MCAT Practice Test Strategies: How 515+ Scorers Tackle MCAT Practice Exams

May 3, 2024

minute read

Did you know at least two weeks before your MCAT test date, as you're constantly doing practice exams...

You need to be consistently scoring near or above your target score.

If you're achieving this, you can confidently walk into the MCAT knowing you have a high chance of hitting your score goal. 

But what if you're not scoring in the range of your goal score during MCAT practice exams?

If this is the case for you, you may need to reschedule your test date, depending on how bad you want and need that score.

Or if your MCAT is still a while away, how do you make sure you're scoring in that range when there are only a few weeks left?

One major factor is in how you're approaching MCAT practice exams.

In this article, we're going to cover 515+ scorer recommendations on how to strategically take and review MCAT practice exams.

When and How Top Scorers Strategically Take and Review MCAT Practice Exams

If you had a 515+ scorer tutoring you, the very first thing he/she would drill into your head is that you will not succeed on the MCAT by memorizing facts, formulas, and little details in prep books…

In order to get a competitive MCAT score, you need to 1) understand the concepts and 2) apply them correctly on the test material. The only way to make that happen?

Practice exams.
From our ongoing top MCAT scorer research, we’ve discovered that almost all of them leveraged practice exams to their extreme, and reviewed them in a very strategic way.
Most top scorers claim that taking practice tests is by far the most important aspect of MCAT preparation...

You can do all the content review in the world, but none of it matters unless you have the tools to apply it all to passages on the MCAT.
Which is why top scorers recommend taking as many practice tests as possible, in the smartest way possible. 
We've heard many 515+ scorers use practice exams to learn the style of questions and timing of the test. Most premeds don’t realize how that is actually more important than strictly content review.  
A lot of top scorers aim to take one practice test every week, minimum. You should too. And be sure to spend the following day reviewing...

After a 7 hour exam, you probably won’t have the high mental performance and stamina required to review the exam properly on the same day.

As you do your practice tests, you’re going to start seeing patterns early on which will help you identify your weaknesses. Perhaps you’re weak in a particular section, or certain topics within it.

Top scorers know that it’s important to identify those weaknesses. Which is why they almost always recommend that when reviewing your practice exams, you should go through every single question. 

They also recommend to make sure you know every single multiple choice answer. Make sure you always know exactly what the passage is talking about.

You can also get a lot more motivated to study when you’re reviewing the errors you made on practice, as opposed to just reading chapters in prep books.

Top scorers aim to know and recognize everything that’s written in the passage. If you don’t know something, look it up. Look up every multiple choice term that you don’t know.

Sometimes as you’ll look up one term, you’ll find out something else you didn’t know. Stay on the trail. Keep looking into terms and concepts until you’re no longer finding things you don’t know.

Having an inquisitive and curiosity based mindset is key during MCAT prep. Top scorers either naturally have that or are smart enough to develop it...

Seriously, if you can get yourself genuinely curious about all things MCAT right now, we promise it’ll reflect positively in your MCAT score.

Next, as you’re reviewing, make notes and have a sheet next you to titled ‘Practice Exam 1 Mistakes’. This is where you’ll write down everything you got wrong.

For CARS, a lot of students have trouble improving their score. It can get frustrating. If you’re in this place, it just means that you need to keep practicing.

Keep questioning why you got answers wrong. Go find the passage where you got the answer wrong and figure out why they chose their answer over yours. Did you make an assumption?

Making assumptions is a common problem because we tend to pick answers that we think are implied when in reality, there is a much clearer answer staring us in the face.

The MCAT is known for giving us answers that could be true but aren’t necessarily true. You’ll lean towards picking the answer that may ‘possibly’ be true but top scorers know to choose the answer that is 100% true.

Keep asking, why is the correct answer better than the one you were leaning towards? Where did the question author get their answer from?

This will train you to spot correct answers more easily and inevitably lead to a well deserved increase in your MCAT score.

Top Scorers Know Med-School Perspectives and Which Practice Exams To Utilize

Say that you’ve taken a few practice exams and you’re scoring around 129 in the Biology/Biochemistry section but you’re only scoring 126 in the Chem/Phys section...

It's tempting to keep working on something you're already good at but in this scenario, if you’re looking for an easier 3 point score increase, top scorers advise that you’re better off focusing your time on improving your 126 score.
This is simply because if you’re scoring 129 or 130 in Bio/Biochem, you’re probably only missing the hardest questions in this section. Yet for Chem/Phys you probably have some weak areas that once identified (through continuous practice exams and review) can lead to an easy score increase.
Remember that in your overall score it doesn’t matter where you’re getting the points added on. However, you don’t want one section to stand out...

Med schools will see what you got in all sections and you don’t want to highlight a ‘problem section’ for them.

You need to seem well-rounded compared to other applicants. Which is another reason why you need to focus on your weak areas. 

It’s knowing these little bits of insights that gives top scorers the edge in not just getting a high overall MCAT score, but also admission into great med-schools.

At MCAT Mastery we have a single focus of bringing you the MCAT study secrets of those before you who have mastered the MCAT. 


Because we understand studying for the MCAT can be extremely overwhelming, confusing, and stressful...

The pressure is intense and we know there's only one true solution to get you faster improvements in your MCAT score which will automatically ease your mind and raise your confidence...

And that is to literally steal the same proven MCAT study and testing strategies of those top scorers who have destroyed the MCAT...

So you know exactly what you need to do to achieve similar impressive results.

Succeeding on the MCAT is about knowing how to strategically prepare for this type of exam, which is unlike anything you've ever written before.

Top scorers have figured out the best MCAT prep strategies - which means you don't have to.

If you've been struggling with the MCAT, use our articles and resources to get the same hacks, shortcuts, secrets, and strategies that strictly top scorers have used to dominate the MCAT...

So that this is the last time you ever write the MCAT.

We highly recommend that you learn and apply all the best top scorer insights that you can get your hands on, which collectively can make all the difference in getting you a competitive MCAT score and admission into a med-school you're happy with.

Of course, if you don’t already, get access to the AAMC Section Banks, Sample Test, Official Guide, and Practice Tests. The Question Packs get mixed reviews, but we highly recommend getting those as well.

Using the AAMC material for practice is recommended by every single top scorer we’ve ever encountered. We assume it’s common knowledge now. What’s not common knowledge however, is knowing HOW to use them…
You don’t want to blow through them at the least valuable point during your MCAT prep. You need to know how to use these extremely valuable resources to make sure you maximize their value so you can maximize your MCAT score.

We cover how to do that in detail in the 'Art of Strategic MCAT Practice' section in our Complete MCAT Strategy Course

Lastly, keep in mind there are two key skills that can literally make or break your MCAT score; knowing how to take MCAT practice exams strategically, and knowing how to review practice exams strategically... 

If you’re not doing either one of those correctly, it’s guaranteed that your MCAT score will not reach its full potential. Instead of figuring it out for yourself, learn from 90+ percentile MCAT scorers here.
We're looking forward to hearing about your MCAT success!

You got this,
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!

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  • Breakdown MCAT questions and identify correct answers
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  • Take and review practice exams in the most strategic way
  • Cultivate the right MCAT success mindset
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