? For Those Who Have Taken MCAT Done Well

I’d like to take the MCAT in April 2006. Based on everything I’ve read on the forum it seems better for the rolling admissions process if you test in April. Assuming, of course, that you are well prepped! Unfortunately, the way I’m scheduling classes it looks as though I will still need to take Physics II and O Chem II during the spring semester of 2006.
My questions are 1) how much time (hours per week, # of weeks) did you take to prep for the test, 2) is taking two courses and prepping at the same time “do-able”? (I have 4 children 15, 7, 5, 3), and 3) would it be better to delay my classes until summer or Fall to prep for the test or better to take the classes as scheduled and take the August MCAT?
Thanks for all advice!

I did exactly what you’re proposing and did well on the April MCAT. Key points: (1) you MUST put your classwork first. The MCAT can be rescheduled or re-taken (god forbid, but it CAN happen), but those grades are permanent and you must do your very best. (2) to some extent, your coursework IS MCAT prep - these are subjects that will be covered on the MCAT, after all, and so the material will be fresh for you. (3) HOWEVER, the MCAT is not anything like your o-chem or physics exams and so while you are devoting time to mastering these subjects in order to get good grades, you will also need to look at them through the MCAT lens and take practice tests that help orient you to the way the MCAT looks at these subjects.
And of course you’ll need to be reviewing your gen-chem and biology.
I took a Kaplan MCAT course as a way to force me to stick to a study schedule and I thought the course materials were very helpful in “framing” my current subjects for MCAT review.
Hope that helps!

Thanks Mary! I’m glad to know it can be done - and done well!! If I take that semester off and all the kids are in school I should have some great prep time available.

Okay now I’m confused, Tammy. What semester would you be taking off? The way it worked for me was, I took O-Chem II and Physics II in the spring of 1999 along with MCAT prep - and took the April 1999 MCAT (damn that sounds like a long time ago!). So I didn’t take a semester off for MCAT prep.
One other obvious possibility if it doesn’t seem do-able to focus on the coursework along with MCAT prep would be to take the courses in the spring, then devote the summer to MCAT studying for the August test.
Definitely don’t try to take the MCAT without getting most of the way through the second semester of o-chem and physics.
Hope I’m not confusing things…

Oh! When you said to focus in the coursework and grades I assumed that you meant that you took the spring off to prep, took th MCAT in April and then finished the last 2 classes in the summer or fall. I definately need second semester O-chem and Physics? Then it osunds that it would be est to take courses and test prep at the same time if at all possible.
So you were able to take two courses and score very well on the MCATS during the same semester. That is definately encouraging! I will have all 3 kids in school (the littles will only be half day) and hope to have time for class prep and test prep. It’s been difficult this semester because my dh has not wanted me to go back to school and has made it very difficult for me to get any study time at all. To give you an idea - I’m a straight A student (in my mind C’s are the same as F’s and B’s are basically C’s so I strive for all A’s) and right now I am lookingat B’s in 2 of my 3 classes! I feel as though I need to switch my psych course to audit so that the B won’t bring my GPA down. Hopefully he’ll start being more supportive - or maybe I’ll have to hire a babysitter to get some extra study time.
Thanks for the clarification Mary! I appreciate the help:-)

If you’re already feeling a crunch right now in terms of keeping up, why not spread things out a little more and maybe take the MCAT in August or in April 2007? I personally would NOT want to take it without orgo 2 and physics 2. The MCAT does ask questions from those subjects. Also if you are feeling pressured or rushed it will be hard to do your best. Do you think if you went slower it might be easier to win over your family’s support?

By the way, in anwer to your original question, I finished all my required pre-reqs the fall before I took the MCAT. I took one elective during the winter trimester right before the test, and I also prepped during that time. I took a Kaplan class–which helped me organize my studying although I wasn’t the biggest fan of their curriculum. Still it helped me stay on track. I’m glad I had as much time as I did to prep for the test, but I think it can be done alongside a couple classes or even a job.