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Working 60 hours this week.. and still studying for MCAT

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by novafan3000, 11.13.12.

  1. novafan3000

    novafan3000

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    Is it possible? While studying for the MCAT, taking care of myself at the gym, volunteer/shadowing and of course a social/personal/sleep life? Any opinions?

    I graduated in August w/a 3.88 cGPA/3.86sGPA so GPA isnt a problem but I am worried about MCAT in late april.

    Note: one job is in the nutrition part of a hospital, ensuring patients choose food orders follow RD/physician-prescribed diets.
  2. Bluto385

    Bluto385

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    The AAMC recommends ~300 hours of studying for the MCAT. I, myself, put in about 325-350. If you know you are a good test taker, anything is possible. I'd say take some practice tests after a month or so of studying and adjust your study schedule accordingly.
  3. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist

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    It's going to be pretty difficult. You will need pretty good time management skills to pull this off well.

    You can compare it to a 30 hour a week job while being a full time student with gym/shadowing/EC/sleep/social life/etc while studying for the MCAT. AKA, it's hard

    Is it possible to cut down on the number of hours? If you don't want to cut down and are confident in your time management skills, I say go for it. You know your own habits the best out of anyone, but you have very little room/time for slacking off.
  4. novafan3000

    novafan3000

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    yeah i mean it should teach me a lot about myself and what i am capable of.. i just hope there is some way to bring it into my personal statement somehow and i dont get initially screened out if my mcat is mediocre.. thanks!
  5. JoshuaGuit

    JoshuaGuit

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    Worked 70 hours a week in my lab, self-studied physiology, and studied for the mcat for two months in the summer. Possible, but not recommended.

    Disclaimer- I only got a 28R.

    edit: Regardless of the score, this summer truly showed me what I was capable of. The 28 is representative of me taking the responsibility to teach myself basic physiology and genetics, getting a publication, submitting a successful abstract for a national conference, maintaining health, and working harder than I ever have before.
    Last edited: 11.13.12
  6. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist

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    No, you do not want to use your MCAT score as an "experiment". If you don't know your own work ethic/productivity habits yet, do not start something this big now. Your MCAT is something you want to take once, do well on, and never have to take again (ideally).

    Why not just cut your hours down to 30-40? That's a lot more reasonable and you'll still have plenty of time to study for the MCAT and doing other things you enjoy.
  7. Gauss44

    Gauss44

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    It is possible if you can study effectively for enough hours after your shift. If you are too tired to study after work for very long, then no. Don't take MCAT until AAMC practice tests indicate you are ready.
  8. sommerwing

    sommerwing

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    That's exactly what I did, and goddamn it was exhausting.

    I was working ~50-60 hours a week doing vaccine research for about 2 years while writing publications. In the mix, I was studying for the MCAT as well. It's pretty tricky, because you should ideally condense the study time as much as you can in caution of beginning to forget information.
    It was pretty bad. For 4 months, all I did was wake up, work, eat, study study study till 2 am, and then sleep.

    It was the worst hell I basically ever went through, but I ended up doing fairly well in the end (35Q).
    Do it if you believe that you're capable of the feat, but I'd highly advise against it.

    But I'll tell you, Medical School has been a cake walk after that experience (no joke). I think I broke something in my brain.
  9. YankeeLion16

    YankeeLion16

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    Aerus, what was your MCAT study plan? How many hours did you put in? Did you self study? Any tips on how to ace it?
  10. gunner1

    gunner1

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    It's hard. I tried to manage two courses once over summer with mcat prep and volunteering and didn't work out. Next summer I'm making sure I have NOTHING to do other than just study.
  11. phikapdoctor

    phikapdoctor

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    Just gun hard for it.


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN Mobile app please excuse punctuation and spelling
  12. sliceofbread136

    sliceofbread136

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    The only one who can answer this question is you. Take many practice tests before the actual date. If you aren't averaging a couple points above your goal score then it means you aren't rdy and should put off the MCAT until you can study more.
  13. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist

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    I haven't taken the MCAT yet, but I highly recommend S2Ned's 3 month plan here:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=623898

    Quite a few success stories from it. Good luck. ;)
  14. TheShaker

    TheShaker

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    I think you're going to have a bad time unless you're amazingly intelligent. It's possible, but your score won't be up to its full potential and you will likely go insane by the end.
  15. YankeeLion16

    YankeeLion16

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    What?! You sound super knowledgable about the MCAT with study tips and giving advice to other people and what not---and you haven't taken it yet? You're pulling my leg...
  16. Fivo

    Fivo

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    LOL! Aerus getting called out AGAIN

    :flame:
  17. calvnandhobbs68

    calvnandhobbs68 I KNOW NOTHING Bronze Donor

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    [​IMG]
  18. sliceofbread136

    sliceofbread136

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    Lol this was great 7 years ago and it is still great now
  19. Bearstronaut

    Bearstronaut A giant leap for bearkind

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    Everyone has a different schedule. I studied very little and pulled a pretty good score, though it was entirely due to having questions similar to my research in one section :p I only had ~2 weeks to study thanks to my schedule at the time. Everyone's different - the biggest thing by far is how quickly you can get adjusted to the format of the test.

    To whit: take a practice test and see where you are. Studying in terms of hours is terrible. Break things up into chunks of concepts you want to understand, and shoot for spaced-repetition understanding. Set aside time to understand a concept, get it down, take a break. If it goes quickly, great! If it goes slowly, then finish up that topic. Approach things consciously in this manner - people try to do that schedule posted in the MCAT forum (which is overkill), but then think in terms of how many hours they're putting in, and many never make it through.

    Best of all: forget what we're saying and figure it out yourself. You'll make more progress that way.
  20. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist

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    Nope! I kid you not, my friend! :eek:
  21. YankeeLion16

    YankeeLion16

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    Aerus, if you have no experience with this process, it is in my view very misleading (bordering on dishonest) to give any advice like you know what you're talking about. Please enjoy your undergraduate career and give advice once you've gone through the process. Thanks!
  22. pasiley

    pasiley

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    The only way you will know if you are one of those that can pull it off is by taking practice tests. Just a warning, I studied with a schedule similar to yours and only saw a 2 point increase over 3 months. I took 2.5 weeks off right before my MCAT and just studied and saw another 3 point increase. Spreading your studying works but it is a lot less effective than putting in massive amounts of time just focusing on the test.

    This schedule is not ideal, even with me taking 2.5 weeks just to focus on the exam, I only scored 5 points above my diagnostic. Most people see a 10 point increase or so they say. I was lucky though and had an okay diagnostic score.

    1) I recommend signing up for a test date. It is good motivation when you know it will cost you to reschedule or worse yet not find any spots to take the test if you have to reschdule. Once that test date was set, I became much more focused. Give yourself at least 5 months with your work schedule.

    2) Don't take the test until you are consistently scoring where you want to be in practice tests. I had 4 practice MCATs in a row that were within my "acceptable range" before I took the test. Your first test score will always be there and schools will always see it. Take it once and put it behind you.

    3) Don't always expect a nice gradual increase in scores. It happens for some people but for me, I had times where everything clicked and I began scoring higher.
    Last edited: 11.14.12
  23. 45408

    45408 aw buddy

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    Sounds like a pretty bad idea. I took a very easy summer when I studied for the MCAT in '04. I was used to working a lot more, but I was maybe working 20-25 hours/week. After that summer, I was kind of annoyed at myself for not working more (because I needed the money), but in hindsight, I was very well-rested, studied as much as I could motivate myself to do (not that much, honestly), and I did much better on the MCAT than I had originally anticipated.

    Having to re-take the test, or even worse, having to re-apply or delay a year, is a much worse alternative than working fewer hours. Plan accordingly.
  24. MedWonk

    MedWonk 高飛車

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    Is it possible? Sure. A lot of things are possible.

    Would it be wise to do so? Probably not. I can't imagine working 60 hours on top of classes/ECs/MCAT study would be conducive to doing well.
  25. FrontierPsych

    FrontierPsych

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    Your MCAT is probably the most important part of your app so you should do everything you can to do well on it.
  26. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist

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    YankeeLion16, I only post when I do know what I'm talking about (or have an opinion on the thread if it's opinion based). When I don't have first hand experience, I rely on common sense, anecdotes/experiences from people I know who have been there, and facts.

    It does not take first hand experience to know that 60 hours a week is a lot. I have juggled a job, working out, a social life, and sleep before. If you reread, I never gave advice on "studying for the MCAT". Based on recommended plans added to the amount of hours other commitments would take, it IS still possible to accomplish, but would take a person with incredibly efficient work ethic and focus.

    Have I given advice LIKE I know what I've been through it? No. Have I given advice LIKE I know what I'm talking about it? I wouldn't post if I wasn't confident enough to post something constructive.

    If there is anything inherently wrong with the advice I give, I implore you to speak up and give your counter advice, why it doesn't work, and what the OP should do or not do instead. What's wonderful about public forums is that the OP can collect a variety of opinions and takes on the matter and consider all of them before making a decision.

    If I can give any advice that is helpful based on what I've been through, learned from others, or straight common sense, then I don't see anything wrong with that.

    Thank you.
  27. Praefectus

    Praefectus MS-0

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  28. Gither

    Gither

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    I thought everything you said was legit... not like you were giving advice on which mcat books to buy or anything.

    Sent from my SGH-T999 using SDN Mobile
  29. Fivo

    Fivo

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    This is the same issue that comes up when newly accepted applicants change their status to "medical student" rather than leave it as premed. The higher ups (read: med students/residents) that care bring up the notion of the weight of advice you're giving. A med student giving advice compared to a resident is vastly different. But when a premed who's been in college for 3 month is giving advice, it's kind of hard to take it seriously. Some of your advice might be legit, and if said by a med student or resident would even be looked at favorably. But given that you just graduated high school less than 6 months ago, it's really hard to read your posts without laughing. Think of a newly minted m1 giving advice to an m4 applying to residency. It just ain't right!

    I mean this in the sincerest way possible
  30. circulus vitios

    circulus vitios

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    I tried studying for the MCAT last summer while working 36-48 hours a week (12 hour days.) I only studied on my days off and I still felt burnt out. Ended up postponing the MCAT until this coming April, when I won't have to worry about working 12 hour swing shift or schoolwork on top of studying. I can't imagine pulling 60 hours a week and still studying.
  31. saveourpens

    saveourpens

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    When would you find the time to study? And I'm guessing you'd be pretty beat during the time you have set aside for the test.
  32. Narmerguy

    Narmerguy SDN Senior Moderator

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    Depends what your work schedule is like, if you work 5 days a week, 12 hours a day...you basically have 2 days to study a week because you'll never be able to focus or be that productive during the workweek (only 4 hours of waking free time left assuming a full 8 hours of rest).

    If you work 6 days a week, 10 hours a day, you can maybe study 1-2 hours a day for 6 days a week, and then 7-8 on your off day. That'll give you 13-20 hours a week of MCAT study. You'll be really burnt out, it'll take a long time to get all your studying done, and I think it's a terrible idea, but it's possible.

    I personally think it's just better to work as little as possible while studying for the MCAT, study really intensely for 2 months, and then be done with it.
  33. calvnandhobbs68

    calvnandhobbs68 I KNOW NOTHING Bronze Donor

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    For serious.

    I can have read every thread about applying to residency on SDN possible but somehow I doubt an M4 is gonna take me seriously when I start spouting out advice about their ERAS app.
  34. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist

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    The weight of the advice is only relevant to the OP. The internet is largely anonymous and ALL advice should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Should I not advise someone to not skydive out of a plane without a parachute because I myself have not done it before? It's not like OP is asking "How have you guys studied for the MCAT and which ways worked for you?" and I responded with imaginary accounts of how I scored a 30+ with this and this.

    I take my own personal status and respond if I can contribute something (like how my friends studied) or choose not to respond if I can't contribute anything to the thread.

    I don't understand why you or anyone else say "Aerus just got called out!" when it's an obvious fact that I'm not some M1 or M2 giving advice. In every thread on SDN, not everyone on it has been through it. You use your best judgement and give your own point of view, what you've done or would have done, and the OP gets a bunch of opinions.

    Imo, it just seems like you guys are bored and have nothing better to do. :rolleyes:
  35. MedPR

    MedPR

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    I worked 40 per week and studied about 30 per week. Not sure I could've prepped if I had to work 60 a week though.

    Sent from my SGH-T999 using SDN Mobile
  36. Fivo

    Fivo

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    Sometimes regurgitated advice is better than no advice, but I think you're missing the point on why everyone calls you out. Many times when people ask for advice they prefer to hear from those who've already experienced the situation in question. The thought of someone who just began college a few months ago, giving advice to people years ahead of him, whether or not your advice is sound, is laughable. It might fall on deaf ears sometimes knowing that said advice is coming from someone who just graduated high school.
  37. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist

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    Bolded isn't necessarily true. If someone is asking for advice, they just want ADVICE. You're missing the point of the purpose of an online forum. Many threads on SDN are created, with the purpose because they couldn't find anyone else with a similar situation (ideally). People give advice based on what they think is best.

    If advice falls on deaf ears, which I'm sure many does, oh well. It's a post. Life moves on. Deal with it.
  38. BigBear123

    BigBear123

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    O_O

    You're insane.
  39. calvnandhobbs68

    calvnandhobbs68 I KNOW NOTHING Bronze Donor

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    People just like to do it on here because they know they won't get laughed at like they would in real life. Freshmen can now feel important giving advice to seniors.
  40. speakwhales

    speakwhales

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    .
    Last edited: 11.21.12
  41. 45408

    45408 aw buddy

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    Shhhhhhhhh.

    Just walk away.

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