December 2013: MCAT Preparation (Pulse)
Congratulations for finishing finals especially those who graduated! That is a huge accomplishment and be proud that you did it.
We hope you had a wonderful christmas with your loved ones . Even though we are on holiday break, the MSMP Board is working hard to come up with events for the Spring 2014 semester for you and we can’t wait to share them. Don’t forget to get in touch with your mentors! This could be a great opportunity to meet up with them face-to-face if you can
We always want to keep you all updated on the latest information related to medical school thus “The Pulse” was born. It is a monthly email with a topic of interest to pre-medical students. Last month’s theme was Letters of Recommendation. This month’s theme will focus on the Medical Admission College Test, affectionally known as the MCAT.
As we are sure you are all well-aware, the MCAT is an important component to any medical school application. It is very important to do well on this exam, therefore, preparation is key. However, please know the medical school application does not solely rely on only your MCAT score. There are so many other factors that help medical schools determine if you are a competitive applicant. Nevertheless, a good MCAT score can help you stand out.
- For those who are planning to take the MCAT next year, you will be taking the current version. So this could be a great opportunity to ask your mentor what their experience was like since they would have taken the same version you’ll be taking (except the written sample is no longer part of the MCAT).
- Exam content: 1) Physical Sciences, 2) Verbal Reasoning, 3) Biological Sciences, and 4) Trial Section. Only the Trial Section will be optional as it’ll help the test administrators fine-tune the major changes occurring to the MCAT in 2015. Apparently, if you do take this section, you can win an Amazon gift card!
- First exam date is in January! Check out the MCAT Exam Dates and sign up early once you have decided your date. Make sure you consider the amount of time you will need to study before you pick your test date. This can be another great question to ask your mentor,
*** For more information, please visit the MCAT section of the AMCAS website:www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/261742/changes.html#.UrzkEmRDtZB
If you are a freshman or sophomore, you’ll most likely be taking the MCAT 2015 version which will have major changes. Here is what you have to know:
- Exam allotted time: 7 1/2 hrs (includes a lunch break)
- Exam content: 1) Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, 2) Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, 3) Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior, 4) Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills.
- Exam scoring: Each section will have an individual score however a scoring system has not been created yet.
- Please read the UHM’s PAC’s MCAT 2015 Overview to see what courses will prepare you for the different sections. For more detailed information, you can also review the AMCAS Preview Guide for the MCAT 2015 Exam (Second Edition). It also has some great sample questions for the different sections so make sure to read through it when you can.
*** For more information, please visit the MCAT 2015 section of the AMCAS website:www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/mcat2015/#.Urzdq2RDtZA
Some Helpful Test Day Tips
Bring proper identification. It must be current and government issued with your first and last names matching with the name you registered with.
Be prepared for the check-in process. Arrive at least 30 minutes before your exam time.
Adhere to break policies. You will be allotted short breaks between sections but there are rules to follow during those breaks such as getting your snacks and drinks from a locker where you can store your belongings.
Forum & MCAT Resources on MSMP Website
Please don’t forget to check out the the MCAT section of the Resources tab. It has been updated and features the latest information you’ll need to know.
Also, if you have questions and would answers from different medical students, check out the forum! It’s another great avenue for you to get advice and guidance.
What to ask your Mentor?
- When should I take the MCAT?
- How long should I be studying for the MCAT? How do I set up my study schedule?
- How much is the MCAT?
- Where can I take the MCAT?
- What resources do I use to study for the MCAT?
- What is considered a competitive MCAT score?
The most important thing you can do when preparing for the MCAT is the keep yourself well-informed. Please read through the attached files we have shared, go through the AMCAS website, ask questions of your mentor, get advice from an advisor, check out the MCAT resources on the MSMP website, and more. The more knowledgeable you are, the better decision you can make for yourself on when to take the test and figure how to best prepare. Also, don’t forget to take a few PRACTICE TESTS!!! This is the probably the best way to gauge how well you are studying and a good indicator on how you will do on your real test day.