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foodie123

Is 1 Month Study Plan Feasible?

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I'm going into my final year, and I'm currently taking the last few prerequisites now in summer school, which ends in August. I took all the other prequisites this past school year. I was thinking of doing a few days of review then focusing on practice questions for the MCAT between August and September, and then writing it in September. This would also mean that I wouldn't know my scores until after I applied to the schools. 

 

Has anyone done this successfully? Any feedback? Thanks in advance :)

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I wrote the old MCAT twice. Both times I studied for 3 weeks, and both times I scored above the 5th percentile. That being said, I don't know anyone else who has, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. It depends on who you are (are you already great at standardized tests, and do you know how to isolate and study for 12+ hours a day?), your study resources (do you have a well regarded & organized source to study from), and your support network (who's cooking, cleaning, and doing the chores while you cram?).

 

My suggestion is find a way to start studying 2 hours a day, starting today. I like studying for 2 hours as soon as I get up, before getting out of bed, checking my phone etc... That + 4 intense weeks later on will work, given that your answers to the above questions are favourable.

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I'm going into my final year, and I'm currently taking the last few prerequisites now in summer school, which ends in August. I took all the other prequisites this past school year. I was thinking of doing a few days of review then focusing on practice questions for the MCAT between August and September, and then writing it in September. This would also mean that I wouldn't know my scores until after I applied to the schools. 

 

Has anyone done this successfully? Any feedback? Thanks in advance :)

All depends on how much background knowledge you have. I studied ~2 months while working 4/days week but I almost entirely skipped studying for Biology/Orgo because I had that background.

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I think the best way for you to gauge is to start reviewing now with practice MCAT questions and see how much you remember based on pre-reqs.  If you start encountering material you haven't seen before/don't remember anymore, then you might want to take more time.  If you know all the stuff MCAT tests on, there's no need to take months study for MCAT. Yes do practice tests and practice questions to get used to the MCAT format, but that shouldn't take more than a week. 

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I'm going into my final year, and I'm currently taking the last few prerequisites now in summer school, which ends in August. I took all the other prequisites this past school year. I was thinking of doing a few days of review then focusing on practice questions for the MCAT between August and September, and then writing it in September. This would also mean that I wouldn't know my scores until after I applied to the schools. 

 

Has anyone done this successfully? Any feedback? Thanks in advance :)

It is possible for content review but there are no guarantees with CARS. I personally took 21 days to study for my first MCAT but that was the old 3 section MCAT and I ended up bombing verbal because I didn't have enough time to do enough practice for that section. 

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I was able to condense my MCAT studying into under a month. Just like PhD2MD though, I don't know if I'd exactly recommend doing so to anyone. I think if the pre-reqs are fresh in your mind, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to do it. I would says CARS actually isn't too bad, since you don't need to study/memorize any content; it's all just practice. If you do a LOT of practice exams and reflect carefully on any mistakes you should still be able to do okay. (That said, I was able to save a lot of time because the CARS section wasn't what I found tough, so if you're not great at reading/writing normally you may need more time.) 

 

I'd say the big concern would be how well you learn the material in your summer courses. You don't want to drop hundreds of dollars on the MCAT, only to end up struggling with some of the pre-req material and being unable to learn all the content properly before the test. Everyone whom I've seen successfully "cram" for the MCAT (myself included) has been a science student who has done all the pre-requisites on a regular schedule. You'd basically be learning a lot of the science stuff for the first time right before the MCAT, which might be really tough. 

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I'm going into my final year, and I'm currently taking the last few prerequisites now in summer school, which ends in August. I took all the other prequisites this past school year. I was thinking of doing a few days of review then focusing on practice questions for the MCAT between August and September, and then writing it in September. This would also mean that I wouldn't know my scores until after I applied to the schools. 

 

Has anyone done this successfully? Any feedback? Thanks in advance :)

Go for it, it is doable. Focus on  cranking out as many problems as possible and just do content review as you go based on your deficiencies on the practice exams/questions.

 

As long as you have nothing else on your plate, it is more than fine - and you have the advantage of not forgetting as much due to the shorter window of time. And advantage of having fresh pre-reqs. 

 

Honestly, people spend less time on considerably harder exams than the MCAT.  The notion that you need to dedicate 3 months to the MCAT is just odd to say the least, and perhaps a remnant of students being well off enough to take such a considerable amount of time from the real world to dedicate to one exam...

 

If you eat, sleep and breathe MCAT, 1 month is fine. But maybe, you will find out, that you are someone who does actually need a bit more time based on how you learn and synthesize information - and this is okay too, you'll just have to see how things unfold.

 

(I know many, many people who will spend 3 months "studying" but rarely are they only doing the MCAT, they are working too, or really just only studying a few hours a day or studying inefficiently by focusing too much on content review etc).

 

HOWEVER, spend some time BEFORE your dedicated study period, organizing yourself and getting all your resources ready. So that when it begins you can get down to work and not have to do "logistical" work.

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I agree with the dependence on background knowledge with respect to time for preparation (also the score range you are targeting).  Although I'd taken some pre-reqs before prepping for the MCAT, my bio "pre-req" course had covered a lot of plants but not a lot of human physiology, which is key content on the test.  Similarly, I'd taken pre-req physics classes which involved primarily integral manipulations and derivations which is great for the GRE but not for the MCAT.  If possible, maybe try to do practice questions or test to get a sense of where you are standing. 

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