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Keep a Notebook and Pen Near You

Sometimes we’ll get brilliant ideas, seemingly out of nowhere. We become so distracted because we try to concentrate on them in a vain attempt to not forget. Other times we’ll remember that a task needs to get done, and so we’ll focus on how to complete that task in the future, instead of focusing on how to complete the project that we’re already working on. To prevent this from happening, keep a notebook and pen near you whenever you work, so that you can write down those ideas and clear up your brain space.

Categorize by Importance and Urgency

Some tasks are important, some are urgent, some are both, and others are neither important nor urgent. Learning how to categorize your tasks by urgency and importance will help you prioritize them.

  • A science project with an approaching deadline is both urgent and important
  • Maintaining relationships with your friends and family is important, but not urgent
  • A notification on your phone is urgent, but not important
  • Watching TV is neither urgent nor important Try to get the urgent and important stuff out of the way first, and then focus on just the important things. After that you can check your phone’s notifications or watch your favorite show.

Get the Tough Stuff Out of the Way

Often we’ll push the difficult or boring tasks to the end of our day, week, or even month, just to avoid doing it. This can lead to stress as you have those projects looming over your shoulder, always at the back of your mind, and constantly weighing down on you. Instead of focusing on work, you’ll end up focusing on how much you don’t want to do that task or project. The solution? Just get it done as soon as possible. Make it the first task of the day, assuming that you don’t have any urgent and important things to do first. You’ll feel so much better if you do those difficult things sooner, rather than later.

Use practice questions for content review

Students often wonder if they should focus more on content review than answer practice questions. The thing is, you can review content and practice at the same time by using those same practice questions for content review. To score high on the MCAT, it’s best that you have a good mix of content review and familiarity with the actual test. It’s highly recommended that you spend a lot of time on practice questions and just a little on content review. The latter will help improve your performance accuracy and efficiency during the actual admissions exam. This is why you can’t exclude it when preparing for the MCAT. The advantage of answering practice questions on your content review is that it will help you see what you’re missing out. Using practice questions during the content review will help you ensure that the concepts you are studying are actually asked on the MCAT.

Take multiple practice tests

Another tip on how to study for the MCAT effectively is taking practice tests on a regular basis. The MCAT is a 7+ hour-long exam. It is lengthy, so it is best to take practice tests early in your prep. Taking it on a regular basis will help you familiarize the questions. The best way to study for the MCAT is by taking a practice test bi-weekly or once a month. There are a lot of free practice tests available online. These tests are great for your first month of studying, helping you familiarize the nature of the questions and concepts covered on the test. After the first month of your prep, however, you would want to invest in full-length, premium practice tests that have questions that are relatively close to the actual admissions exam. In taking the best MCAT practice tests, it is a great idea to time yourself. This way, you will get used to the time pressure, something that the MCAT is sure to bring on the day of the test.

Create an effective study plan

Having a schedule that is suitable for you is one of the most important aspects of your MCAT preparation. The best way to study for MCAT is to prepare without sacrificing your other responsibilities. Because if you do, you won’t be 100% focused on your studies. You will always be thinking about other important things you need to take care of. The length of your MCAT prep depends on how many hours you can study per week. Some students have other commitments like a job or extracurricular activities, while others have a lot of time to stay at home and study all day. Your other daily activities play a major role in setting up an effective study plan. What are some study plans that you can follow? If you can afford to stay at home and study for MCAT all day, a 3-month study plan is ideal for you. If you have a job and can balance your time well, 4-6 months of preparation should be enough. If you are a busy student with lots of other commitments and spends a lot of time working, 8 months is an ideal length. The bottom line is, you have to be aware of how many hours a week you can spend studying for the exam. Doing so can make or break your performance on the test day.

Review, revise, repeat

You didn’t think it was over, did you? People learn throughout their lives. You’re constantly picking up bits and pieces of new information, but when you pursue an online course, you get an infusion of data that can help your brain stay active and your mind engaged. Continue to review this list of online study tips as you work through your online course. Upon completion of the course, try another one. The more you learn, the more satisfied you’ll feel. Especially if you let yourself eat those French macarons.

Reward yourself for sticking to the program

We all need a reward now and again—even if said reward contains a few extra calories than we usually permit ourselves. Of course, you don’t have to use French macarons as your reward. Maybe you get an extra half-hour of television in the evening, or maybe you’ll buy that bestselling novel you can’t wait to read. Whatever the case, create a reward system that sends positive messages to your brain. Over time, you’ll learn that learning produces that reward, so you’ll get a taste for more knowledge. There are several rewards you can try.

  • A date night with your significant other.
  • New clothing or accessories
  • An afternoon at the park
  • Time with your family or friends
  • A computer game you’ve wanted to try Think about the things you love to do, then tie one of those to your online learning adventure.

Stay motivated

It’s easy to lose motivation halfway through an online course. Remember when you wrote down your own goals and objectives for the course? Keep reminding yourself of them. That’s why you put them in black and white and stored them near your workspace. If you’re feeling frustrated or confused, take a break to clear your head, then ask someone you love for advice. Maybe you just need to vent for a few minutes, or perhaps your loved one can provide motivation when you can’t generate it on your own. Most importantly, remember why you decided to pursue online learning. Get back in touch with that motivation so it can fuel you through the entire course.

Participate in online discussions

When you discuss course material with other students and instructors, you often learn more than if you were to rely on the provided study materials alone. Furthermore, you’ll gain a sense of community and camaraderie that can make online learning more enjoyable.

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