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how many hours should one study for the mcat?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MedQuest, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. MedQuest

    MedQuest Da Truth 7+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    How much is enough time. I started taking kaplan prep two weeks ago. Is two months enough. I now it's up to the individual to study but realisticly how much is enough time?
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  3. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping. 10+ Year Member

  4. simpleG

    simpleG Member 7+ Year Member

    May 27, 2002
    lol jalbrekt,

    just study your ass off. 2 months is not that much time, and the mcat will be tomorrow. there is never "enough"; there just is.
  5. Wahoo07

    Wahoo07 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2002
    I think two months is more than enough. I studied for about 6 weeks and got a 33 this April. Just put in as much time as you can every day and do lots and lots and lots of practice tests!! I put in at least 3 hours a day and though I felt I wasn't as ready as I could have been, I still did well. Just enjoy the material and do lots of practice tests and you will be fine. :)
  6. vyc

    vyc Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 20, 2002
    2 months is plenty of time if you concentrate and stay focused throughout.
    i put in about 2 hours/day the first time around and then about 6-8/day the second time around.

    it's all about how well you want to do and how desperate you are to prove yourself.
  7. avhart

    avhart Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 14, 2002
    I heard somewhere (can't remember where anymore) that to do "average" on the MCAT, you must study 20 hours a week for 10 weeks. I don't think I really did that and I did above average...I think it really depends on you and you're probably a pretty good judge of how you're doing. But do NOT put it off. The one-month mark freaked me out and that's when I really went nuts studying.
  8. banannie

    banannie Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 19, 2002
    Durham, NC
    5-10 hours a week at first (not including taking full length exams).
    Then for the 1-2 weeks before the test, drop everything else you're doing and cram!
  9. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by banannie:
    <strong>5-10 hours a week at first (not including taking full length exams).
    Then for the 1-2 weeks before the test, drop everything else you're doing and cram!
    :) </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">errr, i'm going to have to slightly disagree with this one....instead of taking it easy early and going crazy a couple weeks before the test, I say space it out. Depends on your personal fortitude, but I dont think its a great idea to risk burning out before the test, as you need all your druthers about you come D-day. My suggestion would be to consistently do 15 plus hours maybe (depends on the person, i did less, some do more), but if anything i say slow down a little before the test.
  10. banannie

    banannie Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 19, 2002
    Durham, NC
    I guess it depends on the person, but I think burn out comes when you've been doing too much for too long. Just a week or two of intense work never killed anyone. But I do agree that you need to take it easy the day or two before the test.

    Anyway, I'm not just pulling this out of my butt as some "theory." It's a method that worked for some friends and I, who all did really well.
  11. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 28, 2002
    My standard advice: 200 hrs over 3 months

    good luck :)
  12. TheRealCookieMonster


    Aug 4, 2015
    If you want to CRUSH the MCAT then you're looking at about 8 hours a day for two months... everyday no days off. And no lone content review. Only do content review when you're correcting questions you got wrong. It's less about number of hours and more about number of questions, passages, and FL tests. look to finish >10,000 questions and >10 FL tests for a great* score.

    And remember...."C is for Cookie"
    beamz786 likes this.
  13. getdown

    getdown 7+ Year Member

    Nov 16, 2010
    as much time as you need to feel comfortable taking the test or until you do consistently well on the practice exams
  14. ArizonaVet480


    Feb 6, 2016
    I read somewhere it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert on something. So study for 10,000 hours and become an mcat expert.
    eteshoe likes this.
  15. Pagan FutureDoc

    Pagan FutureDoc 2+ Year Member

    Oct 28, 2015
    Holy 14 year necrobump
  16. SurgeonOfLife

    SurgeonOfLife Banned Banned

    Mar 7, 2015
    The 10,000 hour rule came from a researcher of psychology at FSU (Anders Ericsson). It had to be deliberate practice, not just any practice. You can still practice things you're already good at, but not really improve overall. The main population he studied were violinists (and I believe chess players)
  17. Optimus-Prime

    Optimus-Prime 2+ Year Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    until your practice average reflects what you want to score
  18. Azete

    Azete 2+ Year Member

    Apr 15, 2015
    It depends on your goals, really. I think almost anybody could watch Chad's videos and score a 30 on the old MCAT with 6 weeks of preparation (assuming average verbal skills). But if you want a really detailed understanding of the topics, and think you're capable of a 95th percentile score, then probably 5 hours a day for 3 months.

    Personally I was happy with the former and got a little lucky on test day.
  19. Cpt Ahab

    Cpt Ahab 2+ Year Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    an event horizon
    This one was legendary. It should be in "funny things pre-meds say."

  20. LivingLikeLarry

    LivingLikeLarry The lifeguard 2+ Year Member

    Jun 29, 2014
    Unpopular opinion here, but I don't think there's really any good estimate out there because hours themselves mean nothing. You could do 8 solid hours a day for 3 months but if you're just reading and hopelessly memorizing, it won't do much good.
    The MCAT is almost entirely a reasoning and thinking test, so however long it takes you to have a strong understanding of the tested topics is how long you should spend.
  21. Hospitalized

    Hospitalized 2+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 2014
    Jalby was exactly 100 off from predicting the lowest possible MCAT score in 2015

    What exactly is this wizardry?
  22. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping. 10+ Year Member

    Ahhhh..... The memories.....
  23. SPDF


    Jul 26, 2015
    A good 2-3 months I would say. I didn't take a class, but old classmates said they are helpful in organizing a study plan.
  24. Wow. Horrible advice. Absolutely atrocious.
  25. Lawper

    Lawper Making America's Fat Cats Fat Again Rocket Scientist 2+ Year Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    New World
    What's important to realize is that people don't start on the same playing field when preparing for the MCAT. Some have solid mastery of content review and excellent reasoning skills, so they only need a week or two of light prep to destroy the MCAT with a 520+. Others have little background and would need to prep for months fulltime to do well, and even then, they barely crack 510+.

    So a blanket statement that someone should do X hours for X weeks to destroy the MCAT is inaccurate.

    Also, quality study >>> quantity study. Studying efficiently is important.
    wholeheartedly and walloobi like this.
  26. Fission Chips

    Fission Chips 2+ Year Member

    Feb 12, 2016
    I think a minimum of 200 hours to perform well, depending of course on your familiarity with the subject matter. I thought Kaplan was fantastic review material but not representative of the real test in the slightest. I'd recommend getting examkrackers 1001 question books for each subject, and literally do every question. Circle the ones you got wrong and go back after you finish your first pass through the book.

    For what its worth, I studied for 1 month over winter break. First 2 weeks I spent ~6 hours per day. Last 2 weeks I spent 12 hours per day studying and doing AAMC practice tests. My average on the practice tests going in was a 35, ended up with a 32 (damn you VR) on the real thing. 95% on the sciences though!
  27. eteshoe

    eteshoe ....... 2+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    Rhea, Saturn
    I thought the answer was always 42...

    All kidding aside, depending on how efficient the person is - treat studying like (at least) a half-time job (~20 hrs/wk). Go through test prep material and take AAMC practice exams until you're consistently scoring in the 85th-90th+ percentile range.
    Fission Chips likes this.
  28. osckey

    osckey 2+ Year Member

    Sep 12, 2013
    *puts pillow on top of thread's face*'ll all be over soon. No tears, only dreams now.

    Let this thread die.
    kitkat13, oOKawaiiOo, eteshoe and 2 others like this.
  29. AirplaneFruit

    AirplaneFruit 5+ Year Member

    Jul 16, 2012
    If you're smart and have experience reading/understanding research papers you probably need to spend only 50 hours reviewing and practicing Bio and Verbal.

    Maybe 50 hours for Psych/Soc content review since it's new.

    Then depending on how good you are at Physics/Chem/Biochem and how much you remember from them you can spend anywhere from 50-150 hours on this section on content review and practice.
  30. TheRealCookieMonster


    Aug 4, 2015
    LOL thanks for contributing.
    walloobi likes this.
  31. Avicenna

    Avicenna Banned Banned Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Nov 18, 2012
    one should study one hour before taking oneself's mcat
    walloobi likes this.
  32. rednote


    Jun 19, 2015
    Have you heard about the 10,000 hour rule?:D
  33. treecat

    treecat 2+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2014
    Just the post itself bought this song to my mind:
    Whatever you do, Good luck!

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