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Last Minute MCAT Review
7 Great Tips You Should Use Before Taking the Test

Last Updated On: February 28, 2021

The MCAT is one of the most difficult standardized tests. If you want to go to medical school, then you probably already had many sleepless nights over the past few months. Well, now that it is almost test day, what should you do before you take the MCAT?

This guide will give you the top last-minute MCAT tips for 1 week to 1 day before the exam. We’ll give you a hint. The answer is not cramming until you can’t see straight. Keep reading to see our expert advice for last-minute MCAT tips the week and day before your test.

7 Last-Minute MCAT Tips

1. Take Practice Exams

writing on paper

We cannot stress enough that a practice exam will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and allow you to get a feel for the actual MCAT.

During the last week before your MCAT test day, you should take a practice test to ensure you understand the methods used in MCAT testing. We recommend taking a few strategically spaced out practice tests before test day.

It is essential to take a full-length practice test before the MCAT, so you can analyze the data and decide what areas you need to study the most. This will allow you to make a perfect MCAT study plan.

You should score each full-length practice exam the same way the AAMC will score it. Practice questions are another excellent resource for working through MCAT exams.

2. Focus on Weak Areas

The best way to increase your MCAT score is to focus on studying the subject areas where you are weakest. If you struggle with physics, you should study the physics subject areas particularly well the week before taking the MCAT.

You don’t need to cram, but you should familiarize yourself with your weak areas. You should know the subject areas where you can improve the most. [1]

If you are particularly strong in one content area, we would recommend reviewing it in small increments before the exam. You should not spend too much time on your strengths, especially if you have committed those subjects to memory.

A subject review can be difficult the week before because you have already studied most of the content.

3. Review Data Interpretation Methods

studying and reading

Many students probably understand the concepts and material presented on the MCAT, but they do not know how to use them to interpret or solve data. You should study the testing methods of the MCAT before you take the test.

Take note of the statistical analysis and data interpretation methods used on the MCAT. Those tips will assist you in understanding MCAT questions and use the knowledge you have acquired from studying.

Make sure you know the standard methods for answering questions on the MCAT.

4. Get Motivated

The week before your MCAT test day, you need to start feeling motivated and confident that you will do well. Practicing mindfulness and having a positive attitude can improve your overall mood and focus before the test. Get motivated by reviewing MCAT success stories and remember you did your best in the days leading to the exam. We recommend getting motivated by looking at some of the medical school curriculums you plan to apply to.

You can even start planning your MCAT celebration party. After this difficult time of days and days of studying, you should throw a party with other pre-med students so you can feel good about your MCAT test. You have probably already been stuck in the house for months, so it could be an excellent way to ease your nerves before the test by planning a celebration. Who doesn’t like a party after a difficult test?

5. MCAT Test Day Rehearsal

answering a test

We recommend running through a full MCAT test day rehearsal to get ready for the exam. You should wake up and run through all the things you plan to do on the day of the exam. You should already have a morning routine in place for your exam day.

You may even want to take a ride over to the testing center to ensure you know how to get there. Be familiar with the route and the traffic on the day of your exam.

We also recommend running through your test day procedure including taking a full-length practice test where you time yourself for every section.

6. Take Care of Your Body

It is more important than you think to take care of your body in the days leading up to the MCAT exam. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure you are on a set schedule the week before the test.

You should be going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. It would help if you were prepared mentally since standardized tests can be daunting and exhausting.

You should be eating healthy foods and keeping your brain healthy. This could mean reading or listening to motivational materials. Keep your mind healthy by taking a minute each day to think about your med school future. It would be best if you used the techniques that work for you.

7. Have a Support System

We recommend reaching out to your support system during this time, so you know you are not alone. Aside from your family and friends, you might also want to meet with other students who are also preparing for the MCAT. Your support system is the people around you who can help you relax and motivate you to do well.

Your support system can help you center your mind and get prepared for test day. A good support system will help you reduce stress and maybe even prep some flashcards with you.

What To Do During The Test Day

looking through a checklist

It is finally testing day! You probably have a lot of emotions running through your mind right now, but make sure you do not let them stress you out. You prepared for this, and you will do well and get the score for which you worked so hard the last few months.

Get Up Early

On your test day, we recommend giving yourself plenty of extra time before making your way to the test center. We recommend waking up early enough to finish your morning routine like you normally would. You should do activities that help you center your mind before you take the test. For some students, this might be doing some light exercising or stretching.

You might want to do some meditation to help you stay really focused for the test. There are things, like having a cup of coffee, that you may work for some people but not for others. Based on our experience, we do not recommend drinking too much coffee to avoid feeling jittery during your test.

Make a List and Check it Twice

You should make a list of all the things you need to bring to the MCAT exam. Plan ahead by creating a checklist that includes your admission ticket, ID, pencils, and some snacks for break time. One important item is water to keep you hydrated all day.

We recommend bringing a watch so that you can keep track of the time as you answer each section. This will improve your pacing technique and score.

Be Confident

Now that your test day has arrived, it is important to be confident going into the MCAT test. You have put in the prep work required and now it is time to let it pay off. You should remember that the target score you set for yourself is within your reach. A positive mindset will give you an extra boost of confidence.

We would recommend getting really motivated before you go to the test center. You should arrive early to make sure you have time to settle and get familiarized before the test begins.

Last-Minute MCAT Studying: What Should You Do?

We understand how difficult MCAT prep can be, so we wanted to give you a list of last-minute tips to help you succeed in getting into your dream med school. We hope you found these last-minute tips helpful and informative.

Just keep in mind, you studied and worked hard to get to this point. You should go into the MCAT feeling confident and excited to see your results.

Reference:

  1. https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/taking-mcat-exam/

About the author

William Cohen

William Cohen

William is an electrical engineer whose great passion is helping promising students achieve their goals and dreams. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with aspiring learners from all over the world.

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