Everyone gets stressed when it comes to the exam period. Not only that, but you would’ve probably even heard of students with extensive industrial experience, volunteer programs, high GPA scores but were still rejected from top medical schools. One of the possible reasons this may happen is due to low MCAT scores, which is one of the most important factors admissions committees look at when evaluating applicants.
You may wonder why the admissions committee might care so much about the MCAT and that’s simply because MCAT is a “top tier” evaluation process that compares the critical thinking aptitude of students from across a wide range of backgrounds, majors, regions, institutions, and more.
Truth is, many qualified premed students don’t get into the medical school of their choice because of a low MCAT score. However, you should not let this scare you into taking the MCAT exam since a large number of students with low MCAT scores didn’t dedicate sufficient time to their preparation. A well developed MCAT study schedule is key in setting yourself up for MCAT success on the test date as it serves as a roadmap, friend, and accountability tracker throughout your entire MCAT journey.
Considering how the MCAT score is a fundamental part of your medical school application and it’s also the most important initial considerations of admissions into medical schools. In just seven and a half hours, the MCAT exam will evaluate everything you’ve learned during your undergraduate studies.
Considering what a huge task is ahead of you, we totally understand how difficult it is to figure out just where to start. To help you out in creating an effective MCAT study schedule, we’ve developed a comprehensive guide that includes an overview of all the important information you need to know before you begin studying, a detailed six-months, three-months, one-month, and a one-week MCAT study schedule that’s broken down to help you better organize your time effectively. We’ve also included some useful tips that you can keep in mind to overcome any test day stress.
Few Important Things to Remember Before We Begin
Every medical school – even the easiest one to get in, will need their students to have a certain GPA and MCAT exam score before the admissions committee will even look at your other AMCAS work and activities. The medical school admission team members will first evaluate and shortlist candidates based on their GPA and MCAT scores. Some will not even continue with your application if they find that you do not meet their MCAT expectations. This simply goes to show how important the MCAT exam is.
As mentioned earlier, the MCAT exam is doable as long as you have sufficient MCAT prep which means you need to have a good and efficient MCAT study schedule to ensure you’re on the right track. Before embarking on your MCAT prep, you need to first understand the format of the test itself. Many students who improved significantly between their first and second attempts did not suddenly get smarter, but instead, they have actually familiarized themselves with the test with sufficient full-length practice tests and MCAT prep.
While it is possible to get into medical school with a low MCAT score, it’s still best to aim to achieve the best score in your first attempt to improve your medical school options available and to also cut out any possible additional stress on how to outweigh your low MCAT score with other application components.
Before you begin developing your MCAT study schedule, you should first read AAMC’s The MCAT Essentials to know more about MCAT’s testing logistics and other relevant information. Then flip through a few full-length practice tests or practice exams and read blogs online to better understand the MCAT format, how much time they allow you to spend in each section as well as the fundamental concepts and skills tested on the exam.
When to Begin MCAT Prep?
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the exam basics, the next step is to know when to start studying and preparing for MCAT. How much time you need for MCAT prep will really depend on your knowledge in introductory-level college courses in biology, psychology, sociology, and more.
Next, is to ask yourself when do you want to take the test? There are multiple MCAT test dates available for you to pick in a year which offers you some flexibility on when you prefer to take it. However, you need to still take into account the MCAT submission deadline for your preferred program when deciding on which MCAT test date to take. Regardless, you need to make sure that your MCAT test date is at least six months away so that you have enough time to prepare.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before selecting a test date:
- When are you planning to apply to medical school;l?
- Have you taken the necessary classes for MCAT?
- What are the other time commitments that you have during the MCAT study schedule?
Once you’ve decided on a test date, it’s time to decide on when you need to begin studying for MCAT self prep. This is the time where you need to be completely honest with yourself about how much time you can dedicate to your MCAT prep. Every student is different, some may need to put in more hours into studying for the exam while others may not need as much. It is generally recommended that you devote at least 200 to 300 hours of dedicated study time for MCAT.
So, if you only put in 10 hours of studying a week, you’re going to need around 6 months of MCAT preparation. If you dedicate more hours each week, then you may be ready earlier. You should build some flexibility into your own MCAT study schedule by considering the amount of time you can study each week, including breaks and holidays. From there, you can determine just how long you will need to prepare for the MCAT test date and when you will need to begin your MCAT preparation. You can think about your MCAT study schedule as two distinct phases: the first phase will have 70% of your time spent on studying MCAT content while the second phase will take up 30% of your time for practice-based strategies.
Speaking about flexibility, you should also leave room for yourself to revise your MCAT study schedule. As you go along your MCAT prep, log the number of study hours conducted for each day and what certain topics you covered. Make a note on the level of focus at different times of the day and assess your own learning or studying trend. You should revise your MCAT study schedule to fit what works for you based on your learning style and which specific subject area that you need to spend more time reviewing.
What to Include in the Best MCAT Study Schedule
When preparing your MCAT study schedule, you need to be as detailed as possible to keep you organized in your studies as well as to eliminate any possible stress or anxiety from distractions like planning your day and finding the right resources. You won’t want to worry about finding the right information or how to test your knowledge when you begin delving into MCAT content review and taking practice tests.
Here are a few things that your MCAT study schedule should include:
You can begin by first reflecting on your commitments outside of MCAT prep. Recall all your academic, professional, extracurricular, and personal responsibilities that need to be done and write down how many hours each activity will take per day. Then only can you determine just how many hours of MCAT prep you can dedicate on the same day.
MCAT Subject Areas
This should be pretty self-explanatory as the first phase of your MCAT prep is to focus on content review. Your MCAT study schedule should therefore include disciplines and concepts that you want to study and practice on. Remember to keep in line with MCAT’s format and sections by using their content outline as a reference when you fill in this section of your MCAT study schedule.
Resources and Study Strategies
This section is probably one of the most important parts of your MCAT study schedule as it outlines the sources that you’ll be using to increase your subject knowledge and how to retain that information. In line with keeping a detailed study schedule, you should include the actual source such as X chapter in X textbook with notes from X course, or X MCAT prep books from the library and X video on YouTube, etc. To build the practice phase of the MCAT test schedule, you should, at a bare minimum, work through all the AAMC resources and AAMC MCAT prep materials at least once.
There are two types of learning methods: active and passive. While passive learning helps you understand something, it cannot get you far. You need to apply active study strategies like creating charts and graphs to help you better understand the relationships between concepts, taking short quizzes or practice questions, explaining the concept to others.
With the MCAT test date looming over the horizon, it can definitely be difficult to be thinking about breaks. But you need to remember that rest days during your MCAT prep are just as important and you need to schedule some rest once a week. The rest may include taking an evening off to hang out with your friends or go watch a movie with your family. It is important to maintain your physical and mental health in good condition to ensure effective learning.
Overall, you should write down your personal commitments like gym, academic commitments for final exams prep and research, and decide the total hours you can dedicate for MCAT prep in your MCAT study schedule. You need to be honest with yourself where you may dedicate almost the entire day for MCAT study and maybe only 1 hour per day or no time at all on certain days depending on your other commitments.
You should also outline which MCAT concepts you plan to review on which days are available for MCAT prep including study strategies, such as reading what chapters of which textbooks, using flashcards, creating summaries, or watching instructional videos.
To help you prepare for your MCAT, we have included a 6-month MCAT study schedule template that you can refer to as you create your own study schedule.
Comprehensive Six-Month MCAT Study Schedule
You can refer to the following comprehensive six-month MCAT study schedule as you create your own. Remember to include checkboxes for each item and to mark them as soon as they’re completed. This will help keep yourself accountable and aware of your progress and what your subsequent steps are. As mentioned earlier, remember to dedicate some rest time each week to avoid a burnout. If you start to notice yourself drifting into procrastination, you should take it as a sign that you need an extra day off from MCAT self prep. You should always be honest with yourself and check on how you’re feeling and performing.
On top of that, you may also want to consider enrolling in an in-person or online MCAT prep course if you have the budget for it. MCAT prep courses are especially recommended for students who are feeling overwhelmed in the initial planning stages or have gone off-course later on. Having expert guidance while you prepare for MCAT can make a huge difference early on as they can stop you from developing bad and inefficient study habits.
If your budget is tight, you can also check out if your university offers any free or affordable MCAT prep courses. Other than that, AAMC also offers plenty of free resources, such as subject-specific study guides and tools that you can use during your MCAT preparation. If you’ve googled MCAT study schedules, you may be tempted to take advice scattered throughout MCAT reddit and premed reddit but you might want to avoid employing too much conflicting and misrepresentative information in online forums. While solidarity and community discussion is great, the structure of such discussion can often lead to a false sense of consensus on a given idea or strategy.
6-Month MCAT Study Schedule
Month 1 – 24 Weeks to Test Date
Before you begin your MCAT prep course, you need to first determine your baseline MCAT score by taking a full length MCAT diagnostic test. At this point, you don’t really need to worry about trying to ace it but just simply do your absolute best based on your existing level of content knowledge. The goal of this MCAT diagnostic score is to understand where you stand on day 1. For this purpose, we recommend that you use one of AAMC’s full-length practice exams.
While doing practice exams, you should be sure to sit in an environment that mimics the actual testing conditions (alone and in a quiet room without any devices around you). Your diagnostic exam will indicate which subject areas you need to focus on and you can then revise your study plan accordingly.
The next step is to create a study outline that includes each subject that you want to study, including the breakdown of each content area into manageable subjects. As you review these specific subjects, you should make sure that you feel comfortable with the information you’ve covered by repeating what you’ve learned aloud to yourself without referring to your study materials. You can repeat this step for every main content area like biology, biochemistry, organic and inorganic chemistry, physics, psychology, and sociology.
Then, you should gather all the study materials that you need for your MCAT prep, including textbooks, challenging reading materials to boost critical thinking skills, review videos, course notes, and full-length practice tests. You need to spend around 70% of your study time in the first few months on content review, so you’ll need to make sure you have the right resources for it.
Finally, begin developing your MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS) strategy by reading books or texts that are outside of your comfort zone. The CARS section tests your ability to reason and make sense of complex written materials that are not pulled from specific medical school prerequisites and coursework. You will need to apply reasoning and critical thinking skills to ace this section. So, you should spend more time reading and analyzing non-science texts as well.
CARS passages and questions will require you to determine an author’s thesis, evaluate the strength of their arguments, and identify evidence. This section should not take up a ton of your time but you should still dedicate a consistent amount of time to it each week. For this, we recommend that you spend around 30 minutes a day on challenging reading.
Challenging Read: Vanity Fair
Content Review: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section of MCAT – study biology, biochemistry, and organic chemistry subjects
Challenging Read: The Economist
Content Review: Chemical and Physical FOundation of Biological Systems section of MCAT – study organic and inorganic chemistry and physics.
Challenging Read: Drift by Rachel Maddow
Content Review: Psychology section of MCAT – study sociology and psychology.
Challenging Read: The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
Month 2 – 20 Weeks to Test Date
You can begin taking practice exams this month. For the first week, you can do MCAT practice tests on CARS and Biological and Biochem Foundations of Living Systems. As you take the practice tests, you can also create a “mistake log” on missed questions along with their solutions and key definitions. Refer to your log regularly to reinforce foundational concepts. If you miss questions on content that you already covered, try to find out why you missed it so you don’t make the same mistake moving forward.
After reviewing your mistake log for the MCAT practice tests, you can create a pop quiz to be completed 2-3 days later. See if you can explain a topic to yourself and to a friend, or tutor students by asking them if they understood your explanations or not. If not, what specific points you were unclear on. Make sure you can explain concepts without consulting course materials.
Finally, you can catch up on any review or reading leftover from Month 1.
Content Review: Biology, biochemistry, and organic chemistry. Also, review MCAT Chemistry questions.
Challenging Read: Start reading Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Content Review: Organic and inorganic chemistry, and physics. Also, review the MCAT CARS practice passage.
Challenging Read: Finish reading Guns, Germs, and Steel.
Content Review: Sociology and psychology.
Challenging Read: The Ever After of Ashwin Rao by Padma Viswanathan
Month 3 – 16 Weeks to Test Date
Practice Test: CARS and Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems (CPBS).
Catch up on any review/reading leftover from Month 2.
Content Review: Biology, biochemistry, and organic chemistry.
Challenging Read: Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
Content Review: Inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics.
Challenging Read: Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
Content Review: Sociology and psychology.
Challenging Read: War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Month 4 – 12 Weeks to Test Date
As you step into the 4th month of your MCAT study schedule, you will begin to transition away from content review and dive into active learning strategies where you’ll be doing more MCAT practice questions. Continue with your mistake log to keep track of missing questions and concepts that you are struggling with. Focus your content review time on topics that you have missed during your practice. Although you’re now switching to answering practice questions, you should still dedicate some time to learn from your mistakes through careful, targeted review.
Approach each full-length practice test or set of practice questions with an improved content knowledge base by taking ample time to understand why you missed a question so that you can approach the next round of MCAT practice test with updated information.
MCAT Practice Test: Take a full length MCAT practice to see how you’ve progressed since your first MCAT diagnostic test. You should also complete a Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior (PSB) MCAT practice test this week. Be careful and detailed in writing your mistake log for review.
Practice Questions & Review: BBLS
Challenging Read: Continue Tolstoy’s War & Peace.
Practice Questions & Review: CPBS and MCAT Physics equations.
Challenging Read: The Economist
Optional: If you have an evening MCAT prep course as a part of your MCAT study plan, now would be a good time to start!
Practice Questions & Review: PSB
Month 5 – 8 Weeks to Test Date
This month may just be the most demanding month in terms of doing MCAT practice questions and exams. You’ll need to complete a full-length practice MCAT each week and to utilize your remaining study time for highly targeted content review and practice. You’ll also need to continue with your MCAT prep course if you’ve enrolled in one.
Practice Exam: Do another full-length practice MCAT in conditions that resemble the actual test environment. This is to help reduce anxiety on the actual exam day by making sure you’re comfortable with the testing conditions.
Challenging Read: Wrap up Tolstoy’s War & Peace
Practice Question & Review: BBLS
Practice Exam: Another full-length practice MCAT.
Practice Question & Review: CPBS
Practice Exam: Another full-length practice MCAT.
Practice Question & Review: PSB
Practice Exam: Another full-length practice MCAT.
Month 6 – 4 Weeks to Test Date
We’re in the final month of the exam day and you’ll need to continue focusing on practice exams and questions to wrap up your MCAT prep course. You’ll also need to start preparing for the big day by keeping calm and well-rested from the last few months of intense study.
Practice Exam: Another full-length practice MCAT
Review: Spend some time reviewing your strong content areas that you felt confident about before you began your MCAT preparation. It’s likely you’ve not reviewed these content areas in a while.
Practice Exam: Another full-length practice MCAT.
Test Day Prep: Confirm the time of your scheduled MCAT. Exams typically begin in the morning, so if you’ve been a night owl for the past months, you can start to adjust your sleep schedule to ensure you perform your best for a morning MCAT. You can begin by going to bed a few minutes earlier each night until you’re able to wake up early in the morning.
Practice Exams: This week you’ll take two full-length practice MCATs on separate days with some rest in between. Come back after your rest to review and clarify anything you’re unsure of.
Test Day Prep: Get well rested and ensure you’re getting enough sleep to replenish your energy stores. Make sure you deal with any environmental distractions before heading into the final week of your exam.
Review: This week is where you want to minimize studying time, so only focus on 3-5 topics or subtopics that you’ve had trouble with recently. Don’t try to cram everything as you need to taper your studying from several hours at the beginning of the week to just 1 hour per day. If you can’t comfortably review a topic in an hour or less, then you should spend your time focusing on something more manageable instead.
Challenging Read: You can continue reading and analyzing challenging texts in preparation for the CARS section. You won’t have time to read an entire novel at this point, so you can instead, focus on intellectually challenging articles, poetry, or short stories.
Test Day Prep: Be mindful and conservative about your activities in the finals days before the actual MCAT exam. A well-rested mind will fare better on a day-long exam than one that’s been frantically cramming up to the last minute. Take a complete rest the day before and try not to obsess over whatever uncertainties you may have. You should rest assured that you’ve put in sufficient preparation for the exam.
How to Achieve Shorter MCAT Study Schedules – 3 Months, 1 Month, and 1 Week
This is a section that you need to pay attention to if you have less than six months to devote to MCAT test prep. While it’s best to have a six-month MCAT study schedule, we understand that not everyone may have the luxury of time on their side. Still, it is possible to prepare for your MCAT in less time. By using the six-month MCAT study schedule as a guide, you can also implement some of the tips below to achieve shorter MCAT study schedules.
Three-Month MCAT Study Schedule
It’s not uncommon for students to use up their three-month summer break to prepare for the MCAT exam and it’s more than possible to be fully prepared for the exam in this amount of time.
Just like how you would for a 6-month MCAT study schedule, your first step must be to take a diagnostic test to find out which subjects areas need more focus and improvement on. Do not feel pressure to ace the full length practice test as it’s just a diagnosis of what you need to include in your MCAT study schedule. Once you know your results, you can then begin to create an appropriate MCAT study plan to cover each MCAT section.
While you will still need to review content for each section, your MCAT study schedule will obviously be compressed compared to the 6-month MCAT study schedule. This means that you need to create a rigorous MCAT study plan and stick to it firmly. You can refer to the 6-month MCAT study schedule to see which content you need to review and make sure to take sufficient practice tests to assess your progress.
Your MCAT study schedule should also include some time every week dedicated to reading challenging texts for the CARS section. This is a crucial step that you cannot skip. During your three-month MCAT study schedule, continue to take full-length MCAT practices. Ideally, you should take 5 to 7 practice MCATs to gauge your progress.
On top of that, you may also begin tapering your studying as you approach the MCAT. Take your last practice test the week before the exam and take the day off right before the actual test day.
One-Month MCAT Study Schedule
If you have an even tighter timeline of 1 month, you’ll need to be completely comfortable with the content covered on the MCAT to successfully prepare for it in one month. Perhaps you have just taken all of the necessary coursework and feel confident in your knowledge. In this case, your first step should still be taking a diagnostic exam to check if there are any content areas that you’ve missed.
Then, create a list of 15 to 20 content areas that you need to brush up on and begin reviewing them. Remember to only emphasize on content areas you struggle with and try to cover a few MCAT topics per discipline each week (two biology topics per week plus three chemistry topics) For a one-month MCAT study schedule, you’re going to need to significantly reduce the amount of content to cover and the number of challenging texts you read in preparation for the CARS section. Still, it’s recommended for you to review an edition of The Economist and a book per week.
As you go through your one-month MCAT study schedule, continue to take practice tests and set a goal to complete five practice MCATs before the test day. Not only will you review concepts and disciplines that you already know during practice MCATs, but you can also see if your test scores are improving or if you have overcome any challenges you encountered in the initial diagnostic test.
It is also important that you remember that one month is not a sufficient MCAT study plan for most students, so you’ll need to be completely ready for the MCAT content before even considering taking the MCAT after only one month of studying.
One-Week MCAT Study Schedule
A one-week MCAT study schedule needs to also include a diagnostic test first to see if you are truly prepared for the MCAT. For such a short MCAT study schedule, you will not have time to review the content covered in the exam.
If you’re preparing for the MCAT in such a short period of time, any last-minute crash course is not going to be extremely helpful. Instead, you need to dedicate the time to use practice tests to pinpoint any weaknesses in specific content areas and focus your time on reviewing those content for maximum improvement.
If you notice that there are a few concepts you’re not completely comfortable with, study them. However, you will only be able to realistically squeeze about three to five MCAT topics in this one-week MCAT study schedule. With this in mind, your content review will need to be significantly reduced in favor of getting ample practice with sample questions and full-length practice MCATs to ensure you feel prepared for the format and duration of the exam.
Aim to take the evening before the test off to relax and get a goodnight’s sleep. There’s simply no point trying to cram and pull an all-nighter as it will just impact your performance the next day.
Once again, you need to be honest with yourself when deciding how many months or weeks you need to devote to your MCAT preparation. Select a test date that allows you enough time to plan your study schedule for success.
Tips on Reducing Stress Before MCAT Test
By now, you would’ve spent months on studying, so don’t let stress hinder your MCAT performance! A healthy amount of anxiety is good to keep you alert and to boost your focus but too much stress can work against you.
Do not study the day before your MCAT and resist any temptation to spend the day right before the exam to frantically review all of your notes. You may feel like you covered a lot but it’s not an effective strategy to improve your score since you won’t be able to retain much information studying the day before MCAT. This will just increase your anxiety and hinder your performance on the actual day.
You should also avoid having conversations with friends or family about MCAT as this will lead to stress. The day before your MCAT should be spent resting and doing things you enjoy to help you stay calm and get a good night’s rest. Consciously take deep breaths throughout the day to help quell any nerves and to help you think clearly.
This is also a good time to work out logistics, such as traveling to your testing center, knowing where to park, and finding the correct building. This will help reduce stress on test day and make sure you’re not late for the exam. You can also spend your time reviewing AAMC’s information on what you can and cannot bring into the testing center. Prepare everything you will need for the test day the night before so you do not feel rushed in the morning.
Wake up with plenty of time to spare on the morning of your test. Eat a light, nutritious breakfast and get to the testing center by the recommended time. You need to also take into account identification time before the test when planning your arrival time.
Best MCAT Prep Courses
If an MCAT self prep is not good enough for you, you can always rely on an MCAT prep course to help you study for the MCAT. Here are a few MCAT prep courses that you can consider:
Kaplan test prep is great for its diverse study packages and access to live lecture classes. They even offer a high score guarantee to those who subscribe. Thousands of future med school students have relied on Kaplan MCAT to prepare them for the MCAT since they have a proven track record of success.
Kaplan’s MCAT curriculum has been meticulously crafted by their in-house MCAT experts and refined over the years to give their students one of the most robust, yet efficient, sets of lessons and coursework you can find out there. Kaplan MCAT prep course is just a really solid all-around course that simply gets the job done.
Following each practice problem set, you will get a detailed score report with some nice analytics around your performance. Together with the QBank, Kaplan MCAT exam prep will ensure your practice is more efficient and effective.
- Kaplan’s MCAT Channel is a unique feature that gives 6-days-a-week access to live lectures from experts.
- Pre-recorded content could be accessed 24/7
- Wide range of course options with the freedom to strategically execute your study plan
- Higher Score Guarantee Program that lets you retake the program for free or get a refund if you do not increase your score.
- Kaplan’s course MCAT materials do not expire until you sit for the MCAT test
Students who prefer self-paced learning through live online or in-person tutoring courses may find that the Princeton Review MCAT Prep Course is their cup of tea. Princeton Review has been prepping students for the MCAT for years with great proven track records with one of the most comprehensive and detailed curriculums you can find online. Providing 123 live class hours (live online or in-person), Princeton Review stands head and shoulders above their rivals in the live class space.
In addition to that, you even get access to more than 500 detailed video lessons covering and reinforcing the same material. Combining that with 16 full-length tests, 2500+ practice problems, and a set of content-rich prep course books, you’ll never be in shortage of prep work. And it’s not just the quantity of Princeton Review’s coursework that’s impressive, but the quality is very good as well.
Another thing we love is the structure of Princeton’s live classes. Instead of a generalist MCAT expert, all of your lessons are guided by a rotating team of subject matter experts. This is a major value add since you get an extra bit of content depth with a subject matter expert compared to a generalist.
When you purchase a Princeton Review MCAT prep course, they will ship you a box set of 11 prep books, 7 of which cover subject specific content review across the MCAT subjects of biology, general chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry, physics and math, sociology, and psychology, and CARS. The other 4 books are various course-based workbooks. Each of these books is incredibly detailed, well-written, and contains great graphics as a supplement to the main course.
- Princeton Review has a reputable experience with more than 30 years in the industry and has helped over 10,000 students pass MCAT for the first time
- Princeton Review MCAT materials are of high-quality
- Money-back guarantee programs
- 510+ MCAT Score Guarantee gives you access to MCAT Topic Focus with 12 sessions of rigorous review experience
- Jam-packed with practice tests, online materials, videos, and Amplifire learning tool to help boost your material retention
- Princeton Review tutoring packages by experts who motivate and help you achieve high MCAT scores
Taking the MCAT is an incredibly important milestone and a major source of stress for most med school applicants. We hope that our step-by-step guide today has provided you with the tools needed to build the best MCAT study schedule to achieve competitive test scores for your med school application.
Make sure to have a better understanding of the MCAT format, follow our comprehensive six-month MCAT study schedule, and take several full-length MCATs to boost your confidence for test day. Remember to also keep in mind a few stress reduction strategies to help you put your best foot forward on the day itself.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many full-length practice MCATs should I complete before taking the MCAT?
Completing 8-10 full length tests should provide sufficient MCAT practice to help you review the questions and content you missed or found challenging.
Can I do the same MCAT practice sections more than once?
Yes, you can repeat practice passages more than once as you go through your MCAT study schedule. Just wait several weeks after doing them the first time to give you enough time to come back with fresh eyes.
How to make active learning more effective?
Active learning reinforced information while engaging several other aspects at once. Active learning ensures that your brain stays engaged in learning, which allows you to study effectively. A few examples of active learning techniques include drawing multi-subject diagrams in different colors, explaining concepts out loud, creating audio summaries, etc.
Must I dedicate six months for MCAT preparation?
While it is best to have a six-month MCAT study schedule, we understand that not everyone has the privilege of time on their side. If you’re preparing for the MCAT in less than six months, you will need to dedicate even more time each day for the preparation and may need to reduce content review in favor of getting ample practice.
How many times can I take the MCAT?
You can take the MCAT exam seven times in your lifetime and three times in an application cycle.
Will I be the only one re-taking the test if I failed the MCAT?
No, the MCAT is a very challenging test and you will certainly not be alone in retaking the test as 24% of all test-takers retake the MCAT to improve their score.
Should I take optional breaks during MCAT?
If you’re tired then you should definitely take breaks during MCAT to give your mind a chance to rest and stretch your legs. MCAT is a marathon and you need to allow yourself some rest before continuing on.