VARSITY ADMISSIONS AN EDUCATION BLOG
Articles tagged with MCAT

Time Management Strategies for the MCAT

Time Management Strategies for the MCAT

The MCAT is typically considered a fast-paced exam. Certain sections can seem harder to finish within the allotted time than others, but all the portions of the test require students to employ time management strategies in order to succeed. The Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences sections each have 52 questions that must be completed in 70 minutes, while Verbal Reasoning consists of 40 questions in a 60-minute window. Below are several key time management strategies to exercise while sitting for the exam to ensure that you do not exceed the time limit and forego points.  1. Monitor the time This simple technique may seem intuitive ... Read More About Time Management Strategies for the MCAT

How is the MCAT Scored?

How is the MCAT Scored?

An MCAT score report consists of three portions: Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Verbal Reasoning. These sections are marked on a scale of 1-15, for a total of 45. In 2013, the average applicant scored a 28.4 overall, while the average matriculant (accepted student) earned a 31.3. An explanation of what each result means in regard to percentiles can be found here. It is important to note that the examination is not curved against others who sit for the same assessment. The AAMC utilizes a formula, which is not public, to project the percentage of test-takers who will answer a question correctly. They then assign numerical ranges t ... Read More About How is the MCAT Scored?

How to Manage Your Time During MCAT Prep

How to Manage Your Time During MCAT Prep

Given the amount of material the test covers, preparing for the MCAT can definitely seem overwhelming. There is no doubt that you will have to spend many hours preparing, but those hours aren’t maximally beneficial unless you manage your time appropriately. Below are four ways to ensure you get the most out of your MCAT preparation time. 1. Create an individualized study schedule Before you begin reviewing, take some time to create a study schedule specifically tailored to you. Be honest with yourself when making this schedule, and keep it realistic (i.e. if you feel like you don’t get any productive studying done after eight hou ... Read More About How to Manage Your Time During MCAT Prep

5 Strategies for MCAT Practice Tests

5 Strategies for MCAT Practice Tests

Most authorities on MCAT preparation will agree that one of the most important ways to prepare for the exam is through practice exams and practice questions. However, simply practicing without a formal structure or objective will not result in a significant score increase. Below are five key tactics for getting the most out of your practice as you study for the MCAT. 1. Time yourself Though it may be difficult to complete exams or question sets under time constraints when you first begin your MCAT review, it is vitally important to strictly time yourself while you practice. If you don’t time yourself, you run the risk of developing tim ... Read More About 5 Strategies for MCAT Practice Tests

Top Tips for Retaking the MCAT

Top Tips for Retaking the MCAT

Unfortunately, even after months of preparation, students are sometimes faced with an MCAT score that lies below their goal. Though this certainly isn’t a situation anyone necessarily wants to be in, coming to grips with the reality of what caused this outcome is paramount in improving your score the second time you attempt the exam. Below are some questions that will help you narrow down what went wrong the first time and ensure improvement on your retake.     1. How much did you study? The first thing you want to ensure is that you put in a sufficient amount of time preparing for the MCAT. Due to the vast volume of materi ... Read More About Top Tips for Retaking the MCAT

3 Key Skills You Need to Ace the MCAT

3 Key Skills You Need to Ace the MCAT

As every budding pre-medical student knows, the MCAT covers content learned in four very specific science classes: Physics, General Chemistry, General Biology, and Organic Chemistry. While a mastery of each of these subjects is necessary to excel on the MCAT, there are three key skills that also contribute to success on the exam. These key skills are not particular to any single MCAT section, but rather play a role on the test as a whole. While any good study plan incorporates lengthy content review, developing the following skills through full-length practice exams is just as integral to acing the MCAT. Analytical skills At its core, the M ... Read More About 3 Key Skills You Need to Ace the MCAT

How to Prepare for Your Med School Admissions Interview: Part 4

How to Prepare for Your Med School Admissions Interview: Part 4

By Michelle Finkel, MD Insider Medical Admissions The following piece was written by Dr. Michelle Finkel. Michelle has been featured in our Admissions Expert series and is a former Harvard Medical School faculty member. She is the founder of Insider Medical Admissions.   Success at your medical school interview can hinge on subtle components of the day that you might not even consider to be influential until it's too late for damage control. Several of those points were covered in my last Varsity Tutors’ blog entry, which included two important topics that I called You can check out anytime; but you can never ... Read More About How to Prepare for Your Med School Admissions Interview: Part 4

How to Prepare for Your Med School Admissions Interview: Part 3

How to Prepare for Your Med School Admissions Interview: Part 3

By Michelle Finkel, MDInsider Medical Admissions The following piece was written by Dr. Michelle Finkel. Michelle has been featured in our Admissions Expert series and is a former Harvard Medical School faculty member. She is the founder of Insider Medical Admissions. You never get a chance to ruin a first impression, and, unfortunately, the stakes are particularly high getting into medical school. It’s important to make sure the fine points of your interview day are smooth and in check. Please take a look at my July Varsity Tutors blog entry on medical interviews for advice on how to let your story show your glory ... Read More About How to Prepare for Your Med School Admissions Interview: Part 3

How to Prepare for Your Med School Admissions Interview

How to Prepare for Your Med School Admissions Interview

The following piece was written by Dr. Michelle Finkel. Michelle has been featured in our Admissions Expert series and is a former Harvard Medical School faculty member. She is the founder of Insider Medical Admissions.   Google had a problem. As a 2012 New York Times article described it, Google executives were growing increasingly aware that they were not hiring enough women. Worse still, they were attracting negative attention about it. So, Google did what Google does best: they amassed data and mined it. In their analysis, among other findings, Google concluded that the company was overlooking women who tended to be more ... Read More About How to Prepare for Your Med School Admissions Interview

Tips for Asking for a Medical School Letter of Recommendation

Tips for Asking for a Medical School Letter of Recommendation

The following piece was written by Dr. Michelle Finkel. Michelle has been featured in our Admissions Expert series and is a former Harvard Medical School faculty member. She is the founder of Insider Medical Admissions. This is my second blog entry in a series on actions you can take immediately to help you obtain strong letters of recommendation (LORs). The first entry describes two initial strategies for improving your medical school letter of recommendation process. Today I’ll pursue the LOR topic further, specifically advising you how to positively influence the content of your LORs. As a Harvard Assistant Residency Direc ... Read More About Tips for Asking for a Medical School Letter of Recommendation

How to Structure Your Medical School Admissions Essay

How to Structure Your Medical School Admissions Essay

The following piece was written by Dr. Mike Frazier. Mike has been featured in our Admissions Expert series and is a former UCLA Medical School Admissions Committee member. He is also the founder of Medical School Insider. The medical school personal statement can be a scary part of your application. However, it doesn't have to be that way! Think of this as a chance to show some personality and mainly to demonstrate your passion for medicine. Get Off to a Solid Start One of the most important parts of your medical school personal statement will be your opening sentence. You want to have something that really grabs the reader's attention ... Read More About How to Structure Your Medical School Admissions Essay

What Your Medical School Essay Reader is Thinking

What Your Medical School Essay Reader is Thinking

The following piece was written by Dr. Michelle Finkel. Michelle has been featured in our Admissions Expert series and is a former Harvard Medical School faculty member. She is the founder of Insider Medical Admissions.  If you haven’t yet had a chance, please take a look at my last piece on writing a medical school personal statement. As I mentioned then, I wrote my personal statements for medical school and emergency medicine residency without much of a clue as to what went on behind the closed doors of medical admissions committees. But I quickly gained a lot of insight when - years later - I found myself reading essay ... Read More About What Your Medical School Essay Reader is Thinking

Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Liza Thompson

Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Liza Thompson

Varsity Tutors brings you insider tips and advice straight from nationally recognized admissions experts. Liza Thompson has advised medical school applicants for the past 20 years. As the former director of the Johns Hopkins University and Goucher College Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Programs, she has managed admissions processes, the premedical curriculum, MCAT prep, and the medical school application process. While at Johns Hopkins, she also served on the Premedical Education Committee. Liza has developed a great deal of expertise in premedical advising and regularly shares it with applicants through her firm, Thompson Advising. VT: How mu ... Read More About Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Liza Thompson

How to Write a Personal Statement for Medical School

How to Write a Personal Statement for Medical School

The following piece was written by Dr. Michelle Finkel. Michelle has been featured in our Admissions Expert series and is a former Harvard Medical School faculty member. She is the founder of Insider Medical Admissions. At first glance, medical school admissions might seem a far cry from the subjects of reality television confessionals. The players are stalwart, steady characters who live restrained lives and channel their passions with extreme discipline. Yet the admissions game is arguably one where the drama is real, the intensity is palpable, and the stakes are high. There are winners and losers, with thin margins separating one group fro ... Read More About How to Write a Personal Statement for Medical School

Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Dr. Michelle Finkel

Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Dr. Michelle Finkel

Varsity Tutors brings you insider tips and advice straight from nationally recognized admissions experts. Dr. Michelle Finkel is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Medical School. Upon completing her residency at Harvard, she moved up as a faculty member and eventaully became the Assistant Residency Director for Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency where she interviewed many applicants and reviewed countless applications, personal statements, and resumés. Dr. Finkel is currently a board-certified Emergency Physician and the founder of Insider Medical Admissions. VT: What is the single most important thing applican ... Read More About Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Dr. Michelle Finkel

Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Dr. Carleen Eaton

Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Dr. Carleen Eaton

Varsity Tutors brings you insider tips and advice straight from nationally recognized admissions experts. Dr. Carleen Eaton is a graduate of the UCLA School of Medicine with nine years of experience in admissions advising. She has helped hundreds of medical school applicants get into their desired programs over the years and has frequently been a guest speaker at various colleges and universities on the subject. Dr. Eaton is the founder of PreHealthAdvising.com, an admissions consulting firm dedicated to assisting students in the medical school application process. She is currently working on her book, Getting into Medical School For Dummies, ... Read More About Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Dr. Carleen Eaton

Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Dr. Mike Frazier

Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Dr. Mike Frazier

Varsity Tutors brings you insider tips and advice straight from nationally recognized admissions experts. Dr. Mike Frazier is a member of the MedSchoolCoach team and the founder of Medical School Insider, a website he created to help aspiring medical students through the admissions process. He is a former member of the UCLA Medical School Admissions Committee and the author of his own eBooks, such as, Succeeding in Medical School: How I Landed My Top Choice Residency. A graduate of the UCLA medical school as well, Dr. Frazier has a clear and knowledgeable view of how to master the medical school application. VT: How much time should be set as ... Read More About Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Dr. Mike Frazier

Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Dr. Jessica Freedman

Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Dr. Jessica Freedman

Varsity Tutors brings you insider tips and advice straight from nationally recognized admissions experts. Dr. Jessica Freedman has not only written three best-selling books on the Medical School admissions process, she is the founder of her own consulting firm. Having previously served on the Medical School Admissions committee for The Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, Dr. Freedman has closely assisted many residents and medical students through the admissions process with great success. She has received several honors including numerous awards for her mentorship at Mount Sinai and is extremely well-recognized for her expertise in th ... Read More About Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Dr. Jessica Freedman

Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Dr. Sahil Mehta

Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Dr. Sahil Mehta

Varsity Tutors brings you insider tips and advice straight from nationally recognized admissions experts. Having been accepted to three of the top ten medical schools in the country as well as being the founder of a prominent Medical School application consulting service, Dr. Sahil Mehta truly knows all the ins and outs of the Medical School Admissions world.  Previously, he has served as an interviewer on admissions committees for both Columbia University and the University of Chicago.  He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Columbia University and then went on to attend the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.  Dr. Me ... Read More About Ask a Medical School Admissions Expert: Dr. Sahil Mehta

How Your Undergrad School Affects Med School Chances

How Your Undergrad School Affects Med School Chances

Med schools will consider where you attended undergraduate college. However, it may not be as important as you think. What is more important is your undergrad school’s commitment to preparing students for med school. Many undergrad schools are affiliated with a med school and a hospital, which can create more opportunities for students. Learn how MCAT tutors can help you improve your chances of acceptance into a top med school.  Being affiliated with a hospital can help undergrad students gain clinical experience. At these schools, you can easily find research opportunities in labs or even internships with the affiliate ... Read More About How Your Undergrad School Affects Med School Chances

MCAT Or GPA More Important For Med School

MCAT Or GPA More Important For Med School

It depends on the med school. But, the easy answer is: MCAT. Some med schools believe that GPA is a better indicator of future success because it measures your work ethic and determination. However, your MCAT score is the only factor that is completely objective. It is the only factor that can compare all students evenly. Admissions counselors can support every decision they make with a student’s MCAT score, and they have no problem making definitive answers based on your MCAT. But, some schools will place equal importance on MCAT and GPA. Some med school admissions counselors use a metric to form an aggregate value of your GPA and M ... Read More About MCAT Or GPA More Important For Med School

How To Improve Your Med School Application

How To Improve Your Med School Application

The list of factors to determine if you will be accepted into a certain medical school can go from your MCAT scores/undergrad GPA all the way down to your hometown. But, the objective factors such as MCAT score, GPA, courses taken, etc., are fairly easy to measure and compare to other students. Other subjective factors like interview score, research/work experience, etc are much more difficult to compare but can still impact your outcome. So, here is what you need to get into the top med schools: GPA: Most med schools want to see at least a 3.5 GPA. Your GPA can be a fairly objective measurement; however, many undergrad schools are kno ... Read More About How To Improve Your Med School Application

How To Improve Your MCAT Score

How To Improve Your MCAT Score

The MCAT is the cornerstone of your entire med school application process. It’s where your acceptance conversation begins. And it may be the most important factor in your application. You can actually improve your MCAT score. It’s not easy, but it can be done. The following tips can help: Practice tests: You’ve probably heard it before, but this is THE BEST WAY to improve your MCAT score. Practicing helps your brain organize and structure its thinking around the format and rigor of the MCAT. Practice tests can also rapidly improve your speed, allowing you to answer more questions. Click here for free practice tests from th ... Read More About How To Improve Your MCAT Score

How To Choose A Medical School

How To Choose A Medical School

Everyone knows the top schools, but for the most part it’s about personal preference. It’s about how you want to learn and what career you’re hoping to launch. Consider these factors as you research and tour potential med schools. They can serve as a good starting point and help you form questions for campus/school tours. Curriculum: Most schools teach just about the same information; however, the way they teach it can differ. Some schools continue to use the traditional, didactic lecture classes, but others are moving toward a more “integrated” curriculum or the problem-based learning approach (PBL). Neither app ... Read More About How To Choose A Medical School

How To Interview For Medical School

How To Interview For Medical School

Your interview could be the deciding factor in your application process. Once you are awarded an interview, the school is prepared to admit you based on your past academic performance/accolades. At that point, it’s all about your interview. Here are some tips from Varsity Tutors to help you ace your interview. Don’t try to sell yourself too much: Once you’re in that interview seat, the school already knows your MCAT scores, where you went to undergrad, how many hours of community service you boast, etc…etc. They know you’re intelligent and motivated on paper, now you need to prove yourself off paper. Be p ... Read More About How To Interview For Medical School