1. Hey Guest! Check out the 3 MCAT Study Plan Options listed in the 'stickies' area at the top of the forums (BoomBoom, SN2ed, and MCATJelly). Let us know which you like best.

    Also, we now offer a MCAT Test-Prep Exhibitions Forum where you can ask questions directly from the test-prep services.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  3. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Working and studying for the MCAT

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by emgirl, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. emgirl

    emgirl Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    So I feel like all my friends that are taking the MCAT are just devoting their whole summers, full-time to studying for it. I really can't afford to do that but I'm feeling like I might be screwing myself over if I keep my part time job (24 hours a week) and take a calc class in the fall + Kaplan or TPR for the JAN MCAT. I'm sure there are other people out there as well that need to work while they study...how's this going for you? How many hours a day do you find you can manage to study for the MCAT? I'm no longer in undergrad so I don't really qualify for loans anymore so quitting my job isn't too much of an option, but Im just wondering if its a big mistake? Does everyone just study full time for a few/many months before the test or is it doable to work too if you take a TPR class (4X a week for 3 hours each night).
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. ssquared

    ssquared Member
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Other Health Professions Student
    This summer I have managed to work and study for the MCAT-although I'll admit that it was tough for me. The main problem was that I had a 3 hour commute to work, so I would leave for work at 7:45 and get home at get home at maybe 5:30, and then I had Kaplan classes 3x a week for 3 hours each. I managed to swing a parking pass a few weeks ago so my commute is now more like 45 minutes and I work from 8am-3pm. It's tiring to come home and try to study for 3/4 hours a day, but it's definitely doable.

    I suppose a lot of it is how well you manage your time and how many other commitments you have. My only two commitments were my job and the MCAT, which makes prioritizing fairly easy. I can't imagine studying full-time, I would go crazy if I tried to do that. I imagine that it would be far easier to study and work if you only work 24 hrs a week and don't have the ridiculous commute I had. My only real complaint is that I wish I had more time to go take AAMC full-lengths; it's a struggle to find enough time when I can go, the center is open, etc.

    I suppose it's good practice for the medical school, though-how many people can drop everything in their lives and just study for one test for 3 months?

    Good luck with what you decide to do!
     
  4. MJB

    MJB Senior Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Messages:
    2,848
    Likes Received:
    23
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Been studying since May working from about 7:30 to about 4:30 or 5 M-F...I study about 4-5 hours a night, depending on what's going on, then have for the most part taken the weekends off...

    i've taken some days off to do FL tests as practice, but that's about it...

    I think working a little bit, or having something else to do might help you stay more focused...but I'll admit I wish I could have just concentrated on this all summer...I would likely be doing much better.
     
  5. CoolCucumber3

    CoolCucumber3 Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2006
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Since I'm a mobile phlebotomist, I can start work as early as 4 am or get off my shift as late as 11 pm. Also, it is a 40 hour a week job but because of van driving to the blood drives we get paid overtime which is really really nice but I end up working about 60-80 hours a week. Yes it was really crazy and I am not exaggerating. It all depends on traffic to and from the blood drive and how busy it was. This was really sucky when I was taking my April MCAT and it was a miserable experience although I liked the extra ca$h but it still was not worth the exhaustion.
     
  6. Kikaku21

    Kikaku21 Senior Member
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I have been working while studying all along. I started about 2 months before the test.

    I feel pretty prepared at this point, with 2 weeks to go.

    I think the "start 6 months ahead of time and study 4 hours a day" bit is crap. Its hard to remember stuff you looked at 4 months ago anyway. Also, the most dramatic improvements in scores tend to be from taking practice tests and knowing what to look for, not from going over material.
     
  7. Noeljan

    Noeljan Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2002
    Messages:
    1,531
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I don't know, I really didn't like having to worry about going to lab at all this summer and should have quit all together. People I know that got very high 30's and 40 seemed to study for a long time. I feel if I would have devoted my whole summer to the mcat i would be feeling a lot better right now bc i wouldnt be so behind
     
  8. JimmyG

    JimmyG Really a gal
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I am a nontrad and grossly underestimated how much time I needed to devote to the MCAT (just b/c it has been years since I took most of these undergrad courses). I began the summer working 3 days a week but quickly found out that I was going to have to just quit all together. I am very lucky in that I work in health care and found a fantastic paying PRN job. So, I don't have to work too much in order to pay my bills (can't go out to eat or buy anything excessive until this test is over, though). So I work about 10-15 hours a week and spend the rest of it (sadly, sun up to sun down) on the MCAT. Good luck. I think it all depends on how good your base knowledge is of the information. I was relearning everything so it took me a lot of time. If you just came out of school, you can work and just review for the MCAT--you'll be fine. I agree that working usually helps with time management...
     
  9. Jwax

    Jwax Just a minor variation
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,710
    Likes Received:
    9
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I think if I had actually been one of those people who spends 6+ hours a day on MCAT prep, I damn well better have a 40 by the time it's all said and done. I definitely don't devote even close to as much time as all these people on here, but I am doing okay. My last score was a 30 overall, which would be enough for me. So.... depends on how high of a score you need to get into the school of your choice.
     

Share This Page