5+ Year Member
May 11, 2012
I should be able to devote a considerable amount of time to MCAT studying this summer (hopefully 6-7 hours/day) despite working part-time. However, I do not really feel comfortable taking my MCAT in August because my past experience with standardized testing has shown me that I'm a person who feels much more confident and will be less likely to choke when I feel like I've thoroughly practiced and practiced for a big exam, something that won't happen in just 3 months while I'm also struggling to master content (I didn't do so hot on my premed courses and have forgotten a lot)-- I'll definitely need more time for practice since most of the 3 months will be spent re-learning material. I am now planning to take the January MCAT.

I did do a brief search here about studying over a summer but taking the MCAT in January after a semester of school and found some helpful posts, though most seemed in favor of just going ahead and taking the MCAT in August rather than waiting till January, if one was able to devote a summer to studying. Many (including SN2ed) have advised that taking 5+ months will have a negative impact on content retained.

However, I have time to study for the MCAT this summer which I will not have as much of once the semester begins. So I cannot wait until September/October to start studying if I want to take the January test and expected to be completely ready. And I don't want my free time this summer to go to waste. At the same time, I am incredibly reluctant to just take the MCAT in August. I just know that I won't be mentally or actually prepared enough.

What would you suggest I do? Can anyone share their experiences of studying for the MCAT over a summer but waiting a semester to take the exam? Does anyone have advice for a 7 month MCAT study schedule (perhaps something like content review for 2 months then practice for 2 months then content review + practice simultaneously for 3 months)?
May 10, 2012
Culpeper, VA
I'm in kind of a similar boat as you, but I don't really want to take the MCAT until next Spring. I've forgotten a lot of the physical sciences and definitely need to spend some time re-learning the material. It's been a while since I've looked at any of that stuff. Many people I've talked to said it's a waste of time (which I beg to differ), but a few of my good friends who studied for many months did very well and said it helped them a lot.

I think it all boils down to how we operate best and no one can really tell us that ;-)


7+ Year Member
May 30, 2009
Studying during school is really tough. If I were you I would aim for the end of the summer and push back your date as needed.
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