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Bito42

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i'm taking the MCAT this summer (the summer after my sophomore year). I'm taking a Kaplan course but it looks like it starts at various times...if I'm ONLY studying in the summer, how many weeks and hours/day do you recommend studying? (i would like to work or do research at the same time...)
thanks!!
 
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The amount of MCAT studying one persons needs is different for another person. It all depends on how well you know the material before you start studying. At is why you diagnostic is key, it should tell you where you stand. However, kaplan's first diagnostic is difficult and their scoring is not very generous. That is just to movtivate you to study i guess. Anyhow, I would three hours a day for two months would be average amount of studying for everyone.
 

Doctora Foxy

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Here's my idea: Study as much as you can every day over the summer, but volunteer (with patient contact!) once a week for at least 5 hours. This is not a big commitment, but when you interview, you can say you did something over the summer besides studying for the mcats. The volunteering may enhance your mcats as well (when I volunteered the doctors were nice enough to explain stuff to me such as drug interactions, etc), and it would have been *a little* helpful if I had volunteered before the mcats.

Make sure you devote yourself and your summer to the mcats because all other august mcaters will be doing the same, so the curve will be harder.

Best of luck to you! It is very wise (and courageous) to take the MCATS after your sophomore year. :D

Foxy
 

Peter Parker

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Was in the same boat as you last summer. My advice: spend 4-6 hours per day on the MCAT books, outside of Kaplan. Then, listen to Doctora Foxy and volunteer during weekends. Save the research for some other time. Volunteering goes better with studying for the MCATs than research.
 

Bito42

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Thanks for the great advice. the only thing is that I volunteered all last summer while working a teaching job, so i feel like i really need the volunteer experience. I've talked to some professors who may need my help. perhaps i can do unpaid research so it's not as demanding?? Also, would you all recommend clinical research or lab research, or does it matter?
thanks again!
 

SMW

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Welcome to SDN! :) I studied 5-8 hours/day for 2 solid months before this past August MCAT (got a 30 -- 12, 8, 10). I mostly just used the Kaplan study materials as I had already taken the classes when I thought I was going to take the April MCAT. I liked their videotaped classes much better than sitting in an actual class -- they put their best teachers on the videos. I wouldn't recommend doing anything very demanding in the way of research while studying for the MCAT. As far as the type of research, do whatever you're most interested in, not what you think med shcools want (they don't want anything in particular except interested, interesting applicants (with good GPA's who score well on the MCAT, of course!). Good luck to you. :D
 

aldol16

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I would say that any more than 4 hours a day is too much if you have the whole summer. The key thing is to avoid burnout and intense MCAT studying easily lends itself to burnout quickly. Now, I'm not saying just study for 4 hours and don't use your brain for the rest of the day. I mean study for 2-4 hours a day and do your research/work for the rest. Keep up with the recent research in the literature - read papers that interest you and those that are relevant to your research as well. That will prepare you well for the MCAT on top of studying "MCAT-style" passages. And also continue reading - newspapers, good magazine articles, etc. That will help keep your mind sharp for CARS.
 

Sanguis

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