Preparing for MCATs

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Jun 9, 2002
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I'm planning on taking the MCATs next April, but since I'll be taking about 4 classes a quarter, I won't have time to study. I was thinking about starting to study this summer since I won't have as much time to study during the school year. If I do, what do you guys suggest I do? I have TPR books for all the sections, and the berkeley review book for Biology. I was thinking about going over all the books during the summer, and just take practice tests during the school year in preparation for the MCAT. What do you guys think? I'm worried that by the time April rolls around, I'll forget everything I read this summer. Also, what do medical schools think if you take the test more than once?


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I'm taking MCAT next summer. Right now I'm doing just verbal in order to nail down the best reading habits. I don't think science review is worth doing until <6 months until the test. I suppose practicing science strategy is a little effective, but verbal right now would probably be the best investment.
Studying too far in advance likely won't do you a great deal of help for most of the test, although I do agree that reading now for verbal prep is a great idea. It might be good to do some practice, and to get the strategy of the test down.

The MCAT is really NOT a test you should do without a lot of studying and practice, and you should take the MCAT very soon after completing whatever study program you choose to do. Is there a way you can lessen your course load to give you time to study? You're going to want some 200-300 hours of study and practice over a 12-week period to do well on the test.

It doesn't look bad if you take the MCAT twice; a lot of us do. But you really should prep properly the first time around. It's brutal to have to do it twice!
Just nwated to emphasize the same point do not need to study that far in advance. I studied for 2.5 months and that was plenty.
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take a regular class this summer and lower your workload next spring so you can study for the MCAT. think of it as a 4 unit class.
I started about 3 months in advance (mid january), about 15-20 hrs a week. I was taking 14 hrs at the time, which made life a little difficult at times. In hindsight, I am glad I took 14 hrs as it forced me to really manage my time effectively. In the end, I did extremely well on the exam and felt I devoted maybe a little too much time to studying.