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studentdoctor08

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What's the typical time that someone spends preparing for it, including balancing courses? I'm taking it the end of May and I've been balancing studying with my courses, so I haven't been able to devote as much time as I hoped to studying so far. Do you think I will be ok once school is out and I just study MCAT straight for a month before I take it on the 31st?
 

IncognitoGuy

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I would say most people end up taking at least 3 months. The first 1 or 2 months are usually devoted to content review, becoming familiar with equations and format and whatnot. The last month or so is usually all practice - full-length tests, passages and the like. It can take longer, but from the sounds of it you're applying this coming cycle?

Until you take a full-length test, you unfortunately won't know where you stand score-wise. And a good number here believe that it's a waste to spend an entire practice as a diagnostic tool, so you only really have practice to inform you.
 

pr2

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I spent a solid 5-6 months studying for it (October --> March). I began with light content review each week, but not everyday. Usually on weekends and weeknights where I wouldn't have too much homework. Then after Christmas break, I started concept application for a solid month alongside an AAMC practice exam every other week. Weeks up to the actual thing, just continue your content review, maybe go back and review your AAMC practice exams a bit.

But you want to know the best answer for how long you should study? Your entire undergraduate career ;). Seriously, the best way to do well on the MCAT is to learn all of this material the right way the very first time you see it (undergraduate courses). Take the time to study well in your general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and biology courses, and make sure you are learning not just to know material for exams, but also for your own general knowledge.

"MCAT studying" is just that: studying the test. Sure, you should use this time to review content, but a lot of it should be things you've seen before. You want to use time to familiarize yourself with the styles of their questions, understand how to apply concepts rather than just knowing of them, and take as many of the AAMC practice exams as you can (preferably all of them).

Doing the above can minimize content review to ~1.5-2 months and spend the rest of the time reviewing test formatting and taking practice exams. I knew the concepts from my courses like the back of my hand anyway, so I did a little overkill with the content review. But since I knew it so well, I could easily apply the concepts come crunch time (actual MCAT score: 40+).
 
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mariambaby3

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I self studied for 5 weeks full-time (about 10-12 hours a day I think) and part-time studied for a week leading up to the exam. Most people, however, study for about 2-3 months.

As the previous poster said, the unfortunate thing about the MCAT is that you won't really know where you stand and what your level of preparation is until you take a practice FL after you have reviewed ALL of the content. But to get there, it takes many weeks to go through all the content review.
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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I self studied for 5 weeks full-time (about 10-12 hours a day I think) and part-time studied for a week leading up to the exam. Most people, however, study for about 2-3 months.

As the previous poster said, the unfortunate thing about the MCAT is that you won't really know where you stand and what your level of preparation is until you take a practice FL after you have reviewed ALL of the content. But to get there, it takes many weeks to go through all the content review.

How well did u do? I'm also planning to study for 5 weeks.
 

TheKDizzle

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I studied for ~3 months for a total of around 300 hours.

I personally like to spread out my preparation more than others. I averaged 3-4 hours of studying each day. Others might prefer to study for a month, and spend more like 10 hours each day.
 

shirt n tie

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I studied seriously for about 4 months. About three of solid content and the last doing about two practice exams per week, reviewing weak points in between test days. I also recommend doing a full lengths early in your studies as well, just to have bench marks for comparison. Happy studying!
 

railgun

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But you want to know the best answer for how long you should study? Your entire undergraduate career ;).

Doing the above can minimize content review to ~1.5-2 months and spend the rest of the time reviewing test formatting and taking practice exams. (actual MCAT score: 40+).

Good Job on your MCAT !!! Totally agree with studying during undergrad classes, but for most of us (including me) this realization arrives too late.
I spent 97 days (yes exactly 97, with 30 days in-between that were either break days or me studying for finals/midterms). The days I actually studied, I spent quite a lot of time on it (did either a practice test+review or 2 ek 1001 chaps... I started of slow, but had to catch up to finish all the books I bought). So I would say 97 days with avg about 3-3.5 hours/day. 1st month: review content (incl. taking end of chap tests for BR/Kaplan and doing VR)
2nd month: practice (EK 1001, more VR, some review, Kaplan practice tests)
3rd month: practice tests
Ended up doing way better than expected (38!!)
 
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