How I Scored 522 in Only 1.5 Months!

June 22, 2024

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Unfortunately, in life, there might be times you find yourself rushing against the clock prepping for an exam. Maybe it was a high school math test, your organic chemistry exam in university,  or the MCAT. 

While we would all love to have all the time in the world to study for the MCAT, the reality is often not the case.

This was the situation Saanya, one of your MCAT mentors, found herself in, with the MCAT dawning on her and only 1.5 months to go. 

It was trial by fire, but Saanya came out of it scoring an amazing 522 (with a 131 in CARS) and clearly stronger than ever.

She had an uphill battle and had to quickly find what works and what didn’t, and she’s here to share her journey and her tips in her new YouTube video! 

Check out her video or keep reading below to find out how she did it! We'll pass it to Saanya from here!

How To Approach A Time Crunch

I took the MCAT in the winter break of my junior year, and so this was after a full semester of classes, extracurriculars, volunteer work, and jobs so I didn't get a lot of time to study.

I did some light review of the Kaplan books during that semester, but I didn't really focus on the MCAT too much. And so that left me only about one and a half months to really sit down and focus on the content and the practice questions for the MCAT.

Because of this, one of the biggest struggles I had with the MCAT was definitely a time crunch. In addition to this, in the beginning of my winter break, I got COVID, and so that limited my already limited time even more.

One thing I learned was the importance of recognizing your strengths and weaknesses to adapt your study plan to your situation.

So one of my strengths was definitely memorization.

I had just taken a lot of the classes I needed for the MCAT that semester before, so I knew that a lot of the content was already fresh in my mind. I also was a good memorizer, so I didn't really need a lot of time to review content.

Thus, in my study plan, I only dedicated around one or two weeks to really focusing on content review, and I just did practice questions at the end of every chapter.

I think a time crunch isn't usually the best for long-term learning, but for the short-term, it helped me recognize some of the patterns that I was using to think through the questions and through the passages a lot quicker than usual. 

I was able to recognize which questions I got right or wrong, which strategies were working and which ones weren't, and it helped me adapt within a short period of time.

The Best Strategy For CARS

While memorization was definitely a strength of mine, one of my weaknesses was CARS. There was no content review or background information that I could bring into that section, so I was really unsure of where to start to try to bring my score higher.

I researched a bunch of strategies online, and eventually, I just decided to pick one and go for it. I started off with one strategy, and then I switched to another, and eventually, I landed on highlighting.

I found that highlighting throughout the passage a lot really helped me focus on what I was reading and grasp the details of what the author was saying.

I saw my scores start to increase, but there was a time when they started to plateau again. It wasn't the goal score that I wanted to get, so I decided to reevaluate my strategy.

I realized that highlighting so much throughout the passage was actually taking up time from being able to critically evaluate all the questions and their answers.

I tried to highlight less, and eventually, I realized that focusing during the passage became such a habit because of highlighting that I didn't need the highlighting anymore to do so. I stopped highlighting as much and only focused on the author's tone and voice, and I saw my score start to increase again.

Do Not Let The MCAT Intimidate You!

My biggest frustration with this test was just how daunting it could be. Everyone tells you that this is such a critical part of your premed journey and that this is a test that determines everything for your future career.

I tended to look at my friends who had already gone through this process and think there was no way that I would be able to catch up to them or do as well as they did.

I know that the MCAT can seem scary and daunting, but please remember that it's just a step in your journey to becoming a healthcare professional and fulfilling your dreams of caring for others.

On the day of my exam, I walked into that testing center with confidence, and I walked out with a score of 522, which was past my goal score. 

I even scored a surprising 131 in the CARS section, which was higher than I had scored on any practice test I had taken before.

Why I Became An MCAT Tutor

I feel like because of my time crunch and overall approach to the MCAT, I had a unique study journey, and I wanted to help give back to other students who may have been feeling discouraged in their premed journey because of the MCAT.

I especially love how MedLife Mastery places an emphasis on good physical and mental wellbeing, and for their mentors to be a source of support and encouragement for their students along the way. 

Through my experiences as an MCAT mentor, I realized that everyone has their own unique strengths and weaknesses and as long as you can adapt that to your study plan and your study habits, there's nothing that you can't do to help overcome your weaknesses.

Saanya’s Parting Words

I know that the MCAT can seem scary and daunting, but please remember that it's just a step in your journey to becoming a healthcare professional and fulfilling your dreams of caring for others.

Wherever you are in your MCAT journey, whether it's the beginning, the middle, or you're nearing the end, you can sign up for our free MCAT strategy emails. With these emails, you'll receive other tips and tricks from other mentors who are ready to give back and share their knowledge of the MCAT with you.

Study hard, take breaks, and be kind to yourself as you navigate this challenge. Remember that you have everything it takes to do well in the MCAT, and you'll be so proud of yourself once you do.

Bye for now!

Achieving Beyond Your Goal Score!

Did Saanya have a breezy time prepping for the MCAT? No. Was her situation ideal? Also no…

But she was able to optimize her MCAT prep and overcome all the obstacles in her way to get her goal score - And you can too!

If something’s not clicking, you have limited time, and you really need someone to give you more guidance, get some 1:1 guidance by working with one of our MCAT mentors like Saanya! 

With the clock ticking down and the days passing by, you might be feeling more and more pressure. But like Saanya, you can also find ways to maximize your time and do the best you can with what you have. 

We believe in you!

You can come out of this MCAT with your goal score or maybe something even higher.

You have every capability to succeed!

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 increase your MCAT score to the competitive mark quickly, we have collaboratively created these self-paced MCAT strategy courses and are also available for one-on-one tutoring!

How To Increase Your MCAT Score In 3 Weeks
Free Video: How I Increased My MCAT Score By 18 Points In 3 Weeks & Scored 516

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