The MCAT, one of the most dreaded tests that you will end up taking, right? That’s what I thought 2 months into studying.
I first began studying for the MCAT on May the 11th right until August 15th, so around 3 months. The first month was the most brutal as you had to learn/review all the possible content that was on the MCAT, which was really tiring and boring. The content itself is not that interesting and a lot of it is just review from your regular science intro classes.
The MCAT is composed of 4 sections. Chemistry/Organic Chemistry/Physics, CARS, Biology/Biochemistry and Psychology/Sociology. I will break down the 4 sections to let you all know how I feel about them.
Chemistry/Organic Chemistry/Physics: This section is always seems daunting for students (just read some Premed101 and SDN threads), however I didn’t find it to be THAT challenging. The best way to do well in this section is to know your equations and organic reactions, and do ALL practice questions you can get your hands on (3rd party and AAMC) until you get better at it. Overall difficulty: 6/10
CARS: If my friends and I were to describe CARS to you in one word, it would be BRUTAL. Yes CARS is really as hard as they tell you it is. I found it to be the hardest section in all of the MCAT. The reason being is that its very hard to study for, compared to other categories which you can just memorize. You will often find some people who barely practice CARS get 132’s and other who put days into practicing it only to get 125’s. For me, it was my lowest section and the section I least improved on.
How to do well in this section? IDK. There is no method of doing well on CARS. After you exhaust all of your strategies/ options and are about to give up, I would recommend going to SDN or Premed101 or r/MCAT and read up on different approaches that some students took on CARS, do note that they may not all work. Overall difficulty: 10/10 would not recommend.
Biology/Biochemistry: Probably the easiest section for me, I’m not sure if I got lucky with the questions or not, but it went extremely well. My highest section. Make sure to know everything in your 3rd party textbook and do many practice problems so you can get down the timing of reading the passage and analyzing it for answers. Oh yeah, also don’t spend days trying to memorize the names of every step in the krebs cycle, just know the main ones. Overall difficulty: 3/10
Psychology/ Sociology: At first this section appeared to be really hard for me. The exam was filled with content and terminology that I had never seen before. I think I had to guess on at least 7 different questions on the exam. I thought this section would be my lowest, but surprisingly it was my second highest. To study for this section, make sure you focus on ALL relevant terminology and study more than 3rd party textbooks. Look on Reddit for an ANKI deck or a mastersheet with all the relevant terms. Overall difficulty: 6/10, would be lower if the material was more interesting.
I hope everyone who wrote the MCAT or planning to write the MCAT did/does well. Studying for it can be quite daunting, tedious and boring. Please make sure to take lots of breaks in between studying and dedicate some time to do something for fun, this is so you don’t lose your sanity. Most importantly, know that marks don’t dictate your self-worth.