10 Must-Do Tasks the MCAT First Week of Studying
10 Must-Do Tasks the First MCAT Study Week
Explore the image to find out more about this MCAT journey...
SO. MANY. OPTIONS.
We know what it feels like: being inundated with the ocean of content the MCAT supposedly covers.
If you are reading this: rest assured - you finally have a straight and narrow path to your 528.
The only way to traverse a map is a straight line: which happens one step at a time.
We've paved a route. Explore it to your medical future....
Day 1 is incredibly important to place on your calendar. If you are reading this post: it should be within the next few weeks. Don't postpone your MCAT study D-Day. Or the war will already be over.
Day 2: Supply Day
On Day 2, you should accomplish step 1, step 2, and step 6.
This is your supply day: where you prioritize your first essentials - an AAMC account, AAMC official test prep supplies, and supplies we recommend from our website.
Regarding MCAT Adventure, journey-specific supplies will always be listed before the relevant journeys. Scout out your trails and order beforehand so you aren't left waiting.
Day 3: Environment Destination Day
Day 4-5: Scope the ENTIRE MCAT
Day 6: Combat Training
Without a taste of the battle - you'll likely NEVER be ready.
Today, you do a single passage of each of the four sections. Like a dive into a cold swimming pool - it may feel horrible. But you are now in.
After completing step 9, you can move onto step 10: where you schedule your first full-length practice exam less than or equal to three weeks away (step 10).
Ideal Study Laptop
Respectful of your budget, a laptop is not only an investment for MCAT prep: it is - more importantly - an investment for your future career as a physician.
Prioritize your AAMC expenses first: MCAT exam and official practice materials. After this; we highly recommend considering the laptop you use.
I used to hate Macbooks. After the death of my third Windows Laptop - I decided to cave into a Macbook Pro. It paid for itself in four months.
With the processing power - I was able to juggle a research job, MCAT prep, an artist side-career, and coding. Moreover, it runs Windows.
Get yours here. Consider our other recommended/wallet-friendly laptops here ($300 - $2,300).
MCAT Study Environment
This is precisely the study environment step 4 will teach you how to set up.
In case you were wondering, that book in the background is the Amino Acid Legend. It's a book we are quite proud of - because it is, as far as we know, the first ever mnemonic storybook for Biology's alphabet. You WILL be tested on amino acids in the MCAT.
Shared Study Calendar
Part of creating your study environment is creating your study calendar: an invaluable tool not only for a reality-check, but for accountability.
While part of step 4, it absolutely doesn't hurt to skip to this journey step, and start with setting up a calendar using Google Calendar.
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This is not only the direct conduit
to schedule the MCAT:
it’s your portal to apply to medical school.
You need an AAMC account,
and it will provide you direct access
to purchase the most accurate test prep material.
An ABSOLUTE MUST by/on your MCAT first week!!!
*Put this off!
*Have the AAMC website as a primary bookmark.
*Make our website a secondary bookmark.
*Don’t ever be afraid of the AAMC website.
They are a service.
They need your future expertise
just as much as you need their platform.
② BUY the aamc practice kit
Always going to the creator
is the best option:
every test prep company’s practice exams
cover the wrong material!
Once the same passage from AAMC’s practice exam
showed up on my real MCAT!
In your MCAT First Week, the second budget item
behind the actual exam should be
AAMC’s Online Practice Kit.
*Hesitate to dive into this study material.
(You are paying for it).
*Maximize your purchase.
*Work through problems.
*Familiarize yourself with your portal.
*Aside from the exam iteself,
this is your primary investment.
*Start with this purchase.
*If you are going to forego all other supplies we recommend
and only buy one:
we recommend this purchase
over even our own material!
③ DETERMINE last possible test date
You need a hardened deadline, lest you will never
get into Medical School.
Realistically determine what year you want
to go to medical school.
Subtract this year by one, and test on
or before MAY of said year
for best results.
*Put this step off.
*Keep the deadline in mind. Be realistic.
*Delaying a year for a better score
is not death: it’s life.
Just be honest.
Face the facts.
Even if it means you don’t want to be a doctor,
your life is still valuable!
④ CREATE study environment
Your study environment
largely determines your score.
Our nervous system tends to reflect our surroundings.
This step in your MCAT First Week is
where things – quite literally – get real.
*Just as you would set up a station for a new hobby,
alter your environment towards the MCAT.
⑤ CREATE recharge stations
Humility is accepting you will burn out.
Acknowledge this within your MCAT first week.
Most people recharge on unhealthy batteries.
Make a proxy.
Replace news with our articles (we’d be flattered).
Better yet, free yourself from your phone and go for a study jog.
There is power in prayer,
if you pray to your Creator.
*A good battery keeps you going:
it is NOT a trap.
Ensure your recharge stations
aren’t spider’s webs *cough* phone *cough*!
⑥ ORDER study supplies
*Buy items you won’t use.
*Place value above cost.
(great value tends to pay for cost.)
*Prioritize your budget based on your weakness.
*Leverage a 30 day free trial with Amazon Prime
One of my greatest weaknesses was noise:
buying noise canceling headphones
(alongside other noise isolators)
was one of the greatest purchases of my life.
⑦ EAT the mcat
You need to understand the AAMC topics
by the end of your MCAT First Week.
Why not first eat them?
The MCAT has a set of specific topics we have made digestible in a single article. The 10 minutes reading this article will allow you to gain a study scope.
*Make the text illegible (or symbol horrible).
*Ensure you are mindful of space and legibility.
⑧ MEMORIZE the 10 aamc topics
After eating the four course meal,
do something crazy to memorize each topic
and subtopic in your MCAT First Week.
Then, dive into each introduction to deepen your study scope.
Remember, the point is refiling your entire Pre-Med comprehension into applicable MCAT scope.
*Make the text illegible.
*Try to cram too much info on your band-aids.
*Ensure you are mindful of space and legibility.
*Only write cues. Let your brain fill in the rest.
⑨ SAMPLE one passage for each mcat section
The MCAT is not perfect exam.
It will not prepare for you.
You need to prepare for it.
Do at least one official AAMC passage as a sampler.
Without tasting the real thing
within your MCAT First Week:
you’ll feel as if you’ve prepared for nothing.
*Panic because of your inability to perform well.
*Consider this a “waste” of practice material.
*Get through all four passages: fail or pass.
*Source your errors back to the 10 FCs.
*Learn from mistakes afterwards,
and “fill in” a subtopic
*If the next step is diving
into the swimming pool;
this is dipping your toes into the water.
Many people think they are going into a sauna,
when the water is actually cold.
⑩ SCHEDULE practice exam within three weeks
A sampler is not as good as a full meal.
You need to taste failure: or your lowest possible score.
Rain or storm: set the reality of its arrival NOW.
Each week should end with a look at the goal ahead.
End your MCAT First Week with scheduling your first Full-Length.
*Allow fear to push back this practice exam.
*Consider this a waste of a practice exam.
*Face the fire.
*Treat is like a real exam.
*Schedule two days after the exam to go through each problem.
*Goals are measurable.
This is your starting metric.
Unless your university is easy,
the MCAT is only as hard as people make it: your MCAT first week is over!
You can do it!
Honestly, you could score decently well in
three weeks, starting from scratch – with the right
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