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How can I get MCAT Practice?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 20 August 2018
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The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is an important step for people who plan to attend medical school in places like the US. Unlike the standardized pre-college testing, MCATs test more specifically in several areas of science, and higher scores can be valuable for admission to more competitive medical schools; scores are only one aspect of admission and are considered with strong grades and recommendations. Most people planning to take this test seek MCAT practice, which can be obtained by taking the right preparatory classes, by using practice books, by following other suggestions on the American Association of Medical Colleges Website, and possibly by enrolling in MCAT practice classes.

Students will not do well on this test if they don’t have a strong background in the sciences on which they will be tested. Most pre-med majors will get the classes they need, but this is something upon which students should inquire as they complete their undergraduate degree. Moreover, any MCAT courses should be taken by the end of junior year, since many students will take the MCAT in their senior year. The best MCAT practice of all is doing well in these classes and keeping all notes and materials so they can be reviewed.

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There are many additional MCAT practice opportunities. The American Association of Medical Colleges publishes an official guide, which is worth having as a study tool. Practice tests can be purchased or found for free online.

These are all good ways to practice, and students may also find a few unofficial guides to the test. Though possibly inferior to the official guide, these could be useful as extra MCAT practice. Before buying them, students should check school libraries to determine if there are any guides available for check-out.

One questionable issue related to test practice is the usefulness of classes that teach MCAT prep. It’s interesting that the American Association of Medical Colleges does not recommend them, and instead simply suggests that coursework, study, and practice will be enough. Some students do get higher scores as a result of taking MCAT classes, and each student must decide if the expense is justified. Some believe it can be worth it, and others do very well without it.

A few more study tips for the MCAT include studying with other people. Most students planning to go on to medical school will know other students headed in the same direction. Having study groups or study buddies may make learning and remembering easier. Students should also give themselves adequate time to prepare, and should probably start studying the summer before senior year, planning on an intense period of study for about eight weeks prior to taking the test.

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