Life is full of tests it seems; and unfortunately, advancing your career is no different. Making the decision to continue your education beyond college is a huge, yet rewarding step. Most people who make that decision never regret it and offer one common piece of advice — be prepared!
Indeed, graduate and professional schools may look and sound like college, but they tend to require more of their students. For example, you may have to adhere to a dress code when attending class or you may be responsible for learning more content on your own without the instruction of a professor. Above all, you will be expected to remember and apply more information than ever before. So, the time to prepare your brain for that level of mental agility is now.
What Is Mental Agility?
Mental agility describes the ability to examine complex topics from multiple angles, make understandable connections between those topics, and explain them to others in a simplified, yet accurate manner. Well, this is the very skill that graduate and professional school entrance exams seek to evaluate.
The MCAT, GAMSAT, and DAT represent three of the most common entrance exams applicants must take to gain admission to professional school. The Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT, is required for applying to medical school in the United States and Canada whereas the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test, or GAMSAT, is required for applying to medical school in Australia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Finally the DAT, or Dental Admission Test, is required to apply to dental school in the United States.
For decades, each of these exams have earned reliable reputations for determining students’ “readiness” for professional school by testing their mental agility. So, although your exam score will not make up your entire application, it is wise to take your entrance exam seriously and prepare for it accordingly. As it may make all the difference in your application being reviewed for acceptance or set aside for rejection.
How to Best Prepare for Entrance Exams
Perhaps the best first step in preparing for entrance exams is to acknowledge that one size does not fit all. Even if you intend to apply to medical school in multiple countries or if you are thinking of applying to medical and dental school, you should focus on tackling one exam at a time.
Surely biology and chemistry do not change, but exam structures do! That is why many students decide to invest in a DAT prep or GAMSAT prep program. The material tested on these exams may be similar, but they are structured differently and even ask questions differently. Thus, your preparation must involve learning the exam as much as it does learning the material. For this reason, MCAT practice tests are especially helpful.
Another important step is to do your research. You will find a number of prep materials online as well as in bookstores, but it takes time and effort to select the materials that meet your needs. If some years have passed since your undergraduate studies, then you may need to focus on reviewing exam content. But if you are confident in your ability to recall the content you learned, then focusing your time on practice questions and tests would make more sense for you.
Gold Standard Materials
Whether you are planning to take the MCAT, GAMSAT, or DAT, Gold Standard offers all your prep needs from print and online review content and practice questions to practice tests and live instruction. Our MCAT-prep.com packages provide reliable and diverse study materials developed by our experts along with the AAMC, Kaplan, The Princeton Review, and Examkrackers. So check out our links above to start your prep journey today!