Nearly every health professional school requires students to take a standardized admissions exam before being admitted. Sit down and have a conversation with your pre-professional advisor and/or faculty mentor. Preparing for taking the standardized admissions test required for you profession of interest is absolutely, positively NOT the same as preparation for the tests you have taken for courses. Our advice- follow the 3 P’s: Preparation and Practice, and Persistence!
- Preparation- Pick up a workbook or guide written specifically to help students prepare for these types of exams. You might consider taking a preparation course. These will typically provide practice exams and other methods to help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your content understanding and test-taking skills. Make sure to take careful notes of the weaknesses, and spend time filling the holes in your content understanding and skills.
- Practice- After you think these gaps have been addressed…..take some more practrice exams, and time yourself according to the timing used for the real exam. Time management is a commonly neglected, but readily addressed issue if you’ll just take this extra step.
- Persistence- If you do not achieve your “goal” scores in the first sitting for the exam, do not give up. It is not unusual for students to take standardized admissions exams 2, or even 3, times before they get scorers they believe reflect their capabilities. There is no common way in which professionals schools evaluation multiple scores. No matter what happens, once you have received your scores, make an appointment to discuss them with your pre-professional advisor.