Recently I’ve released a survey for premeds on their wants, needs and pain points. I genuinely want to know how I can help.
Here is the link to my survey, please take it so I can understand how to help you! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TT5RGR6
A sticking point keeps coming up- that huge elephant in the room: THE MCAT!
I find this to be a HUGE barrier as preparing for the test and scoring a needed score (> 75th percentile or more ideally >85 th for some schools) proves to be difficult for many to afford and accomplish.
Traditionally I recommend prep courses because they helped me and many others score a solid score for admission. Being with other people with a common competitive goal and having face to face accountability help you achieve faster in my opinion. These days, things are so competitive and expensive that for some, having course books and online resources may be a preferred route since the test is in a digital format. However I still emphasize that you retain more if you take pen to paper, listen and/or recite at the same time. Use all your senses to help and utilize question banks that simulate the testing environment.
MCAT Exam Content
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Section
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems Section
- Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior Section
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section
The AAMC MCAT Official Prep Hub button is where you can access practice exams. Sign in with your AAMC account information and go to Free Resources section. Select Practice with Exam Features Tool.
I’ve recently come upon another online platform for MCAT prep called AdaptPrep MCAT. It lets you identify your strengths and weaknesses on the exam and has 4,000 simulated test questions in a bank format. It gives the ability to asses your difficulty level of questions you can handle as well as flexibility and dynamic practice questions. The writers recommend that you have an “Earned Level” of 7/10 on a 0-10 scale before you are MCAT ready. Their website can be found here. There is also a free three day trial that can be found here.
I know full well how daunting this step is. I remember taking this test in a room full of people near UCBerkeley and my friend and I were the only African Americans in the room. It was intimidating to say the least, but we are now both practicing doctors and moms. I think back and remember the times studying alone, in groups, with friends and using a whole Saturday to take and scored full length exams. I would then adapt my studying based on what I consistently scored poorly on. I knew physics was a weakness and I concentrated on this. It helped- I scored higher on that section than others. Hard work does pay off!!
Best and hope these resources help inform your study process and plan!
Candice Williams MD