What are the tips to deal with MCAT anxiety?

This blog answers: What are the tips to deal with MCAT anxiety? What are the therapy options for MCAT anxiety?

What are the tips to deal with MCAT anxiety?

Some tips to deal with MCAT anxiety are:

Have a schedule

To deal with MCAT anxiety, individuals preparing for it must have a schedule that helps to guide their preparations systematically. This process can also involve taking an initial diagnostic test. This test helps to indicate individuals’ strengths and weaknesses.

Understanding one strengths and weaknesses help individuals to understand areas that require more practice and attention over a few months of preparation.

Alter your schedule

Making a plan to prepare for MCAT can be done throughout the process. In that, the schedule initially planned by individuals can be altered and revised as need be. Many individuals might think that spending time on planning your schedule might be a waste of time however people will be surprised to see how having a study map helps them to go through the process more easily and reduce their anxieties about it.

Have a score goal

It is very important to make a note of an overall score goal on the MCAT. However, individuals must break it down into pieces while they study for instance if they have a goal to have a score of 10 extra points, they might keep an extra week to achieve that score in that particular section.

These smaller goals can be set during the initial planning of the MCAT prep. These scores can be reevaluated periodically to ensure that individual scores are helping them to stay on their way to accomplishing bigger goals and scores.

Focus on self-care

While preparing for the MCAT individuals must focus on their self-routine as well including sufficient sleep, proper exercise, and a healthy diet. Even though these things might seem a little time-consuming while one is preparing for the MCAT they must understand that it is very essential for them to maintain this routine to go on or long optimally.

Lack of sleep, exercise, or proper diet can make an individual sluggish and grumpy further making it difficult for them to concentrate on their preparations and increasing their anxiety.

Take breaks

Often candidates studying for competitive exams forget that they have a life away from their books and preparations. This leads to increased stress and monotony causing a sense of anxiety as they are stuck between the pages of their books.

Hence individuals must take frequent breaks from their study routine and indulge in pleasurable activities. This also helps individuals to clear their heads off and sit back for preparation with an increased level of concentration.

Eliminate distractions while studying

Individuals must consciously try and avoid distractions while they are studying. They must set boundaries between leisure time and study time. Sitting down with zero distraction helps individuals to put their complete focus into their preparation and also increase their retention.

To eliminate distractions the first step is to identify what distracts people the most. This distraction can be different for different people once you can identify it staying away from it becomes much easier through practice and determination.

Use mixed techniques

Many times individuals have particular study techniques that they use while preparing for exams. Though it is good to follow a technique that they are comfortable with and that suits them best it is always good to look at other techniques that can be used. This gives the perspective into other possible techniques that are easier and much more effective in use.

These individuals are required to have an open mind and take risks with their techniques. Taking the initial risk of using a new technique might be anxiety-provoking however it might feel better over time. However, if individuals feel that new techniques do not suit them they can hold on to the ones they have been using all this while.

Seek help

Thousands of candidates appear for the MCAT exam every year. Individuals don’t need to know all the other candidates who are applying for their exam however they might know some mutual connections that might help them get through the process easier. Individuals can also seek help from mentors and supervisors who can guide them through the process of preparing and appearing for the exam to achieve their goals.

Have some stress-relieving techniques

It’s very natural to feel stress while preparing for MCAT. However, individuals must identify ways to move past these hurdles and get to the stage of productivity. These individuals can keep handy stress-relieving techniques such as meditation, yoga, exercise, or even artwork.

Be optimistic

Most importantly while appearing for the exam individuals must have a positive outlook. Keeping in mind that they are not capable of it is out of their reach can have a very negative impact throughout their preparation process. Thus being positive about the process might lead to more positive results than one can imagine.

What are the therapy options for MCAT anxiety?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a kind of therapy in which an individual is exposed to a particular stimulus that they usually fear or are anxious about in a graded order.

As and when the individual gets comfortable with the situation or stimulus introduced or exposed to them with each session, individuals get more comfortable with a real-life situation that might have otherwise been a source for triggering anxiety.

Group therapy


It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same fears they might not feel left alone or isolated. Group therapy usually involves a group of individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.


Anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health care professional.

Though medication alone cannot help in reducing persistent anxiety it can help in restoring a sense of control and bring temporary relief. 

Online therapy  

In cases where reaching out physically to a professional is impossible or discomforting an individual can opt to seek help through the online medium. 

In this, the therapy sessions are carried out one-to-one over a video or audio call. Some individuals also prefer interacting with the therapist through text as well due to various reasons. One of the most common is the fear of being judged by the therapist or some personal hesitation. 

Online therapy can help individuals to regulate some aspects of their anxiety that aids individuals in carrying out a stress-free life 


MCAT can be very stressful due to its complex nature and assessment process. However, this must not be the reason for individuals to stop from achieving their goals. There are various self-help strategies and therapy options that people can consider working through the preparation.

Frequently asked questions: What are the tips to deal with MCAT anxiety?

Why is MCAT so stressful?

MCAT Can be very stressful as it relies on understanding content and knowledge about various aspects of it in practical applications.

Why is MCAT so difficult?

MCAT is very challenging for various reasons such as it is extremely lengthy and covers various subjects. It requires test takers to combine knowledge from various academic disciplines making it very difficult.

Which is the hardest part of the MCAT?

Many students have reported that the most challenging section of the MCAT is CARS.



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