How To Get More Out Of An MCAT Prep Course

If you are serious about getting a good score on the MCAT (and who isn't?), then enrolling in an MCAT exam prep course is absolutely advised. It is so much easier to learn with an instructor guiding you and holding you responsible. However, even in the best MCAT prep course, you won't learn by osmosis — you have to put in the work! Here are some ways to get more out of an MCAT prep course.

1. Choose a course that complements your learning style.

By this point in your academic career, you should have a pretty good idea of how you learn best. Do you learn best by working in groups? Maybe listening to lectures helps you, or perhaps you learn a lot from working on problems on your own and then reviewing the solutions with a group. There are a wide array of MCAT prep courses available, and they utilize various learning styles. Try to find one that melds well with your own learning style so that you naturally absorb more information.

2. Prepare for each day's lesson.

In any MCAT prep course worth its salt, you will get an outline of each day's lessons at least a few days in advance. Get into the habit of spending at least a few minutes the night before going over the outline for the next day. Write down a few questions related to the material. Pay attention to see whether the questions are answered during the class, and if they are not, ask them. Engaging in the class in such a way helps you get more out of it and helps keep your attention on the material.

3. Attend every practice test you can.

Most MCAT prep courses include a few "mandatory" practice test sessions that may take place during the normal class. But they also tend to include an extra, optional practice test, perhaps on a weekend. Attend any and all practice test that you can. There is no better way to get experience actually answering MCAT questions in a real test-taking environment.

4. Put other obligations aside for the time being.

You'll get more out of an MCAT course if you make it your chief focus for the time being. If you can quit your job or take some time off to study, do so. Put off spending time with friends until after the test, and ask family members if they can handle things like cooking dinner and cleaning the house. Stay focused, and you'll only have to take the test once — and then you can get back to normal life.