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10 Top Tips for Preparing for the MCAT


9
Dig Out Old Textbooks and Class Notes
All those books that you kept around just in case you'd need them again? Dust 'em off.
All those books that you kept around just in case you'd need them again? Dust 'em off.
Gary Houlder/Lifesize/Thinkstock

Some MCAT candidates invest $1,000 to $2,000 on cram courses offered by private tutoring schools, but research suggests that those courses don't really have any significant effect on scores. The reason may be that the courses mostly concentrate on the methodology of test taking rather than on the subject material. And that critical subject material is all information you should have learned in a solid undergraduate pre-med program.

Instead of trying to cram your head full of unfamiliar knowledge at the last minute, systematically review the content of your undergraduate science and biology courses. Dr. Thomas L. Pearce, a University of Virginia medical school faculty member, advises medical school hopefuls to review "all their class notes (and) every page of their introductory texts in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, and physics" [source: Brown].

Dig out your old math, physics, biology, general chemistry and organic chemistry textbooks and test yourself on some of the material. You'll quickly identify some of your strengths and weaknesses in the process. Plus, this initial review will help you focus your study efforts, making the most of your time.