How long did you prepare for the MCAT?

Karina

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    Hey Guys!
    Due to circumstances beyond my control I kinda left everything for the last minute...and I have now decided that maybe I should take the MCAT this fall and try to get into med school by next year...(I am graduating in dec. so I will be taking time off)... I have a pretty decent GPA...and I have done fine in all my sciences..granted I haven't seen Gen. Chem. in 3 years!

    Will it be too much trying to cram for the MCAT in the summer...I mean, I'm seriously thinking about quitting my job and just taking a loan for my last two semesters. I also plan to take a few classes this summer....nothing major...Abnormal Psych and stuff like that for my minor.

    I just wanted to get some sort of feedback as to how long you guys spent preparing for THE test. And if you guys took any course (Kaplan, Princeton) and if you found it useful or not.

    Greatly appreciate your response!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Karina
     
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    Deuteronomy

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      karina,

      it depends on your GPA and what you think you'll get on the MCAT. Have you taken practice tests?

      If you're a borderline student, then the August test would be pushing it. In this case, you should simply wait until the April 2005 test since you'll have essentially 4 whole months of free time (mid Dec thru mid April) since you'll be graduating in Dec 2004.

      You'll get a knock out score on the MCAT... good luck
       

      celticmists18

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        I spent two months studying for the August 2002 MCAT (actually a little less since I spent two weeks in the Caribbean) and I felt as prepared as I would ever be. I also worked 30-40 hours a week while doing it. I would definitely recommend a prep class and that you should try to stay on top of the studying, but if you do that you should be fine taking it this August. Good Luck!
         

        exmike

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          depends on how you study. If you can buckle down and study hard core, two months might be enough. I advise against studying too early b/c you'll forget stuff you learned early on.

          As for preparing for the MCAT, it took me about 15 minutes. I brushed my teeth and took a quick shower before going to the test site.
           

          traumamonkey

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            Originally posted by exmike


            As for preparing for the MCAT, it took me about 15 minutes. I brushed my teeth and took a quick shower before going to the test site.


            definitely. i think flossing usually helps too.:laugh:

            really though, you don't absolutely have to take a prep course, but it is very useful in culling out what you should study and in providing practice, practice, and more practice exams.
            kaplan, etc. are VERY expensive, but if you don't have the time or motivation to go through all the stuff on your own and seek out other (read: cheaper) sources of study materials and practice tests then you may want to bite the bullet and enroll. also, if you're the kind of person that needs the structure of a class to study for, it can be useful in providing that for you.

            you should keep in mind that the august mcat (if you're going to take it this year and apply for entry in 2005) does put you at a disadvantage. plenty of people get in after taking the summer exam (somehow i squeaked by), but it hurts. it delays everything and left me sweating bullets until last week. and i think it contributed to not getting interviews at schools i assumed would be sure things.

            i took some time off of work last summer and took kaplan. i think i ended up studying pretty intensely for about a month or six weeks (though i did have to work through part of that). i think i certainly could've used more time, but that was all i had.

            good luck! and try to find someone local who has taken a prep course so that you can check out the materials before deciding whether or not to shell out the cash.
            n
             

            rgporter

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              You should take the AAMC online tests to assess where you're at. I think the first one is a free trial now. They nailed my score right on, for the most part, when I took them with the same time limits that I had in the real test.
              You may find out that you're better prepared than you think. I graduated four years before I took the MCAT and I did just fine without any extra study. Lest I get flamed let me just stress that everyone is different and all I am advocating is self assessment before drastic measures for MCAT preparation. Which is what I consider delaying your test date, even once, or paying the MCAT mafia (kaplan et al.) $1500 in protection money.
               

              missbonnie

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                hi karina

                2 months should be plenty.

                i studied about 8 weeks, and was out of school for a while. it comes back to you. I wouldn't work full time - part time at the most. Just buckled down and you'll do well.

                As for applying in August, it doesn't seem to hurt for great students. Otherwise, the earlier mcat gets you looked at sooner more favorably.

                bonnie
                 

                Stupendous

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                  I'm taking the August MCAT as well and the summer should be plenty. I'll be taking Cell Biology over the summer as well.

                  As others said taking it late may hurt your admissions. It depends on the school. I only plan on applying to UofAZ and I'm already granted an interview so I'm not worried about the test scores arriving late.
                   
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