I believe that one of my most important jobs as a tutor is helping my students develop good study plans, and some of my students have followed their plans to achieve scores in the 100th percentile. In this MCAT tip, I want to share 5 of the most important elements of a good study plan:
- Individualized. A good study plan should be focused on improving your specific weaknesses. Avoid the temptation to simply follow someone else’s study plan, no matter what score they got. You are a unique person with specific strengths and weaknesses that need to be taken into account as you craft your study plan.
- Customizable. Because your strengths and weaknesses are going to change over time, your study plan needs to be adaptable. As you study, the things you need to focus your time on will change and your study plan should reflect that. This is why I warn against mapping out every single day of studying all the way until your test date. Instead, I advocate making a general study plan that adapts over time.
- Simple. There are so many study resources and there is simply not enough time to study all of them. Instead, build your studying around the best study resources out there, specifically resources produced by the people who wrote the test, the AAMC. The Khan Academy videos (produced in partnership with the AAMC) and the AAMC Practice Question Bundle should form the base of your studying. Everything else is just details.
- Informed. One of the biggest reasons that a student will end up retaking the MCAT is that they didn’t carefully track their progress while they were studying the first time around. If you don’t track your progress, you will have no idea if your study plan is working or not. Knowing how you are progressing, allows you to adapt your studying to focus on your weaknesses.
- Adequate. The MCAT is a beast of a test. Give it the respect it deserves by setting aside a sufficient amount of time to study. Studying for the MCAT goes against the popular “get rich quick with this one simple trick!” or “lose 10 pounds in five days!” advertisements that surround us. Students who work hard over time are the ones who get the results they wanted on test day.
And if you are really looking to make a stellar MCAT Study Plan, be sure to work your way through my Create-your-own Study Plan Course. It will help you make a study plan that implements these five keys and more, walking you through the same steps that I use to help my private tutoring students create their study plans.
Best of luck studying, and please feel free to reach out with any questions along the way. I’m here to help!
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