I know the MCAT situation right now is in shambles, but I am referring to the NEXT academic year 🙂 I would like to take my MCAT at the end of summer (September) before my junior year, as I would have pretty much all the classes in except for chem 230, which I still think I should take. If I took it in the spring half-term of that 4 month summer period, would it be too close of a call? My plan is to use that summer for pretty much just MCAT and maybe a couple hours of ECs if this situation allows by then, of course.
Also, as a follow up, if I used those 4 months (May through august) to study for the MCAT, roughly, what do you think my avg number of hours per week studying should look like?
I am also planning on taking the MCAT next summer before my junior year! It’s good that you will be done with all of your pre-reqs before next summer as though that will benefit you in your studying. Based on the advice I have received and seeked out from advisors, Chem 230 is beneficial to take prior to the MCAT, however, the material is not difficult to self-study for most students, especially since general chemistry (Chem 130) topics make up a part of the MCAT Chemistry section. In fact, many of the students I have spoken to did not take Chem 230 before their MCAT and their experiences were great! In addition, spring terms typically last 2 months and are on an accelerated schedule. For that reason, Chem 230 will likely be more time demanding due to the large number of exams and accelerated pace. That being said, if you want to take Chem 230 prior to studying, I would suggest that you rearrange your sophomore year classes to accommodate for Chem 230, if possible. It is generally more advisable to have 3-4 months completely devoted (with minimal commitments) to studying for the MCAT in order to best prepare for it.
With regards to an average time frame for studying, 4 months is considered plenty of time to prepare. The AAMC suggests approx. 300-350 hours of studying for the MCAT, although most students study well above that. Generally, it is advised that you study (on average) 30 hours/week for 3-4 months, depending on your schedule. It may also help to note that students aiming for very high scores will likely study more than 30 hours/week. If you chose not to take Chem 230 in the spring, this would leave you plenty of time to study Pchem material as well as everything else. If you chose to take Chem 230 in the spring, you will still be studying for the MCAT, although it may leave you with less time to study other material. I hope this information helps! Let us know if you have any other questions!
Leen, PMH Advisor