45 on the MCAT

A recipe for scoring a 45 on the MCAT - or at least as close as possible
 
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Let’s admit it: Just as each junior high or high school class has 1-2 geniuses who no matter what mental tasks they are required to perform get top scores and grades in a seemingly effortless manner, so is the case with MCAT, where out of so many bright students who take the test, there are those 99th percentilers who would score an unheard of 42-45, and probably hadn’t dedicated 6-8 months of their lives for that.

Well, we have to complete with what nature has blessed us with, let ourselves land back on the ground of high but reasonable ambitions and see how we can try and compare to these giants in “supernatural” ways. From our point of view any score above 30 is a great achievement, so let’s start with that as a set goal before jumping into the 40s range. If we common people want to get close to these mythical scores, we must consider the following points that make a successful MCAT score:

Dedication – it all starts at Premed

Since introductory level courses comprise a huge part of the test’s content, the MCAT study journey actually starts at premed school. If you organize your materials well, struggle to understand the numerous new scientific concepts you were taught, and keep track and documentation of each course, picking up these concepts again for the MCAT would be much easier for you.

Memory – get your brain to top performance

The science section, with Organic chemistry and Biological sciences in particular, involves a lot (!!!) of memorization. From hydrocarbon nomenclature to muscle types and cardiac cycles, you don’t want technical details to interrupt your test course. You have to use any technique in the book to make sure that this enormous amount of knowledge can be drawn out quickly when needed. Flash cards, trivia, and even competitions with your friends can help you maintain this knowledge accessible.

Practice – the official truth-teller

Extensive practice not only covers both points that were discussed above, but it is the most powerful meter for evaluating your current understanding. It’s often tempting to dedicate a few hours of studying to watching a lecture or reading a chapter in the book, thinking that this would do. This is a false and misleading approach which prevents your progress and confrontation with what your mind really finds hard to deal with. Therefore, always make an immediate coupling between theory and practice. Another thing about practice are full length tests. These are extremely important and must be practiced in mass quantities. Apart from serving as practice sessions they build your stamina and concentration abilities, which are of the most important traits required for success.

Knowing when to stop - enough is enough

When entering the rigorous 3-4 last months of your MCAT study plan, your daily schedule can easily extend up to 8-12 study hours. You must acknowledge the fact that without the necessary breaks, these hours can turn into a waste of time. Ignoring the duration of a full test for a moment, 60 -90 minutes are great non-break sessions which should be followed by a 15-20 minute break. Our experience clearly shows that studying with only 30% mental efficiency has serious implications on your study day.

Keep reading more MCAT study tips.

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