kangar00

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so i have this summer open so far, other than volunteering and the occasional shadowing. It is the summer before my junior year.

I plan on taking the Kaplan MCAT classes during the year and taking the mcat in March. Would it be a good or bad idea to study the mcat this summer with non-Kaplan materials?

I've heard that you shouldn't spend time studying more than 6 months before you take the mcat... but i'm not sure how accurate this is and if my idea would be helpful.
 

premed67783

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I don't think its ever a bad idea to get a head start on studying. I wouldn't recommend spending your whole summer studying however. You could be spending your time doing more productive things (ie volunteer, research, summer classes).

If I were you, I would get some MCAT materials and do some light studying over the summer just so you're kind of familiar with the test and the material when you start REALLY studying during the year. Also, the one section that would improve the most from advance studying is the verbal section. If you really want to get a head start, get a subscription to "the Economist" and start reading it on a regular basis.
 

DrSmooth

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If you have taken the prereqs and you can spend the summer studying you should take the MCAT in August right before school starts. You will be at the top of your game after doing full-time prep and practice for 2 straight months. Why wait till March?
 

kangar00

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i haven't taken physics yet, so i have to wait to take it. i was thinking i could review classes like gen chem and verbal since it's been a while since i've done those.
 

Girfaroo

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If you have taken the prereqs and you can spend the summer studying you should take the MCAT in August right before school starts. You will be at the top of your game after doing full-time prep and practice for 2 straight months. Why wait till March?
I took the MCAT in August before taking the second semester of physics, but I think it turned out better for me in the end. I'd taken AP Physics in high school, so I brushed up on what I'd learned before and did my best to learn the new material. All of the other classes were much fresher in my mind, and although I was taking summer classes at the time, I had much more time to study for the MCAT than I would have during the school year. I only spent about 6 weeks total studying, so maybe I could have done better if I'd taken the MCAT later, but I was happy with my score.
 

kangar00

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Yeah i've heard that you only need first semester of physics to take the mcat, but i wasnt sure how accurate this was. I dont know if i should take it january right after i finish 1st semester and study over winter break, or just ease my way into spring semester

was there a lot of physics from your 2nd semester that was on the mcat? (i know this probably varies from one school to another, but i mean generally speaking)
 

killinsound

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how much physics 2 you get will absolutely depend on your particular form. i wouldn't risk it seeing as physics 2 is much harder to grasp on your own than physics 1. 1 being mechanical, 2 being electromagnetism and etc.

With that being said, if I were you, I would just enjoy my summer, and crank up a study schedule come january. People say there's no downside to getting your study-on early, but I will have to disagree. You want to take the test when you're peaking and super motivated. Starting now might blunt some of that.