By: Maria Sajan and Munazza Khan
Going down the pre-med route is not an easy task, whether it be studying for prerequisite courses, maintaining a strong GPA, keeping your extracurriculars looking shiny, getting clinical experience, or prepping for the MCAT. There’s always something that you need to do, but we’d like to interrupt that list to remind you that pre-med self-care is important.
If you’ve just begun to go down this road and are trying to scour through the endless depths of Reddit to see where to begin, we’d like to remind you that going through those Reddit threads does not count as studying.
Besides checking out the five most common MCAT mistakes pre-meds are likely to make and how to avoid them, we invite you to bookmark this article and use it as a reference for all your MCAT studying needs.
We’ve all tried and tested Khan Academy, and all of us owe a huge part of our success to KA. If you’re a visual learner who’s looking for free resources on the side, this is your holy grail! These videos are very well thought out and concise, and KA’s website also has practice problems and is highly suggested by the AAMC.
Additionally, these videos have been transcribed by fellow pre-meds and MCATBros here, which is again FREE to use.
The MileDown review sheets are the most comprehensive review sheets, which align perfectly with the Kaplan books and are complete with diagrams, formulas, short summaries, etc.
However, these are not to be replaced by your actual content review. We suggest going through each chapter in these sheets after your content review so you can get a full grasp of the concept.
Retaining a vast amount of content can be quite a daunting task, and this is why the majority of pre-meds are in a committed relationship with Anki. But half the battle with Anki is learning how to use it the right way, which is why we suggest checking out this tutorial on how to use Anki for the MCAT by The AnKing.
Subscribing to this service will help build practice into your daily routine, and this gets sent straight to your inbox. At this rate, answering questions will come as second nature to you, and that’s what we all need as pre-meds!
If you feel like you’re a hands-on learner, a model kit may work wonders for you. Organic chemistry is a subject that can be difficult to conceptualize in your mind, especially regarding bond angles and molecular geometry, so seeing and feeling a molecule in your hands can enhance your learning and work as a memory cue.
Sometimes, having someone else walk through a concept with you can be helpful. Leah4sci does just that and covers Biology, Biochemistry, General and Organic Chemistry, as well as tips on how to analyze CARS passages.
This 300-page Psych/Soc document by MCATBros is derived from the Khan Academy transcripts and is world-famous for its concise explanations and neat points.
This has been followed up by the 100-page Psych/Soc and 86 page Psych/Soc content summaries, but our personal favourite is the 300-page summary.
Are you feeling the dread creep up as you go through the lab techniques and need to keep referencing the content review because it just keeps skipping your mind?
This lab techniques sheet is our personal go-to, as each and every technique is summed up in about 4 lines and has just about everything you will need.
By now, you could probably describe all the amino acids in your sleep, but this quiz is what we kept going back to every weekend, along with tracing the structures, writing down the charges, and categorizing them every weekend. We believe this is a great tool kit to have bookmarked.
There is no denying the fact that the only way to ace your CARS section is through continuous practice. That is exactly what the JW CARS practice questions are for. These questions will train your mind to think like a 132-er!
The Jack Westin CARS section is famous and highly visited by pre-med folks, but we believe their science content is just as useful. They not only cover the content in all the science subjects but also address the skills required to break MCAT passages.
Ninja Nerd is gold in the bag! It is an extremely comprehensive resource and will be your best friend throughout undergrad and in medical school too! This is sure to help you in Biology, Biochemistry, General, and Organic Chemistry.
Kaplan has composed some of the most important information to keep in your mind for the MCAT onto four-page documents per subject area. Having a section’s Quicksheet on hand while completing a practice test in the beginning stages of studying can be extremely helpful as a quick reference.
Last but by far the best in the game, AK Lectures is our best friend. Personally, we have always resorted to these videos to understand metabolic pathways and kinetics. We highly recommend you turn to them to fill in any gaps you may have after attempting a practice test.
There is a vast abundance of resources, and it tends to get overwhelming, but deciding which resources to use and sticking with them throughout the journey will help you in reaching your target score and reducing test anxiety.
These resources have been tested and used by us, and thousands of pre-meds like you, and we assure you they will have your back. If you have any other tools in the bag, let us know in the comments below so we can keep updating this list.
About the Authors:
Maria Sajan is entering her third year at Wilfrid Laurier University majoring in Health Sciences. As co-president of her university’s Stem Cell Club, she is dedicated to increasing the number of registrants in the OneMatch Stem Cell & Bone Marrow registry. Her interests also include writing, gardening, and biking.
Munazza Khan recently graduated from Gulf Medical University with a BS in Biomedical Sciences. As someone who was drawn to Cancer Biology early on in her second year, she is currently researching the immune response to hypoxic stress in a tumor microenvironment and how immunotherapy could be used in the future. She is also an avid cat and plant lover, but sadly, her cat is on a mission to destroy any plants in sight. Her hobbies include playing soccer and board games.