Being very challenging and competitive, taking MCAT exams can be very stressful.
However, if you add misinformation to the mix, this stress can increase tenfold.
To combat this problem of additional stress, you need to know as much as possible about the test to filter out the correct information from the typical internet myths.
There are several common myths and misconceptions about the MCAT exam that might stress you out unnecessarily, including:
There’s One Perfect Study Option
This couldn’t be further from the truth, as everyone studies differently.
The many MCAT courses online offer different approaches of preparation for students with different temperaments.
Some like to use the auditory approach, while others prefer to use classical note-taking, verbal encoding, or buddy system to prepare.
As such, there is no ‘one perfect course’ for MCAT.
Instead, you need to go over the different options online and find the best MCAT prep course for yourself.
You’ll Lose Valuable Time
Suppose you’ve heard suggestions or thought to yourself that preparing for the MCAT by yourself without any prep classes is the best way to go—don’t.
Many MCAT hopefuls have fallen to the pitfall of thinking they can make their time for studying.
Unfortunately, in most cases, you end up procrastinating and putting off the syllabus for a later date.
Nothing could be more disastrous than this, as the MCAT exams wait for no one.
However, by enrolling in MCAT prep classes, you ensure that you don’t lose focus and cover the syllabus in time.
It keeps you accountable throughout your studies.
You Can Retake the Test Until You Get a Perfect Score
To set the record straight once and for all, this is blatant misinformation.
Retaking your MCAT test is a viable option if you don’t do well this time around.
Still, there’s a limit to how many retakes you can appear for before becoming ineligible.
The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) put in place restrictions that prevent you from appearing more than seven times.
Under the current rules, you can take a maximum of retakes in one year, which gets reduced to four times in two years, and so on until you can only take one retake a year.
A good prep course will prevent you from wasting or making pointless attempts.
I Don’t Need to Study for the Verbal Section
Though the focus on the verbal section in MCAT is less grueling than some of the other undergrad tests, it still plays a vital role in the final grading.
Unfortunately, many students fall for this myth and end up appearing woefully unprepared for their MCAT verbal exam.
The verbal section focuses more on analysis of given passages than memorization, which can be a bit jarring if you’re not prepared for it.
A prep course will cover all of this, such as timed practice sessions, comprehensive strategies, and more.
Verbal sections require you to think efficiently to solve a given problem, so you need to have a lot of practice to deal with unexpected analysis tasks.
This can also help calm your nerves the day of the exam.
A Prep Course Will Not Prepare Me For the Exam
According to the AAMC, you only need an introductory understanding of the syllabus for the MCAT exam, only requiring you to know as much your classes would have reasonably taught you up to this point.
This means you don’t need to learn new info that you don’t already know.
Unfortunately, many students mistake this as a good enough reason to skip MCAT prep classes to prepare independently.
This is a big mistake, as MCAT prep classes focus on solidifying your understanding of all sections’ fundamentals and synthesizing them to a better score.
Furthermore, the different sections of the MCAT have complex syllabuses.
It is better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.
Better Preparation Means Less Stress
Now that you know about the common myths about MCAT prep courses, you should be able to avoid the most common pitfalls made by thousands of students.
MCAT is only the beginning of the long journey to becoming a medical professional, so you need to spend as little time as possible to overcome this fundamental obstacle.
Hopefully, with these tips, you can do just that with less stress and confusion.
Hi, I’m the Founder and Developer of Paramedics World, a blog truly devoted to Paramedics. I am a Medical Lab Tech, a Web Developer and Bibliophiliac. My greatest hobby is to teach and motivate other peoples to do whatever they wanna do in life.