The 7 Phases of Preparing for the MCAT:

by Becca Lair

Hey there! So I’m pre-med, and as part of that, I’m required to take what’s called the MCAT or Medical College Admissions Test. Basically it’s a crazy difficult and 7 hour long test that determines the future of all students wishing to one day be doctors. I’m about to take it really soon, and I’m sort of freaking out about it, so I thought I would get my frustrations out and share the journey of a student preparing for the MCAT exam in the form of words and gifs. Enjoy!

Phase 1: Discovery
Me, first entering college as pre-med: What? I have to take a test? Easy, I’m good at standardized testing.
*does 30 minutes of research about the MCAT*
Me: I’m gonna die for sure.

Phase 2: Denial
Sophomore year I definitely pretended it didn’t exist. What happy times those were, except, just kidding, I was still pre-med I was taking organic chemistry.

Phase 3: Dread (and lots of money-spending)
Entering into my junior year I knew this was the year I wanted to take the MCAT, and I totally panicked as this overwhelming sense of dread washed over me. I spent hours on the AAMC website learning about the test, followed by hours on pre-med forums trying to figure out the best time to take the test and the best study tools. Finally I talked to one of Iowa State’s pre-health advisors and went to a conference at the University of Iowa medical school. There I got to talk to people who actually got into medical school and find out what made them successful on the test. This lead me to spend a small fortune on study books, eight months before I actually needed to take the test.

Phase 4: more denial
Junior year as a biology major being what it is, you kinda lose track of time. The fact that the test was still months away was too much of a cushion.

Phase 5: panic (and more money-spending)
Finally, as the test gets closer, you pick a date and location, pay the fee, and the real panic starts to set in. Goodbye friends, I’ll see you in two months!

Phase 6: despair
Face-down in a test book, cookie crumbs in your hair, what day is it again? Is this test in English? Is that the sun?

Phase 7: relief
You finished! Yay! Now to eagerly await your score…


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