About the MCAT - Free Once Again
The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is the standardized exam that all medical colleges in the United States require of prospective students. The MCAT examines a students ability to critically think and apply scientific concepts to word based problems. How well a student does on the MCAT can greatly determine where or if they will attend medical school.
The MCAT is designed for problem solving and critical thinking by asking you to use scientific concepts in a passage based format. You then will have multiple choice answers that are based on those passages.
What is the MCAT?
The MCAT is a massive standardized test that became necessary as medical school dropout rates skyrocketed in the 1920's. The MCAT has undergone many fundamental changes over the years, but the aim of the test is still designed to weed out the people who can become doctors from the ones who cannot. It is comparable to the LSAT which is the admissions test for law school.
Want to learn more about the history of the MCAT? Check out our what is the MCAT page here to learn more.
Currently administered over 25 terms per year at certified Prometric testing centers, the MCAT has become the make or break bench mark for many aspiring doctors. Most students who take the MCAT are undergraduate juniors and seniors, however this varies as many adults also choose to enter medical school and must take this exam.
For international students, and only in some remote areas the test will be administered by paper but this is becoming increasingly rare due to the availability and ease of access to computers.
What is on the MCAT?
The MCAT tests general knowledge and knowledge of five academic subjects as well as communication and critical thinking skills. These subjects should all have been studied or are currently being studied during your college career. The ones tested on the MCAT include:
Questions are usually a brief passage along with multiple choice questions, however there are a few independent questions that test your knowledge on any in the field. Knowledge and understanding of all these subjects and their applications will allow for the easy solving of most problems. The MCAT does not test your ability to regurgitate facts, rather the ability to use that knowledge in an applied manner.
If you are interested in getting a sneak peak of what is on the 2015 MCAT, click here for more information and topic guides.
How to Study for the MCAT
Preparation is key to being successful on the MCAT. Cramming the night before and showing up at the last minute, jittery and sleep deprived is no way to take the MCAT. Come test day, you will be nervous enough. When you sit down in that chair, you will need every ounce of boosted confidence that a full MCAT schedule of study can give you. In 2012, over 89,000 would be medical students took the MCAT. The test is weighted against your fellow premeds. You can rest easy knowing that some of them simply won’t be ready. Don’t let it be you!
There are many hints and tricks to study for the MCAT available here, which will help boost your test taking time and ultimately let you get a higher score by becoming a more effective test taker.
The AAMC recommends a six month to a year window of MCAT preparation time. It may sound interminable, but when you have work, family, school, and internships (not to mention a social life) those days get shorter and shorter. The 12 week program for MCAT study here at About the MCAT.com is structured to include everything you need to know about the MCAT and to keep you focused. Also included are the in depth reviews and other MCAT study tools to enhance your strong areas and strengthen your weaker knowledge areas to bring up all your scores.
While 12 weeks of an MCAT study schedule may sound too long, you can think of it the program like a workout plan. You start with the warm up, taking practice exams, getting a feel for the test layout and conditions, then you start on the in depth MCAT reviews where your brain is working up a sweat, and finally the cool down and relax in the last couple weeks. Really its exercise for the mind. And scoring in the top percent of MCAT takers will feel so much better than losing those freshman five. So check out the study guide for the MCAT and good luck!
You can check out the 12 week MCAT study plan here, which will give you a sample layout of how much time you should spend on each subject in order to do well on the MCAT.
Medical School and Beyond
Success on this test coupled with strong extra curricular activities, a high GPA and internships are key indicators of admission to medical school. The MCAT test takes place many times throughout the year, however you should begin to prepare for the exam 6 months to a year before you take it. It is far too easy to underestimate the difficulty of this test.
AboutheMCAT.com was created to assist students through the entire process in attaining admission to medical school. From tips on taking the first prerequisites as a freshman to choosing the right medical college (and getting in), you will find everything you never wanted to know about medical school compiled here.
Right now is a great time to go to medical school with healthcare change and high demand for physicians, there are too few seats filled at even the top medical colleges. But where to begin? Take a look at the sections of the website on resume building, references, and how to ace that all important interview.
On AbouttheMCAT.com, you will find the rankings of medical colleges and necessary information like contact info and deadlines to apply.
Be sure to look at the medical school rankings and comparison areas under the tools tab. You might be surprised to learn the MCAT averages and rankings of medical colleges that are traditionally held to be the most esteemed. While other lesser known medical schools may also be highly regarded and may fit your interests perfectly.
You can check out the entire medical school section of the site here and get tips and hints on how to get into medical school.