COSAM News Articles 2022 May 2022 COSAM’s Pre-Health Programs Office holds MCAT and DAT Boot Camps, prepares Auburn students for assessment success

COSAM’s Pre-Health Programs Office holds MCAT and DAT Boot Camps, prepares Auburn students for assessment success

Published: 05/20/2022

By: Leslie Leak

The Pre-Health Programs Office in the College of Sciences and Mathematics’ Office of Student Services sponsored boot camps on May 9-12 to help Auburn students prepare to take the Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT, and Dental Admission Test, or DAT.

Held in the Mell Classrooms Building, the boot camp sessions were open to all Auburn students, with many of the participating students majoring in biomedical sciences. Twenty-nine students participated in the MCAT Boot Camp, and 13 students participated in the DAT Boot Camp.

“The annual boot camps are designed to help students begin their MCAT or DAT preparation,” said Katy Crider, pre-health counseling specialist in COSAM’s Office of Student Services. “This year’s participants were primarily sophomores, juniors or seniors who plan to take the exam in spring 2023.”

By participating in the MCAT and DAT Boot Camps, students gain access to a full-length practice MCAT or DAT exam, review concepts and content covered in each section, discuss different strategies and resources and review MCAT and DAT processes, procedures, security and test day readiness.

Additionally, participants create a realistic study plan, listen to testimonies and gain advice from students regarding the Pre-Professional Advisory Committee, or PPAC, and the application process to professional schools.

The MCAT and DAT Boot Camps are instructed by Auburn students or young alumni, typically having tutoring or instructional experience, who recently took and performed well on their exam. They serve as mentors and provide advice to students on the application process to professional schools, having just gone through the process themselves.

“I thought that the boot camp was really helpful,” said Peyton Brewer, an MCAT Boot Camp participant. “I liked that I could ask students who had just gone through the process about things they wished they had done differently, what they found helpful and just get an idea of what to expect because I went in knowing nothing.”

This year’s boot camp sections included: Critical Thinking and Analysis led by Caitlin McIlwain; Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems led by Madison Hogans and Matthew Homes; Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems led by Cole Anderson and Ryan Rauch; and Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior led by Austin Blanton and Caitlin McIlwain.

Many of the MCAT Boot Camp instructors reflected on this year’s experience and enjoyed being mentors to student participants following in their footsteps.

"This 'crash course' kind of exposure to the MCAT is something I really wish I had when I started my studying,” said Caitlin McIlwain, “especially being able to have conversations with several people who had already gone through the whole process and could answer any questions or give advice."

"Boot camp is a great resource that, looking back, I wish I had taken advantage of,” said Ryan Rauch. “While there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for preparing for the test, I think the program gives students a valuable opportunity to gain insight into the exam and seek personal advice from peers who have successfully navigated the process in the past."

“It was a fun and rewarding couple of days where we were able to prepare younger students for their upcoming medical school admissions test and application process,” said Matthew Holmes.

“I was able to work alongside some truly awesome people and offer advice on how to conquer a tough exam such as the MCAT while also answering questions about the admission process into medical school,” said Madison Hogans. “Although graduating has been bittersweet, being able to pour back into students' advice and encouragement that was once given to me as a student in COSAM has been the greatest part.”

 “This boot camp offers an affordable option for Auburn students to kickstart their preparation for the MCAT or DAT,” said Crider. “There is so much information available, but it’s important to get that information from a reliable source.”

For additional information about the MCAT and DAT Boot Camps, please contact Crider at kej0010@auburn.edu.

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