Preparation for the Revised MCAT

August 14, 2015

 

Preparation for the Revised MCAT

As you likely know, the format for the MCAT changed substantially in 2015. Since the launch of the new exam, thousands of students have used Next Step tutoring and materials to prepare for the revised exam. While the test is “new,” it’s no longer “new to us” — our tutors, materials, methodologies, and academic management staff have been working with the revised exam since well before the start of the 2015 season.

Before you select a MCAT tutoring provider, please discuss with them what they have done to prepare for the new exam.

A Focus On Strategy

Scoring 508+ on the MCAT requires a solid understanding of science content, but more importantly you’ve got to have a strategic approach to the MCAT itself. Our students often tell us that they have a good grasp on the sciences but just can’t turn that knowledge into the score they want. When we work with students one-on-one, we are able to focus on test-taking strategy as well as the sciences. Unlike a classroom course, in which the teacher will only have one set method for doing things, we are flexible in our approach. There are many different paths to success on an MCAT science question (process of elimination, outside knowledge, estimation, etc.) and we help our students find the one that works best for them – and do so within the test’s strict time limits.

Success on the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section (the new Verbal Reasoning) is based entirely on your strategic approach. In a class, the teacher is likely to force all of the students in a single, artificial method (such as stopping to take notes on scratch paper while reading) whereas an individual tutor can adapt the Verbal strategy to your personalized needs. Finally, pre-med students often need introduction to the concepts and the strategies in the new Behavioral Sciences section alongside ample opportunities to practice those concepts.

Materials and Methodologies

Next Step has developed a proprietary set of 9 prep books, built from the ground up for the revised MCAT. This set, totaling over 3,500 pages, covers every aspect of the exam as well as providing well over 100 sample passages.

We are also the only major MCAT prep company that is happy to integrate outside materials and resources into student study plans, including books from our competitors. We have found that there are a number of ways to teach most aspects of the MCAT. Rather than choosing one method arbitrarily and mandating it for all of our students, we leave it up to our veteran instructors to chart the right course for the individual student based on an initial diagnostic or past MCAT scores. Students receive access to our proprietary full-length MCAT exams (and half-length diagnostic test). These exams accurately replicate the length and format of the MCAT, including full-length psychology/sociology sections.

Flexible Start Dates and Scheduling

Since our MCAT tutoring programs are completely customized, our students can start any time. We will put together the right MCAT tutor program to take you from your start date to the day of your test, making the best use of time available. We are able to guide your prep over the course of 6 months, or we can put together a plan to eke out those last few points 2 weeks before your test date. 

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