MCAT Flashcards

There is a lot of learning to do for the MCAT, especially in the physical sciences and biological sciences section. With so much to learn and remember one can tend to forget some important concepts or facts. So, while in the preparation stage, one should think of effective ways to remember what one is studying. Various retention methods are writing down as one study, associating difficult concepts to something one can remember etc. Another popular way of remembering is by making use of flashcards. Flashcards are small pieces of cardboard or paper, each of which has a fact or concept written on them. Flashcards have always been a good way of studying and remembering what one has studied.

Best Books for MCAT Preparation

  1. The Gold Standard MCAT by Dr. Brett Ferdinand. It is 1000 pages long and costs about $89.
  2. Examkrackers Verbal by Jordan and Jon. The book has 112 pages and is a 2007 edition. It costs $19.99.
  3. The Silver Bullet MCAT by Dr. Brett Ferdinand. It is 640 pages long and is 2010 edition, priced at $27.
  4. MCAT Premier Program by Kaplan, edition 2008-2009. It contains all sections, physics, biology, organic and general chemistry and verbal reasoning, for $100.
  5. 1001 Questions in MCAT Chemistry by Examkrackers. Only questions are given in this book and it is not study material. It is ideal for revision after study. Plenty of practice questions arranged by topic.

Types of Questions that are Generally Asked in the Verbal Section of the MCAT

The Five Kinds of Verbal Reasoning Questions that can be asked in the MCAT examination are,
1. Testing the main idea: The examiner would want to know how well the student understands the main idea of the passage. The central theme of the passage should be comprehended and whether this is done or not is tested. This is the most important question as it determines to the examiner as whether the student is capable of understanding the passage from the writer’s point of view. Some commonly appearing questions in this regard are,

How to prepare for the MCAT like an Expert

Kudos for the time management:
The MCAT examination is offered only about 22 times a year, at scheduled times. So, one has to plan when one is going to take the test and begin preparation as early as possible. It is always better to start preparing during your third year. After a month or so of preparation, one can identify one’s strengths and weaknesses and plan when to take the test accordingly. Also, one should register about 5 weeks before the test. So, do not leave the registration to the last minute. You need to select the location of the test according to your convenience. If the test is not offered in your city or town, you might have to travel to a neighboring city to take the test, so plan accordingly. The test costs about $175 and the travel could charge you some money. Make sure you have completed the coursework you need to in the second and third years itself so you can be free in the final year to prepare, write the MCAT and apply to medical schools.

How the MCAT Tests are scored

The MCAT, like many other tests is standardized. It tests only specific subjects like physics, chemistry, biology and verbal ability without asking complicated questions from additional courses like calculus or other advanced courses. The raw score of the test is scaled to a compare yours with the rest of the applicants who have taken the test on the same day as you. Hence, performing well on the test is not just enough, performing better than the others counts too. Along with the score, the percentile is printed on your mark sheet, which shows how far above or below average your raw test score is.

MCAT Tips for the Test Day

The day of the MCAT test would have been the most anticipated day of your life yet. It is better to start preparing for the test day a few days in advance so you do not unnecessarily panic or lose confidence. Try to relax well before the test and you know best about what activity keeps you calm and relaxed, so try to do that. Studying doesn’t help you calm down, so avoid studying just before the exam, like on the test day. Make sure you know where exactly your test center is, and calculate in advance how you plan to get there. Check out the traffic in the location to decide how long the drive to the center would take and avoid driving because it could cause some panic. Take your parents’ or friends’ help for that. If you think it’ll take you 15 minutes to reach your test center during the rush hour, and then start at least 25 minutes early. You do not want to be late at any cost.