By Larraib Saleem (KEMU 2015-2020)
Mcat is now almost less than two months away so here are some of the basic guidelines and tips that may help the pre medical students.
•MCAT has a basic rule 'Stick to the Books'.The whole MCAT paper will be based on the textbooks of pre-medical level preferably fsc textbooks.Just stick to them.There is no need to consult any kind of notes and helping books.Books are more than enough.They will serve the purpose well.
•Each and every line of the books is important particularly biology.In biology the same lines are copied and pasted in the exam.So you need to go through each and every line of the books.Just read a particular topic keenly and thoroughly two to three times in order to prepare it.There is no need of cramming. Grasp the concept and try explaining that topic to yourself.
•The academies and their regular tests are a great source of depression for the majority. Focus on your own preparation. Don't bother how others are performing.Prepare every test and try to give your best shot every time.It doesn't matter how much you score in the regular tests.They are just for your practice.The main thing is that you prepared that topic well.Believe me MCAT is different from these regular academy tests.MCAT is easier than these academy tests so no need to get worried and anxious.
•Get the past papers in printed form as soon as possible.Keep the papers with yourself everytime.Try solving the questions from the past papers from now.You will get an idea of the type of questions asked each year. You will be able to have an overview of the important topics,formulas and diagrams.Past papers are something must to do.You have to go through them.
•Along with the past papers,keep the syllabus of UHS in printed form.Before preparing any unit,read the syllabus.Keep in mind that UHS syllabus is not thorough.It's just a highlight of the topics included. So you have to do the relevant topics too.For example,if you are supposed to prepare the topic of heart,read not only the structure of heart but also the Cardiac cycle.We got a mcq based on the duration of cardiac cycle.In our time, only the topic of synapse was included but we got a question from the graph of nerve impulse.Give such relevant topics a single read.This will help you for sure.
•Many people find it difficult to develop a proper schedule in MCAT.They get sleep deprived but still tensed.Then they are concerned about the study hours.Keep in mind MCAT has less study hours than cramming based fsc as you just have to read the topics conceptually.No matter how long it takes to understand a single topic,give that topic its deserved time.Study till you are done with your required work.No need to have specified study hours.Don't get sleep deprived at any cost.You must have heard that MCAT is a game of nerves so give your nerves a proper time to relax every night.Study actively the next day
•If you have joined some renowed academy for MCAT,don't miss the regular lectures.Get a notebook and divide it into 4 portions.One for each subject.During the lecture,try to note down the important points told by the teacher.They will guide you about the modified forms of some formulas and diagrams.They will help you regarding the type of questions that can be asked from each topic.So note that down.
•Some students do not join academies and then get worried.Remember that going to the academy never guarantees your admission in a medical college.Academies and their tests assist you in time management and stress management.If you think that you can tackle this issue at home,there is no need of any academy.You can totally rely on self study if you are confident of your preparation strategy.One of my class fellows never went to any academy not even in MCAT and now she is in one of the top-notch medical colleges.In the end it all depends on you.Just analyze yourself to find out if you can manage with or without some academy.
•Practicing the MCQs is essential while preparing for MCAT.After preparing any topic,practice the related MCQs.For this purpose,many books are available.You can use the entry test series by KIPS or any other renowned academy.You can also solve MCAT MCQs by Dogar Publishers.Use whatever source is available but don't forget doing this activity.
•Discuss the difficult concepts with your friends and teachers.If you are unable to grasp a concept,discuss that freely with your friend and teachers.This methodology clears many misconceptions about a particular topic.
•If you are solving the mcqs on a bubble sheet,do fill the bubbles completely.Don't develop the habit of filling the bubble incompletely(like putting a dot )with the hope that you will fill it later.You will never find enough time to do that.So If you are sure about the answer, just fill the bubble.
•While solving the mcqs,do the easy ones on the spot.If you are unable to solve any difficult mcq in second or third attempt,leave that.Don't waste your time on a single mcq.Try doing such mcqs when you are done with the rest of your paper.
•For a full length paper, at first do the subject you find easy.Go with order of easy to difficult.The suitable order for majority is Biology,English,Chemistry and in the end Physics.You can go with the whatever order you are comfortable with.It depends on you wholly.
•In most instances,there are some exercise questions in the book that are UHS related.For example in Physics some short questions and numerical problems are totally relevant to the UHS syllabus.The same goes for other science subjects.So when you are studying a topic,give 10-15 minutes to such relevant material.This will be useful and helpful to a great extent.
•If you are preparing a topic,make sure that you read it keenly from book with proper understanding.Then go through the related information(modified and simplified forms of formulas and diagrams)that may help you while solving the mcqs.At last,solve some mcqs to have a final grip on the topic.
Best of luck for MCAT. May Allah help you ace it in the best possible way :)