is studying mcat one year in advance a good approach?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


Full Member
10+ Year Member
Sep 5, 2013
Reaction score
I will be starting school by the end of this month by will on take one class that is non science based and have no other activities going on. Is it too far in advance to lightly study some material? i have taken half the pre reqs but its been almost 2-3 years as well.

Members don't see this ad.
Having one year to study is good. The advantage is obviously that you have a lot of time. There are disadvantages as well. It's possible that unless you plan out a study schedule with lots of dedicated time for rereading, you will forget a bunch of stuff. You need to keep going over your prep books/notes without getting bored of it and brushing it off, which would be a huge waste. That's why a lot of people only study for a few months (anywhere from 1 - 6 from anecdotal experience, though the average is around 2.5-3). If you choose to do so, go for the content heavy Berkeley Review or Princeton Review and read the crap out of everything.

Also, if you start studying a year early, another disadvantage is that you will definitely run out of practice passages if you choose to do them as you read. To remedy this, just read the books and don't do the passages until a few months before the test. You will need to be doing constant practice in preparation for the test, so don't do the book passages until 6 months before the test or even less than that. Don't do the AAMC practice exams until you're finished with content review and the test is coming up. This means 1 - 2 months before the test.

This is all in my opinion, of course. Having an entire year to do content review is a blessing that lot of people don't have but you have to efficiently handle your time. Definitely ramp it up 3 months before the test by doing a ton of passages but don't blow all of your passages before that. That especially goes for verbal reasoning; you might even want to read the Economist like everyone says.