osprey099

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Jan 27, 2011
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Hi everyone, I'm going to be a sophomore in the fall and I'm planning on taking the MCAT next august/september. However, I want to start studying for the MCAT right now because I'm aiming for 35+ and I know to achieve a score that high, it will probably require a lot more time and effort than a that to achieve a 30-32 score (3-4 months). So can anyone suggest a study plan I should do in order to prepare a year in advanced? I took general chemistry and physics last year and will be taking orgo this year. I AP'ed out of biology. I'm willing to spend money to buy any books/practice tests.

Any suggestions/advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

SitraAchra

Attending Anesthesiologist
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Apr 19, 2004
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Don't spend more than 3-4 months on the MCAT because you won't remember stuff past that.

On a personal note, don't bring your big MCAT books to Starbucks so you can show off that you're an important pre med. I always found that annoying. Probably why I declared "pre med" status my senior year of college.
 
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Spend the time learning your course material and earning the grades. And take a year of general biology concurrently with it. If you insist on using your AP credit, then I suggest upper-division coursework in cell/molecular bio, physiology, and genetics. You should also plan to take a semester of biochemistry...So ideally, you should take the mcat in a year and a half. You can study next winter break.
 

1TB4RKSB4CK

wussup doge
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A year of study doesn't guarantee you a 36+. I know (some) people who study for 3-4 months and get 39+.
 

Whatyousay

A few loose screws
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A year of study doesn't guarantee you a 36+. I know (some) people who study for 3-4 months and get 39+.
I don't think you used the right anecdote.

I know people who started studying for the MCAT their freshman year. Result: mid 20s.
 

WeAreNotRobots

doctor of medicine
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Even six months is overkill no matter how high you want to score. If you want more time than that, then you won't be doing it right.
 
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I can't say it'll work, but I am also trying to maximize my studying (majored in art, oops, lots to make up for). I was looking here to find suggestions, but here is what I am planning:

I'll be a student for the next two semesters, taking the MCAT in April to apply in June. Monday through Thursday, I plan to save one hour for studying that does not apply to my current classes: rotating bio, organic, gen chem and physics. On Saturday mornings (to be really neurotic, I might even wake up before noon), I'm going to spend an hour on each subject, in the order that they appear during the MCAT, including practicing random past writing prompts in the typical time allotted.

It's a simple plan, maybe a little asinine to share. I have a tendency, though, to get obsessed with the newest subjects I'm studying. When I took orgo this summer, I'm pretty sure everyone I know thought I'd either been arrested or become a hermit. So for me, this is a conscious attempt to circumvent my issues with ignoring subjects at random. And I'm hoping the pseudo-MCAT line up on Saturdays will give me a little fluidity segment to segment on the test day.
 

NH14

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Studying for the MCAT for 1 yr is a total waste of time. Also, some/most schools don't accept AP credits for the bio pre-req - so do take upper-level bio. Do well on your courses, and study for the MCATs no more than 3-4 months.
 

drdan83

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You are only human, you cannot study for one year...you are bound to get distracted somewhere during that time.

Stick to 3-6 months.
 

45408

aw buddy
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About 9 months of that time will be wasted.
 

UnclePhil

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You don't need a year to score 35+. The MCAT does not really cover that much material and you are better off condensing into a short amount of time than you are spreading it out over a long period of time.
 
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235788

God Complex
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lol. Study >4 months is almost counter productive. You'll forget little details.
 

kexy

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lol. Study >4 months is almost counter productive. You'll forget little details.
Seriously. I've been studying full time for 6 weeks and have already forgotten most of the stuff I studied the first week.
 

km17

Annyong
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Hi everyone, I'm going to be a sophomore in the fall and I'm planning on taking the MCAT next august/september. However, I want to start studying for the MCAT right now because I'm aiming for 35+ and I know to achieve a score that high, it will probably require a lot more time and effort than a that to achieve a 30-32 score (3-4 months). So can anyone suggest a study plan I should do in order to prepare a year in advanced? I took general chemistry and physics last year and will be taking orgo this year. I AP'ed out of biology. I'm willing to spend money to buy any books/practice tests.

Any suggestions/advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
The best MCAT prep you can do right now is to do well in your remaining pre-reqs. You should also definitely take upper level biology--almost all med schools require it if you AP out.

The one additional thing that you can do now is READ! This will help you with your reading comprehension on all parts of the test, but especially with verbal. Pick something that interests you and read it on a regular basis...my personal recommendations would be the NYT (free), the Economist (dense), and National Geographic (monthly).

(Note: I don't usually finish my weekly Economist, but do try to read several articles a week.)
 

StudyShy

XOXO
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Nah, now I'm just hanging out :p

Is it just me, or do all the crazies graduate from UMich Med?
Perhaps! lol ;)

H. H. Holmes went to U of M medical school. He's probably one of my favorite killers. He was a frickn' crazy dude.
 

tn4596

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Jul 23, 2011
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I am on a speedrun on mcat. this is my plan
1st week: review biol, phys, chem and "some orgo" (not gonna focus a lot of orgo since i reckon the orgo question wont be that hard and detailed and there wont even be that many orgo questions)
(should be doable if you get A in these classes since you aldy understand all the concepts)
I think the majority of the review should be spent on biol since they might ask you lots of detail question on this portion.
the next 3 week: practice VR, chem and phys problems. take aamc practice test in this period to see if i am hitting the mark; if not then i am gonna reschedule lol...
then the night before the test am gonna go over the biol details.
Also, i recommend examcracker 101 passages, i think they replicated the vr passage close enough (not as good as the aamc test still)
 

UnclePhil

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I am on a speedrun on mcat. this is my plan
1st week: review biol, phys, chem and "some orgo" (not gonna focus a lot of orgo since i reckon the orgo question wont be that hard and detailed and there wont even be that many orgo questions)
(should be doable if you get A in these classes since you aldy understand all the concepts)
I think the majority of the review should be spent on biol since they might ask you lots of detail question on this portion.
the next 3 week: practice VR, chem and phys problems. take aamc practice test in this period to see if i am hitting the mark; if not then i am gonna reschedule lol...
then the night before the test am gonna go over the biol details.
Also, i recommend examcracker 101 passages, i think they replicated the vr passage close enough (not as good as the aamc test still)
One month is not really a lot of time. I got A's in all my pre-reqs and still needed about a month to cover everything (but I took all my pre-reqs about 4 years before I took my MCAT). The biggest thing is that there is a learning curve for how the MCAT is scored and scoring high takes some practice, at least it did for me. I scored a 27 on my diagnostic exam with no review (with zero physiology or anatomy knowledge) and a 25 on my first practice AAMC test (this was AFTER I reviewed), but bumped it up to the high 30s after reviewing what I did wrong and what I needed to focus on. Most of my improvement came from studying my practice exams and doing a little more focused studying on weaknesses.
 

YouNeverKnow22

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May 14, 2009
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Hi everyone, I'm going to be a sophomore in the fall and I'm planning on taking the MCAT next august/september. However, I want to start studying for the MCAT right now because I'm aiming for 35+ and I know to achieve a score that high, it will probably require a lot more time and effort than a that to achieve a 30-32 score (3-4 months). So can anyone suggest a study plan I should do in order to prepare a year in advanced? I took general chemistry and physics last year and will be taking orgo this year. I AP'ed out of biology. I'm willing to spend money to buy any books/practice tests.

Any suggestions/advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
if it is going to take you a year to study for the MCAT you should probably consider another profession, I'd say anything over 3 months would be overkill.
 
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oaklandguy

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Jul 22, 2009
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You honestly think you will remember topics you studied one year ago well enough to master them on the MCAT? And you honestly think you will remain motivated studying these same basic topics for 12 months? I was on the fringe of insanity after the 5th week, good luck.
 

bajastapler

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Nov 25, 2009
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you're better off waiting till you're in a spot where you've gone over the mcat material in previous classes. it will save you a lot of time.
 

DunKno

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Mar 24, 2010
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Right now just master your pre-reqs. There's no point in studying that long for the MCAT. 4 months is actually on the longer side and I would say that's all you need. Me and a few of my friends studied 2.5 months through PR and we were all happy with our scores, most of which were 35+
 

oaklandguy

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Right now just master your pre-reqs. There's no point in studying that long for the MCAT. 4 months is actually on the longer side and I would say that's all you need. Me and a few of my friends studied 2.5 months through PR and we were all happy with our scores, most of which were 35+

Nice way to be subtle about how awesome your score is. But you do have a point, I've never met someone with over a 90th percentile score that studied more than 5 months.
 

tn4596

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Jul 23, 2011
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One month is not really a lot of time. I got A's in all my pre-reqs and still needed about a month to cover everything (but I took all my pre-reqs about 4 years before I took my MCAT). The biggest thing is that there is a learning curve for how the MCAT is scored and scoring high takes some practice, at least it did for me. I scored a 27 on my diagnostic exam with no review (with zero physiology or anatomy knowledge) and a 25 on my first practice AAMC test (this was AFTER I reviewed), but bumped it up to the high 30s after reviewing what I did wrong and what I needed to focus on. Most of my improvement came from studying my practice exams and doing a little more focused studying on weaknesses.
well, since i just took most of my prereq a year ago it doesnt take me a long time to review. but i do need to learn physiology because my crappy biol class didnt teach it. I also dont have a job and only have to volunteer like 8 hour a week so i can study like 12 hour a day if i want to (for 4 weeks that would prolly drive me insane but the good thing is that i wont forget stuffs that i reviewed from week 1)
 

ash914

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May 20, 2009
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well, since i just took most of my prereq a year ago it doesnt take me a long time to review. but i do need to learn physiology because my crappy biol class didnt teach it. I also dont have a job and only have to volunteer like 8 hour a week so i can study like 12 hour a day if i want to (for 4 weeks that would prolly drive me insane but the good thing is that i wont forget stuffs that i reviewed from week 1)
Even without taking burnout in account (which you will), most people spend a month or so doing mostly just practice. People can do well with just a month, but you would probably be much better off with more time, especially if you need to learn anything for the first time (like physiology). You could possibly pull off a decent score, but waiting would be favorable.
 

WeAreNotRobots

doctor of medicine
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I can't say it'll work, but I am also trying to maximize my studying (majored in art, oops, lots to make up for). I was looking here to find suggestions, but here is what I am planning:

I'll be a student for the next two semesters, taking the MCAT in April to apply in June. Monday through Thursday, I plan to save one hour for studying that does not apply to my current classes: rotating bio, organic, gen chem and physics. On Saturday mornings (to be really neurotic, I might even wake up before noon), I'm going to spend an hour on each subject, in the order that they appear during the MCAT, including practicing random past writing prompts in the typical time allotted.

It's a simple plan, maybe a little asinine to share. I have a tendency, though, to get obsessed with the newest subjects I'm studying. When I took orgo this summer, I'm pretty sure everyone I know thought I'd either been arrested or become a hermit. So for me, this is a conscious attempt to circumvent my issues with ignoring subjects at random. And I'm hoping the pseudo-MCAT line up on Saturdays will give me a little fluidity segment to segment on the test day.
that would be "doing it wrong"
 
Dec 15, 2010
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Best way to move a score up is take some higher level Bio classes.

I recommend, Phis and Immuno, it is at least good for a point or two.

The MCAT is a 3-4 month study test. No longer.


Just for thought, In medical school you will only have one month to study for boards which have about 15-20 times the material.
 
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