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When should I start to study for MCAT?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Hawkeye, Oct 31, 1999.

  1. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Senior Member

    Sep 30, 1999
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    I am a sophomore right now and I have a question concerning MCAT study tips. What test (April or August) is better to take? When should I start to study ( how many months/weeks) in advance? Are the review clases (e.g. Princeton Review or Kaplan) something worth taking. I go the University of Iowa and I see signs that advertise their classes all over campus, but I don't know if these classes are considered "worth" theier money. I understand that these classes can be quite expensive. Thank you in advance for any replys.

    Go Hawks
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  3. miglo

    miglo Senior Member

    May 20, 1999
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    Hawkeye: I would start studying for the MCATs NOW if I were you. If you can afford it, take a prep course NOW if possible so that you can have a couple months or so to study by yourself before the actual exam. I think a typical course runs for 3 months or so, I'm not sure though. I took "Hyperlearning" which I found out later was bought and used by Princeton. I highly recommend it. Good luck.
  4. larryj

    larryj Member

    Oct 10, 1999
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    As a sophomore, you may be early to try to take it this spring. Unless you are on the intense science plan and have taken:
    BIO 1&2
    Inorg chem 1&2
    Organ Chem 1&2
    Physics 1&2

    Also consider that some schools prefer that MCAT scores be recent. Look at the USnews site, they list the year of MCAT they will allow back to.

    Sorry I can give no advice on test prep courses, since I did not take any. I did go through nearly every MCAT sample test at Barnes and Noble though...

  5. DocGibby

    DocGibby Senior Member

    Aug 21, 1999
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    The "typical" game plan is to study your junior year take the test in april of that year. Then apply in June get accepted in October of your senior year and smooth sailing till the following august.

    Why? Usually by your junior year you have taken the science courses you need to pass the mcat and they're still fresh. If you take it now then you may not have taken all the courses and it could hurt you (maybe maybe not). I took Kaplan and it started in Nov and went for 6 months (their are accelerated courses 3 months or less).

    My advice, don't take the mcat till your prepared. You can always take it again, but if you do great the first time it's better. I did it the typical way I described earlier. If I could do it again I wouldn't do the same. Instead I would study during my soph year, take the test in august of my junior year. That way if my scores weren't great, I could retake in April and still get my applications sent off in june.

    what happened to me you may ask? I took it in april of my junior year. Got a bad score in ONE category. I assumed I wouldn't get accepted without even trying (another bad decision). retook the test in august and did great, applied in oct (when the scores finally arrived). Didn't get in. Then I spent a year contemplating how stupid I was for waiting. Because of the chain of events that ensued my file didn't get completed till very late in the cycle. I just ran out of time. Anyway that's my advice, study now (you can never start to soon) and take it next august.

    MSUCOM class of 2004
  6. tonem

    tonem Senior Member

    Sep 13, 1999
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    ...in addition, It's much better to take the April MCAT. A friend on the admissions committee told me that the stack of applications to review in the summer time is very small and manageable. After, the August MCAT the stack is over 3 feet high. If the school you are applying to has rolling admissions the sooner your application is complete and you are interviewed the better off you are. Good luck.

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