How do you get over an MCAT Plateau?

Often times, the reason your score is likely not increasing could be because of stamina. MCAT testing endurance is a very underestimated skillset. Yet, it is one of the MAJOR skills that most top MCAT scorers give credit to in allowing them to increase their MCAT scores.

This exam is unlike any other test you’ve written. It’s very endurance heavy. Without any stamina training, do you really think you have the ability to sit there and use your brain effectively in test mode for 7.5 straight hours? HIGHLY unlikely.

Beyond the 2-3 hour mark, most top scorers knew that they really had to train their mind to stay focused and in 'peak-performance' state for the rest of the exam. You too, really have to train your endurance and stamina if you want to see your MCAT score improve.

We've come across a lot of premeds and a good guess would be that the average MCAT writer studies for 1 hour and takes a break for another hour during MCAT prep.

The problem? Lack of stamina and ability to focus.

Here’s what we suggest:

1: Using Practice Exams Efficiently

You’ve probably already heard that the "MCAT is a marathon, not a sprint". Most people have heard it. Yet, the students who actually take it seriously and act on such a valuable insight, are the ones who get the highest MCAT scores.

Top scorers always see the MCAT as a marathon. You definitely don't want to compete in a marathon if you’ve never properly completed one before! You’ll lose.

You should have completed as many marathons as possible before the big event to ensure that stamina will NOT be a problem for you. When stamina doesn't get in your way, only then can you properly focus on technique, strategy, and analysis.

When it comes to conquering the MCAT, your practice exams are your marathons. Remember, MCAT stamina can only be strengthened by the way in which you practice.

2: How To Analyze Practice Exams for Deficiency In Stamina

Break up your practice exam into hourly phases, after you've written it and are in analysis mode.

Your goal is to analyze and figure out which phase of the practice exam you are getting answers the most incorrect during practice tests.

Break up your phases by hours. Where are you struggling the most? In the first and second hour? The third and fourth? Fifth and sixth? Or the last one?

If you're getting the most answers incorrect in the first hour, your issue might be anxiety or your ability to get comfortable and into your mental 'zone'. Your solution could simply be that you need to get in your 'zone' before the test so you don’t waste that first hour or two not performing optimally.