What You Need to Know Before You Apply to Medical School

Thinking about becoming a doctor? Part of that journey is taking the MCAT and entering medical school. Some of those aspects include keeping up with the MCAT changes. Preparing for the MCAT doesn’t mean you have to spend most of your time worrying about it. Here are five things you should know about medical school that will help you become more equipped for it.

Studying is Different in College


Studying in college is different than studying in high school. In high school, you take homework assignments and regular tests. In college, homework is not something that’s required and there are a few exams each semester or quarter. Your grade is based on how well you do on the midterm and final exam. Most of the pressure is placed on how you perform on these exams, which means studying becomes a lifestyle rather than an option.

College exams are complicated but that doesn’t mean they’re impossible to pass. It’s best to be prepared during your pre-medical school journey. It’s not about studying more, it’s about studying harder and smarter. Sometimes that involves keeping up with the MCAT changes by making good use of your resources.

If you perform poorly on your exams, you can determine your weaknesses and prevent those issues from happening again. Knowing your weakest points can prevent future failure. Thankfully, there are several ways to study including e-books, online videos, online preparatory exams, and workbooks. The advantage of these resources is that they can be accessed through your mobile phone

Get Involved with Your College

You shouldn’t devote 100% of your college life to studying. While it’s important to maintain your GPA for medical school, getting involved with your college is just as important. You don’t need to study 40 hours per week to get good grades. Fill your lifestyle with hobbies, interests, and other things that you’re passionate about. Before joining a club or organization, ask yourself if this experience will help you grow as a person.

Never join a fraternity or sorority just because you want to be one of the cool kids. Your chosen activity should help create a positive experience for you as well as the community. Avoid doing things just because other people are doing it or because you feel you have to do it in order to fit in. You don’t want to end up doing something that could ruin your chances of getting into medical school.

Separate Work from Play

Learn how to balance your extracurricular activities with your studies. It is important to have a healthy work-life balance. Having fun when you should be studying or working can make you less effective and productive. Making time for your hobbies and interests will make you a happier, more satisfied, and well-adjusted individual.

One of the best ways to separate work from play is to schedule time for your interests and activities. Commit two to three hours throughout the day to have lunch with friends or attend a concert at night. If you have something positive to look forward to, working and studying will feel more rewarding.

The Journey Seems Intimidating

When you think about all the preparation you have to do for medical school, the journey can seem intimidating. You’re probably worried about how you’re going to balance getting good grades while taking on extracurricular activities. If you ease yourself into your classes and extracurricular activities, then you’ll realize it’s not as bad as you anticipated. Taking it one day at a time without overwhelming yourself, and the journey will become more enjoyable than stressful.

Focus on Building Character

It’s tempting to take on studies and activities because they look good on your resume. But the important part of the college experience is to do things that help you build character. Are you doing things to make others happy? Instead of basing these activities off your resume, keep your character in mind.

Don’t cheat on your test to get good grades. Take time to learn about yourself and become a person who makes a positive difference in the world. Engage in activities and interests that help you build character, no matter if they fit your resume or not.

College admissions and job recruiters can easily detect people who only care about benefitting their resume. They’re looking for college students who are willing to become compassionate and caring medical students and future doctors.

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