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When to start studying for the MCAT?

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I personally studied for 2 - 2.5 months while holding a full-time job and thought it was sufficient. You have more than enough time between April - September. Make a study solid study schedule and stick to it (schedule in off days and you won't burn out). Your comfort with the material also makes a difference. I did a bio degree and barely had to study for the biological sciences section. 

I think you will be fine! 

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^ suggestion to stick to a schedule with built in off days is a very good way to not burn out. But if you're really concerned about burn out, then it's also fine to write earlier in the summer and condense your studying a bit. Go with whatever you think will work best for you . 

I spent ~10 weeks studying, also while holding a full-time job. I could have studied the full May - Aug, but I was really concerned about burn out too and its potential to make me miserable when my teaching started up again in September. So I really focused on studying for those 10 weeks, and then I was incredibly happy to still have July - Aug to enjoy summer stuff. It's definitely doable. 

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For me, trying to cram the MCAT in with other commitments (work, volunteering etc.) was really difficult. I couldn't find enough time to study. The second summer that I re-wrote in, I took a solid month off from work. It was absolutely necessary to do as many practice full lengths as I could and to properly be able to review them. Also, my content knowledge on chem/physics was quite weak, so I had to devote quite a bit of time to brush up on that.

If your content is relatively fresh, I would say 2 to 2.5 months is doable as you can focus on just doing practice tests and reviewing them. If your content knowledge is weaker, I would recommend at least 3 months. 

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  • 2 months later...

Assuming you are taking the MCAT in the end of July.

May-June -> Content Review through reading or watching videos (TPR Medflix is AMAZING - i didn't even read much of anything because this covered everything which I supplemented with chapter summaries in textbooks).

July -> AAMC Resources for practice. I have attached a screenshot for my schedule. I took the test in the end of August and did content review from June-July and only practiced in August. It is important to take days off.

Time your Question pack and practice tests practice but DO NOT TIME YOUR SECTION BANK. It is extremely hard and you want to understand every question and not speed through it under time pressure.

I would suggest only to do AAMC material but you could use test companies for CARS practice, although all test companies fail to represent the MCAT and only lower your confidence because they try to make their exams stupidly challenging.


Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 9.11.16 AM.png

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