Is there a list somewhere that contains everything I should memorize for the MCAT? Sadly, there is no magic notebook that contains every piece of content that you should memorize for the MCAT. The AAMC has released a general list of concepts that are covered on the MCAT, but little specifics are given as to how in depth each topic should be studied. Many test prep companies will try to sell you on the idea that their content book is the one and only with all the information, but this just isn’t the case.
Why can’t the AAMC be more clear in their guidelines of what to study for the MCAT? The answer is simple, yet hard to swallow. If the AAMC gave specific guidelines as to every fact that should be regurgitated on the MCAT, thousands of pre-meds across the country would be spending months and months getting ready to throw up random facts on test day. That is not what the AAMC wants. Not only do they prefer their testing facilities to be vomit free, but they also want pre-med students to be engaged in true learning. True learning means understanding and being able to think critically about content and not just being able to spew it back up on test day.
So how am I supposed to study if I can’t just memorize everything? This is a challenging question, and there is no simple answer. But, the best thing you can do is to follow the examples of those who have already done well on the exam. Our analysis of top MCAT scorers has revealed that those who do well tend to use a variety of materials. They tend to gain multiple perspectives on the material and use only the best practice materials to test their ability to understand and think critically about the content. Our Free eCourse is based on the experiences of 50 students who scored between the 95th and 100th percentile and will walk you through the step-by-step process of preparing for the MCAT.