In today’s episode, we talk all about timing during the MCAT. Running out of time is one of the most common problems, if not the most common problem, students have when taking the MCAT.
Is the MCAT designed for you to not finish it? Why do students run out of time on the MCAT? Is there actually a way for you to finish on time? All these and more in today’s episode.
Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.
Is the MCAT written so you can’t finish in time?
- No. The goal of MCAT is to reward students who use good time management and have good strategic ways of thinking about things.
- The AAMC is not trying to trick or punish you but reward the savvy test takers and those who know what they’re doing.
[Related episode: What Is the Best Way to Learn MCAT Testing Strategy?]
Running out of Time: A Symptom, Not a Disease
- If you’re using the right approach, you won’t be running out of time on the MCAT.
- Running out of time is the symptom.
- How do you now diagnose the underlying problem, so you can stop running out of time?
[Related episode: How to Easily Improve Your Test Scores and Learning Skills.]
MCAT Timing: How to Pace Yourself
The MCAT requires you to move along at a good clip.
- Don’t get lost in the details.
- The MCAT is about the big picture.
- If you’re focused on getting the big picture, you will have plenty of time.
- If you don’t understand a sentence, that’s okay.
- Don’t re-read. Just keep going.
- We covered this more in Session 259 of The Premed Years when talking about MCAT CARS timing.
Is Reading Speed Hurting Your MCAT Timing?
- The average reading speed for a college educated adult is 200-400 words a minute.
- It’s almost never your overall reading speed that’s the issue, but your technique.
- Speed reading courses do not teach you how to take the MCAT.
- You only need to read 200-300 words a minute to succeed on the MCAT.
- This is within the range of an average college-educated adult.
Speed reading courses are generally not what you need for the MCAT. The real problem is analysis. However, if you’re really struggling with this, a reading technique course might be helpful.
Speed reading apps for iPhone:
Links and Other Resources
- Check out my book about the MCAT, co-written with Next Step Test Prep: The Premed Playbook: Guide to the MCAT.
- Related episode: How Many MCAT Practice Tests Should I Take?
- Related episode: Last-Minute MCAT Tips Leading up to Test Day.
- Need MCAT Prep? Save on tutoring, classes, and full-length practice tests by using promo code “MSHQ” for 10% off Next Step full-length practice tests or “MSHQTOC” for $50 off MCAT tutoring or the Next Step MCAT Course at Next Step Test Prep!
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