Is It Better to Take an MCAT Course
or Study on Your Own?
Once you’ve decided to take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), you’ll need to decide how best to begin your test prep. For some students, self-studying is the best option while others do best with a study program. But how do you know which option is the best for you? Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you decide:
How Much Help Do I Need With the Material?
One of the most obvious benefits of having an MCAT test prep program or tutor is having somebody who can help you when you get stuck. Sometimes there are just particular concepts that seem impossibly difficult to figure out on your own, and having an expert there to guide you through it can save a lot of time and frustration.
Mostly this question will come down to your confidence with the material. If you’ve been sure to take all of the right classes to help you during your undergrad and did well in all of those science and math classes, then you’ll probably be fine. Remember, you can always start your study prep on your own and find a study course later on if you think it might be useful.
Will I Need Help Staying Accountable?
After you’ve created your study plan and know your test date, the timer begins to count down. If you know unequivocally that you can stay on task for the next 3-6 months and complete every assignment on it’s scheduled day, then you’ll be fine.
However, if you’re like a lot of students and know that you have a tendency to procrastinate, you may want to look for a MCAT test prep group to keep you focused. 6 months in a long time to stay on task, and life has a tendency of getting in the way sometimes. You don’t want to fall behind and get unnecessarily stressed just because you wanted to go to that concert or party.
Can I Afford It?
A MCAT test prep course can be a great option, but it can also be pricey. You need to sit down and compare some prices of study programs to decide whether you can afford it. It’s not worth putting yourself into debt just to study for the MCAT. Especially when you know that you’ll have the cost of medical school ahead of you.
If you’ve come to the conclusion that you do need outside help but your budget is limited, try looking for MCAT test prep programs that offer payment plans or the most bang for your buck. If that’s still too costly, consider forming a study group with other students in your position. That way you’ll still have people who can all help each other out for less cost than a formal prep program.
Will I Be Working During My Studies?
Many MCAT students need to work during their study prep, but you don’t want this to negatively impact your score. If you know that you’ll be working even part-time, you should strongly consider finding a tutoring program to help you make the most of your available study time.