The number of non-traditional students applying to medical schools is increasing day by day. It might be tougher for you to study for MCAT if it’s been a few years since your graduation or if you don’t have a science major, but it is certainly not impossible!
Here are 4 tips to remember while studying the MCAT as a non-traditional student:
Establish Your Starting Point
Before beginning with your studies for the MCAT, you need to assess your strengths and weaknesses and create your plan of action accordingly. If you already have a science background and still have fresh knowledge of all the related subjects, you can focus more on reviewing the content and chiseling your knowledge.
However, if you have a degree in science but have a gap of more than three years from your graduation, it is possible that you might not be able to remember a lot of concepts from your undergraduate courses. So, to prepare for the MCAT you will need to set aside a dedicated schedule for reviewing the concepts from your undergraduate courses. Only then can you proceed with the advanced courses.
If you don’t have a degree in science and are planning to apply for the MCAT, you’re going to need to put in a lot of extra effort to be successful. Consider using an MCAT tutor to help you prepare. Taking courses in core science will also not only help you in gaining the essential basic knowledge for the MCAT, but will create an educational background for when you apply.
Get detailed information on MCAT
Now that you have made a plan of action, you need to set the right direction for your preparation. The first thing to do is have a detailed overlook at the pattern, syllabus, and history of the MCAT. Understanding the test pattern in detail will give you an idea of what to study and what not to study.
For the MCAT, you don’t need to need to study everything you have learned in Physics and Biology during your undergraduate course. So, by looking at the test blueprint you will know what exactly to read and what to ignore. You can also take an MCAT diagnostic exam to know about your weak and strong areas in the syllabus. This will help you know which type of questions will take more time to solve. Try looking for an MCAT tutoring website, as they usually have regular diagnostic tests and practice exams.
Focus More On Practice Tests
Frequently taking practice tests will help you review your mistakes and correct them before you appear for the final examination. Practice tests are better than a content review as they help you in assessing your level of preparedness. If you are only focusing on content review and revision you will never get to know your weak topics, and can end up wasting a lot of time on the things you are already strong in. When you take a practice test it helps save you from wasting your time on unnecessary topics and gives you the chance to work with somebody like an MCAT tutor to help you fix any gaps in your knowledge.
You Will Never Get Enough Time For Studying
Last but not least, it is important to remember that you always have to plan ahead for your MCAT preparation. It might happen that you have planned a 10-day period for a particular subject that will actually take 12 days to finish. This can cause further delay in the preparation of other subjects. So, do some research and figure out how far out you need to begin your studies in order to give yourself the best chance.