognize a pattern or general idea. Use this knowledge to focus your studying. 

Take Care of Yourself

Don’t forget to take good care of yourself while preparing for the MCAT.

You are not a machine. Stand up and stretch, go work out, or take a day off to do something fun. That being said, you need to hold yourself accountable when taking breaks.

Get into the Right Mindset

Think about the end goal of your MCAT preparation.

At some point, you will find yourself wondering why you decided to become a pre-med. Take some time to reflect; write your reasons down and put it somewhere where you can see it while studying. Additionally, utilize your support system. Text a friend about how you’re feeling, FaceTime them, or even ask to hang out in person. 


Good luck with the MCAT exam! Hopefully these 5 tips have helped you in your MCAT preparation journey. Soon all your hard work will pay off!

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