Should I quit my (part-time) gap year job to study for the MCAT?

Oct 21, 2019
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Hey guys -- so I'm currently working in clinical research M-F 8-12 and I have exactly 59 days till my MCAT.

I'm done w/ content and planning on taking 8 FL's starting this weekend -- but I realized I need to do//review 50 Uglobe questions a day to finish all of them before my final month to do AAMC.

The problem is, at my job I can get away with doing these questions and then reviewing at home -- but the job has many distractions with people talking to me, talking to each other, and constant interuptions from work.. and I'm realizing when I do the questions at home my averages are 80-90% whereas at work my averages are 50-60%.. so the distractions are definitely taking away from my performance and not letting my concentrate. -- so i feel like im not being as efficient as possible



I'm a little worried to quit my gap year job, because I feel like it would look poorly on my app if I don't do anything other than volunteer (non-clinical), shadow a bit, and study for the MCAT from Feb - April. (I'm blessed to not have to work for the money, I'm just doing it for the experience)



Can someone please offer me advice! Thanks :)

if it matters I have ~400hrs clinical work//volunteering, ~500hrs in research (this job) ~1000hrs nonclinical volunteering w/ a 4.0 sGPA
 

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Hey guys -- so I'm currently working in clinical research M-F 8-12 and I have exactly 59 days till my MCAT.

I'm done w/ content and planning on taking 8 FL's starting this weekend -- but I realized I need to do//review 50 Uglobe questions a day to finish all of them before my final month to do AAMC.

The problem is, at my job I can get away with doing these questions and then reviewing at home -- but the job has many distractions with people talking to me, talking to each other, and constant interuptions from work.. and I'm realizing when I do the questions at home my averages are 80-90% whereas at work my averages are 50-60%.. so the distractions are definitely taking away from my performance and not letting my concentrate. -- so i feel like im not being as efficient as possible



I'm a little worried to quit my gap year job, because I feel like it would look poorly on my app if I don't do anything other than volunteer (non-clinical), shadow a bit, and study for the MCAT from Feb - April. (I'm blessed to not have to work for the money, I'm just doing it for the experience)



Can someone please offer me advice! Thanks :)

if it matters I have ~400hrs clinical work//volunteering, ~500hrs in research (this job) ~1000hrs nonclinical volunteering w/ a 4.0 sGPA
You have explained to yourself here why multitasking for this kind of intensive study is not effective.
Dedicate your attention to work when at work and studying when at home for the best outcome.
 
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Oct 21, 2019
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You have explained to yourself here why multitasking for this kind of intensive study is not effective.
Dedicate your attention to work when at work and studying when at home for the best outcome.
You're right -- the issue with my job is that I pretty much have a lack of responsibilities.. so hence the free time to do questions. The only thing is its hard to focus on them with the constant personal conversations at my office, people laughing, etc.
 
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Oct 21, 2019
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Update - I've decided to force myself to wake up at 5am and do all my questions for the day before work. And then review at work. Then repeat the cycle afterwards; anything is possible with some determination. and hopefully this mindset will help me if I make it to med school (I hope :p)
 
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Apr 15, 2020
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You're right -- the issue with my job is that I pretty much have a lack of responsibilities.. so hence the free time to do questions. The only thing is its hard to focus on them with the constant personal conversations at my office, people laughing, etc.
You could probably use that free time at work to go through Anki or something like that instead - rote memorization type tasks that require less intense focus than practice question. But also I can't imagine quitting your gap year job for a few months to study would really look that bad especially since you already have plenty of experience. I didn't do anything else the summer I studied for the mcat, it was great lol
 
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May 21, 2020
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I studied for the MCAT with my M-F 9-5pm job. My schedule was 3-4 hours a day M-F from 7-11 pm after work, and then 6 hours a day on the weekends. I love sleep lol, so props to you for waking up at 5 am! Concentrating on just my job during job hours and then studying at home was much better, both for my job and for studying. Like the post above, going through Anki or just going through flashcards would be better, if you feel like you HAVE to study during your job.
 
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star-lily

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I studied for the MCAT with my M-F 9-5pm job. My schedule was 3-4 hours a day M-F from 7-11 pm after work, and then 6 hours a day on the weekends. I love sleep lol, so props to you for waking up at 5 am! Concentrating on just my job during job hours and then studying at home was much better, both for my job and for studying. Like the post above, going through Anki or just going through flashcards would be better, if you feel like you HAVE to study during your job.
Hi! Was this for your retake? How many months did you space this out over?
 
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I studied for the MCAT with my M-F 9-5pm job. My schedule was 3-4 hours a day M-F from 7-11 pm after work, and then 6 hours a day on the weekends. I love sleep lol, so props to you for waking up at 5 am! Concentrating on just my job during job hours and then studying at home was much better, both for my job and for studying. Like the post above, going through Anki or just going through flashcards would be better, if you feel like you HAVE to study during your job.
I agree I love sleep :) That's why I've been sleeping at 10 to wakeup at 5... more like 5:30 haha but we'll work on that! Thanks for your message!
 
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Hi! Was this for your retake? How many months did you space this out over?
Yes, this was for my retake. The first time I studied 3-4 weeks and got a 94th percentile score about 3 years ago. Why only 3-4 weeks? I was dumb and suddenly being pressured to apply as a trad student when I was originally planning to take a gap year. Don't do what I did, people, lol. This time I seriously studied for 3 months (2 months for reviewing, last month just pure questions and tests). I was also doing a little community service per week, but I made sure to have some time to relax for myself during those 3 months or I'd be super burned out.
 
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Aug 20, 2019
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MCAT is more important than anything else at this point. You can always add ECs later even if it means delaying or reapplying. A bad MCAT score will stay with you forever.
 
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Screamapillar

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Hey guys -- so I'm currently working in clinical research M-F 8-12 and I have exactly 59 days till my MCAT.

I'm done w/ content and planning on taking 8 FL's starting this weekend -- but I realized I need to do//review 50 Uglobe questions a day to finish all of them before my final month to do AAMC.

The problem is, at my job I can get away with doing these questions and then reviewing at home -- but the job has many distractions with people talking to me, talking to each other, and constant interuptions from work.. and I'm realizing when I do the questions at home my averages are 80-90% whereas at work my averages are 50-60%.. so the distractions are definitely taking away from my performance and not letting my concentrate. -- so i feel like im not being as efficient as possible



I'm a little worried to quit my gap year job, because I feel like it would look poorly on my app if I don't do anything other than volunteer (non-clinical), shadow a bit, and study for the MCAT from Feb - April. (I'm blessed to not have to work for the money, I'm just doing it for the experience)



Can someone please offer me advice! Thanks :)

if it matters I have ~400hrs clinical work//volunteering, ~500hrs in research (this job) ~1000hrs nonclinical volunteering w/ a 4.0 sGPA
IMO don't quit your day job. i studied while working full time and ended up with a good score. tbh i might have done worse if i had been one of those people that studies full time, when i have too much free time i tend to waste it.

i'm also not 100% sure about this, but i think sometimes students get a little less leeway with scores when its obvious they were studying full time. being able to work, volunteer, study, and maintain a social life (covid safe of course) shows you are a mature, well-rounded adult.

if your job gives you free time to study but its mostly social distractions that get you, just tell everyone that you're going to be a little rude for the next few months, but its for your career! you can knock out anki and uworld sets in short bursts. with uworld i wouldn't worry too much about hitting your timing, but rather about determining what you know or dont know, so i would sometimes start a 25q set, have something come up, return later and finish it without worrying that its not representative of the test. full lengths are the only thing you really have to treat like test day, without unscheduled breaks, to see where you're at.
 
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IMO don't quit your day job. i studied while working full time and ended up with a good score. tbh i might have done worse if i had been one of those people that studies full time, when i have too much free time i tend to waste it.

i'm also not 100% sure about this, but i think sometimes students get a little less leeway with scores when its obvious they were studying full time. being able to work, volunteer, study, and maintain a social life (covid safe of course) shows you are a mature, well-rounded adult.

if your job gives you free time to study but its mostly social distractions that get you, just tell everyone that you're going to be a little rude for the next few months, but its for your career! you can knock out anki and uworld sets in short bursts. with uworld i wouldn't worry too much about hitting your timing, but rather about determining what you know or dont know, so i would sometimes start a 25q set, have something come up, return later and finish it without worrying that its not representative of the test. full lengths are the only thing you really have to treat like test day, without unscheduled breaks, to see where you're at.
Thank you so much for your reply! I really appreciate it. I definitely agree with the wasting time when you have too much free time, I think you're right in the sense that it forces me to schedule my day and focus on my priorities. Plus your point about being able to maintain multiple responsibilities also motivated me tons! I'm taking my first NS FL tomorrow so hopefully that will give me some insight into how I'm doing!
 
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Banco

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You're only working 4 hours a day, you have plenty of time afterwards to study for the MCAT. You don't need to mix them. If you still feel it's getting in the way, then yeah, MCAT takes priority, especially as you already have plenty of experience for your application.
 
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You're only working 4 hours a day, you have plenty of time afterwards to study for the MCAT. You don't need to mix them. If you still feel it's getting in the way, then yeah, MCAT takes priority, especially as you already have plenty of experience for your application.
I’ve decided to stay and wake up early to study before. And then review my questions at work. Then do more questions and review afterwards. Going well so far. Thanks for the help :)
 
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