Anon Question: MCAT Jitters and Tips
Anxiety, fear, nightmares, panic attacks happen in some way, shape, or form to everyone who takes the MCAT and takes it seriously. You’re in good company. I definitely had a nightmare or two, and anxiety was unavoidable.
However, when it gets in the way of your preparation, as you’ve mentioned, everyone’s got their tricks. Here were some of mine!
- Exercise: burned off the excess jittery energy and helped me stay in shape as I studied for hours! Yoga, walking, dancing around the room, and swimming were my personal favorites.
- Tell trusted family and friends. When I had moments of doubt I couldn’t talk myself out of, I’d turn to those closest to me.
- Cuddle an adorable animal: puppy, kitten, etc. It works wonders.
- Collect inspiration: I keep a folder on my computer called ‘Inspirational Stuff’. I have pictures, lists of movies, names of people, quotes, books, tv episodes, characters, youtube videos, and songs that have inspired me throughout my life. When I’m feeling down, I pick something. Or just reading through some of my lists makes me feel better!
- Get it in writing: I like to journal, and like talking, it’s a way to get a better read on your fears and anxieties so you can deal with them appropriately.
- Accept the fear, recognize it, and let it go: At some point, I had to confront the fact that I was anxious (I was, and still am, not very good at recognizing my own anxiety) and why I was. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear that I had spent years of my life chasing a dream that wasn’t mine to have, etc. etc. But once I did that, I was okay with my insecurity and fears, I could let them go, take them for what they were, and realize they weren’t going to derail me. They were natural and healthy, perfectly fine. That helped so much.
That’s a short list, but do what is best for you! You’ll make it. :)
Now for some audience participation: what did folks do to overcome their pre-MCAT jitters?
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- dearlambie said: Pray, eat well the morning of and do not study the day of the test, focus on all the studying and hard work you put in the past few months, and know that no matter what happens, it’s only a test.
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- tachycardictendencies said: Dance it out!
- itsall-science said: Thanks for sharing. Really helpful tips!
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- cranquis said: Same thing I do every night, Pinky… er, I mean… Same thing that I use for any stressful situation: talk to my most trusted bud, God. And even if you don’t believe in God, prayer or meditation helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels!
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