What is the Best Way to Study for the MCAT&Reg;?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2018
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The best way to study for the MCAT® is comprehensively over a long period of time. This can be accomplished using books, practice tests, and preparatory classes. Some of these methods are expensive, but they often yield better results than going into the test without studying. Even a person who is very smart and knowledgeable about the topics on the MCAT® can still benefit from additional practice, but when the test draws near, it is usually best not to cram. As such, a slow and thorough plan is the best strategy to use when preparing to study for the MCAT®.

There are always changes to the MCAT® from year to year, but in its most basic form this test covers both general reasoning and problem solving in the sciences. It also includes writing samples. The sections that are multiple choice are much easier to study for objectively, because there is no interpretation in grading multiple choice questions. When getting ready to study for the MCAT® writing sections, it may be prudent to enlist external help in order to get a second opinion about a person's own writing.


One of the best ways to study for the MCAT® is using the various MCAT® books and materials available for a given year. Using books, a person can get a clear idea of what to expect on the test without spending the amount of money necessary to take an MCAT® study course. If someone is self-motivated and diligent, she may be able to completely prepare for the MCAT® in this way.

Many people find that it is too difficult or risky to study for the MCAT® using only books, in which case taking an MCAT® course is probably the best option. Formal courses can be very expensive, but they do give test takers a complete and thorough preparation for the MCAT®. Usually, the course description will list how long before the test the course should be taken. If a person is taking a course in order to study for the MCAT®, it is often easier to plan on a date when he will feel prepared.

As far as study techniques for the MCAT® go, each person is different. Some people find that studying using flash cards is the best method, but others find that simply reading through materials is sufficient. No matter how someone studies, it is important to gauge progress accurately by taking graded practice tests throughout the study process. If a person cannot hit her ideal score using one study method, another must be employed.



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