Spring Break 2013! Strategies For Your MCAT Studies While Traveling

March 14, 2013
Emily Hause

320px-Myrtle_Beach,_SC_Spring_Break_2007_33Spring Break: that time of year again when we pasty northern folks get a week free from classes and flock to warm locations like Florida, Mexico and California, all in the hopes of warming up and making it through the last few weeks of winter. Even if you’re not traveling from the frozen tundra, you can still enjoy a week of fun and sun away from, at least, the lecture hall. For those of you who are studying for spring MCAT dates, this week may seem like a perfect time to get away from your MCAT studies and take a break, but you don’t want to fall too far behind on your study schedule. Fortunately, I have a list of ways that you make sure you are maintaining your MCAT practice while on vacation.

1. Practice with Flashcards- Flashcards are great for practicing MCAT formulas while on the go! Use flashcards in the airport, on a car trip or while relaxing next to the pool. Have friends/family members quiz you on content knowledge in the mornings before you start your day in paradise or during any rainy down-time.
2. Utilize Internet Access- Our world is very conveniently hooked up to the internet and almost every hotel has complimentary computer access area for business people. This means that you can access your Kaplan materials while you are on vacation! Spend at least 15-20 minutes a day working on a Q bank topic of your choice to maintain your strategy application skills. Other options include visiting internet cafés or using apps for your ipad, tablet or cell phone to complete quizzes or read review notes from your Kaplan syllabus all while sipping the tropical beverage of your choice.
3. Incorporate MCAT into everyday vacation life- For example, while listening to the waves crash on the shore, you could be explaining to your friends all about the inverse relationship between period and frequency in simple harmonic motion. While flying, think about Bernoulli’s principle and while swimming, calculate your buoyant force. Opportunities to live MCAT material surround your daily vacation life, so utilize them!
4. Set realistic vacation goals- Don’t go into your vacation thinking that you will get two full lengths done in a week and five hours of studying in each day. Being overly ambitious will leave you feeling disappointed that you weren’t able to get your whole list accomplished before break is over. Do, however, set reasonable vacation goals such as memorizing five new equations each day or completing one verbal passage after lunch every day.

Have fun and safe travels!

Emily Hause Emily has been a teacher for Kaplan for over eight years; she's taught MCAT, ACT, SAT, SAT2 and tutored pretty much every subject under the sun in both the classroom and live online (aka Classroom Anywhere) settings. She's also worked for Kaplan in content development and teacher mentorship roles. Emily is currently a fourth-year medical student at the University of Colorado and is hoping to go into Pediatrics. She's involved in many campus opportunities such as being a Prospective Student Representative, admissions committee member, CU-UNITE member, and co-president of the Education and Teaching Interest Group. Prior to medical school, Emily got a BA in Biochemistry and Spanish from Lawrence University and a Masters in Public Health- Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. In her free time, Emily enjoys dancing, baking, playing tennis and exploring her new Colorado home.

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