Thanks to MCAT Self Prep I was able to earn a 518 on my official MCAT that I took in April, 2022! I originally looked into MCAT Self Prep after browsing MCAT services online, but all the services I was coming across were extremely expensive and did not allow for as much freedom as MCAT Self Prep. After discussing with my parents, we believed that this program would be the best one to set me up for MCAT success. I started off by using the free version, but quickly switched to the Deluxe Pro Plan that I purchased on sale for less than $1,000.
I ended up utilizing all the tools, including the Excel create-your-own study plan spreadsheet and the 5,300+ flashcards. What I believe helped me the most were the Mastery Courses. I loved the Amino Acids Mastery Course as well as the 100 Most Essential Equations Mastery Course, because these topics were purely rote memorization. I used a set of old Kaplan books from 2015 to supplement my MCAT Self Prep plan, and they worked out great even though they were from 7 years ago. It was a great surprise that the material had not changed much, and that I did not have to purchase a new set of expensive books.
When I first started using MCAT Self Prep, it was the summer before my senior year of college. At this point I was on my way to becoming a biochemistry major and had a decent understanding of biology and biochemistry, as well as psychology and sociology from my premed prerequisites. I still struggled a good amount with chemistry and physics, so I dedicated most of my time studying to these topics. I found that what helped me the most was doing practice problems, because memorization of chemical structures and physics equations can only get you so far when you are faced with a new, unique problem on test day. I ended up taking the MCAT for the first time in January of my senior year of college after studying a bit throughout the school year, and then doing MCAT boot camp over winter break to gear up for the test. On this January test in 2020 I scored a 512, and was very happy and proud of my score, especially because my diagnostic had placed me at a 498. My breakdown on this official MCAT was 125 Chem/Phys, 130 CARS, 128 Bio/Biochem, and 129 Psych/Sosh. I was extremely proud of my CARS score, but was afraid that my Chem/Phys score would hold me back in medical school admissions because I had heard about processes where schools screen out scores in Chem/Phys that fall below a certain cutoff point.
Fast forward, and I ended up getting my Master’s in Medical Sciences at an Ivy League school where we took first year medical school courses alongside the first years at the medical school. This program prepared me tremendously for medical school, and it was natural for me to retake the MCAT with my new foundation of medical sciences. After all, I now had completed and succeeded at the very rigorous courses that the MCAT was aimed at testing my aptitude for. I only had 8 weeks to study this time leading up to the test during a dedicated study block during my program. I mapped it out so that I took another diagnostic test at the start of this period, on which I scored worse than my official MCAT from 2 years prior. This forced me to double down on my studies, and primarily focus on chemistry and physics, because I knew that these were my weak points.
I spent the majority of my time doing practice problems, with some content review sprinkled in when I was at a loss for how to solve a problem. I looked at the 100 Most Essential Equations Mastery Course every day to try to memorize these formulas, and I used the other Mastery Courses as well. I found that I did not have enough time to go back through the Khan Academy videos or the MCAT Kaplan books in depth, though I trusted the process this time around and knew that I had the knowledge base to build on that I had not previously had. I studied about 8 hours a day and took a practice test every week (and took that evening off, and spent the following day reviewing my test). I definitely recommend reviewing your mistakes and understanding not only why every correct answer is correct, but also why every incorrect answer is incorrect. I also recommend looking at things that you have to memorize a little bit every day, so that by test day they are fully ingrained in your head and you do not have to struggle to cram this information in the week or two leading up to the test.
I was very fortunate to see my efforts reflected in my practice tests, which were mainly the AAMC practice tests and other free tests that I found online. My scores ranged from 514 to 517, which made me feel ready for test day. I am usually a very good test taker so I did not worry much leading up to the test, and I tried to maintain good health and wellness by taking care of my mind, body and spirit. On test day I studied a bit before heading into the test on the morning of, and then the test flew by. Even though I did not use MCAT Self Prep as much the second time around as I did the first time around, I believe this is because the first time I studied for the MCAT primarily using MCAT Self Prep I built a strong foundation of knowledge that I was only supplementing the second time around. In the end I scored 128 Chem/Phys, 130 CARS, 130 Bio/BioChem, and 130 Psych/Sosh. I am very proud of all the work I put in, and I know that I could not have done it without the incredible team at MCAT Self Prep!
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