premed studies

MCAT…I need you

I’m becoming more and more aware of how important it is, especially in my case, to score well on the MCAT. I have a lot of odds against me at the moment that I’m hoping to overcome (i.e. low GPA on med school standards, out of school for nearly a decade, top choices [due to proximity] are top schools….I NEED to get into one of these schools!) and an exceptionally high MCAT score might just be my ticket. Otherwise, I’ll have to keep taking courses post-bacc to improve my chances (which could add a year or two to this already long journey ahead). Sure, I’d love to say that I can get a 40+ (highest possible is a 45), but realistically speaking, that would take nothing short of a miracle.

So here’s the plan:

Obtain MCAT Prep materials EARLY! This was the advice given to me by Anna, who is a resident at UWisc Hospital and Clinics. Any advice that comes from Anna or Liz are golden in my book! I consider them family (they are the cousins of my ex, the father of my child) and they have been more than helpful in the process. Anna expressed that having prep material NOW would not only familiarize me with what’s on the test, but that it may also help me target what pre-med courses I take and/or target my studying habits while taking these courses. Brilliant! I’ve read several blogs and threads about the most helpful MCAT prep materials and I’ve settled into the idea of obtaining the complete Berkley Review series at the very least!! I already know where I can get them (from a current med student) for a great price. I plan on purchasing them as soon as I can. / SDN has an elaborate 3-month study calendar for the MCAT. I plan on giving this a shot.

Purchase Student Doctor Network MCAT Pearls App. This looks to be a very comprehensive study tool conveniently available for purchase in the App Store for 9.99. I’ve seen some sample cards in the preview section and the design and layout looks great! Excellent reviews as well. Couldn’t hurt.

Take MCAT Prep courses. Again, advice from Anna and from Liz as well. This is also the general consensus from most medical students whose blogs I’ve read. I’ve heard mixed reviews about the Kaplan courses, but I will consider taking a course from Kaplan, as we do have a center here in Athens. The course I’m most interested in is taught at Emory (my #1 choice of med school). Tuition for the Emory MCAT Prep class is steep (nearly $1,400), but this is serious business. Performing well on the MCAT is a necessity. I’m going all out on this one.

Take several practice exams. It’s my understanding that a lot of the prep materials out there contain sample test questions and some have actual practice tests. I’ll need to get accustomed to the format and the timed nature of the test. Not to keep mentioning Emory or anything, but they also offer a free proctored practice MCAT exam once a year. I will be pursuing that opportunity as well.

That’s my plan! Again, I need a miracle to happen here. A high MCAT may keep me from being pre-screened out, but it would need to look VERY impressive. I believe in miracles….don’t you? [Please say yes…]

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