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Applying to Med/PA School

r/MCAT: Useful, But Don’t Stay for Too Long

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About Alexia

Alexia Katsaros is a Purdue graduate (’21) and a pre-medical student enjoying a gap year on the Atlantis admissions team. As an undergraduate, she majored in psychology and minored in biology and sociology. In the summer of 2019, she shadowed doctors at KAT hospital when she journeyed to Athens, Greece through the Atlantis shadow abroad program.

The MCAT is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges pre-med students face. Covering the core sciences, including that dreaded organic chemistry, along with the life sciences like psychology and sociology, this exam is truly a testament to the vast amount of knowledge you have gathered during your undergraduate years. When faced with the task of solidifying so much information, it is totally normal to feel overwhelmed. There are many online resources designed to help students with studying for the MCAT, but when it comes to connecting pre-med students virtually, no platform compares to Reddit. Multiple Subreddits exist designed to help the typical pre-med student, but one of the most popular is r/MCAT. With over 170,000 members, r/MCAT is a hub for premed students across the country in similar situations.

Why You Should Limit Your Time on Reddit

I’m a member of the Subreddit myself, but you wouldn’t catch me browsing there for very long. With the thousands of active students come scores of vent posts, memes, questions, and concerns. It feels overwhelming because it is. And often, it’s a waste of time—precious time that you could use to study. 

Sometimes I would turn to the Subreddit when I hit a wall in my studying and found that I was more stressed after browsing it than I was before. I would often stumble across success posts from Redditors who had already taken their MCAT, which was a big mistake. I feel like a huge part of determining your later MCAT success is the mentality you have when studying for it. Seeing the struggles and triumphs of other pre-meds, post after post, can do more harm than good to your testing mindset. The real key to utilizing Reddit during your MCAT studying is to use it sparingly, and to know where to look. 

Keep an Eye Out For These Helpful Reddit MCAT Resources

Even though it has its clear downsides, I can’t eliminate Reddit as a source for MCAT help altogether. For one, r/MCAT introduced me to the coveted Anki decks for daily review. If you’re unfamiliar, Anki is an online flashcard app that uses an interleaved-based approach to memorizing content. Using it requires some learning, so I wouldn’t recommend it for students late in their MCAT studying. There are multiple helpful Anki decks around Reddit, and their specificity can be by subject or cover entire sections of the MCAT exam (ex: Bio/Biochem or Chem/Phys). This can really save time but be cautious; they might not cover everything or be helpful to you personally. In my r/MCAT adventures, I also found some useful mnemonics, outlines, and equation guides. These can also save time but don’t do well to replace actual studying. I would recommend going over these after your broader content review is finished.


Reddit is a broad platform with thousands of users and endless resources (Reddit was actually one of the places I learned more about Atlantis shadowing. I remember searching for the experiences of other pre-meds on Reddit to make sure Atlantis’ services were worth it… and they totally were!). During a time of intense studying, when every hour matters, it may seem like a helpful  resource. In some ways, it can be—if you know what to look for. Otherwise, Reddit, especially r/MCAT, is undoubtedly a distraction. No matter where you are in your MCAT journey, you should probably leave Reddit at the periphery of your study toolkit.  

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Two Atlantis alumni admitted to Top 5 MD programs wrote our widely read medical school admissions guidebook guidebook — download yours.

Our Alumni Enter Great Medical Schools

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John Daines

  • Atlantis '17
  • Brigham Young University '19
  • Washington U. in St. Louis MD '23
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Zoey Petitt

  • Atlantis '17
  • U. of Arizona '18
  • Duke MD '23
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Yong-hun Kim

  • Atlantis '17
  • Stanford '19
  • Mayo Clinic MD '24
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Megan Branson

  • Atlantis '18
  • U. of Montana '19
  • U. of Washington MD '24
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Sarah Emerick

  • Atlantis '19
  • Eckerd College '20
  • Indiana U. MD '25
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Snow Nwankwo

  • Atlantis '19
  • Catholic U. of America '21
  • Georgetown U. MD '26
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Tiffany Hu

  • Atlantis '16
  • U. of Maryland '17
  • U. of Michigan MD '22
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Lauren Cox

  • Atlantis '18
  • Louisiana Tech '20
  • U. of Arkansas MD '24
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Kayla Riegler

  • Atlantis '18
  • U. of Kentucky '20
  • U. of Kentucky MD '24

About Atlantis

Atlantis is the leader in pre-health shadowing and clinical experience, offering short-term programs (1-10 weeks) over academic breaks for U.S. pre-health undergraduates. Medical schools want 3 things: (1)healthcare exposure, (2)GPA/MCAT, and (3)certain competencies. Atlantis gives you a great version of (1), frees you to focus on (2), and cultivates/shows (3) to medical school admissions committees.

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Watch Video: The Atlantis Shadowing Experience and How it Helps In Your Med/PA Admissions Future

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Cover of the Medical School Admissions Guide.
Two Atlantis alumni admitted to Top 5 MD programs wrote our widely read medical school admissions guidebook — download yours.