Kevin Wang, Dr. Parth Kothari, and Dr. Taylor Purvis contributed to this post.
Aside from the AMCAS, the MCAT is one of the biggest pre-med hurdles to tackle. Some students in combined BS/MD programs can avoid taking the MCAT, as they move on to med school by maintaining a certain GPA.
Some post-baccalaureate pre-medical programs have a similar agreement with “linkage” medical schools, allowing students to glide into medical school the fall after they finish a post-bacc program—without having to take the MCAT.
However, the vast majority of us spend days to months (to years?) of our lives agonizing over the MCAT and wondering, "What score do I need to get to be competitive?"
The MCAT’s scoring system might seem confusing, and at first glance, it is. Why in the world would it range from 472 to 528? Each section is scored from 118 to 132. Still confusing. We know. However, these wonky numbers bring the median score to a 500, which is an easy number to look at to see how well you scored relative to other applicants.
Attend Med School Tutors’ MCAT Mondays this November!
Registration for the MCAT testing dates between January 2021 and March 2021 will open on Tuesday, November 10th at noon. Registration for the April, May, and June 2021 test dates will open in February 2021. Registration for the July, August, and September 2021 test dates will open in May 2021.
When it comes to study materials for the MCAT, practice questions are some of the most invaluable resources that can help you test your knowledge while honing your critical thinking skills. Though there are several good third-party MCAT resources out there that can supply you with loads of passage-based questions and full-length exams, none rival those created by the MCAT-developer itself, the AAMC.
Fortunately, my subsequently underwhelming exam scores brought me the realization that a detailed study plan was going to be the key to success as a medical student. In the years that followed, discovering an optimal study plan has helped me to succeed as both a medical student and internal medicine resident.
Over the course of any student’s MCAT studying journey, they might see that their score has stopped improving, or no matter what, they can’t seem to remember certain content areas. If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to reevaluate how you’re studying—are you passively or actively learning?
As many of you may know, the AAMC cancelled eight MCAT test dates from March 27th through May 21st due to coronavirus (COVID-19). MCAT testing will resume on May 29th; however, the AAMC has made a number of important changes to the upcoming MCAT schedule in an effort to accommodate examinees whose test dates were cancelled while maintaining safe social distancing practices. As an MCAT tutor and prior examinee myself, I understand that these changes have likely added stress to an already challenging process in a very uncertain time. For all students preparing to take the MCAT these next few months, I’d like to provide some clarity to the recent changes to the MCAT.
High-quality, passage-based questions are the gold standard of MCAT preparation, but unfortunately, they are perennially in short supply for our students. Luckily, UWorld's MCAT Qbank is a top-quality resource for MCAT preparation. Read on for our review of UWorld's MCAT Qbank, how best to use it for MCAT success, and why the MCAT is an important milestone for incoming medical students.
Why you want to ace your MCAT exam on your first try
It is highly advantageous to ace your MCAT the first time around. Apart from the frustration of a second study period, all MCAT scores are reported to medical schools.
While many schools will take into account your improvement on a second attempt, many will average or otherwise consider both attempts when evaluating your application. As a result, it is in your best interest to do your absolute best on your first attempt!
UWorld MCAT Qbank: A top-tier MCAT resource
In 2017, UWorld introduced a 1,000 question passage bank for the MCAT. Since then, UWorld has nearly doubled the size of the qbank, with 1,944 questions at the time of this post. While a relatively new name to most MCAT test-takers, UWorld has built top-tier resources for the NCLEX and USMLE exams, so we are excited to see UWorld continuing to expand their MCAT resources.
Why is this so important? Beyond the official AAMC practice materials, the offerings of prep companies have been of mixed quality. Given the limited quantity of official AAMC materials, we recommend our students save the AAMC content until their final preparation leading up to test day and use the UWorld MCAT Qbank for initial prep.
Questions on position or velocity versus time graphs often trip students up. In this post, I've broken down a consistent approach you can take when tackling these problems so you can turn them into free points.