SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Anyone work while studying for the MCAT?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ejay286, May 28, 2008.

  1. ejay286

    ejay286 Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 10, 2005
    I'm currently studying for the MCAT of which I am taking in August but with the way the gas prices and such are I really need a job. Anybody work 20-40 hours a week and still find enough time for studying?
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod Physician 7+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    hSDN Alumni
    I worked roughly 20-25 hours per week while studying. That was unwise considering I started studying just shy of 3 weeks before the exam. I definitely could've put those 60+ hours to use.
  4. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy 2+ Year Member

    Apr 14, 2007
    I did...
  5. Cestmoi

    Cestmoi 2+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2007
    New York, NY
    i had a 40hrs/week internship which stressed me out big time... work 9-5; nap 5:30-7pm; study 7-2am; sleep 2-7:30am... turned me into a zombie. I won't advise working as many hours unless you felt you already had a good amount of studying down and just needed to practice/brush up mostly... good luck
  6. Margaux1985

    Margaux1985 0k member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2008
    The great plains of NYC
    I don't recommend working fulltime or anywhere near that if you're studying for the MCAT (which is only the most important exam of your life at this point). Part-time 15 hrs/week or volunteering and shadowing is OK because you'll want a break from it all every once in a while, but working full-time while studying is not advisable given the amount of time that you'll have to sacrifice and the rejections that you'll endure if you bomb this exam.
  7. ESzczesniak

    ESzczesniak Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I'd sure hope so. I worked 55-60 hours a weeks and was fine. I'm currently studying for step 1 and can't imagine more than 8 hours a day studying for that, much less the MCAT.
  8. riceman04

    riceman04 10+ Year Member

    Mar 21, 2005
    Los Angeles
    yes, it is doable! However, you must be great at time management!
  9. Margaux1985

    Margaux1985 0k member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2008
    The great plains of NYC
    Do you really need the gas? Can't you find an environmentally friendly alternative means of transportation (walking, running, jogging, bicycling)?

    Save the rain forests:p
  10. The South Face

    The South Face 7+ Year Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    40 hrs a week, score pending...

    I'd say it depends on where you are in your studies and how far off the test is. But only you can really answer these questions
  11. Livingapparatus

    Livingapparatus 7+ Year Member

    Sep 29, 2007
    ohh yes its doable
  12. neuro1617

    neuro1617 2+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2007
  13. Character

    Character 5+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2008
    its doable
  14. scarletgirl777

    scarletgirl777 7+ Year Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    I worked 40+ hours a week while studying. Yes, it's doable, not ideal. I definitely didn't do the crazy studying schedule that seems typical on SDN :rolleyes: I think that you need to look at your diagnostic score, figure out what your target score is, and ask yourself how good of a test taker you are to figure out whether you need to have a part time job.
  15. fireflygirl

    fireflygirl The Ultimate Blindian 7+ Year Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    I worked about 15 hours a week and it certainly was doable just because I was sick of spending so much time studying for the MCAT. But looking back, I sort of wished I hadn't done that so that I didn't feel so rushed at getting to work, taking my nap and then stting down to study (and sometimes trying also to fit the gym in there). I almost wish I'd had the time to get up, go to the gym, and then start....can't say anything about it know but who knows if that would helped me out more in studying.

    For me, the MCAT was a major challenge so while working and studying was certanly doable, I think maybe I was one of those that just needed more time and I often wonder if not working those 15 hours a week would have helped. :confused:
  16. LikeClockWork

    LikeClockWork Guest

    Jul 23, 2007
    I can't really fathom how people don't think it's "doable." I worked 40-45 hrs/wk while I studied and I feel like I had plenty of time to cover the material. My job was 7-3 and when I was off work, I had nothing better to do than study (not like there's homework or anything). So from 3 to 10 it was pretty much free. I didn't even do that everyday because you have to take time off to keep yourself fresh. Weekends were for full-lengths and more in depth review. Granted, I did all this over a 3 month span and I don't think it would work if you were trying to cram, but how well can you cram for the MCAT anyway?
  17. nogolfinsnow

    nogolfinsnow 7+ Year Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    I was out of school and working full time. I took a Kaplan review course on Sat and Sun, studied in the evenings Mon-Thurs and took Fridays off. It made for a fairly busy schedule but wasn't that hard. Just make sure your studying is well-focused so you can get the most out of the 3 or so hours you put in each night.
  18. krazydesi

    krazydesi 2+ Year Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    might seem like a bit much but I volunteer 10 hours a week ... currently taking 9 credits first session at college and then 10 credits next session ... and studying 4-5 hours a day for mcats ... hopefully its doable but if it seems i wont be prepared by end august ill put the test date further off since I will only be a junior next semester ...
  19. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . . Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    It's definitely doable. I worked fulltime (40 hours) while prepping for the MCAT. I gave myself about 4 months to get ready. Started in February and took the May 11th MCAT. It'd been 4 years since I'd taken the pre-reqs though, so someone right out of school might not need as much prep time.

    I'd work until 4 or 5 and then study for 3-4 hours every week night. On the weekends, I'd study about 5-6 hours a day.

    Just be disciplined about it and it will work out.
  20. da me ka don

    da me ka don Not in your P.I.'s lab! 10+ Year Member

    Jul 19, 2007
    Wow u are intense.
    I worked 40-50 hrs/wk, and didnt have the strength to study everyday. It was a new job, in a new environment, so the stress of adjusting to this, and also freaking out about other things was added. I was also taking the Kaplan class, (which in retrospect was a waste of my time). Tried to study ~7 hrs every weekend. It was hard. Wish I did not have to work.
  21. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    I did, but I should've worked more, because I made peanuts that summer.
  22. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . . Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    yea, i think the Kaplan online course can do wonders if you are working. you can study at your own pace and focus on the areas that need your attention. i think with the classroom kaplan course this isn't the case.

    i did it and it helped me tremendously.
  23. BigRedder

    BigRedder Passing Gas 5+ Year Member

    Jan 31, 2008
    I've worked full time throughout this process. Just study for a few hours a day during the week and a bit more on the weekends. Keeps the boredom down.
  24. Cestmoi

    Cestmoi 2+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2007
    New York, NY

    It's okay, it all paid off nicely.. no regrets.. and that's how we know we'll do just fine for the next ~7 years :thumbup:
  25. engineeredout

    engineeredout 7+ Year Member

    May 11, 2008
    I'm working an internship part time, doing research, hospital volunteer work, and studying for the mcat. Its doable. To me its no worse than last semester, in which I was taking 20 credits and working two jobs.
  26. HanginInThere

    HanginInThere 5+ Year Member

    May 24, 2007
    the library
    I did Kaplan's classroom course, and it worked well for me. I did it over a few months, and while I had a busy schedule (worked full-time 40+ hour weeks, MCAT prep 2-3 hours weeknights and a bit more on weekends, volunteered ~5 hours a week) I was still able to find time for my family and sleep.

    I liked the structure and built-in pacing the classroom course provided, and I liked that I didn't have to plan out a schedule for myself.

    So everybody has to figure out what works best for them, but the common themes seem to be that (1) yes, you sure can work while doing the test prep, and (2) you should give yourself plenty of time (months, not weeks) to spread out the work so you don't need to cram it all in at the end.
  27. fastdude400

    fastdude400 Italian Plumber 2+ Year Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    I also worked 40-50 hrs/wk as a chemist while studying for the MCAT, and everything turned out alright. It kinda killed my summer, as I'd come home and study 3-5 hours every day for a few months. It's certainly reasonable though.
  28. kronickm

    kronickm even par. 2+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2007
    Worked full time, no problems here.
  29. sunny1

    sunny1 2+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    I'm doing it now. Working full-time and studying for the MCAT. I'll let you know how it goes...;). I think I'll be ok. It would be nice to only have to work 20 hours a week if you have a choice though.
  30. Worked 2 part-time jobs. It was tough, but it is absolutely do-able. It helps if you can sneak some reading while at work.
    Good luck.
  31. atalkinghead

    atalkinghead 5+ Year Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    I work 40 hours a week, volunteer every Monday, and I am studying for the MCAT. Biochem has made studying a lot easier, though.
  32. LeLu

    LeLu Cookie Monster 2+ Year Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    I worked 40+ hours. On a short day, I left home at 7:30am and got back at 5:30pm (drive time and lunch). Then Kaplan class started at 6:00pm until 9:30pm, twice a week. It sucked! And I didn't do so hot either!
  33. beachblonde

    beachblonde 2+ Year Member

    Aug 30, 2007
    That sounds like what I did! Worked 40-50 hours a week, had a 1+ hour commute each way, and tried taking the Kaplan class as well. I did just fine, but I feel like had I had more time I would have scored probably 5 points higher. Such is life....
  34. disorder

    disorder isrdero 7+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    i worked 40-50 hour weeks and studied for the MCAT.

    i didn't do as well as i wanted to, but i feel the time is manageable depending on how well you study. my schedule was basically this for 3-4 months.

    monday-thurs. 630 wake up, work 8-5, home 630, study til 930-10, sleep by 11-130
    friday. work but no studying
    saturday. practice test but no studying
    sunday. study 6 hours
  35. realjara

    realjara 2+ Year Member

    May 2, 2008
    I worked full-time and took 9 credit hours while studying for MCAT. As long as you manage your time wisely, you can do it.
  36. KnowledgeOfSelf

    KnowledgeOfSelf 5+ Year Member

    Sep 10, 2006
    Anything is possible! I wrote my Master's thesis, worked as a teacher, and studied for the MCAT. It was busy and I sacrificed fun time, but becoming a doctor is worth it to me. You'll be ok!
  37. Tryonetic

    Tryonetic 7+ Year Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    I worked 40+ hours a week and took the Kaplan class twice a week. It was three hours everyday and a practice test every weekend! It sucked so bad that my girlfriend left me and I lost my job the day before I took the test. But I freaking totally rocked the test! I guess it's doable but something will break at the end!
  38. nycbeatz

    nycbeatz nervous wreck ......... 2+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2006
    You can do it, I worked 20 hrs a week and interned another 20 and volunteered 10, someone has to pay the bills and if thats u then it sucks but u just have to suck it up and deal with it. Besides i think 8+ hours of studying would have been counter-productive i think 3-4 hours is idea. I had about 2 months time to study.
  39. paradocs we are

    paradocs we are In love with you 2+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    The Falls
    I had a full-time research position and I had to present my results to professors across the nation because of the nature of my scholarship a week after the MCAT. I put more hours than the typical 9-5 job of course.

    AND I found time to explore a new city, volunteer twice a night and study for the MCAT. Was it the wisest decision? No. Did it turn okay? Yes, got into my top choice at the end.
  40. rx60


    May 20, 2008
    hey. i'm a full time employee and i have health insurance as long as i work 30+ hours a week. I used to work 40+ hours but right now I'm averaging 31 hrs/week because I'm preparing for the MCAT too.

    i'm in a pretty sticky situation. i have bills and loans on my desk and i need the money. and i have a really good benefit's package that i don't want to lose just yet. besides, every one needs health insurance because you never what can happen to you.

    anyway, i'm studying for the MCAT and I think that my studies are going well...but i guess i won't know until i see my score.

    good luck to you.
  41. Doctor J

    Doctor J Libelous. 10+ Year Member

    Aug 27, 2007
    When I was studying for the MCAT I worked full-time to overtime hours, with 14 credits, and had a young kid on top of all that.

    Seriously, if you can't handle focused studying 4 hours a day for a month or so for the MCAT (which is all you really need to get a decent grade), medical school will be very, very, very difficult for you.

    Not to belittle the experience but studying for the Step just dwarfs the MCAT and if you're having a really tough time with the MCAT then maybe, just maybe, you need to reconsider your strengths and weaknesses.
  42. bioteach

    bioteach MSIV 7+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    For most people it is unrealistic to take off time from school or work to study full time for the MCAT. If you are lucky enough to have someone else footing your bills, maybe, but that is not real life for most people. I worked about 50+ a week and studied during free time for about 4 months before taking the MCAT.
  43. Doc4Christ

    Doc4Christ Passion4Unity 7+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2008
    Just maybe you need to stop being negative for there are some intelligent people who are destined to be doctors that are not good at standardized testing such as the MCAT. Perhaps you need to examine your weakness, which is pride and develop a strength called humility.
  44. ESzczesniak

    ESzczesniak Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Others disagree, but I'm with you. I understand that not everyone is great at standardized tests. Bottom line though is that if you're "destined to be a doctor", you make it work.

    And as point out, if you don't make it through the MCAT fairly easy, Step 1 will utterly crush you. The smart people need to study 6 hours a day, 6 days a week for 3-4 weeks (which is all the time most schools get off to study for it).

    Bottom line is if you are going to do well on either test, you need to know the stuff cold. And at that point, it doesn't matter how you're tested, you'll do well. It's only when you're shaky on a subject that how you're tested matters.
  45. ButImLETired

    ButImLETired Prodigal member Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 27, 2008
    the hospital
    hSDN Member
    I also worked 40+ hour weeks and took one night bio class while studying, against my premed adviser's advice, and I did fine...the trick is to know HOW to study. Like, I knew that I'd probably just need to do some practice for Verbal, and Bio was gonna require just some quick reviewing, so I focused most of my time on the others. I made a really strict schedule 3 months in advance and stuck to it. I studied ~3 hours a night after I got home, and spent most of my weekends in the library. It was extremely not fun, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
    I did have to take the 3 days before the MCAT off though. Practice tests take forever, even these shorter ones, especially if you really want it to feel like the real deal. They are also EXHAUSTING. I'd started off thinking I'd take 2 a day but the truth is after you've taken one and looked at what you've done wrong and gone over it, you cant possibly take another one.
    It's also really helpful to get used to whatever time you have to wake up, etc, to make sure your brain will be awake at that time. It's all about being organized, really. Good luck!!!

Share This Page