20 MCAT Test Taking Tips

20 MCAT Tips

Here are some common suggestions for taking exams. Most of the following may appear to be common sense, but most of us do not always think about them.

Before the MCAT Exam

  1. Identify the subjects for which you need to prepare. Prioritize them with regards to how much time you need to spend on them.
  2. Use MCAT subject review books. Keep your old textbooks on hand for a more comprehensive reference.
  3. Use old exams from your prerequisite courses. Going over old exams helps to see MCAT content in context of an exam and helps to learn how test makers think.
  4. Study frequently, but make each session short.
  5. Use flashcards to help study. It may seem old-fashioned, but flashcards are a tried and true way of memorizing information.
  6. Ask professors for help. When you get to a topic you are having trouble with, get an expert mentor.
  7. Continue to engage in other activities. Exercise, listen to music, etc. to break up the monotony.
  8. Get plenty of sleep. The perfect amount of rest is crucial to maximizing your intellectual potential.
  9. Maintain a nutritious diet.
  10. The night before the exam, be sure to relax.

During the MCAT Exam

  1. Read the directions carefully.
  2. Preview the exam to see how much time is allotted for each section.
  3. Pace yourself. Practice the exam ahead of time. Do not spend to much time on any section.
  4. Ensure you have time at the end of each section to review your answers.
  5. Answer the questions. Do not fabricate your own interpretation of what is being asked.
  6. Do not change your answers. Studies show that most students choose the correct answer the first time!
  7. Stay calm. Do not panic or get frustrated during the exam.
  8. Focus. Be sure to keep your mind on the exam.
  9. Do not let your eyes wander around the room.
  10. Remember that you’re taking a test. Think like a test maker, not like a test taker.


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