My Winning Mindset Shift To A 522 MCAT Score

June 25, 2024

minute read

Meet Sahil Bhatt, one of your MedLife Mentors. He started studying for the MCAT in his junior year, and it wasn't easy.

He had a full course load while studying, he wasn't hitting his score goal, and the negative self-talk was constant...

"...each day I kind of dreaded waking up to study. That was something that I noticed kind of early on, and I found it hard to motivate myself."

So he pushed his test back by a year. 

A year later, he approached the MCAT differently. He approached his mindset differently...

And he ended up with a 522 (99th percentile) MCAT score.

The best part? He made this quick video for you sharing what changed for him the second time.

You'll find out about:

✓ His winning mindset shift

✓ The resources he used

✓ How he increased his CARS score (his hardest section)

✓ How he got his test day motivation back

And much more. 

If you're starting or in the middle of MCAT prep, you need to watch it here. 

We'll pass it on to Sahil from here. 

Hey everyone, my name is Sahil Bhatt and I'm an MCAT mentor here at MedLife Mastery.

In this article, I wanted to talk a little bit about my MCAT journey and some of the things I learned along the way.

I went to undergrad in Atlanta, Georgia at Emory University. At Emory. I studied biology on the premed track, and I'll go into how this played a role in my prep a little later on in the blog article. 

The first time I prepped for it was the spring semester of my junior year. I had a full course load and I started prepping around January to take the April MCAT.

Like many premeds, I started with a bunch of content review for about a month.

This continued throughout the whole prep journey, but it was mostly focused on doing practice questions for months two, three, and four.

The unique thing about my journey was that at the end of my first round prep, I realized that I really wasn't where I wanted to be in terms of my goal score.

So I decided to kind of take a step back, and give myself some time off. I ended up actually taking the MCAT the following April in the spring semester of my senior year.

Pushing Back my MCAT Exam

There were a lot of reasons why I decided to essentially delay my MCAT a year.

The first one was that obviously, my score wasn't near my goal score. Another really important factor that I wasn’t considering was my mindset and mental health. 

You know, each day I kind of dreaded waking up to study. That was something that I noticed kind of early on, and I found it hard to motivate myself.

And even though I still kind of forced myself to study, my mindset wasn't really in the right place.

Common Negative MCAT Self-Talk 

I would find myself feeling really guilty when I was not studying. If I was taking a break or hanging out with my friends. 

I would always have these thoughts in the back of my mind, “Okay, why aren't you studying? You should be studying right now.”

That dialogue was kind of the main thing that I really changed when I took the MCAT a year later.

Winning Mindset Shift 

It was mostly a mindset change. I started to really think about how I was approaching my own well-being during that time.

I noticed that I really needed to start taking time to completely de-stress, and not even think about the MCAT. I made sure to take the time and hang out with my friends or do little things for myself each day.

The thing that didn't really change was my prep.

My MCAT Prep Resources 

So my prep style kind of stayed the same in the sense that, you know, I did content for a month and then practiced with a sprinkle of content throughout.

Now, along with that did come some slight changes in kind of like the resources I was using.

As I mentioned before, I was a biology major at Emory, so my content in Bio/Biochem was fairly strong to begin with. I really only needed the books to refresh my memory and then jump into practice from there.

For things like general chemistry, physics, and Ochem, I would say those were also pretty strong because on the pre-med track, I had to take those classes. I had already taken those fairly recently, and all that material was still fresh in my head.

The one section I did really struggle with was CARS.

Strategy and the CARS Section

I always felt that CARS was the section that was really holding back my score.

One thing that I did was talk to my premed friend who did really well on the MCAT, and he told me about MedLife Mastery’s CARS Strategy Course.

That ended up helping me so, so much because I got an insight into how top scorers really break down the passages, how they were thinking about their approach, their mindset, and logic going into a passage. 

I realized that this was something I kind of lacked for myself.

With the strategy course that I used, I mostly focused on dissecting the CARS Q packs,

Which really helped me change my logic and approach the passages in a more sufficient way.

After a large period of reflection, I realized that there weren’t a ton of changes to the way that I study content. It was the test-taking strategy changes I made that ended up helping me earn a few more points, specifically in CARS. 

Reigniting Motivation for Test Day

It was really that mindset shift that I made to prioritize my well-being. 

I saw that just finding ways to support myself, especially by giving myself a little more free time to do things I enjoy helped me feel better when I was prepping for the MCAT. 

I think that also made me more motivated to study when the test date came closer.

That ended up improving my score quite drastically. So with all of that being said, a year later I actually ended up taking the MCAT and I scored a 522.

The breakdown for that was a 131 in Chem/Phys, a 129 in CARS, a 130 in Bio/BioChem and a 132 in Psych/Soc.

The Individualized MCAT Journey

The main thing that I realized was that the journey is super individualized. Everyone will have their own struggles and own barriers to overcome.

I think those little things go a long way.

For me, I think that's what I really attribute the increase in my score to.

The key thing I want you to really take away is that you want to be supporting yourself during your MCAT journey.

So take some time, take a step back, and really reflect on how you study as an individual. 

How do you learn best, and what things you can do each day to kind of support yourself during this long journey? 

This is the key to maintaining your mindset and well-being during your MCAT prep. 

Trust me, you can do it.

Top Scorer Key Takeaway

MedLife Mastery Team here again.

As you embark on your MCAT journey, remember this: it's not just about the grind; it's about maintaining your mental health and mindset along the way. 

Sahil has shared invaluable insights into his own experience, showing us that the path to success is often paved with self-awareness and self-care.

Whether it's recognizing when to take a step back, reframing negative self-talk, or finding the right resources to boost your confidence, Sahil's story underscores the importance of prioritizing your well-being throughout your preparation.

So, as you dive into content review and practice questions, don't forget to also invest in yourself. Reflect on what works best for you, carve out time for activities that bring you joy, and remember that your journey is uniquely yours.

You're Not Alone

If, like Sahil, you're ever dealing with negative self-talk, or are finding it hard to get motivated, or just dreading studying, here's what you can do: 

1. First, immediately reach out to us. We're here to support you. 

2. If you want and think it will help (and it will), consider joining a live group course or at the very least, working with an MCAT coach

We often get demotivated because we don't know the next step, what we're doing wrong, and lack clarity overall. 

A mentor can help with all of that. 

Studying with a group of testers who are in the same boat as you + having that mentor by your side, is a game changer (i.e. mindset shifter!)

Whatever you choose, just know that you're not alone on this journey. 

The MedLife Mastery Team
Your MCAT Success Mentors

Your MCAT Success Mentors

About the Author

We're a team of future doctors passionate about giving back and mentoring other future doctors! All mentors on the team are top MCAT scorers and we all are committed to seeing you succeed in achieving your physician dreams ???? To help you achieve your goal MCAT score, we take turns hosting these Live MCAT Courses and are also available for 1:1 private tutoring!

Free Full Length MCAT Practice Exam + Free Top Scorer MCAT Strategy Course!

Sign up once and unlock these plus dozens of other free resources - all created by your MedLife Mentors!

free MCAT practice exam by MedLife vector
The Free Top Scorer MCAT Strategy Video Course 1

Trusted by 2,800+ students since 2019

200+ 5  ⭐️ reviews on TrustPilot

Success message!
Warning message!
Error message!