I am planning to take the MCAT next year (sometime between January and April of 2024) and I was wondering if anyone had any experience with studying for the MCAT during the school year and if they had any advice for balancing MCAT studying, class studying, and extracurriculars? Also, if you’ve studied for the MCAT, did you prefer Kaplan or Princeton Review textbooks?
I plan to start doing some form of studying over summer 2023 just to make sure I am not super overloaded during the school year.
Thank you for your help!
So sorry for this late response, our team took a little break for final exams and the holidays!
First, I am going to link a similar post I answered a couple months ago that may help you out. I personally took the MCAT in August, so I started my studying in May. However, I was also taking a class and working part time. It is definitely a challenge to do other things outside of studying–and burn out is real! I would say generally make sure you set aside enough time (month-wise) to study so you don’t feel too rushed. And be real with yourself–how much time do you really have each week to study? It is also extremely important to have some down time. I found I always did the best on practice exams when I had a few lighter days prior.
I used Kaplan books for my studying and they worked well, although I didn’t use the Psych book. One thing I would say is to not spend too much time on content review if you have a solid foundation. It is really important to get into practice problems as soon as possible (UWorld is a great option) because the MCAT includes questions that you could theoretically solve without any strong science knowledge. A lot of it is problem solving, reading graphs, etc.
I hope this helps! It would be good to check out our MCAT section on the Q&A to check out tips from previous advisors. If you have any other questions, feel free to respond to this post!
-Cate, PMH Co-President