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Time Management...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by bootylicious, May 6, 2007.

  1. bootylicious

    bootylicious 2+ Year Member

    Jan 15, 2007
    Hey guys,

    I was wondering if doing a summer research program (~40-45 hrs. a week) and taking an MCAT prep course is possible. One question came up while I was deciding: Will I be focused enough that an MCAT course will be worth the money? I know it is doable, but I want to hear other opinions on this.

    Thanx in advance! :p
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  3. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Some have managed it, but the MCAT is so important in this process that you don't want to shortchange it. If the summer research program is something you really want to do or think will look great on the application, perhaps consider preparing for a later MCAT.
  4. lynn623la

    lynn623la Senior Member 2+ Year Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    I decided to forgo a research program to study for the MCAT. It all depends on how confident you feel about the information tested.
  5. crimsonkid85

    crimsonkid85 7+ Year Member

    Jul 3, 2006
    it's totally doable. i took the mcat my sophomore summer, worked in a lab, took a prep course, and tutored students for extra cash. once you hit August, drop EVERYTHING and live breathe MCAT. you'll do fine. i guess i might have gotten 1-2 points higher or something if i worked harder, but honestly, you can only study so many hours in a day, anyway. :D
  6. yepiminthere

    yepiminthere 10+ Year Member

    Apr 18, 2007
    I tried to do that last summer. Did full time research and took the princeton review prep course. I went to all of the classes, but I really couldn't focus on studying on my own and ended up doing pretty (really) poorly on the MCAT. In all of my interviews I had to explain that I was working full time and if I could go back and do it again I would have just focused on the MCAT.
  7. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    If this is truly the case, you probably should have given it more time. 2 more points is pretty huge unless you already got a 40.
  8. bootylicious

    bootylicious 2+ Year Member

    Jan 15, 2007
    Thanx for all the responses.

    I am very concerned that I might not be as focused taking an MCAT course while attending the summer program. BUT! If I do take an MCAT course during the school year, I might be jeopardizing my grades (I already have an overall mediocre GPA). This is one hell of a decision...

  9. nick_carraway

    nick_carraway 10+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2007
    I'd drop the summer program if you can. I went to Kaplan while doing research on the days off and I just didn't have time to study the course outside the class and I had to postpone the MCAT. I ended up taking the class again during the school year just to use their practice exams. I can't help but feel that I could've done better on the MCAT if I had just focused that summer instead of delaying it and forgetting things.

    So if you won't focus completely on the MCAT in the summer--which I recommend--you might just end up having to waste your summer AND a quarter by taking fewer units. I'm a fan of the summer since the course is shorter and packed tight so that you have less chance of forgetting material.
  10. nycNerd

    nycNerd 5+ Year Member

    Nov 1, 2006
    I think there's always going to be something going on whenever you try to prep for the MCAT. I am taking the Kaplan course at the same time as a full course load including Orgo II and Immunology, working part-time, volunteering, and doing numerous extracurriculars. it was a tough semester, but if you try to set aside time to study you should be okay.

    The best advice I can give you is to keep your goal in sight, it's a struggle, but you'll get there. I like to study for the MCAT with the Mt. Sinai admissions brochure on my desk, it keeps me motivated!
  11. blargh

    blargh Banned Banned

    Oct 24, 2006
    the program i did was supposed to be 40+ hrs/week, but it ended up being 10 hrs some weeks. i did examkrackers self-study, but i wish i had taken the time to do more practice tests. it's definitely doable, but you can't succumb to distraction. i wish i had studied harder =(
  12. nervousivy

    nervousivy Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2006
    No, I don't think it's a good idea, unless you are super disciplined and willing to sacrifice most of your summer to work and just study. 40-45 a week is full time, 8-9 hour work days. You will be tired by the time you're done in lab. Also, what if you have to work overtime?
  13. Meeher

    Meeher 2+ Year Member

    Nov 9, 2006
    I did it. Summer after sophomore year I worked at the NIH about 50 hours a week and took an MCAT prep course up until the week before the exam. It was definitely a busy summer but it was well worth it! I used to study during incubation/reaction times, on the Metro to and from work, and sometimes during lunch. You just have to be disciplined.
  14. nervousivy

    nervousivy Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2006
    I took Kaplan while in school. I started it in early fall though, so it was just once a week. I treated it like another class pretty much. I didn't really start focusing on it till second semester (which was my mistake, b/c I think I could've scored higher if I followed all/most of their advice), but even with that I did okay/well enough to get into some great places (four top 15 schools). If I were you, I would do the research and take the MCAT during the school year. Honestly, your application will be a lot more interesting having a research summer instead of having one 'empty' summer where you dedicated all your time to studying.
  15. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    I couldn't agree with this more. I know that you'll get lots of true-genius SDN folks who were able to do a full-time load and a prep class without any problems, but I couldn't do it. I found that taking a prep class occupied so much time that I didn't have enough time to do actual independent study for the MCAT (which was the meat of it for me), combined with my full-time responsibilities.

    You may be able to do it. But do not sacrifice any time you need for the MCAT. I was hoping to do better on the test and I actually took it later to give me a lot more time to study. Best of luck...

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