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SF MCAT 2017 4-Month Study Plan

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stonefawkes

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Attached is an MCAT study schedule I put together for myself because going into 2017 we know more about what is on the "new" MCAT and we have more study resources available.

Here's the SF 4-month Study Plan--it goes from 12/17/16 to my MCAT Exam Day which is 4/22/17. Expected study time is 5-8 hours a day which comes out to 550+ hours total. It heavily incorporates SN2ed's excellent study plan along with aspects of MCAT Matt's schedule (guy got a 526), TBR's recommended schedule, and the Google Calendar coding work of kseungjinn.



Some notes:
  • This is a 4-month study plan which in my opinion includes the best resource for each subject. This means TBR for sciences, EK and TPRH for CARS, TPR/Kaplan along with Khan Academy for Psych/Soc and of course all AAMC materials. It also features 8 full-length tests meant to be taken as test day simulations on the 8 Saturdays leading up to test day. They were chosen after research and feedback indicated that they are among the best full-lengths to take.
  • Use the .txt file attached to import the schedule into your Google Calendar, instructions can be found below.
  • On days that include starting a TBR chapter, the goal is to read/skim that chapter as needed, do all of Phase I problems untimed, then do 1/3 of the Phase II problems timed (7.5-8mins per passage). I highly recommend you read SN2ed's post for details to the approach.
  • Aside from the Phase I Problems, everything else is to be done TIMED either as complete sections or 8/mins per passage if doing 1/3s.
  • Question Packs have been split into two each and are meant to be done 60Qs over 90 mins each for all sciences and ~53Qs over 95 mins for CARS QPacks.
  • I mapped this plan out for my personal part-time work/school schedule which kept things like birthdays, holidays, and other exams in mind--so you can change up the break days as needed.
  • I've also scheduled only half of the available TBR Phase III GenChem and Physics exams since the general consensus is that the new MCAT is not as heavy on those two subjects and it's smarter to devote more time to Bio/Biochem/Psych/Soc/CARS
  • Make sure to supplement TBR Psych/Soc days with TPR or Kaplan content and Khan Academy videos as TBR Psychology by itself is not enough.
  • Try to do 1-2 timed CARS Passage(s) each day in the morning or just before bed.
  • The schedule incorporates all AAMC material, especially on the backend, to afford the best preparation for test day.
  • While I may not stick to each day exactly as scheduled, I will be trying to complete each week's worth of scheduled assignments before the break day. I will also be trying to do more on days that I am feeling energized and a little less on days that I am fatigued. On break days, I will not be doing any MCAT prep--I'll be taking my dog out on long hikes.

Feel free to modify it as you see fit but the basic premise is that I tried to break up content review, timed passage work, re-reading, and more passage work into 6-9 day chunks. The plan as a whole features front heavy content review transitioning into passage-based practice ultimately culminating with AAMC materials while constantly looping back to stay refreshed on material and strategies.

Here are the resources I am using:

- TBR 2016 Book Set
- EK CARS 101 Passages
- TPRH Verbal Workbook
- ALL available AAMC material
- EK/Kaplan/TPR Books (whichever you prefer to supplement, I am using EK for all sciences and TPR for Psych/Soc)
- Khan Academy Videos (to supplement)
- NS FL#1-#4 Pack (Only #1 and #4 are on schedule)
- EK FL #3, EK#4, EK#5
- AAMC FL Sample Exam, FL #1, FL#2


Feel free to comment/question anything on here but keep in mind this is the best plan I came up with for myself using the resources out there and the great work other people have done on SDN and other places online.

---
Instructions for importing schedule to Google Calendar:

Go to Google Calendar:
1. Go to Calendar Settings. (Down arrow next to 'My Calendar')
2. Scroll down and click "Import Calendar".
3. Click Browse and choose the file that contains your events.
4. Import
5. Follow the schedule
 

Attachments

  • FINAL SF-MCAT_Schedule_BR+AAMC.xls
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  • SF-4monthplan.txt
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Saigon

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I admire the detail you put into the plan. If there was one thing I would recommend it would be to spend WAY more time reviewing the materials you do. Quality over quantity as I'm sure you know. As Mcatmatt says, people preparing for hte mcat should spend at least a few days reviewing each practice test. I see you have a ton of practice exams, but I do think it would be better to do around 12 but THOROUGHLY review each one. If I could go back I would review everything using the 7sage method of blind review (google it). Few people know what thorough review is. here is the link to what I am referring to .




Also, if I were you I would spend the last 4-5 weeks focusing solely on AAMC material. You would be surprised how long going through q packs, 120 questions, 3 practice exams, section banks will take you if you use the 7sage method of blind review. I do think if you were to follow your schedule, avoid burnout, and use the 7sage method to really understand your mistakes you should have no problem scoring 520+ as long as your a decent test taker.

Also, one more note. Doing the section bank while you review tests is a terrible idea imo. You need to spend those days after your practice tests reviewing them. I see so many people really only take the exam as projections for their actual test date. You should primarily be taking the exams to identify your weaknesses. That takes dedicated time, and often you can't even put an estimate on how long that will take.

Gl
 
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stonefawkes

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I admire the detail you put into the plan. If there was one thing I would recommend it would be to spend WAY more time reviewing the materials you do. Quality over quantity as I'm sure you know. As Mcatmatt says, people preparing for hte mcat should spend at least a few days reviewing each practice test. I see you have a ton of practice exams, but I do think it would be better to do around 12 but THOROUGHLY review each one. If I could go back I would review everything using the 7sage method of blind review (google it). Few people know what thorough review is. here is the link to what I am referring to .




Also, if I were you I would spend the last 4-5 weeks focusing solely on AAMC material. You would be surprised how long going through q packs, 120 questions, 3 practice exams, section banks will take you if you use the 7sage method of blind review. I do think if you were to follow your schedule, avoid burnout, and use the 7sage method to really understand your mistakes you should have no problem scoring 520+ as long as your a decent test taker.

Also, one more note. Doing the section bank while you review tests is a terrible idea imo. You need to spend those days after your practice tests reviewing them. I see so many people really only take the exam as projections for their actual test date. You should primarily be taking the exams to identify your weaknesses. That takes dedicated time, and often you can't even put an estimate on how long that will take.

Gl


Thanks for your input, I appreciate it. What do you think I should eliminate to make room for more review of tests and AAMC materials? Also for 4 additional tests?
 

Saigon

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Haha 12 was an arbitrary number, I didn't actually count the amount you were taking. The 8 ns/ek/aamc full lengths you are taking should be more than enough.

Also, if I were you I would not wait to finish the section bank until the last week. I strongly recommend finishing it at least two weeks before the exam, and ideally before you take the two scored exams which are your best score predictor. If you save them until the end it's sort of like running a marathon without doing a 18+ miler as practice. I highly recommend dedicating a full week to reviewing both AAMC scored exams with the 7sage method I linked you to... if you finish early and have extra time to do other things then great, but those should be your priority over everything else.

Just remember, your study schedule WILL CHANGE as the days pass. You need to accept that in advance and learn to prioritize. I like how you are only doing 1 a week. If I were you I would really make a primary task and secondary task on some of those days you plan to do multiple things because there will be days you are rushed for time/things are taking longer than expected and you won't be able to completely everything you had planned....

Oops, one more thing. While your studying I don't know if you are the type to take notes or not. If you do I recommend you follow the Mevamp protocol you can find stickied.
 
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stonefawkes

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Haha 12 was an arbitrary number, I didn't actually count the amount you were taking. The 8 ns/ek/aamc full lengths you are taking should be more than enough.

Also, if I were you I would not wait to finish the section bank until the last week. I strongly recommend finishing it at least two weeks before the exam, and ideally before you take the two scored exams which are your best score predictor. If you save them until the end it's sort of like running a marathon without doing a 18+ miler as practice. I highly recommend dedicating a full week to reviewing both AAMC scored exams with the 7sage method I linked you to... if you finish early and have extra time to do other things then great, but those should be your priority over everything else.

Just remember, your study schedule WILL CHANGE as the days pass. You need to accept that in advance and learn to prioritize. I like how you are only doing 1 a week. If I were you I would really make a primary task and secondary task on some of those days you plan to do multiple things because there will be days you are rushed for time/things are taking longer than expected and you won't be able to completely everything you had planned....

Oops, one more thing. While your studying I don't know if you are the type to take notes or not. If you do I recommend you follow the Mevamp protocol you can find stickied.

Just did Phase I and 1/3 of Phase II questions for today's chapter with Mevamp "build" notes and 7sage blind review. Holy hell is this effective, thanks for the great suggestion--you may have single-handedly raised my score potential with your reply.
 
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Saigon

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As you see, it takes awhile. It's good your starting prep very early. By the time you start on practice exams you have the content down pat and really only have to focus on your test taking skills.
 
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gallons

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What would be a good way to break this up over 8 months? Just take each days work and divide it up over 2 days?| I also though about doing a 4 month plan and then doing it again, heh. :cool:
 

naivePremed

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what can i substitute phase I, phase II, etc. exercises with? I dont have access to the TBR books, and I am currently using Kaplan, EK , and TPR.
 

aspiretosucceed

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what can i substitute phase I, phase II, etc. exercises with? I dont have access to the TBR books, and I am currently using Kaplan, EK , and TPR.
Same here any inputs please?
I have started using PR for CARS section. I am using EK (old 2012 i think) and Kaplan(2015) for sciences (physics/chem/bio). For practice I bought NS FL 1-6 and I think I will buy AAMC Qbank; I have EK 1001 and PR (2012) science workbook. Please help with the substitution.
 

AdaptPrep

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Thanks for your input, I appreciate it. What do you think I should eliminate to make room for more review of tests and AAMC materials? Also for 4 additional tests?
I'd suggest doing practice exams first and decreasing your time in areas you're already doing well on.
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