The dreaded MCAT

I took my MCAT a longggg time ago, during the finals week of my senior year of undergrad ( bad timing, I know). 
I’m sure some of you are in the midst of studying for this test right now… so I thought I’d share some of my best tips for what to focus on & what helped me be successful the first try! 
Let me just start by saying that I  prepared for the MCAT in 4 months….but if you have the time I would recommend giving yourself at least 5 or 6 months, just so you don’t have to cram as much as I did…& it never hurts to start early! 
Studies say that most people spend at least 400-500 hours studying for this 7-hour exam, so plan your study periods accordingly. 

*I also could not afford to take one of the in-person MCAT prep courses, so I had to rely on my self-motivation to get all my studying in! It taught me so much about discipline and self-reliance…even though it was difficult at the time! 
My typical study schedule during this time was 
4:00am-7:00am- MCAT PREP
7:15am–9:00am -work 
9:00AM-12PM class 
6-6:30-walk home and eat dinner
8:30-10:00PM-Study for my classes
*& every single day before starting to study, I would write down affirmations about why I wanted to become a doctor….it helped to keep me focused and reminded me why I was putting myself through this hellish schedule when all my other friends were out partying and having fun every night! 
I used the Kaplan book set because that is what Josh already had and I didn’t want to have to buy any other books….(cheapo over here.) Plus, it got him into med school…so maybe they had good luck….at least that’s what I was hoping. 
I began my MCAT prep by reading through every single page, of every book. But I didn’t do one book at a time…I studied a few different subjects everyday! 
Monday&Wednesday&Friday—were biology & gen chem & physics
Tuesday&Thursday&Saturday—psych, biochem, and o. chem
***I did about 5 CARS practice passages & questions everyday. 
I was very focused during my MCAT prep and read every page and completed every problem in these workbooks. I highlighted & took notes too, because writing things down in my own handwriting is one of the key ways that I learn!! 
Reading through these was something that I didn’t finish until about 1.5 weeks before my test. So I didn’t use any other books to help with prep because I just didn’t have the time!
Along with reading these books, I did a full-length exam every other weekend until the day of my test. Some of the exams were through AAMC, and the other ones were through Kaplan. The AAMC exams were much more representative of what the actual MCAT was like. 
 I learned 10x more by going through the full-length exams and reviewing them, than I did from reading through the Kaplan books. But I think having the base of knowledge that those books provide is obviously super essential, I just wish I wold’ve started reading them in the fall of my senior year, rather than in the spring! 
Overall, the MCAT is something that is extremely challenging, BUT VERY DOABLE. If you PREPARE and start the studying early enough so that you don’t have to cram and put yourself at risk  for burnout! 



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