There are countless factors to consider when deciding how much time is enough to spend on MDCAT preparation. You need to make sure you’re balancing a full-time job, full-time course load, family commitments, and “free time” with your studies. In the following article, we’ll discuss ways to fit MDCAT study into your schedule while still achieving your other goals.
Studying for the MCAT
A typical MCAT study schedule will require approximately 500 hours of study for Phase I. This time period includes content review, full-length practice exams, and reading passages. It is important to remember that practice tests will only teach you the basics, and your real test score will reflect your actual proficiency. In order to make your preparation plan effective, determine what type of learning you are comfortable with. Then, find out what study method works best for you.
One way to determine how much time to devote to studying is to consider your other commitments. You may need more time if you work full-time, or if you are taking light classes or taking a semester off from extracurricular activities. A few hours a day may be sufficient for most students. Other factors to consider when planning a study schedule are your level of commitment, including extracurricular activities and part-time work.
The earliest MCAT test date is during the second semester of your junior year. The test is scheduled to be given in August/September, so you’ll have a longer period to study. Similarly, you won’t be distracted by spring or fall classes during your preparation time. Make sure to apply by June 1 of the year before to have enough time for a full study schedule. You can also look into the test format, the types of questions, and how much review is needed.
Depending on your personal situation, MCAT study may require more time. The amount of time you dedicate to studying for the exam will vary. You should set aside enough time during the day and avoid studying late into the night after working long hours. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to friends and family about your schedule if necessary. Ask them how they managed to take the MCAT without burnout. You may be surprised by their success.
Before you start your MDCAT preparation, take stock of your schedule and upcoming obligations. Your career may be at stake, so don’t be afraid to talk to your supervisor if you’re interested in the field. Your boss may be willing to work with you if you explain your plans to them. Also, you can start an MCAT study group with friends or colleagues. Not only will this help you prepare faster, but it will also give you the added benefit of camaraderie.
In general, 6 months is ideal for comprehensive preparation. If you plan well, you can fit in extracurricular activities and work while completing your study schedule. Make sure that you take the necessary breaks in between studying. Lack of rest will make you unable to absorb new information and will negatively affect your performance. In addition, don’t forget to eat well and get plenty of sleep. And finally, don’t forget to be consistent.
Studying for the MCAT while working full-time
If you’re a full-time employee, the best way to study for the MCAT while working at your current job is to schedule your study time during off-peak seasons. Ask your employer when you’ll be able to get some time off. If you travel for business a lot, consider tapering back on your clientele as the test date approaches. Finally, taking some vacation days can help you focus better while studying for the exam.
As much as possible, consider reducing your workload or even quitting your job while you study for the MCAT. Although this is the ideal situation, it’s unrealistic for most people. To study effectively, you need to adjust your schedule and hours. While medical schools won’t look down upon it, a month is not nearly enough time to study for the MCAT if you’re working full-time.
Schedule your study time around your other obligations. Schedule your study time during the week, but avoid cramming for the exam on big dates like birthdays and anniversaries. If you are attending a five-day school, you’ll have to take practice tests on weekends. Instead, schedule your practice tests every other weekend so that you can take advantage of your “off” time to catch up on your life.
Establish a routine. For example, waking up early in the morning to study for two hours a day is a good habit. If you work late in the afternoon, you might want to study for two hours every afternoon. Establishing a schedule will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and will help you stick to your study time. Studying for the MCAT while working full-time will also allow you to make time for the other parts of your life.
Preparing for the MCAT requires 200-300 hours of study time. For some, this amount of time is not enough to pass the exam. Typically, it takes 6-7 months to prepare for the MCAT. Depending on your time frame, you may find that you can dedicate a few hours per day to studying, but if you don’t have enough time to devote an entire day to it, you’ll likely end up with a low score.
Ideally, you’ll find a way to study for the MCAT while working full-time without compromising your current schedule. For example, if you’re a non-trad student, you’ll find that your study schedule is much more flexible than that of other premeds. A good course with flexible schedules is the Blueprint MCAT. This course gives you the flexibility to change your class schedule on-the-fly, and its online format means that you can modify it whenever you want. You can also use its study plan, practice tests, and even a tutor if you feel you need extra help.
In addition to the MCAT guide, it’s important to keep in mind that there are different phases to the exam. Studying for the exam involves a mix of reading, taking practice tests, reviewing answers, and dedicating dedicated study time with a tutor. To study effectively, you need to schedule time for all of these phases. Make sure you break up the study time into long blocks of time. For example, two months of a six-month study schedule may be dedicated to reviewing content you learned during your undergraduate or college years.
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Studying for the MCAT while taking extracurriculars
It’s possible to study for the MCAT while taking extracurricular activities such as sports, music, and art. Developing a routine is essential to staying on track and avoiding overwhelm. Make sure to wake up early in the morning and devote at least two hours to studying for the exam. Then, stick to that schedule even if it takes a while. Setting goals and working consistently are essential to succeeding on the exam.
Students must make sure to take the MCAT seriously and dedicate enough time to it. Passive study methods are useless and ineffective. When you study for the MCAT, try to answer questions and make mistakes. These mistakes can help you learn lessons. In addition, spend ten to fifteen minutes trying to understand something. By doing so, you will embed the information into your memory. Make sure to schedule these extracurriculars to avoid conflicts.
To be successful at studying for the MCAT, you must devote at least 20 hours a week to it. This means giving up extracurricular activities, weekends, and some other important things. If you can’t devote that much time to the MCAT, you should consider getting a personalized tutor to help you out. This will help you balance the two. You should also make sure to take breaks and enjoy the non-MCAT time.
While you can study for the MCAT while juggling your other extracurricular activities, it’s important to set goals before you begin. Set your target score and determine how much time you’ll need to study each day in order to achieve it. Remember, every day of study is unique, so make sure to dedicate sufficient time to all three. This way, you’ll be able to achieve your goal and not become burnt out by the stress.
Make sure to schedule time for the things you enjoy. College schedules vary, so you’ll need to adapt your studying to fit your lifestyle. If you have a light week, study a little longer for the MCAT. On the other hand, if you’re under a heavy workload, you’ll want to make sure to take time off and get your grades in order. A little bit of extra time every week can make a big difference when applying to medical school.
If you’re a traditional applicant, you may want to complete the pre-med courses and register for the MCAT during your junior year. By doing so, you’ll receive your MCAT results before the end of the secondary application cycle in May. After that, you can start preparing for the medical school interview. Alternatively, you can take the MCAT immediately after you get back from break.