Do you consider yourself a bad test taker? Are you feeling anxious about taking standardized exams? Do you want to see your MCAT scores soar into the 95th percentile? Please note, this advice applies especially to MCAT takers, but will apply to virtually any entrance examination including but not limited to the GRE, NCLEX, LSAT and SAT.
You must do practice questions in the form of a full-length exam before you sit down for your actual exam. As far as standardized exams go, I have taken, the SAT, ACT, DAT and the MCAT. I realized a little too late the benefits of this special tool while studying for my MCAT, but now I see success in my medical school courses because of it. It is absolutely imperative to observe a simulated MCAT test of the exam type you plan on taking. This gives you a baseline measure of where you are now. Even if you start low, you can only go up from there!
Remember, Google is your friend. There are free resources that will provide a free MCAT question of the day. You can use this daily, one year before your actual MCAT or you can buy a few of the AAMC full practice tests here. The AAMC is the official governing body that created the actual MCAT exam, so trust me, this is gold.
The rule of thumb is, the more practice questions you see, the better you’ll do on your exam. If you haven’t simulated taking your exam, how will know what your weaknesses will be? How will you know what your strengths will be on the exam? Taking the practice exam will allow you to see all of the content that will be tested. Now, you will generally know what kinds of questions you will be asked on test day. Practice exams will show you question styles and estimate the stamina required to successfully answer each timed question on exam day.
As I stated previously, doing full-length practice exams or practice questions allow you to see the information you’re actually pretty good at and the information you’re not so good at. This will allow you to create a more focused study plan. I personally like to do a book of what I don’t know so that I can review and master those concepts. In addition to this, I go back to the practice exam and see incorrect answers or correct answers that I simply guessed but didn’t really know. From there, I write it down in my “Things I Don’t Know” Notebook to mark it for review at a later time.
So, after pointing out concepts to review, it is now time to use your textbooks, review books, Khan’s Academy and whatever other study resources to crystallize your weak areas. In a few days to a week or so, depending on how much time you plan to study, you’ll need to take another practice test. Hopefully, you should see a tremendous increase in your MCAT scores for example. It is highly likely, your MCAT scores will surge from your first practice test baseline. You should probably do it in about four days, but as I said it depends on how much time you are dedicating to test preparation. If you’re giving yourself a three or four-month study plan, you can wait a week and assess yourself with another full -length h practice exam.
If you make practice questions the core of your study mantra, there is honestly no way that you will not have a successful test day. This method has historically worked for thousands of people that can attest to it as shown in this articles linked here for successful MCAT , NCLEX , GRE, LSAT test takers.
You are well on your way to killing your exams and most importanly, getting ACCEPTED!
Before I go, I’ll leave you with a few test-taking tips linked here:
As always, I am rooting for you.
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