How Can I Best Utilize Scratch Paper for the MCAT?


Session 18

In today’s episode, Ryan and Bryan talk all about scratch paper. The MCAT is taken on a computer but the AAMC still allows you to use pen and paper. So what are you supposed to do with those things?

Here are the highlights of the conversation between Ryan and Bryan:

You don’t bring any of your own inside the test room but they give you this little booklet containing 8 sheets of paper and 2 freshly-sharpened pencils.

Decide what you want to do with it. Whatever your decision is, make sure you’re the one actively taking charge of your testing experience and making it a decision rather than falling into a default setting.

How do you use the scratch paper?

  1. Don’t use it at all.
  2. Use it as an outline of the passage.

Use it to build up a paragraph by paragraph summary as you read each and every passage you do

Not everyone finds this successful as this could be time-consuming for them and not helpful so this ends up hurting their performance.

  1. Use it as a middle ground.

When you come across a problem or a paragraph that seems really complicated and you’re not following it, jot down some notes like a flow chart to help you follow the logic of what the passage is saying. Think with your pencil and not hold all the ideas in your head. Jot it down if and when you need it. Looking at that flow chart of ideas would make it much easier since you have a visual representation.

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