[MCAT Success Story] — How Melanie Increased Her MCAT Score By 12 Points (From 505 to 517)

June 21, 2024

minute read

Hey Future Doctor, 

We have a question for you...

What's better than getting a jolt of inspiration from the success of someone who was once where you are now (struggling with the MCAT), and is now where you hope to be soon (with an amazing MCAT score and med-schools knocking at your door)?

Answer: Finding out exactly what steps they took to get there so you can do the same!

In this post, you're going to get both: the inspiration + the steps 😉


This article covers the details of how Melanie Ledding, a former member of the MedLife Mastery Community, went from struggling with stagnant unbalanced scores, to achieving an impressive 517 score on the MCAT (129, 129, 130, 129), so she could get admission into the med-schools of her dreams.

Several years ago we realized (just like every top MCAT scorer eventually does) that consistently increasing your MCAT score fast enough to hit competitive milestones (500, 505, 510, etc), is not about how smart you are or how good at memorizing you are, it's all about how you approach MCAT prep and what strategies you use.

We asked ourselves what would be the smartest way to get the most credible, most reliable, proven MCAT strategies that are near guaranteed to get anyone results, no matter where they are in their MCAT prep...

Ever since then we've been conducting ongoing research and holding paid interviews with 90+ percentile MCAT scorers to find out their most common, most recommended, highest impact strategies they used to achieve their impressive scores...

So we could bring them all to YOU to provide you with clarity, with trustworthy advice, and with a guaranteed path to take to MAXIMIZE your MCAT score as quickly as possible.

Melanie Ledding is one of the hundreds of premeds who has used our proven top scorer strategies to achieve her goal MCAT score...

Click image to enlarge

We use top scorers to create top scorers 🙂

According to Melanie, here are her top three 'highest impact' practice test strategies that she would recommend to anyone preparing for the MCAT:

"Do several exams in a test like environment over several weeks."

This isn't the first time we've heard a top scorer emphasize this strategy. It's incredibly powerful.

The benefits of doing practice tests under test-day conditions include understanding your timing abilities better, your stamina and focus increases, your confidence increases, you discover the ideal balance between reading passages and answering questions, and much more.

Here are some MCAT practice test tips to implement to simulate test-day conditions:

  • Start at 8am or as close to it as possible
  • Try to use a desktop computer with a mouse
  • Bring snacks and lunch you’d eat on test day
  • Eliminate distractions (turn music off, don’t go to coffee shop, etc.)
  • Don’t go somewhere too quiet because the test room will have ambient noise from other testers (chairs, bodily noises) – library is probably your best choice
  • Time yourself with test-day timing
  • Take all the time during breaks
  • Take the test in proper order
  • Never go over the time limit
  • Always answer every question (timing will help you pace your question-answering)

Melanie's next advice is to...

"Take at least twice the amount of time to review the exams as it took to write it."

Taking practice tests under test-day conditions is important - it's probably one of the most important factors in raising your MCAT score. However, post-test analysis is MUCH more important.

Conducting proper analysis and reflection of your performance, is where your transformation happens. There's a moment where you go from thinking like an average scoring premed, to a top scorer. 

"During review, really try to figure out where you went wrong: Do you stumble on the same types of questions? Is it due to lack of knowledge? Is it because you didn't understand the question? Did you misread the question? Were you unable to interpret the data or graphs?"

The main purpose during post-test analysis is to identify your stumbling areas. Your weak areas. Those areas which are hardest to face. Those areas that require you to be critical of that which you want to be least critical of; yourself, your thinking process, your physical state.

The fact is most premeds know how smart they are. They believe they're smarter than the average because their grades have been reflecting it all their lives...

But when something requires you to question your 'smartness', when your practice tests keep showing horrendous scores you're not used to seeing, the last thing your critical mind wants to do is look at itself.

It much rather put the blame on how unrealistic this exam is, on how there's 'too much information to study' or on how 'the exam is way too long for someone to sit through', etc.

When you learn how to master yourself, you will master the MCAT...

And proper, strategic post-test analysis and review allows you to master yourself.

We're never surprised when all the top scorers we research and interview almost always mention the importance of taking practice exams strategically and how much it helped them improve.

As you'll read below, Melanie struggled with her MCAT prep in the beginning with unbalanced, low scores. For a while she was frustrated because it wasn't obvious to her what she was doing wrong and how she could improve...

But everything changed when she began using the top scorer practice exam strategies and many other strategies from the Official Top Scorer MCAT Strategy Guide...

Melanie Ledding

MCAT Score: 517

Reading the MedLife Mastery Guide was one of the best things I did to prepare for my MCAT. I read it after having taken some practice exams without seeing any increase in my test score. I was panicking as I was only scoring around 505 and I knew I needed at least a 515 score for the schools I was interested in. Worst of all, my scores were very unbalanced between sections with my lowest score being the physical sciences with a 124.

After reading the guide, I completely revamped how I reviewed my exams and shifted my focus to tackling my worst sections with a vengeance. I’m totally thrilled that I scored a 517 and even happier to have brought my worst section score up to 129. I credit the majority of my progress to following the advice in the MedLife Mastery Guide.

Take that in: Melanie increased her MCAT score by an impressive 12 points (from 505 to 517)... and by using the same top scorer MCAT strategies she used, you can achieve similar results.

Just like her, you can also get a BALANCED score you need to get acceptances from your first-choice med-schools.

Remember it's not about how smart you are. It's about how well you follow a proven process to get your desired end result.

Can you follow simple instructions? Can you follow a map? If so, then you should have no problem using the Top Scorer MCAT Strategy Guide to get your score to a competitive level, that actually gets your application considered for med-school instead of being rejected by a computer...

Lastly, we'll leave you this key insight: the MCAT tests for how you think about things and not how much you studied.

The best part about using proven 90+ percentile scorer strategies is that after you constantly practice the correct ways to prep for the MCAT, you automatically start thinking like a top scorer.

You naturally start reading, analyzing, and answering questions in ways which the correct answer becomes obvious. AAMC has created the MCAT in a way where only the individuals who think in this way, can truly master the MCAT and get all the trickiest (not necessarily the toughest) questions right.

Once you get to this level of thinking, in fact the moment you see the clear path you need to take by getting a blueprint , the MCAT stops being a burden. There's no more confusion, frustration, stress, and worry. 

Eventually after a little bit of practice, it can even become fun.

Your med-school dreams are closer than ever before...

You got this, 

The MedLife Mastery Team
Your "MCAT Success" Mentors

Additional Reading -- MCAT Success Stories:

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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