Are you in the preparation stages for attending medical school? Whether you’re a first-year student in a pre-med undergraduate program or currently filling out applications for med schools, it’s important to develop a targeted plan of attack. Unlike all other graduate degree courses, medical school is rigorous and lengthy. For four years, your mind and body will be put to the test with challenging exams, in-service assignments, internships, and special projects. There are two phases you’ll go through before classes begin. The first is studying for the MCAT, Medical College Admission Test, and the second is bolstering your mind for the long haul of four years of intensive classroom and lab work. Here’s a short summary of how to get ready for the challenge of your life, medical school.
Deal with Financial Aspects First
Getting the degree is one thing, but paying for it is another and should be attended to first. You don’t want to worry about money-related issues while in the throes of your academic coursework. Fortunately, you can apply for and take out a student loan to cover the complete financial obligation of schooling. Obtaining medical school student loans before studies begin can give you the freedom to focus on the task at hand, namely acquiring the knowledge you’ll need to practice as a licensed doctor after graduation. When you apply online, you gain access to a quick and efficient process that can help you get the funds you need to pay for tuition, fees, books, and everything else that goes with the preparation to become a physician.
Study in a Structured Way
The MCAT is one of the most rigorous academic examinations in the world. It’s given to prospective med students in Australia, the Caribbean, the US, and Canada. The entire test is computer-based and takes between seven and eight hours to finish. The top score is 528, and the lowest score is 472. What’s on it? You’ll need to have an in-depth understanding of principles of science, excellent written analytical skills, superb critical thinking abilities, and top-notch problem-solving acumen. It’s imperative to study in a highly structured way, preferably in a group setting within a benchmarked prep program. Most colleges and universities and some private institutions offer preparation courses that last anywhere from two to six months. Attempt to take the longer courses if possible because the range of material covered is vast and detailed.
Attend Group Programs to Prepare for Entrance Exams
You can take online preparation classes that cover all the essential material, but they tend to lack the group, in-person instructional aspect that the more costly versions offer. If you live in a remote area, the online tutorials will do, but strive to attend one of the longer programs noted above. When you study with others, there’s a synergy that develops among peers who are struggling together for a common goal.
Watch Out for Scams
Unfortunately, there are numerous scam artists who target future doctors with promises of guaranteed success on entrance exams. Some even go so far as to promise entrance into the top schools for a large cash fee, of course. These con artists have been around for decades yet continue to snag a few gullible victims every year. Many are highly sophisticated and claim to have contacts in admissions offices of various schools. Others claim to have advance copies of the latest examinations and correct answers that they acquired by hacking into the computer systems of testing companies. You expose yourself to double risk by dealing with these crooks. First, you could waste a large sum of money on their worthless services. Second, if your prospective medical school or testing company finds out that you attempted to bribe your way in or buy answers to exams, you might be barred from ever becoming a doctor.
You’re In, Now What?
Getting a letter of acceptance to one of your preferred schools is a day you will never forget. Be sure to celebrate the accomplishment and congratulate yourself on a job well done. Once you’re accepted, it’s time to deal with all the logistics of setting up your life for the four years ahead. Arrange for lodging, and make daily schedules that include enough hours for study but also exercise and sleep. It’s critical to maintain good mental, emotional, and physical health while dealing with the rigors of studying to become a doctor.