2+ Year Member
Sep 6, 2016
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  1. Pre-Medical
So I am planning to take the MCAT August 24th, after studying all summer starting May 8th for a total of 108 days.

My only issue is my family has planned a vacation that I must go on from saturday the 12 - 19th of August and my exam is on the 24th of august! So I really have 101 Days of studying which is ok according to guides/plan, but my question is is this full week off so close to my test date bad?

Should I reschedule it for another week after like september 1st/2nd? Or even make it earlier like august 10th?

Thank You in advance


MCAT Tutor
2+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2014
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Hi there, great question! I would definitely lean toward rescheduling (although I'd love to hear the opinions of others too, since no situation like this is black-and-white). Your decision should also depend on how you answer a few questions:

- Are you going to have any time to prepare at all during your vacation? If the answer is "no" or "very little," I'd absolutely recommend rescheduling. Even considering CARS alone: for many students, their CARS score drops significantly if they go even a few days without doing any CARS practice. It's probably not a good idea to take a week away from CARS at any time during the few weeks before your test date. Pushing your exam back a week would at least allow you around two full weeks of CARS practice to rebound from any sluggishness/lack of being "on top of your game" that might result from the vacation.

- What actual harm would come from rescheduling? This is where the "are you applying this cycle?" question comes in. If you have some sort of deadline where you need or want to take the MCAT in August, you might not want to reschedule (although even then, you're probably better off moving your test date before your vacation). Or if moving the exam a week or two earlier or later would conflict with some other major life event, it might not be helpful. But if your only concern for rescheduling is basically the fee and/or general reluctance to change your test date, change it! It's not worth stressing out during the entire vacation about all the things you need to review and then likely feeling stressed in the days from Aug 20-23 as well.

- How available will you be during the months that you're preparing/how ready do you think you'll feel by early August? There's an August 11 test date, and if you signed up for that one, it would still give you 3 full months of review. If you're also working or taking classes, this might not be enough; if you're studying largely full-time, it certainly could be. To be honest, this sounds like by far the best option to me: buckle down and work very hard from May 8-August 9, take a nice day off on Aug 10, and then take the exam on Aug 11 (unless you're not performing up to your goal on practice tests). This way, you get the exam out of the way right before your vacation starts. I know that at least personally, I would NEVER be able to enjoy that vacation fully with the MCAT looming over my head for when I return.

But of course, the final decision really depends on your thoughts and what would feel most comfortable to you. Good luck :)
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