Overcoming the MCAT Exam Jitters
Here are a few reminders to keep you from getting rid of those exam jitters:
- Be an Early Bird
On the test day, wake up early so you will have enough time to get to the test center. Some candidates find it helpful to spend at least 30 minutes before the test to go through some notes and go into “testing mode.”
- Follow the MCAT Exam Diet
On test-day morning, eat a healthy breakfast. Avoid fats and protein. Steak should be your treat only for the night AFTER the MCAT test. Greasy food tends to shoot up your insulin level making you feel sleepy during the day. Sugar-packed snacks also cause a ‘sugar low’ that eventually makes you drowsy. A chocolate bar or other sweet highly caloric food could, however, be very useful during the 10-minute break just before the last section when you may be tired. The ‘sugar low’ will hit you only after you have completed the exam when you do not have to be awake!
- Be a Relaxed (M)CAT
You may find it useful, on the night before the exam, to jot down a few ideas or facts that you wish to have fresh in your mind when you begin testing. Read through your list a couple of times when you get up in the morning and/or just before you take the exam, then put it away. This kind of memory reinforcement not only improves your performance on the test, it also improves your long-term memory of the material.