brahms11

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Hey guys.

I've read through most every post on MCAT materials and decided to use the following books, splitting subjects up by day:
Bio: EK + EK 1001
Gen Chem: BR + EK 1001
Orgo: Kaplan (w/AAMC guide) for material + BR passages (don't have time for the detail except carbonyls and lab techniques) + EK 1001
Verbal: EK + EK 101
I'll also use Audio Osmosis in the car/gym, AAMC Official Guide, Kaplan's "MCAT Advanced" workbook, and a lot of FLs near the end.

However, I will be taking physics for 7 weeks during the middle of my 3.5 months that I have to study. The break down is ~3 weeks free then 7 weeks along with physics then ~4 weeks until test day (9/11). I am aware that this isn't ideal. However, I simply don't have time to study during senior year due to class load and my senior essay, don't want to apply blind and late, and don't want to take two years off.

I don't know how to approach physics, though. I was probably going to buy the BR physics for passage practice and hope that just having taken the class would negate the need for the majority of content review. I'd then do all of my physics review passages right after the class (while continuing to work on verbal and other problem areas) for a week or so and leave the last three weeks for FL tests and extra practice for weak areas. The alternate approach would be completing BR passages immediately after I finish the subject in lecture which seems more natural and might help my class performance but would be a LOT of physics, leaving little time for other subjects.

Any suggestions? I'd also love to hear success stories from anyone that took summer classes while studying for the MCAT and survived!

Thanks in advance!
 

SN2ed

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This is a bad idea on a few levels. First, you're starting without physics which makes up a heavy portion of PS. Secondly, you're taking a summer course which will probably be intense in order to fit a full year of physics into 7 weeks. Additionally, your physics class MUST contain a lab portion. This will mean more time devoted to the class and less to the MCAT. Overall, you're setting yourself up for a poor MCAT by trying to rush through things. Now I'm sure there will be a select few with success stories, but those are FAR from the norm.
 

brahms11

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Bad idea or not, it is basically my only option unless I change my major and drop my senior essay/research project as well as all of my extracurriculars (including one important for my major). The project will be my only chance at independent study/research, is a natural extension of my coursework, and means a lot to me.

Bottom line is that I need to at least give it a shot before I resign myself to killing my senior year. I'd greatly appreciate any practical advice or anecdotes from those who have done something similar before, unless everyone agrees with SN2ed that it's impossible...

Thanks,
Brahms11
 

erskine

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definitely not impossible; there's a lot of stories floating around of people destroying the mcat after only a week or two of studying. But they are far from the norm and are superbly familiar with the content.

If you did well with your prereqs and remember most of it, then your summer probably wouldn't be too bad.

edit: for some reason i thought you were only taking physics II, not an entire years' worth of physics. I can imagine that this will be pretty intense crammed into 7 weeks and to add on mcat studying during this period requires extraordinary discipline. It all depends on how familiar you are with the other subjects.
 
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BerkReviewTeach

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However, I will be taking physics for 7 weeks during the middle of my 3.5 months that I have to study. The break down is ~3 weeks free then 7 weeks along with physics then ~4 weeks until test day (9/11). I am aware that this isn't ideal. However, I simply don't have time to study during senior year due to class load and my senior essay, don't want to apply blind and late, and don't want to take two years off.

I don't know how to approach physics, though. I was probably going to buy the BR physics for passage practice and hope that just having taken the class would negate the need for the majority of content review. I'd then do all of my physics review passages right after the class (while continuing to work on verbal and other problem areas) for a week or so and leave the last three weeks for FL tests and extra practice for weak areas. The alternate approach would be completing BR passages immediately after I finish the subject in lecture which seems more natural and might help my class performance but would be a LOT of physics, leaving little time for other subjects.

Any suggestions? I'd also love to hear success stories from anyone that took summer classes while studying for the MCAT and survived!

Thanks in advance!
I have seen a few success stories over the years, but they are not the norm. The people who have pulled off a great PS score while taking physics or having only completed part of their year of physics have had some of the following qualities:

1) They took physics in high school.
2) They had a good grasp of math
3) They had an innate engineer personality

If you took high school physics, I would suggest only doing one semester of physics over the summer and doing the next semester during your senior year. Although you would take the MCAT with only a half a year of college physics under your belt, you'd have more time to absorb the material with less of a class commitment. And after preparing for the MCAT, second semester physics would be a breeze, not really making your senior year that much more difficult.

If you can set up regular tutoring sessions with a physics grad student who has lots of experience as a TA or tutor, that would really help. You need to be extremely time efficient, and an experienced mentor would be extremely helpful. Obviously it won't be easy, but neither is medical school. I know it's going against the suggestions so far, but I think you CAN do it, because you have said you have to do it. I can't explain why I know you'll pull it off, but something about the way you've dealt with the responses so far makes me think you are more than capable.

As for your question about doing passages right after lecture, that is exactly what I'd suggest you do. Don't read too much of any review book's text section, and instead jump right into passages after your lectures. And it really won't be that much physics. You have fourteen weeks, seven of which will be heavy with physics. That's viable if you use your time wisely.
 

SN2ed

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I still think your best bet is after your senior year. Doing so you won't have to stress during the summer, you'll get to do everything you want your senior year and you'll go into the MCAT well prepared. Don't be afraid of taking a year off and applying the next. It doesn't hurt your chances at all. Turn those years off into making your application even better.

Even applying late with a good MCAT score after your senior year will be far better than trying to cram so much into your summer that you wind up with an MCAT score that doesn't help you. It's good to think about applying early, but not when it causes you to get a poor MCAT score. A bad MCAT score won't help in any way; however, a good score and a solid application can mitigate the problems with applying late.

To be honest, I have seen cases where people succeed with tough situations. The ONLY times this has happened is when they sign up after they get their MCAT score to tell their story. The key here is that they never ask how to do it or whether they can; they know the answer to both. These people are the outliers. When people post asking for help with unusual circumstances, especially when they ask for success stories, their confidence isn't there. It might not even be a conscious reaction. Yet, somewhere they know they don't have much of a chance, if any, and are looking for reassurance.

Over the years (can't believe I been here so long) I have seen this situation far too many times and it's never ended well. I don't enjoy being the bearer of bad news, but I'd rather be that, than watch someone hurt their chances at medical school.
 
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g8orlife

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I still think your best bet is after your senior year. Doing so you won't have to stress during the summer, you'll get to do everything you want your senior year and you'll go into the MCAT well prepared. Don't be afraid of taking a year off and applying the next. It doesn't hurt your chances at all. Turn those years off into making your application even better.

Even applying late with a good MCAT score after your senior year will be far better than trying to cram so much into your summer that you wind up with an MCAT score that doesn't help you. It's good to think about applying early, but not when it causes you to get a poor MCAT score. A bad MCAT score won't help in any way; however, a good score and a solid application can mitigate the problems with applying late.

To be honest, I have seen cases where people succeed with tough situations. The ONLY times this has happened is when they sign up after they get their MCAT score to tell their story. The key here is that they never ask how to do it or whether they can; they know the answer to both. These people are the outliers. When people post asking for help with unusual circumstances, especially when they ask for success stories, their confidence isn't there. It might not even be a conscious reaction. Yet, somewhere they know they don't have much of a chance, if any, and are looking for reassurance.

Over the years (can't believe I been here so long) I have seen this situation far too many times and it's never ended well. I don't enjoy being the bearer of bad news, but I'd rather be that, than watch someone hurt their chances at medical school.
I agree with the above. :thumbup:

Also, all of the people that I personally know who took a year off to gain clinical experience, study for the MCAT, and relax/experience the world/mature before starting their arduous journeys into medicine....all succeeded in getting into med school.
 

pfaction

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How about someone that is taking Physics I & II this summer, doing an entire regular semester of school, then reviewing and cramming/etc next summer for the MCATs? (This is what I am doing: Physics this summer, then 4th year pharmacy, then MCATs before 5th year)