Emma Hartman ENG’23
Since freshman year, every pre-med student has had it drilled into them: “the MCAT is hard and the MCAT is important.” While that may be true, studying for the Medical College Admissions Test doesn’t have to take over your life. Here are 5 tips for studying for the MCAT at BU without destroying your GPA or social life.
1.) Make a schedule
I added my study hours to my Google Calendar and treated them like another class with mandatory attendance. If you don’t have a set time to study (no matter how brief), your MCAT studying could be just another thing to slip through the cracks. Pick a reasonable amount of hours that you can maintain consistently once your schoolwork picks up.
2.) Find a study location outside of your dorm
Most people seem to agree with this tip when it comes to studying for anything. Leave your home and all of the distractions you have in it. You could go somewhere on campus like the Stuvi study rooms to be around other people or the upper floors of the Mugar Library for silence. You could even get excited to study by studying at a different coffee shop every week.
3.) Tell your friends
If your friends know about your plans, they’ll want to support you. If they have a loose understanding of your schedule, they’ll try not to distract you during your study hours, cheer you on, and can even help keep you accountable if you start to slip. Luckily for me, one of my friends was studying for the MCAT at the same time as me, so we were able to study together, which kept both of us from bailing on our prep hours.
4.) Be flexible
If schoolwork winds up taking more of your time than expected or if you’re just overwhelmed, it’s okay to modify your study plan. Even if you have to cut back on studying, it’s better to have a smaller number of high quality study hours than a ton of “study hours” where you were too stressed to retain any info.
5.) Don’t stop living your life
Life goes on! You only have 4 years at BU and you don’t want to miss them. When you’re not studying for the MCAT, don’t waste your time thinking about the MCAT. Keep up with your friends, clubs, and all of the things that make your BU experience special