Thinking of Appearing for MCAT? Here’s Your Complete Exam Preparation Guide!


Last Updated: March 9, 2023
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Do you want to be a doctor? In that case, you must be aware that the MCAT test is one of the initial steps on your journey to medical school in the USA, Canada, Australia or the Caribbean Islands.

If you thought NEET was a tough one to crack, wait until you encounter the MCAT! It’s a rigorous test that requires intensive preparation, but it isn’t impossible to crack. What you need is a stellar preparation strategy. And we’ve got one outlined here for you! Read on to find out how you can ace the exam and get into your dream college.

What is MCAT?

Without a doubt, one of the most crucial exams for entrance to medical schools is the MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test. Most medical schools in the US and Canada offer admission through this computer-based, multiple-choice exam.

A good MCAT grade will not just have a positive effect on your application to medical school, but also give you a competitive edge over other candidates if you study consistently and in advance.

MCAT is a seven and half hour long computer based test containing 4 sections in total. 3 of the 4 sections are science based and 1 tests your critical reasoning. 

medical college admission test

Here’s how you can prepare for MCAT

Chalk out a plan to start studying

You must study diligently in order to pass the MCAT and get a high score. If you can, you should start preparation by selecting classes that will prepare you for the test. Examine your work frequently while in college. The majority of the things taught in your first and second years of undergraduate will be on the MCAT exam.

On average, you need to study for exams for 10 to 15 hours every week. This is over a period ranging from 3-6 months, depending on the individual. You should aim for a total study duration of 250–300 hours.

Track your progress

How close are you currently to reaching your goals? How much time do you need to dedicate to studying? To answer these questions, you’ll need to take a full-length MCAT diagnostic test to determine your baseline.

You need to know what level of knowledge you possess in order to succeed. In addition, you’ll be able to determine areas where your knowledge is lacking. It is also important to get used to the format of the MCAT and how the questions will be asked. So keep a track of your performance, scores and areas which you need to work on. 

Set Your Goal Score‍

Which med school do you want to attend ? What MCAT score do you need to achieve to be seen as competitive? Looking at the previous year’s class profile on medical school websites is a great place to start. You should aim to meet or exceed the average accepted MCAT scores. You should set a target of scoring between 500-528. You must score a minimum of 508 to get admission into the medical colleges through the MCAT test. 

Take practice tests

The MCAT is a very long test. You’re likely to spend about eight hours at the test centre. Taking practice tests will allow you to build up the extra stamina you need to do well on the real test.

You should also be frequently reviewing these tests. We recommend tracking practice exams on a spreadsheet to help you learn and improve. You must note down the exams you have given, the scores in every section and how much time it took you to solve a question. This will help you track your progress and adjust your goals if needed.

Focus on quality not quantity

The MCAT exam is designed to assess your analysis and reasoning as well as knowledge. Cramming won’t help you ace this test; the quality of your analysis will.

With this in mind, use an MCAT study guide and practice questions for a solid foundation – but focus on comprehension rather than just memorisation.

Analyse your learning style

There’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to revision, so try to understand your own learning style. It’s important to devise a study strategy that feels right, so really be honest with yourself.

Even if it’s a little monotonous, decide if simple written lists work well for you? What about flashcards or colourful spider-diagrams? Decide all these things and then set a study pattern for yourself!

Get help from Mentoria!

Confused about whether you want to go for medicine or not? Want to know about other medical entrance exams? We’re here to provide you with all the help! Kick-start your career discovery journey with Mentoria and discover the right career fit for you. Feel free to call us to speak to our career mentors and choose the right career guidance plan that suits your needs.

Mentoria’s career guidance programme enables you to choose your perfect fit from 3 streams, 850+ courses, and 12,000+ careers, and discover what will bring out the best in you.