MCAT Mastery Podcast: Show Notes
Welcome to the MCAT Master Interview series!
We’re on an ongoing mission to put together THE formula for achieving a top MCAT score.
We’ve been doing this by gathering the most effective MCAT study strategies from verified top scorers, and then we bring them to you in the form of blog articles, daily emails, YouTube videos, strategy courses, through tutoring sessions and anything else that can help you along on this journey to reach YOUR maximum MCAT score.
We’ve been researching and holding interviews with top MCAT scorers for many years now, until recently we thought "Why not let you all in and give you a seat at the table during these interviews!”.
So, that’s what this series is for ????
We hope by listening to these interviews, you learn proven MCAT study strategies you never thought of, that you can start implementing right away!
And most importantly, we hope you feel an increase in inspiration and motivation because the MCAT journey can be very tough and it can be easy to fall into negative mental cycles...
But as you’ll learn from these success stories, every top scorer had to deal with the struggles, the challenges, and through perseverance, through strategy, through mindset work, they all made it to the top score that was right for them. ???? ???? ????
As Jenish started out on his journey to take the MCAT, he knew that he wanted to score at a 515 or above. However, after spending an entire summer studying for the exam, he only ended up scoring a 509 on his test day. This was nowhere near his goal- so he knew that she was going to have to take the exam again.
"My biggest challenges and roadblocks would have been the fact that I could not get out of a plateau for a very, very long period of time."
Five months later he started studying again and still found himself not scoring where he wanted to on practice exams- even citing his lowest score at a 500. However, he began reflecting on his studying habits, improved them through strategy, and in just 3.5 months, he was eventually able to raise his score into the range he wanted...scoring a 519 on one of his practice exams, and ending up with an impressive 516 on his actual exam day! Wow!*
Overall, Jenish was a retaker who didn’t give up on his goal after his first attempt, and was eventually able to score one point above his 515 benchmarks on his second try!
So in this interview, we’re going to launch into exactly how he achieved this, focusing on how he studied, what he did to increase his score so quickly, how he scheduled his prep, what strategies he used for each section, and so much more…*
Bonus Q&A with Jenish
What was your lowest MCAT score on practice or the real MCAT? How long did it take to get to your highest score?
500 was my lowest practice score. It took me about 8 months to make it to my 516 on the real thing.
Was this your first time writing the MCAT or did you retake? If your retook, tell us a little bit about the first time you wrote - what happened, what did you score, etc.
This was my first retake of the MCAT. The first time I took the exam, I scored a 509 in August of 2020. I believed I could do better since most of my practice tests indicated I could score 5 to 10 points higher than that. So I retook in January of 2021 and got a 516.
How long did it take you to go from your lowest score to your highest score? What are your biggest pieces of advice and strategies for helping someone increase their score like you did?
It took me about 5 months to go from my 509 first score to my 516 retake. I think I just did more practice to make myself feel more confident about things on test day.
Please share more about your journey to MCAT success! What were some of your struggles and how did you overcome them? What advice do you have for other premeds who would love to achieve a score like yours? What materials did you use and which would your recommend?
There were many struggles, such as finding myself in a plateau and unable to improve. The way I broke out of this was trying to give myself a bit more rest in between tests, so I would not feel burnt out. I also tried to focus more on reviewing my content after finishing the exams and further review on topics I had difficulty with.
I would recommend using ExamKrackers books for studying content review, UWorld for practice questions, and Altius and NextStep Exams. This is all in addition to all of the AAMC material, which of course, is the gold standard.
How did you study for C/P? What advice do you have to students who are struggling the most with that particular section?
C/P was a grind for me. I found myself plateauing a lot on this score and the way I improved was simply setting aside time for reviewing difficult topics.
How did you study for B/B? What advice do you have to students who are struggling the most with that particular section?
B/B was different for me as this was always my best score. I think the way I tackled it was by highlighting the most important names of things and focusing on what they do. If you try to think of everything as a system on which one component affects the other, it definitely helps.
How did you study for CARS? What advice do you have to students who are struggling the most with that particular section?
CARS was very difficult for me, yielding the least improvement. The way I practiced was by doing 4 to 5 CARS passages a day and reviewing them, which would take me about 1.5 hours. I also found small techniques that worked for me, such as turning off the timer, which helped me to save time.
How did you study for P/S? What advice do you have to students who are struggling the most with that particular section?
P/S in my opinion is the easiest section to improve in. I say this because all of it is content-based, so you either know it or you don't. I used Anki decks, Quizlet decks, and Khan Academy P/S resources to address the content gaps I had, and I improved significantly.
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