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hasan34

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How do I prepare for the MCAT test? and before how much time should I start preparing?
what subjects does it include?
 

lumya

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Start with the AAMC guide to the MCAT.

The MCAT has 4 sections: Chemistry/Physics, CARS (Verbal Comprehension), Biology/Biochemistry, Psychology/Sociology. It is (usually) a 7 hour test (shorter during COVID-19) and encompasses basically what you would learn while taking your pre-requisites for medical school.

There's a lot of available resources from commercial companies (i.e. Berkley Review, Kaplan, Princeton Review, Altius, ect.) as well as free resources, (YouTube, Khan Academy). If you search the threads, lots of people post their study plans.

People generally take anywhere from 2-6+ months to study depending on your content knowledge and test taking skills.
 
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prep time depends on how much you already know, and how good your CARS diagnostic is
300 hours is a good minimum to shoot for, though it certainly is also a "study actively, not passively" ordeal
 

PapaGuava

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Refresh on what you don’t remember with concept review but do not try to memorize every little detail because in the end, practice questions will be the best way to study for the MCAT once you already have a foundation.
 

MedSchoolTutors

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I've seen people with very strong grasps of the foundational sciences study for the MCAT in a month, while others take almost a year. I'd say the average and "golden" time is 3 months. If you're able to study full time, I'd say 2 months is enough but if you're a student then you might want to take a summer + semester.

The MCAT tests gen chem, gen bio, gen physics, orgo, biochem, psychology, sociology, and statistics.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors
 

jhmmd

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MedSchoolTutors said:
I've seen people with very strong grasps of the foundational sciences study for the MCAT in a month, while others take almost a year. I'd say the average and "golden" time is 3 months. If you're able to study full time, I'd say 2 months is enough but if you're a student then you might want to take a summer + semester.

The MCAT tests gen chem, gen bio, gen physics, orgo, biochem, psychology, sociology, and statistics.
Not to nitpick but I'd say that an optimal amount of time for most people tends to be 3-4 months. When you begin studying, you should have already done your content review (by completing the pre-reqs). Studying time is for cramming in those facts until you know them backwards and forwards. While some people may require 6 months-1 year to get a solid foundation, rarely have I seen this accomplished in less than 3 months.

Moral of the story is that you want to give yourself a generous amount of time to study--plan accordingly.
Good luck
 

FrameshiftAndrew

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Definitely try to give yourself ample time. Studying for the MCAT itself is hard, plus life happens...within reason, extra time won't hurt, so give yourself a buffer.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the challenge isn't just that the MCAT tests a lot of different subjects (which it definitely does, about 11 semesters' worth of coursework), but that it tests that material in a really distinctive way: heavily passage-based, with a strong focus on applying knowledge, seeing interconnections between subjects, and so on. Part of why MCAT prep takes so long is that you also have to learn how the MCAT tests the material, and practice, practice, practice. If you do well in your courses, know your stuff, have a strong science background, and so on, that'll definitely help -- but even someone coming out of all their science classes with a 4.0 GPA and the knowledge fresh in their mind would be well advised to take some time to practice.
 
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