Students preparing to take graduate school admissions exams such as the MCAT, LSAT and others, can get help preparing at the University of Connecticut Center for Career Development, according to the Center’s associate director Beth Settje.
Students looking to go to law school, medical school, veterinary school and other graduate schools are often required to take these exams as part of the admissions process. UConn offers several resources for students seeking to prepare for both testing and the general process involved in applying to graduate school, Settje said.
“We offer individualized information on what steps to take toward graduate school,” Settje said. “Standardized tests, internships, steps like that.”
The Center for Career development staff also try to stay informed on test updates, Settje said, in order to better help students.
“We as a staff make it a priority to be aware when there are any changes in the tests,” Settje said.
One of the first steps towards preparing is for students to speak with their advisor about how to prepare and what to expect, Settje said.
“I always encourage students to meet with their advisor,” Settje said. “They know other students who have been through the same thing.”
Additionally, studying well before the actual test and having a plan in mind is crucial to doing well, Settje said.
“[Students should be] starting to study months in advance,” Settje said “Coming up with a study guide, taking time out of each week to study [helps].”
Students can use methods such as flashcards to prepare, and should practice taking the exam in three-hour chunks, much like the actual test, Settje said.
“Try to replicate the real thing as much as possible,” she said. “Set a timer. Put [yourself] in the mindset of the real test.”
However, no one method will work for everyone.
“It really depends on how the student learns for what support system makes sense,” Settje said.
On a more specific level, individual departments at UConn offer several preparation courses and classes for students preparing for their exams.
The Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Office offers MCAT review courses that run from late January to April, which include sessions on specific topics, practice tests and the opportunity to create study groups with other students to help prepare. Though a fee is charged for the course, the MCAT test fee is included in the cost, according to the office’s website.
Sites such as Kaplan Test Prep also offer free practice tests and previews for the LSAT, MCAT, GRE and GMAT, along with other online resources, Settje said.
“For any student test, one resource is to go to the college board that runs the test,” Settje said. “They have practice tests and statistics on the test [itself].”
Overall, one of the best things that students can do for themselves, is to stay mentally and physically well in the days leading up to the exam.
“Be savvy and healthy about it,” Settje said. “Sleep enough, eat healthy, prepare mentally and physically.”
Marlese Lessing is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She tweets @marlese_lessing.