My MCAT Rules

by Lorien E. Menhennett

“Take a breath” is my #1 MCAT rule.

Five days and counting …

I’m taking AAMC #11 (aka “yet another MCAT practice test”) today. But before I do, I wanted to share some MCAT “rules” that I’ve developed for myself. This was at the suggestion of my dear friend (and my MCAT coach). Before every practice test, I read them over, and rewrite them as well to drill them into my head. They have nothing to do with content – 5 minutes before an exam, you either know it or you don’t in terms of material. These rules have to do with mindset, which for me has been a huge battle.

If anyone else has rules or positive thoughts that they think before an exam, please share!


1. Take a breath.
2. Trust your gut.
3. Take this seriously.
4. Focus.
5. Maintain tempo:
  • Presto (PS)
  • Largo (VR)
  • Adagio (BS)
6. Think NOW – not ahead, and not behind.
7. Read every word carefully:
  • Passages
  • Questions
  • Answer choices
8. Eliminate wrong answers.
9. Estimate.
10. Guess and move on after a minute.
11. Keep calm and carry on.
12. Think positive, not negative thoughts.
13. Channel confidence, not fear or doubt.