LJA1

5+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2012
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Pre-Medical
Non-traditional, work to support my family. Because of kids and work schedule the best time for me to study is when I get home until I go to bed, I can realistically devote 2-3 hours every night to MCAT study considering I will be up the next morning at 6am most days.

Taking the MCAT this year is out, as the last test administered in September 9th. Tentatively planning for a mid January 2018 MCAT, so... when should I start studying?

I have EK 10th edition and old TBR from 2011. I also have an old TPRH science and verbal workbook. I also have access to several TPR full lengths and Kaplan full lengths. I'm open to using other material.

Given that I can devote about 21 hours per week (maximum, considering I don't take a day off) Should I start studying 5 months out? I'm multiple years out of college and some of my prereqs were almost ten years ago so I will likely need more content review than many. I've looked at a lot of the study plans on SDN and I'm not really seeing the one that will work for me.
 
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workaholic181

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2017
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Non-traditional, work to support my family. Because of kids and work schedule the best time for me to study is when I get home until I go to bed, I can realistically devote 2-3 hours every night to MCAT study considering I will be up the next morning at 6am most days.

Taking the MCAT this year is out, as the last test administered in September 9th. Tentatively planning for a mid January 2018 MCAT, so... when should I start studying?

I have EK 10th edition and old TBR from 2011. I also have an old TPRH science and verbal workbook. I also have access to several TPR full lengths and Kaplan full lengths. I'm open to using other material.

Given that I can devote about 21 hours per week (maximum, considering I don't take a day off) Should I start studying 5 months out? I'm multiple years out of college and some of my prereqs were almost ten years ago so I will likely need more content review than many. I've looked at a lot of the study plans on SDN and I'm not really seeing the one that will work for me.
I was in a similar situation, minus the kids, and I began studying 5 months out roughly 2-3 hours a day and felt like that prepared me for the MCAT.

Only thing to keep in mind with this approach is you want to keep the content you covered at the beginning of your studies fresh in your mind going into exam day. What I did was finished my general content review in roughly 3 months (this included reading, note taking and making flash cards. highly recommend flashcards for this approach). Then for the remaining two months I would review at least one content area each day of the week (bio Mondays, chem Tuesday, orgo Wednesday, physics thurs, etc). On Saturdays I would spend time studying areas I was bereft in all content areas, and Sundays I would do a practice exam.

As long as you can devote blocks of time on the weekends to practice exams as your exam approaches you should be successful. This worked for me and I hope this gives you an idea of what your schedule will be. Good luck!
 
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Feb 25, 2016
43
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Pre-Medical
bear in mind its the quality of studying, not necessarily how many hours. The key is consistency and efficiency.
 
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Coltuna

2+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2015
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I was in the same situation. I agree with workaholic but disagree with the amount of time spent on content. I would spend less time on content and more time learning from practice problems and full length exams.


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Coltuna

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Nov 2, 2015
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bear in mind its the quality of studying, not necessarily how many hours. The key is consistency and efficiency.
I hate posts like this. No offense to sh.h but this doesn't help OP at all.


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Feb 25, 2016
43
9
Status
Pre-Medical
I hate posts like this. No offense to sh.h but this doesn't help OP at all.


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why not ? maybe he needs 4 hours to study for a chapter, maybe he needs more. Someone can sit down for 3 hours and check the phone every 5 minutes and cover 1 chapter. the same person can sit down 3 hours and cover 2 chapters without constantly using the phone. So yeah, efficiency matters , especially that OP has other things to take care of.

I hear a lot of people saying : I studied 3 hours / day for the MCAT , others say: I studied 10hours / day for the MCAT. They both can end up with similar score, just because we all have different ways of learning , different timing.

The advice I gave to the OP is the advice I wish someone had given me when I first started studying for the MCAT.
However, generally speaking , the more hours and efforts are invested into this, the better.
 
Feb 25, 2016
43
9
Status
Pre-Medical
Non-traditional, work to support my family. Because of kids and work schedule the best time for me to study is when I get home until I go to bed, I can realistically devote 2-3 hours every night to MCAT study considering I will be up the next morning at 6am most days.

Taking the MCAT this year is out, as the last test administered in September 9th. Tentatively planning for a mid January 2018 MCAT, so... when should I start studying?

I have EK 10th edition and old TBR from 2011. I also have an old TPRH science and verbal workbook. I also have access to several TPR full lengths and Kaplan full lengths. I'm open to using other material.

Given that I can devote about 21 hours per week (maximum, considering I don't take a day off) Should I start studying 5 months out? I'm multiple years out of college and some of my prereqs were almost ten years ago so I will likely need more content review than many. I've looked at a lot of the study plans on SDN and I'm not really seeing the one that will work for me.
I think there are a few posts here on SDN , people share their experience taking the MCAT whilst having different responsibilities. Take a look and you may find replies you can relate to and advices you can incorporate into your routine.
 

Coltuna

2+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2015
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why not ? maybe he needs 4 hours to study for a chapter, maybe he needs more. Someone can sit down for 3 hours and check the phone every 5 minutes and cover 1 chapter. the same person can sit down 3 hours and cover 2 chapters without constantly using the phone. So yeah, efficiency matters , especially that OP has other things to take care of.

I hear a lot of people saying : I studied 3 hours / day for the MCAT , others say: I studied 10hours / day for the MCAT. They both can end up with similar score, just because we all have different ways of learning , different timing.

The advice I gave to the OP is the advice I wish someone had given me when I first started studying for the MCAT.
However, generally speaking , the more hours and efforts are invested into this, the better.
Okay fair enough!


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workaholic181

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2017
1,292
818
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I was in the same situation. I agree with workaholic but disagree with the amount of time spent on content. I would spend less time on content and more time learning from practice problems and full length exams.


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Yea I should have stated that I had to teach a lot of content to myself which resulted in a longer content review period.

This poster is right OP if you have the classes done, doing practice with AAMC materials is probably the best way to prep.
 
Feb 25, 2016
43
9
Status
Pre-Medical
here are my thoughts :
I think you're the only who can best make a schedule for yourself. I strongly believe since you aren't sure about a schedule, start now as if you you're going to take the MCAT in 5 months. Come up with a draft and after a few days / weeks you can find out what suits your dynamic best.

Maybe you can start by devoting 1 hours - 1:30 to one subject - break - another block of 1 hour -1:30 to study another subject. Doing 2 subjects per day can avoid the subject being boring
I strongly recommend studying for psych / soc when you're a bit "tired" or "out of it", because I believe it doesn't require as much " processing" as other subjects.

When you have energy, then focus on weaknesses / areas that are difficult / high yield.

EK is good for content I believe , except for psych and biochem
for psych use khan academy videos and there is a PDF on those videos laying around somewhere on reddit (let me know if you can't find it). For biochem use kaplan book. For everything else, use EK.When doing content review, try to cover the main topics first , then work through details, but not obsessively.

TPRH science book and verbal : haven't used them , I wish I could, but can't seem to find. I heard they are very good. definitely use them.

I know most people will disagree, but I strongly believe without a firm graps of content, doing full lengths won't help. maybe you can do content review , example in science, then do passages from TPRH workbook related to that content.

print MCAT topics that are going to be testes (available on AAMC website) and cross off each topic you cover. maybe this list will help prioritize subjects based on : subjects you are completely unfamiliar with / somewhat familiar with / are comfortable with

Do not forgot to do CARS passages. Sciences are important, but so is CARS section. I strongly recommend using testing solutions (Testing Solutions' 30 Day Guide to MCAT CARS Success)

This is blog I find useful in terms of preparing the MCAT :
MCAT Matt
please keep us updated and good luck.
 
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