Some of your members studied and took the MCAT this summer. Please comment on if you took a prep course, your study schedule, did you work while studying, what was your daily schedule like? If you had to do it over, then how would you change it? Was this the first time or a retake? Thank you
Hey Eleanor! I took my MCAT this past June, and it was my first time testing. I decided to take a prep course just because I felt that I needed the structure and guidance to kickstart my studying. Therefore, I started my Kaplan course in January (it ended in April). During the winter semester, I was taking 9 credits, working as an RA, doing research, and participating in extracurriculars. This left me with about 6-10 hours a week to study for MCAT which mostly included completing readings for my course and sitting through the actual 3 hour weekly course. Overall, studying during the semester was pretty overwhelming for me and, as a result, the two months I had over the summer to study worked out really well. Over the summer, I worked about 15 hours a week in my research lab and studied for the rest of the time. My daily schedule was usually something like 9 AM – 1 PM studying, 1-5 research, 5-7 free time, 7-10 studying a little more. I tried to get about 7ish hours of studying in a day, depending on what else I had going on. In terms of full lengths, I started taking them in April (about once a week). The day after taking a full length, I would give myself a day off to recharge. A week or two before my test is when I really started grinding; I was studying about 8+ hours a day (making sure to take at least one day off per week) and I stopped working at my research lab during this period. The day before my test, I forced myself to do anything but study (which was really difficult, but also really necessary). If I had to do it over, I would give myself a little more time off from studying. Around May, I sensed myself running out of steam and my full length scores dipped slightly because of this. While I did continue to make progress, I would definitely recommend taking breaks when you can. Essentially, you need to be confident in what you already know and allow yourself to relax and recharge so that you can actually continue to raise your score, rather than reach a point where your score is stagnating and you’re tiring yourself out. I hope this is helpful! Good luck with your studying!!