By doing mock or practice examinations before the real thing, you are benefitting yourself in a large number of ways. Some of the reasons as to why you should do as many of these practice papers as possible are listed below.
Taking any exam can be an anxiety or even fear inducing thing to do. This can even go as far as directly impacting on your ability to complete the test to the best of your abilities. However, the more that you become accustomed to doing them and answering the questions, the more comfortable you will start to feel doing them in a real life situation.
The more mock examinations that you do, the greater understanding of the types of questions and topics that are likely to be included that you will get. If you struggle on any of them, then that indicates that you do not have a full and comprehensive understanding of that particular topic and so you need to go away and learn it some more. The opposite is true for those topics you perform well on.
By sitting a practice exam, you are not only testing yourself to see how much of the topic you know, but it also helps to reinforce the content that you have learnt up to that point. It also activates your brain in being able to retrieve that information as and when it is required to. This is why taking a mock test can actually be more beneficial to you than spending the same amount of time revising.
Completing a mock examination helps to demystify it and provides you with a good amount of insight into how the questions are worded, what types of questions you should expect, and the amount of time that it takes you to work through it. It also provides insight into how much work you need to do in order to be fully prepared for it.
Spreading practice exams over a period of time before sitting the actual thing is a good way to retain the information that you have learnt whilst studying for it. This is because when you actually start your revision earlier and space it out doing mock examinations, you are able to retain more of the information that you have learnt in comparison to trying to cram it all in at the last minute or even the night before the real thing.
As you can see from the above benefits, doing some mock or practice examinations should make up an essential part of your mcat study plan. By doing as many as you can, you are preparing yourself for the real thing in the best possible way. If you are hoping to achieve a score that puts you within the top 99th percentile, then it is important to start the process of studying, including sitting mock exams, as early as possible. This will help to minimize stress and anxiety but also ensure that you are able to retain everything that you study.