Advice on this dreaded test...

So I have just began to delve into studying for the MCAT while I take two summer courses and work nearly 30 hours per week. I’m beginning to realize just how much information this is to remember–it’s one thing to take physics and ochem as a course, but a complete other thing to remember everything you can about them as well as general chem and biology. Can someone please tell me in their experience a) the best way to prep for this dreaded test–prep courses, specific prep books, etc. and b) how much time you think I need to devote to studying for this–saying that I am an A student but really can’t seem to remember much in physics and biology (since I took bio 5 years ago)? I was possibly thinking I need to postpone applying to medical school just for another year so I can possibly go to school part time and devote the rest of the time to studying for the MCAT. I would like to get at least a 33 so that I can get into my school of choice. Thanks for your help!

Studying for the MCAT is like taking a four-credit class w/ lab in terms of time allotted, so plan accordingly.

physics was the bane of my existence…i found novas mcat physics book by far to be the BEST out there in terms of that subject.

if youcan get your hands on a copy (search craigs list) berkley review is also excellent!!

the examcrackers 1001 questions series is tremendous in terms of getting your hands on practice questions. the real problem on the mcat is the timing…i am horridly slow and methodical about calulations so for me being able to do a sillion and one practice questions enabled me to move that much quicker through the real deal. i would highly recommend their physics, gchem and verbal books for these questions.

also, on the examcrackers website they have a suggested 10 wk study schedule. while i knew i would not be able to do it in 10 wks (other commitments), i took that basic schedule and stretched it into 30 wks so i did 1/3 of the week one material the first week, another 1/3 the next and then the final 1/3 the last week…saving the question for the last week so i knew what i needed to review again going forward and where my weaknesses were.

also if you can swing it or can get a couple of your firends together, it is well worth it to buy at least 1-2 if not more cbt tests through the aamc website. a bunch of us got together in our class and we were able to purchase all 10 for about $20 a person

i wish youluck…may you tame the beast!!

General advice: don’t dread it ;). Make it an asset!

  • onawingandaprayer Said:
physics was the bane of my existence.... the real problem on the mcat is the timing....i am horridly slow and methodical about calculations...

In my opinion , one of the key weakness that I find in students MCAT methodology is calculations. My suggestion is that you should NEVER have to do an actual calculation on the MCAT. Set up a calculation WITHOUT numbers, manipulate the formula and the answer should be clear or mostly intuitive from that and units.

I’ve also read/applied that if you can get the equation set up properly (and its a numbers with exponents problem) you can almost always do just the exponent calculation to find the right answer.

that was a tip from the EK series. works well for me because i am weak in doing math. Most of the answers the exponents are far enough apart that the answer can be found from that…say 85% of the time.

  1. If you are making the math complicated, then you are doing something wrong

  2. Put a positive spin on the test. A positive attitude will be very encouraging and you can do better thinking about the test as the key and not the impediment.

  3. Practice, Practice, Practice. Your test taking skills are just as important as your knowledge base.


I reviewed with Exam Krackers and Kaplan. I also used Exam Krackers 1001 question in physics, chem and ochem. My lowest score was a 7 in PS , the other two sections I got a 10 and an S on essays. PS was the first section and I feel I had a little test anxiety when it happened. The last standarized test I had taken were my boards 10 years ago. After the first section I took my 10 minute break and went to the men’s room, looked in the mirror and gave myself a little pep talk. Next two sections and essays went well. I studied 4 hours a night 6 days a week for a year before I took the MCAT. However, it has been 16 years since I had done my undergrad work. 10 years since my grad work. Before studying I took a practice MCAT just to see how much I remembered without cracking a book. This helped me manage my time to the areas I was most weak. Hope this helps. If you have any questions you can send me a PM. Always happy to help out. Good luck.

  • Test Prep NY Said:

Thank you for the obnoxiously glaring SPAM.