Dr. Ryan Himes
Scholarship of Discovery
Excelling on the MCAT is an essential step for undergraduate students preparing for a future as a physician in the medical field. Previous research has made links to MCAT performance and success in the medical field, yet there is a lack of research on how to best prepare undergraduate students for this extensive exam. Various research has been done on assessing the most effective studying strategies for undergraduates on typical collegiate exams, which students often translate to their MCAT studying. To assess the effectiveness of these practiced pedagogies on the MCAT, a social science experiment using a pre- and post-test format based upon MCAT questions and test conditions was used to support or negate the ability of reading text, using memorization tasks, test-enhanced learning, and instructor-led courses to improve MCAT performance. Forty students were recruited from Olivet Nazarene University to participate in one of five experimental groups testing these researched methods. Using a t-test and Bonferroni correction to assess pre- and post-test average, the only strategy that made a statistically significant difference in pre- and post-test average was using an instructor-led course to enhance performance. The findings of this study could encourage students and universities to begin using instructor-led course material to improve MCAT performance for students aspiring to be physicians.
Black, Alyssa J., "Identifying the Optimal Pedagogy for Preparing Undergraduates for the MCAT Exam" (2023). Honors Program Projects. 145.