Looking forward to seeing everyone in Denver soon!
Here is my dilemna: I work a full time job, take 7 hours of classes (to prepare for the mcat) and volunteer at three different places. I am planning on taking the August MCAT and have signed up for a twice a week nightly class with Kaplan. The class starts 5/15 and lasts till the weekend before the exam.
I have asked my boss for a leave of absence for 6 weeks prior to the exam. Essentially on Monday he said no, that he can’t afford to loose me for 6 weeks. I countered with my last resort, but a resort I am willing to consider, is to resign. He countered today and says he will look into some part time /vacation usage options for me. So how realistic is my request? If I am taking the Kaplan seminar (and at that point no other classes)and studying all summer is the last 6 weeks before the exam too much or too little time? Has anyone worked either full time or part time and studied…any regrets or “I wished I had done it this way”? About how many hours a day and for many days/weeks (before the exam) did you feel you needed to set aside? Should I be expecting studying for 12 hours a day for 6 weeks or 4-5 hours a day? I know that a lot of this depends on each indiviuals knowledge, study habits, etc, but I am just trying to get a feel and set some proper expectations for myself. Plus, if I can help it, I don’t want to quit my job since I then need employment after 8/14!
I really need to do well on the mcat since I didn’t get competitive grades when I was younger. Now that I am older I am getting competitive grades in my classes, however I am not sure if that will be enough without a strong MCAT score.
Thanks for any insight or advice,
Marcia, unfortunately you’ll find that people have done everything from a few hours a day (with more time on weekends) all the way up to the test, to full-time intense study for the 6 weeks you’re proposing or even more. I don’t know that I would want to tell you how much studying is enough. How old are your prerequisite classes? How good a grasp do you think you have on those gen-chem, o-chem, physics and bio facts? How good a standardized test-taker have you been in the past? When will you take your first diagnostic MCAT with Kaplan?
all these things factor into figuring out the right time frame and schedule for you. It’s extremely individual. Just make sure that your schedule gives you a chance to do plenty of practice tests - setting aside tons of time to go over information isn’t as useful as doing lots and lots of practice passages.
I would venture to say that lots of people don’t devote their entire waking hours to the MCAT for weeks & weeks prior to the test - probably many, if not most, are at least fitting it in with some classes. So it would certainly seem possible to do MCAT prep and continue to work, but YMMV.
Thanks for your insight. I graduated in 98 with a degree in Zoology. My advisor at NCSU suggested I retake certain classes for a competitive grade and to get academic recs. So far I have retaken both semesters of first year chem and am finishing up the second semester of O-chem. I am also taking a genetics course.
Last year I took a free practice course at kaplan with no studying, prep, etc to get a baseline. I scored a 10v, 5 bio, and 6 physical.
I tend to do well Standardized tests, but am in no way counting on that for this test.
OK that is useful information. Your free Kaplan baseline is similar to mine. I was in my 2d semester of o-chem and physics when I did my MCAT prep/Kaplan course. MCAT definitely took a back seat to my coursework - I did most of my MCAT-intensive stuff on the weekends. Just by following the Kaplan review books and doing Kaplan and AAMC practice tests (using those as a guide to know which subjects to focus on when I reviewed), I went from 6’s on the PS/BS in my first practice test, to 10’s on the real thing. (VR started high and stayed high, fortunately for me.) So honestly, I think you can definitely put together a review/prep schedule that allows for paid work and/or schoolwork. Just remember MCAT prep deserves at least as much time as a 4-credit really hard lab course.