What to do the day before the MCAT

Jack Westin Sep 27, 2016

The day before the MCAT is an extremely stressful time for nearly all pre-medical students. While every student is different and has their own preferences or tendencies, here are some tips for your last day of preparation:

Day Before The MCAT

  1. Follow your test day sleep cycle – by now you should have your test day planned out, what time you would like to wake up, your breakfast, etc. The day before the MCAT should be the perfect simulation of the big day. A huge part of this is making sure you sleep on time and get up when your alarm goes off (as if it was the actual MCAT test day).
  2. Organize your materials – you need to make sure that everything is good to go for the next morning. Most importantly: valid form of identification, directions to test location, wallet, keys, sweatshirt, and test day snacks. Plan ahead to avoid adding extra stress to your MCAT test date.
  3. Relax just a bit – not to say that you should remove yourself from the MCAT warrior mindset you have placed yourself in the last few months, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to take a minute to breathe deep before the big day. Go for a jog, listen to your favorite album, watch an episode of your favorite show, eat your favorite meal, anything to help you have a restful night’s sleep.
  4. Don’t try anything new – the day before the MCAT is not the time to check out that cool new restaurant everyone’s been talking about, or try to beat your maximum weight at the gym. The last thing you need is walking into the test location with an upset stomach or injured body. Stick to what you’re used to and comfortable with, break your comfort zones in 48 hours.
  5. Light review – here is a part of the day before MCAT checklist that students debate over. Both sides have their points and ultimately you need to do what you feel most comfortable with. Nobody can assess your stress levels, confidence, and tendencies better than you can. A light flashcard review or note read-through is not out of the question. But the day before the MCAT is not the time to knock out your last two full length practice tests.
  6. Don’t forget, you got this – the last thing you should be doing on the day before you take the MCAT is doubting your knowledge and psyching yourself out. Keep your stress levels low and your confidence levels high. Go knock it out of the park.
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