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13 Thoughts You Have While Studying For The MCAT

Ah the MCAT, the 230 question, 6 hour and 15 minute exam designed by the demons that one must write to get into medical school. Chances are, with almost 90,000 people writing the MCAT across the world each year, either you or someone you know is spending their entire summer getting ready to write it. So, here are 13 things all thoughts people have while studying for the MCAT.

1. Alright, I am so smart. I’m going to ace the MCAT and I’m going to be a doctor in no time.

You start the summer off as an optimistic being who is entirely confident about their intellectual prowess and overall ability to write a VERY long standardized test.

2. Whoa, hormones do so many cool things. BUT WHY ARE THERE SO MANY AND HOW DO I REMEMBER THEM ALL?!?!

Yes, there are a lot. Glands and hormones and memorization, oh my! Find your favorite mnemonic to try to help you out or stick to some trust old flash cards.

3. Is there a Bill Nye episode for this?

Yeah, you thought magnets were cool as a kid, but then the right hand rule had to come along and make everything more confusing. So no, there isn’t any Bill Nye, but Hank Green and Khan Academy will be your heroes.

4. Where is the phone? I need to call my mom/dad/best friend/spiritual advisor for words of wisdom.

It’s probably going to get really hard before it gets any better. You always know that there is someone just a phone call away waiting to be your hype person and get you feeling confident again.

5. I just found the most perfect study schedule online, YAS! *3 days later* OMG, THIS STILL SUCKS.

No matter how many amazing resources you find, the MCAT is still the MCAT. And yes, sometimes you will cry. And yes, you will quickly grow to hate it.

6. When you take your first practice MCAT and realize “Holy crap, I studied for a month and still don’t know anything”

You’re going to be wrong while studying for the MCAT, a LOT. And you’ll probably be wrong when you’re in med school too, so get used to it now because that’s not going to change anytime soon.

7. What the fresh hell is this?

You know that feeling, the one where you flip ahead in your prep book and find material you didn’t even know existed? Yeah, fresh hell, on the daily.  

8. I’m trying to go to sleep, MCAT go away.

When you spend almost every waking free minute studying for the test it’s hard for it to leave your mind, even at bedtime. Try to find a nighttime routine that keeps your mind distracted from your impending doom and do something that distracts your brain from amino acids and organic chemistry about an hour before you hit the hay.

9. I’m out with my friends and I should be having fun, but I’m not. 

The worst thing about the MCAT is that every second that you are not studying, you feel guilty about it. DON’T. It’s a long summer and a long test. Make sure to take some time for yourself no matter how hard it feels.

10. I can’t remember that thing that I studied two month ago and I don’t have time to re-learn it. I should just give up now.  

Studying for the MCAT is definitely a marathon and not a sprint. Chances are there will be things you study at the beginning of the summer that you start to get rusty on come July. Especially the things that you don’t think you’ll ever need as a doctor. Don’t beat yourself up, just make a note to review it again and keep on keeping on.

11. I am freaking out. I can’t do this. I’m going to fail.

The entire morning before my MCAT I was good to go. The second I said bye to my parents to drive to the test, I lost it in the middle of the restaurant they own. There was a lot of tears, a lot of sniffles, and a lot of pep talking going down.


Nothing in this world feels as great as doing your last fingerprint scan and walking straight out of that exam room. Buy yourself an ice cream, you deserve it.

13. OMG, I totally picked the wrong answer during that physics passage. Oh no, that’s it. Bye bye med school.

Your post-MCAT days will go two ways: 1) You will immediately repress all the horrible memories or 2) you will try to remember every question until the days your scores come out. Take this advice and find something else to live for.

Writing the MCAT is a rite of passage that every pre-med has to get through. Whether it’s your first time or your third time writing it, there is some humor buried deep within the misery that we can all laugh at! Good luck, I believe in you!

Featured image via Avery Evans on Unsplash



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