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As a med student studying to get through school and successfully begin their career in healthcare and medicine in the United States, there is no test as important as the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). Every country and region has its own crucial examinations for med students, and for US med students the MCAT exam is about as close to the Cadillac of medical exams as you can get. Considering this, it is important to approach the preparation phase leading up to the MCAT exam with as much dedication as possible.

MCAT prep is challenging (to say the least). Of course, medicine is a field that is rife with rewards that make the challenges and chaos abundantly worth it, but even so, in the time that can be challenging to remember. That is exactly why it is necessary to listen to as many tips, tricks, or sage advice to stay sane during this chaotic time in your degree. In addition to taking timed, realistic MCAT practice tests and forming reliable and trustworthy study groups, here are the three best tips to stay sane during MCAT exam prep.

Create a Study Schedule

It goes without saying that med school is demanding. Couple that with general life craziness and it can be sheer chaos. Just because you have the MCAT exam coming up does not mean that life will calm down because you want it to for a hot second. So, create a study schedule. This will help you to stay on top of covering all the content necessary to pass the MCAT with flying colors, as well as give you set times to study. This makes it easier to stay on track and stay motivated, as well as maintain as healthy a life/study balance as possible.

Ensure that You Eat Properly

For your brain to function at its peak, you must fuel your body – and you must fuel it right. When you feel weighed down by lots of exam preparation, it can be easy to get so in the zone that you forget to eat. Make sure that you remember to eat – even (and especially) if you feel like you are starting to drown in the study. Regularly eating not only keeps you fuelled and focused, but it gives you a much-needed chance to take a study break in between the madness – your brain needs to rest as well as to be fuelled, so take both equally as seriously.

Get Enough Sleep, Consistently

Nothing will burn you out quite like trying to force your way through intense study sessions at the sacrifice of precious hours of sleep. The brain is the organ in the body that benefits the most from sleep. During the time you are asleep, the brain works its magic by clearing out the gunk that accumulates during the day. So, when you sleep, you are essentially giving your brain the much-needed chance to rest and replenish for the day (and MCAT study sessions) ahead. Your health and wellbeing are crucial – you cannot perform well if you do not give your brain the chance to perform well.