rmalia

2+ Year Member
May 30, 2016
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I am probably over a year away from taking MCAT (contemplating Jan 2018), and while I really want to be systematic in getting myself well-prepared, I am not really sure how to start. Basically, I am thinking of 1st reviewing foundational science coursework before tackling MCAT-specific material, but on the other hand, I could also see reverse engineering the process by starting with test prep stuff and then reviewing in more depth, with foundational concepts, areas of weakness. I'd be very appreciative of feedback from others who have more experience...thanks!
 

Kpw101

5+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2013
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Medical Student
Studying 1 year out leaves you vulnerable to forgetting material you have studied and forces you to push a little extra to retain information for an extended period of time. You're much better off focusing on getting a good GPA (if you're still in school) or improving ECs. In my opinion 6 months is the max amount of time you should put away for the MCAT. Most people won't need more than 3-4 months of dedicated studying.

The only long term thing I really recommend doing is reading difficult philosophical pieces and high-level journals to improve reading comprehension for CARS. Other than that, studying well in your pre-reqs is really all you need to do to prep as of now.
 
OP
rmalia

rmalia

2+ Year Member
May 30, 2016
19
12
Studying 1 year out leaves you vulnerable to forgetting material you have studied and forces you to push a little extra to retain information for an extended period of time. You're much better off focusing on getting a good GPA (if you're still in school) or improving ECs. In my opinion 6 months is the max amount of time you should put away for the MCAT. Most people won't need more than 3-4 months of dedicated studying.

The only long term thing I really recommend doing is reading difficult philosophical pieces and high-level journals to improve reading comprehension for CARS. Other than that, studying well in your pre-reqs is really all you need to do to prep as of now.
thanks for your thoughts; makes sense.
 

The_Bird

OvO
Bronze Donor
7+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2011
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3-4 months of prep is usually adequate, especially when you have review books such as ExamKrackers to work through, thus providing some structure.

The gulf of time between now and when you project you need to sit for the exam gives you ample opportunity to make adjustments. I very much recommend planning to prepare over a summer, without classes or other major commitments. If you can do about 3 months of dedicated prep, you should be able to sit for the exam with plenty of confidence.

Set a basic yet flexible month for when you plan to take it and register your classes to meet that major long term goal. Aside from practicing active and critical reading skills, that's all you can do now to prepare for the MCAT (smart and flexible planning!), so focus on doing well in your classes.