Top Test Prep Strategies for Medical School Admissions

As a medical school applicant, your ability to excel while taking tests and exams will go a long way in determining whether you make it into the school you’re hoping for.  While there are many other factors that will be considered, your GPA and your scores on standardized tests may be the single biggest factor determining whether or not you are accepted to various schools.  With that in mind, I’m going to share several time-tested strategies for test taking success:

1) Don’t procrastinate. I’m sure for some of you that phrase went in one ear and out the other, so let me repeat myself: don’t procrastinate—your career in the medical field may depend on it.  The ability to organize and schedule your time is critical in school, yes, but it’s even more important in the real world.  If you’re going to make it through medical school, you’re going to have to learn to get things done in a timely manner—so began developing that skill now.  It’s a fact that you can’t recall information that has been crammed into your head as well as you can information that has been processed over a period of time, so don’t try!

2) Organize obsessively. If you’re not a naturally organized person, listen up: you won’t survive medical school until you learn to stay organized.  You made it through high school without being organized, and you may be doing fine in college, but you’ll never be able to process the information you need to succeed on your exams in medical school if you’re not organized.  Staying organized ensures that you have all the information you need to prepare for each exam—and it gives you the best chance to succeed.

3) Cater to yourself. How do you learn best?  Are you an auditory learner?  If so, find audio versions of your textbooks and other material.  If you’re a visual learner, search for diagrams and pictures that make sense of difficult concepts.  Each of us learns differently—so figure out what works best for you and make sure that you accommodate yourself whenever you can.

To sum it up, if you can’t succeed on tests you won’t make it through medical school.  Don’t procrastinate, stay organized, and take advantage of your unique learning style and you’ll be in position to succeed on exams and in life.

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