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My 2015 MCAT study plan

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mikil100

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Hi all, I plan on taking the MCAT mid June 2015 for that application cycle (it's late, I know- but it is the only way I could make it work). I have just bought Exam Krackers and the entire 1001, 101 questions sets and plan to start studying over winter break and during the Spring semester. I have also enrolled in a Princeton review class that takes place in person right after the spring semester ends until right before I take the MCAT.

The Spring semester I will be taking Orgo II, Biochem, and an elective to keep things light. I think taking Orgo and biochem will really help that emphasis in the new MCAT. However, I took gen chem and my psychology, sociology classes almost 5 years ago.... which has me very concerned for these topics. I will be reviewing the course material this winter break. I finished Physics 1&2 over this Summer and Fall.

Anyways, that is my background.. my plan is to just review old topics this Winter break and during the spring semester devote as much as I can to studying, It will be hard to tell how much I can devote to studying for the MCAT as Orgo is very difficult (although I have a strong understanding of Orgo 1) I am hoping to manage an hour a day on average during the semester which I am aware is very weak. Unfortunately, I work all weekend long- so this extra time to do MCAT prep is greatly reduced. Not to mention the fact that I will be spreading this studying out over a larger than optimal time. However, after the Spring semester ends I intend to treat studying like its my one and only goal in life, on top of the review class I aim to average 8-10 hours of study a day for a 5 day week (keep that I work all weekend long in mind) in the last month.

This plan has me worried as I will be cramming in the last month.. my idea is to have concepts and knowledge down as much as possible during the months prior, and really work on the test taking, endurance , and verbal reasoning during that last month with the added supplementation of TPR class.

Does anyone have critiques or anyone that has been in similar circumstances have any ideas?


My backup plan if I am doing poorly on practice tests is to not taking the MCAT and devote the summer to it (however that will delay getting into med school by a year--which is fine, but not optimal.)
 

NextStepTutor_1

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Reading through that last sentence of your 3rd paragraph made me cringe a little bit. Is it possible? Oh you betcha it is! But you would be better off if you could work one day per weekend during that last month and give yourself a break day.

More importantly though, your "war of attrition" on studying is not a positive thing. If you're only able to study one hour a day and that's suppose to last for months then I must admit somethings may not add up. You may get lazy with that schedule since it's very lackadaisical, and 3 months down the line you will probably end up forgetting what you learned today. While I think there's a lot that can be done in an hour, MCAT studying involves "layer" studying - i.e. studying concepts on top of each other looking for relationships (because that's how the MCAT is going to test you). The situation you're explaining does not seem to allow for this. Overall, your plan to study an hour a day may not pay off as much as you think it should.
 

mikil100

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Reading through that last sentence of your 3rd paragraph made me cringe a little bit. Is it possible? Oh you betcha it is! But you would be better off if you could work one day per weekend during that last month and give yourself a break day.

More importantly though, your "war of attrition" on studying is not a positive thing. If you're only able to study one hour a day and that's suppose to last for months then I must admit somethings may not add up. You may get lazy with that schedule since it's very lackadaisical, and 3 months down the line you will probably end up forgetting what you learned today. While I think there's a lot that can be done in an hour, MCAT studying involves "layer" studying - i.e. studying concepts on top of each other looking for relationships (because that's how the MCAT is going to test you). The situation you're explaining does not seem to allow for this. Overall, your plan to study an hour a day may not pay off as much as you think it should.

Thank you for your reply. What would you recommend for studying over this longer period of time (over the spring semester). I was giving a rough estimate on how much I would be studying.. and it doesn't necessarily mean I will only be studying one our per day... I'm sure there will be weeks where I can studying two 8 hour days, etc..
Is there an optimal way to manage my studying given my time constraints, or should I be postponing taking the exam?

Also for that last month I will have some time off.. but not as much as I would like.
 

NextStepTutor_1

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Think of it this way - imagine if someone tells you that you need to study a given number of hours to succeed at the MCAT (ex. 400 hours). The longer you stretch that out, the less "factual" that number becomes - i.e. what's more beneficial, do 400 hours in 3 months or 8 months or 1 year? Of course that's rhetorical and I'm not assuming you're putting yourself in this position because you want to, but I highly recommend you try to carve out a large chunk of time to make the test a priority.
Again, though, it's not impossible. But the higher you want your score to be, the more time you need to spend studying - this is almost always the case.
 
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