Boost your MCAT score with these tools and resources
Medical school aspirants all over the world are witnessing the challenges faced by healthcare workers and the suffering of those infected by COVID-19.
The number of students applying to enter medical school in 2021 is up 17% from last year, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Many are motivated to join the field that is currently at the forefront of creating solutions for COVID-associated challenges.
To join them, you will need to get familiar with the process of applying to medical school. The first step is the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) — a multiple-choice, computer-based exam that is a prerequisite for admission to medical schools across the US and Canada. Over 85,000 medical candidates sit for the exam each year.
The MCAT is designed to test students in general chemistry, organic chemistry, general biology, biochemistry, physics, psychology, and sociology. A high score in the MCAT is essential to stand out in a competitive applicant pool.
Like most standardised exams, preparation can be challenging and time-consuming, requiring at least a couple months of focused study. Kaplan recommends between 300 and 500 hours of test prep to excel.
Achieving an above average MCAT score, however, is within reach, thanks to a number of quality study tools that include full-length practice tests, video lessons, study schedules, timers, daily practice questions, and information on test-taking techniques available on the internet.
Here are some you can start using ahead of exam day:
Khan Academy is a dominant force in the online learning community, known for offering academic courses in a variety of subjects for learners of all ages.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which delivers the MCAT, has teamed up with the platform to develop comprehensive videos, questions, and resources that cover everything MCAT.
The best part? These tools are free and open to every aspiring physician.
Kaplan MCAT Practice Tests
Kaplan has provided quality standardised testing materials for years.
For the MCAT, its website offers pop quizzes, live online courses, a free comprehensive practice test, and more.
Paid preparation courses can also be customised according to how much time students have on their side – ranging from less than a month to three.
The Princeton Review
Much like Kaplan and Khan Academy, the Princeton Review is known for its supplemental learning materials for students of all ages.
While many of its resources that guarantee a high-score come with a fee, the platform is now offering its biology class for free for future MCAT test-takers.
The video course is facilitated by master instructors. It also provides detailed insights into individual performance.
The Student Doctor Network
Forums are a great way to stay in-the-know in real time.
On the Student Doctor Network’s PreMedForums, budding physicians and those who have been there and done that share tools are resources that have helped them the most –– from flashcards, timers, to study schedule templates.
With thousands of users, the forum is also a great source of emotional support. Many have even found accountability buddies through posts and replies.
The MCAT Podcast
The MCAT Podcast was the dynamic result of a collaboration between the Medical School Headquarters and Blueprint MCAT Prep.
It was innovated to ensure test-takers have the information they need to take on every question with confidence on their big day. It also sets out to motivate and encourage up-and-coming physicians looking to make a difference.