What’s your personal “learning style?”
Some MCAT prep companies make the mistake of assuming that one approach fits all test-takers. If you’ve been preparing for the MCAT, you
likely already know that even “time-tested” methods that seem to work for “most people” may sometimes not yield the best results for you.
Instead, your own personal learning style should serve as a guide by which you select your MCAT prep methods. After identifying whether you are an auditory, kinesthetic, or visual (or a combination) learner, read on to learn about MCAT prep methods that may be right for you—and how a personalized tutoring approach can help you reach your target MCAT score.
1. Auditory learners
Auditory learners are individuals who retain and understand information best when they hear it—as opposed to when they see or feel a visual or tactile representation of the material. If you find that you learn a great deal from discussions or recorded explanations, auditory learning may be your preferred learning style.
When it comes to MCAT review as an auditory learner, you may discover that recorded lectures help you a great deal. Since auditory learners typically gain more knowledge from hearing people discuss the material aloud, consider MCAT classes or private tutoring through a company like Varsity Tutors. Classroom discussions and those with a tutor can guide you to a greater understanding of how to answer challenging MCAT questions. Especially for those academic topics you need to review just before your test date, a one-on-one tutor can explain them in a way that makes perfect sense to you.
2. Kinesthetic learners
Kinesthetic learners are those who preferred learning style involves acquiring information through senses apart from sight and hearing—that is touch, taste, and smell. While kinesthetic learners may find rote memorization of MCAT material difficult, pairing it with specific sensory inputs may aid in its retention. For example, you might memorize a biochemical pathway by creating a drawing to represent that pathway as you recite it. The physical act of drawing will help you remember the specifics of the pathway in question.
While those with a kinesthetic learning style can also pair certain smells and tastes with MCAT content, this is not the best way to learn the information on the exam, as you cannot bring any of these tastes or smells into the testing room to trigger your memory. Physical representations of the material, however, can be scribbled down on scrap paper during the exam. With the certain MCAT study materials, and using the Varsity Tutors MCAT Mobile App, you can use the Flashcard Maker to add these physical representations to flashcards.
3. Visual learners
Visual learners learn best when information is organized visually (as the term implies). As you study for the MCAT, relying on material that includes short videos, demonstrations, flowcharts, and diagrams may help you retain the topics tested on the MCAT. You can either create these materials on your own, or rely on established MCAT prep materials. All of the main MCAT prep companies provide these materials in addition to classroom time, to accommodate those with a visual learning style.
If you use established MCAT prep materials, be sure to broaden your focus from simple blocks of text. Make sure to study the pictures and diagrams provided. As you study, you can also create a “map” of the material for yourself so that you can look back to see how the topics interrelate.
Finally, online MCAT tutoring offered by all MCAT prep companies, as well as one-on-one tutoring companies (our favorite is Varsity Tutors) may be ideal for those with a primary visual learning style. Tools like the document editor and the whiteboard allow you to engage with MCAT content in a way that suits your learning style.
Don’t get stuck in a cookie cutter MCAT prep plan when you have a distinct and customized learning style. Decide today which kind of learning suits you best and get the resources lined up to succeed.
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