In order to start training for a career in medicine, you will need to take the Medical College Admission Test, otherwise known as the MCAT exam.
The exam is used by every educational institute of note to determine which would-be students are worthy of being accepted, so on a very basic level it is a necessity for prospective physicians to pass it.
If you are still unsure about why it is seen as essential, here is a quick look at what the MCAT means and how it evolved to become an important milestone for aspiring medical professionals.
The significance of standardization
There are literally hundreds of medical schools across the country, each of which has its own unique approach to the teaching and grading of medicine. This could create a degree of fragmentation and a whole heap of uncertainty for students, which is why the standardized testing offered by the MCAT is so appealing.
That is not to say that the MCAT is the only thing that schools will take into account when considering applicants; you will also need to prove that your academic performance in relevant subjects has been up to scratch, and also win over admissions officers in an interview scenario in some instances.
Even so, the MCAT is incredibly influential and necessary to secure an interview in the first place, so preparation is vital. Using a tutoring service for the MCAT can give you the edge and help to supplement your independent studies with the structure and advice you need to succeed. It is also worth speaking with people who have taken the exam in the past to get any useful pieces of advice to guide your own prior planning.
The setting of precedents
Another reason that the MCAT is talked about with so much reverence and used as a requirement for admission to medical school is that it proves that you have what it takes to make it through the years of learning that lie ahead of you.
Researchers have even looked into the MCAT scores of applicants and their performance in the other exams they take once they are applying for their medical license, finding a correlation between these two areas.
In short, if you are able to prove yourself worthy with the MCAT, you will statistically be a good prospect for making it through the rest of the challenges and ultimately qualifying as a doctor.
The bigger picture
By now you should realize that the MCAT is an exam worth taking seriously, although it is equally important to remember that it is not the only factor that will be considered when you apply to medical school, as mentioned earlier.
This means that your preparations should not focus solely on acing the MCAT, but also on ensuring your other academic and extracurricular credentials are up to scratch. Preparation for the likelihood of an admissions interview should also be added to your schedule. Most importantly of all, give yourself plenty of time to get ready and do not neglect your other obligations so that you are not overwhelmed with a last-minute blitz.