How I Scored 99.9th Percentile on the MCAT – How to Study

What’s going on guys! In this video I want to talk to you about
big picture study strategies for the MCAT. So you don’t need me to tell you that the
MCAT is one of the most important factors determining your success in gaining acceptance
to medical school. I’m going to share with you the same strategies
that got me a top score. Here’s my score report, it says 100th percentile
but that’s because they rounded up. I think it’s supposed to actually be 99.9th
percentile. This score I got which is 40 is equivalent
to approximately 523 and above on the new MCAT based on online conversions and percentiles
that are available. Now, this score is for the old MCAT and before
they revised it but these strategies will absolutely translate into the new MCAT just
as effectively. So, in this video I’m gonna be trying a new
format, we’re gonna be using animations to spice things up a little bit. I would love to hear what you guys think,
leave a comment below. So first; when should you take the test? One of the most important factors for your
success will be timing, both of study time and your test date. So, your study time should immediately precede
your test day. There’s no point studying in the summer and
then taking the test in winter break. So first for timing; don’t wait too long after
you finish your core courses and prerequisites to study for the MCAT. Prolonging that gap will result in you for
getting key information. While you can relearn this information is
just wasted energy. The name of the game is efficiency. Now for me I studied between sophomore and
junior year during the summer. This was best for me but see what works best
for you and your schedule. Timing Don’t wait too long after you finish
your core courses and pre-requisites to study for the MCAT. Prolonging the gap will resulting in you forgetting
key information. You can relearn this, but that means wasted
energy. The name of the game is efficiency. I studied between sophomore and junior year
during the summer. This was best for me, but see what works best
for you and your schedule. Now as for duration, I recommend you set aside
between two and two and a half months of dedicated study time. I personally spent two and a half months. During the first month I was doing a prep
course while also working 10 to 20 hours per week in a research lab. During the second month I wrapped up the prep
course and I focused all my energy on studying. I was no longer doing research or any classes
in that last month leading up to the test. Next; study smarter not harder. I go over the details on how to spend your
study time efficiently and not to burn out in some other videos, I’ll place the links
down on the description below, so make sure you pace yourself. Studying for the MCAT is a marathon not a
sprint. Part of the reason I decided to do 10-20 hours
of research per week at my first month was to ease into the intensity of studying. This helped break the monotony while maintaining
productivity in my other endeavors. Now, the number of hours I studied per week
slowly increased as I got closer to the test. Your stamina and ability to focus will improve
with time if you pace yourself properly. If you jump in at 100% intensity from the
get-go, you’re more likely to have it backfire and lead to a quick burnout. But at the same time, be careful and don’t
use this as an excuse to only study for a couple hours a day. You want to be putting in the work but also
maintaining both your physical and mental health. Next; setup a optimal environment. First, do you like to study solo or in groups? As I mentioned in some other videos, I don’t
think that larger groups than 3 with yourself included are a good use of time. After 3 people you begin to receive diminishing
returns in your study efforts. I started with two roommates who did the same
prep course as me and they also set high goals using so much study strategies, they both
did well scoring in the 90 to 95th percentile range. Since we were all studying together for the
same tests around the same date, we were in the same boat. We kept each other’s motivation up, we help
each other focus and since we were all inherently competitive to a certain degree, we were wanted
to do better than one another and improve on ourselves of course in a healthy way, definitely
not sabotaging each other but instead learning from each other and sharing tips and trying
to improve each other as well as ourselves. Now, I’m not saying that studying alone is
impossible but seriously consider the benefits of having study partners. I was lucky to have roommates in the same
situation. I recommend you find friends or classmates
who are studying at the same time if you can. College is full of distractions and most of
us could use the added focus and motivation. Next; what is your study space like? If you live in a frat that has multiple parties
every Thursday through Sunday, living there may not be the best spot for you when you’re
studying for your MCAT. I lived in my University apartment for the
first month and I went back home for the last couple of weeks. The reason I did this is that staying at home
minimized any college based distractions and allowed me to focus fully on the studying
and additionally my food and my groceries were taken care of. I know that your living situation might be
different and you may decide on doing another route, that’s totally fine. Just carefully consider your options to set
yourself up for success. Surrounding yourself with temptation and hoping
that you stay motivated and disciplined is foolish. Set yourself up for success from the very
beginning; minimize that possibility of failing. Now, choose your study resources carefully. First, you need to ask yourself what is the
goal in studying for the MCAT? Are you going for the 99th percentile or are
you okay with the 80th percentile? Be honest with yourself. If you are shooting for a top score, you need
to understand that you’ll be putting in much more time and effort. Prepare yourself for this but it will pay
off. Your goals will dictate your study approach
and the resources you should use. Now, if you’re aiming for a top score, you
should over prepare. I’m not saying waste your time studying things
that aren’t relevant, instead, aim to master every concept that is high yield. This strategy will take you a longer time
and your increase in your score will be slower but your top potential score will ultimately
be higher. If you’re aiming a little bit lower, and there’s
nothing wrong with that, then you may be best served by resources that teach you how to
take the test. Some test prep companies teach you how to
navigate the test with certain test taking strategies without having to necessarily master
all of the material. This is more likely to increase your score
quicker but you’re going to plateau sooner and reach a ceiling with how high of a score
you can achieve. Next; recreate the test conditions. This goes hand-in-hand with the last point;
practice tests are your most prized resource, use them carefully. Don’t waste them all at the beginning but
at the same time, do take them early enough to familiarize yourself with the test. When you do a practice test, recreate the
test conditions; take breaks as if it were the real thing. Turn your phone off, use earplugs if you plan
on using earplugs the day of the test. Time yourself accurately, both test blocks
and test breaks. I recommend taking your first test after one
or two weeks of studying, as the test day gets closer, use them more frequently. In the two to three weeks leading up to the
test, I was doing between three and four practice tests per week averaging about one every other
day, but and I say this is a huge but, the new MCAT is three hours longer than the MCAT
that I took. I don’t think it’s feasible to maintain this
with the new test. That being said, you should still consider
doing practice tests at a higher frequency the closer it gets to your test. Last; optimized your test date conditions. In another video, I’ll go more to detail on
how to prepare the day before and the day of your big test. In short, only study half the day before your
test. You want to be relaxed and comfortable. Cramming last minute is more likely to hurt
you than help you. Drive to the testing center, get familiar
and day of, make sure you have a good breakfast and you get in the zone. You’ve done your hard work, time to show them
what you got. That’s it for this video guys. What do you all think of the new format? I’d love to hear what you think below. Any questions or suggestions for new content,
also please leave those in the comments below and don’t forget to press Like and hit that
subscribe button if you haven’t already. See you guys in that next video!

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