Learning To Like The MCAT: Being Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

June 25, 2024

minute read

Show Notes

One of the most difficult parts about the MCAT is that it pushes us past the boundary of what is comfortable. 

This includes:

Sitting for 7 hours at a time
Mastering physics (or any other topics you aren’t a fan of)
→ Missing problems on practice questions, exams, even the real MCAT
→ Emotions: exhaustion, frustration, fear, imposter syndrome 

All of these can lead you to want to back away from what is causing you negative feelings. In this case, the MCAT. 

So how do you overcome this?

This is what Ariana and Monika discuss in this episode of the MCAT Mastery Podcast. 

Both Ariana and Monika dealt with these struggles during MCAT prep but came out scoring 515+ on the exam.

Get Comfortable With MCAT Discomfort

Being comfortable being uncomfortable is perhaps one of the most important skills we should learn, especially if you want to become a doctor.

As a doctor you will be faced with new and difficult situations that you have to react to, as quickly as possible. 

Same goes with your MCAT journey. You may encounter unfamiliar situations and if you are not mentally prepared to deal with them, it can lead to frustrations and anxiety. 

For example, it's common for students to get stuck in the content review phase, not wanting to do practice questions/exams because seeing a low score doesn't feel good.

It is not about knowing all the answers to every question and situation. The key is learning to confront the feeling of being uncomfortable and developing skills to unstuck yourself from a difficult situation.  

Mastering this skill avoids unproductive anxiety and gives you the confidence to succeed on this exam.

Embrace Improved MCAT Study Methods

We often get so comfortable with the way we've been studying all throughout college, that we don't realize med-school is going to be a whole new ball game. 

In fact, the MCAT is the first taste of a med-school level exam we get, designed to see if we're ready for what med-school is going to be like

This is where most premeds get stumped. Their studying strategies haven't evolved. 

Those who embrace the learning curve, and first figure out how to study for a med-school level exam, are the ones that make it through to med-school acceptance

To help you cross that bridge, we've created step-by-step MCAT strategy courses that show you how to study for each section of the MCAT

Plus, we offer one-on-one tutoring to personally help you identify the gaps in your thinking, show you what needs improving, create your study schedule, and be with you all the way through to your MCAT test date


Memorable Points

  • Understand that failure is going to happen and you have to get comfortable with it.
  • Overcoming adversity will help you become a more well-rounded and adaptable person in general.
  • You can't totally avoid being uncomfortable but know that it is essential to your progress.
  • Being comfortable being uncomfortable avoids unproductive anxiety.
  • Creating a routine and being very consistent with it will help you build endurance.
  • Instead of a 7-hour exam, imagine that you are taking 4 different sections (Chem/Phys, Bio/Biochem, Psych/Soc, CARS) that are a few hours each to make it more digestible.
  • Have something, big or small, to reward yourself after a practice exam.
  • Give yourself a time to rest by meditating.
  • Reevaluate missed questions on your practice exams constantly so you won't miss those questions on the actual exam.
  • Don't be too comfortable though, be alert and aim for constant improvement.

Resources Mentioned


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