May 4, 2013
I'm a senior in school full time and also spend about 30-40 hours/week doing extracurricular activities (work, research, etc.). I'm signed up for the January 8th test date with the current MCAT, but haven't studied much (anything I have reviewed, I have forgotten already). I know I spend WAY too much time reading and taking notes in regards to content review. I've tried just watching MCAT videos (coursesaver, WikiPremed), but find that I constantly have to stop, write notes, re-wind,etc which also takes up a lot of time. Considering my busy schedule, I can put in about 8-10 hours/week into studying. My MCAT is in a little over 2 months and I'm thinking of either taking practice test after practice test and reviewing those thoroughly (i.e during my review of them, I can go over any weaknesses with content review books, videos, passages, etc.) or rescheduling my exam. I tried finding more information about this technique, but I don't see much out there, which surprises me because I know a lot of people tend to say that content review is over-rated and that they should have been practicing more. I also think I learn better from doing practice, especially since I would take these exams under timed conditions (3 hours) instead of spending 6+ hours reading one chapter.

Since I'm a senior now, I'm already taking a gap year. I don't want to postpone the exam for the new MCAT because 1) I would need to re-study for the new MCAT material and 2) I would either have to take a second gap year or apply late and 3) I work way too hard to take another gap year. Am I being realistic in taking and reviewing 1-2 practice exams a week up until my test date? There are definitely enough practice tests out there, but I don't want to waste them if I have to reschedule. Advice is appreciated, I'm a bit torn.

I've rescheduled twice now and have acquired a lot of study materials (much more than I will ever get through):

~EK Content Review Package
~EK VR 101 Passages
~TBR content review books (except verbal)
~TPR Hyperlearning Science Workbook
~WikiPremed Bundle
~I haven't bought them yet, but planning to get all AAMC tests, Gold Standard tests, and any other reputable practice tests I can find.

*Also, do you need to be enrolled in the Kaplan course to buy their practice exams? And is this the same for TPR?


7+ Year Member
Dec 15, 2010
Medical Student
How much time over winter break (like how many weeks) will you get to spend JUST doing mcat studying? If it's 3weeks-1 month you will likely be just fine. That was my personal experience. Tried to study a little before leading up to a month-long break from all commitments except mcat.... I'm not sure what to tell you, but you have all the material for the current exam and youve already been studying a little. I guess if I were you I'd take the exam when scheduled. GL...

Brah of Science

2+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2014
Medical Student (Accepted)
I am actually in pretty much the same boat as you as my test in January 13 and I am also a senior. I would advise you either plan to take the new MCAT or drop your EC's to a lower amount. I have dropped mine significantly and still have trouble finding time to study as much as I would like due to my classes. I know you do not want to take 2 gap years, but if you do not take this test seriously you might end up having to.


5+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2014
You sound exactly like me. I'm also a senior and I'll be taking the exam in January. I'm taking an 18 credit course load, I have a leadership position in 3 orgs, I'm working, doing research, and I've only been dedicating my mornings (~10 hrs/wk) to studying for this exam. Mind you, I started in June. I took a 2 month Kaplan course, and planned to solidify content over the summer and work on practice exams over this fall semester. I'm scheduled to take the exam on January 13. That's less than 3 months away, and after several practice exams and questions, I still haven't solidified content review. Needless to say, I'm not where I need to be but there's still hope.

I encourage you to sign up for a personal MCAT Strategy session with Leah Fisch. She is an outstanding MCAT coach and instructor and she has hundreds of free videos on youtube for students. She also has some great tips on her website Through the strategy session she will actually help you come up with a study schedule that works for you given your other commitments, she'll talk about specific things you need to do to improve your practice scores, and will answer any questions that you have. She's GREAT.

At this point, you absolutely have to be dedicating at least 25-30 hours of studying a week. That's a must. That includes content review, and once a week you should be taking practice exams (AAMC of course!) Between each practice exam really review your weak topics and solidify content. I'm dropping one of my orgs and I haven't been working this semester because of this exam. You really want to make the commitment now. It's better late than never. There's still hope of scoring a 30+ if you work your butt off now. It will pay off in the end :)

I'm in the same boat as you but I'm really determined to do well on this exam. I've spoken to soo many people who have been through this process or are going through it. I have a ton of resources that you can take advantage of. Below are the ones I am using right now to study:

-All of EKs review and 1001 question books
-Kaplan review books
-EK Verbal 101
-Great online sites:,,, coursesaver,, youtube!

I hope this helps!
May 4, 2013
Thanks, everyone! Good to know I'm not alone! o_O

I definitely can't drop my ECs, although I have tried minimizing as much as I can (I teach orgo labs so I can't quit my job!), but here's what I decided:

I have a little over 2 months. I'm going to study when I can and take the exam (assuiming my AAMC practice tests are good). If I get a bad score or decide to reschedule, at least I tried making the most of my time now with no regrets.

Although I like the material, doing content review drags on and on for me, BUT I know it is necessary and useful. I have found EK outlines online from an instructor who used to teach it ( and they are AWESOME! TO cut down on my reading/reviewing time, I am reading through these outlines, watching Chad's videos on coursesaver at 1.25x speed, and then doing the 30 min EK exams to practice my understanding after each lecture. There are 29 outlines on that website, and since I am cutting down my reading time, I should be able to get through it all in about 3 weeks. After that, it'll be all practice exams and review.

Also, in regards to that question about winter break--I will have about 3.5 weeks of solid study time.

dkr34, I will check out Leah Fisch, thanks!