MCAT Preparation Strategies

The following are proven study tips and preparation strategies for improving performance on the MCAT.

  • Start early.
  • Begin your actual test preparation a 2 to 6 months prior to the test. Six months before test day take an initial diagnostic practice exam to see where you’re at.
  • Do practice problems.
  • The best way to enhance your critical thinking ability, as it relates to MCAT performance, is to do practice problems.
  • Complete practice tests. Identify your major issues first. Then tackle them one by one or in combination.

Break down complicated questions into bite sized pieces.

Make a list of all your mistakes and memorize them in order not to repeat them. If you are planning to take the test again, you should make sure that you score CONSISTENTLY higher than your original score before your next test.

If you get stuck on a question, try to eliminate 1 or 2 unlikely answers and make a best guess from the remaining choices.

  • The MCAT is 6 hours and 15 minutes – one of the longest and most rigorous graduate entrance exams. Completing several practice tests prior to test day will not only improve your critical thinking skills, but also help you build the mental stamina required to maintain your focus throughout the exam.
  • Don’t just focus on your strengths.
  • Use practice tests to help you identify where your strengths and weaknesses are. Then use this information to develop your study plan. The most effective plan will help you further develop your strengths and improve in your weaker areas.
  • Don’t overload yourself.
  • If you can plan ahead so that you can manage a lighter academic load during this period it will give you more time and mental ability to focus on MCAT preparation.
  • Get expert advice. For example, we at Manhattan Elite Prep have many top-notch MCAT tutors.
  • Seek advice from people who’ve obtained a high score on the MCAT.
  • Find out what study materials they utilized during their preparation and what preparation strategies they recommend.
  • Manage your time and emotions well. Often times, people do not score high due to the lack of time management and/or test-taking skills, not the lack of knowledge or subject area skills.