Just curious, how long did you folks prepare for the MCAT

skinnybucket-M.D.

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I have heard people studying for a year and I have heard people say 3 months...What has worked for you and do you believe that studying longer will improve your score? Thanks. :zip:
 

studentdocftw

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I studied ~ 3 mos. I don't think studying more would of improved my score as CARS was my lowest section. 3 mos of solid preparation is enough IMO.
 

Munty

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I took mine in June and started with light studying in January doing mostly content review, 8 or so hours a week. Then, once classes were done at the very start of May I did a solid 40+ hours of studying each week until my test

So 6 months technically, but I could have condensed it to 3 months had I not been devoting so much time to school.
 

Lawper

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A girl I know studied for a week and scored a 39+ on the old exam. Then again she was really smart (and hot too).

Besides that, it is always better to plan out at least 3-4 months for the exam, but don't be discouraged if you have to prepare for at least 6 months. Many people did the latter and scored very high on the new MCAT. However, what is important is that you study efficiently and practice a lot.
 
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md-2020

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A girl I know studied for a week and scored a 39+ on the old exam. Then again she was really smart (and hot too).
Put a ring on that finger right away.

I studied for almost a year. To each his own, after this many years of schooling you should have a pretty good idea of what works for yourself.
 
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Gandyy

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I studied for 3.5 months, and scored meh. So I'm not really the best person to ask how to improve your score.

My score would have been way worse though if I didnt do any practice passages. So definitely do those.
 
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I studied hungover on Saturdays during the spring then had 4 weeks of balls out studying for my June exam. Don't think studying more would have helped me because cars was by far my weakest section.
 

ciestar

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About 4 months while working around 30 hours a week. That was fun
 

Cotterpin

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I took about 7 weeks off to study full-time. Did pretty well.
 

ConfusedChemist

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5 weeks, 6ish hours a day. Sundays and saturday off. got a 35.
Quality>>>>quantity
I didn't waste time doing any practice sets that weren't in passage format, just content review. I did the self-assesments untimed, and took double the reccomended time until I understood exactly why I was picking each answer, and why every other was wrong. Took like 8 hours for the bio one, got a 14 on bio because I just applied these skills
 
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Cleared my summer pretty much completely and studied a little bit the first month and then pretty solidly for the last 6-7 weeks.
 

mikil100

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Three months, two of which with full time school and working all weekend.

Last month was crunch time. Got a 517
 

raiderette

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I started studying full time for a month over the holiday break. I then did about 12 hours a week until May. After school was out I studied about 8 hours a day until 5/22 test. I got a 516.
 

BeachBaby

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About 5 months while working 30-40 hours a week, was tough. I sort of think HOW you study for the new MCAT will matter more than the number of hours. I think I poured hours into extensive content review when on the real test you just need to be able to read these passages as quick as you can and figure out what they are saying/what the graph means.
 

Spinach Dip

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Doing full lengths and reviewing them >>>>>>> content review.



Seriously, I spent around 3 days reviewing physics, bio, and chem and writing important terms and formulas on flashcards. Then I spent 2 months doing full lengths and reviewing them (including writing new flashcards and doing some in-depth review of topics I did poorly on).

It worked for me.
 

davisfenos

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Two months, give or take. I think. However long the Princeton Review classes were... I was pleased with my results.
 

tenblackalps

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10 weeks * 60 hours/week = 600 hours

But about 350 of those hours were spent relearning everything from my freshman and sophomore year prereqs, as I took the mcat after senior year. It would have been less if I could have taken the mcat closer to those classes.
 

Dral

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Between two to three months.

It's important to find your 'sweet spot' of study time since you'll likely want to in essence repeat that study timeline for step 1 and Boards.
 

MrLogan13

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Doing full lengths and reviewing them >>>>>>> content review.



Seriously, I spent around 3 days reviewing physics, bio, and chem and writing important terms and formulas on flashcards. Then I spent 2 months doing full lengths and reviewing them (including writing new flashcards and doing some in-depth review of topics I did poorly on).

It worked for me.
I had a similar approach. I did practice tests almost exclusively, with only a small amount of content review. Learning test taking strategy and getting used to the exam was high yield for me, and in my opinion, is much more useful than content review. YMMV.
 
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raiderette

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Of course, the number of full-lengths available for the new test are not always the best way to judge how ready you are (except for the official test and the question packs) I did find it helpful to practice taking the test.
 

Glazedonutlove

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3 months during semester sort of sporadically then crammed for a week in the summer
 

NonTrad16

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3-6 months of varying levels of effort. Had work, prerequisite courses, and a prep course in the mix, and I had been out of most relevant classes for >5 years, so I took my time with it. 513 final score. Practice scores from TPR all nonsense --- 3 of them, 1 aamc, and a bunch of content review and discrete passages/questions.

I think more time is useful, but there's a point of fatigue. Over 6 months seems unwise, especially if it's dedicated time. I was very much at my limit when I took the exam, and I only had one month of hardcore studying while working/volunteering ~30 hr/week at the end.
 

ZedsDed

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I spent about 7 weeks studying 6 hours a day with The Berkeley Review.
 

bearintraining

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31 years.. :)

EDIT: sorry, not trying to be a douche... just morning silliness
 
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moisne

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How did that work out for ya?

First time I studied for like months (and took Kaplan) and got like a 28 or 26, or something.

I took it again 3 years later and just flipped through Ochem for 2 weeks before my exam. Ochem was something I forgot that I could improve on, VR - i'm convinced there's nothing I can do for this, and PS - it's my strength so I didn't bother studying it.

How did it work out? I'm an MS2 now (doing pretty decent) ... so I guess it did work out.

To be honest, I let the nerves get to me the first time. Second time, I went in, shrugged thinking "If I don't do well, i guess I'm just not smart enough - nothing I can do about it". Went so much better.

- I do NOT plan on doing this again for Step 1 lol
 
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I was an idiot, my only saving grace was that I learn very very quickly and test well.

I studied 4 weeks while working full time. It was hell.

Come home from work at 5 pm, nap till 7, eat till 8, study until 3 am, wake up at 7 am for work...
 
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p0gono

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I took a 2-month prep course, but didn't do any studying outside of class sessions until 2.5 weeks before the test (at which point I crammed hardcore). I took the new one.
 

medic86

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Almost 4 weeks of dedicated study. Had a shaky physics I background and had to self-teach myself physics II during this time.

I wasn't ready, but my FL average was acceptable, so I took the test anyway (yep, I'm dumb). I probably needed two more weeks.
 

Justtheworst

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3ish months with a Princeton Review course (TBR wasn't available in my area) and supplementing it with Examkrackers science books to get a 36.
 

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3 months while working full time in a lab. Did examkrackers, kaplan practice tests and bought two or three aamc practice tests