Once the new academic year starts to approach, the next intake of premedical undergraduate students have to prepare their medical school applications. Granted, it may seem like a long time before you have to worry about revising for the MCAT. However, there are some things that you can do now to facilitate your preparation at a later date.
You may have been searching for your introductory course materials on Amazon. Or, perhaps you have already familiarized yourself with organic chemistry and the "right hand rule" (a memory technique for mastering vectors in physics and maths). Whatever the case, the tips below will guide you on the right path towards successful MCAT preparation, starting immediately:
Become Conversant With the MCAT Subjects
While this might appear to be stating the obvious, lots of students spend their time as undergraduates without completely understanding the MCAT topics. Rather than ignoring the exam until you have to start studying for it, it is best to set some time aside now, to acquire a reasonable knowledge of what topics the exam covers. The web has all kinds of resources, however it is best to start with the US Medical Colleges Association (AAMC), as this is the organization that produces the exam. The AAMC site provides prospective applicants with a range of details, regarding preparation advice and exam content areas.
Students intending to sit the MCAT during spring 2015 or after, will be given an exam in a different format to the present version. The 2015 Preview Guide, on the AAMC site, outlines how the new test includes psychology, biochemistry and the biological and social bases of behavior. After gaining a fundamental understanding of the MCAT subjects, students can enroll on courses, while being aware of whether the material learned will be relevant several years down the line, on MCAT exam day.
Retain Your Course Materials
Many colllege students make a habit of reselling or renting their old textbooks. However, it might be sensible to keep hold of all your notes, texts and study guides relating to MCAT topics. These materials will be helpful future resources for you to refer back to, as your exam preparation plan develops.
Read Your Course Materials Regularly
As you get nearer to the date of the MCAT, you should start organizing all of the important, relevant course materials that you have acquired. You can do this by producing study guides, or flashcards categorized into groups, for later review. Doing this at the conclusion of every MCAT related course will benefit you, when the time comes to revise each topic in preparation for exam day.
Make use of Technology
You should use smartphone applications, like Flashcards Deluxe, to prepare your review material. These applications allow you to electronically access and store your index cards, round the clock, on your device. By preparing for the MCAT as you complete your course work, you will find that you are better prepared than lots of other students, when the last stages of MCAT preparation arrive.
Once the fall semester commences, premed students ought to make a point of familiarizing themselves with the MCAT. By increasing your knowledge about the exam today, you will find it easier to continuously prepare, while you progress with your courses. Undoubtedly, producing clear study guides and regularly reviewing your previous courses are a good way to prepare for the MCAT. However, all students are unique, so there is not a "one size fits all" approach to prepare for this exam. Consequently, you should be flexible and patient, when deciding on the strategy that will work best for your personal learning style.