Haven't looked at MCAT material in 3+ years; how do I start studying?


Long story short…I thought I was going to go to Medical School when I was in Undergrad, i took the MCAT and had NO clue how to study. I did very bad on it and thought I wasn’t smart enough for medical school, even though I did very well on all my medical school pre-reqs. Now, several years later, I am thinking I made a mistake and should’ve stuck with pursuing medical school…however, I have NO clue where to even start with studying for the MCAT. I really feel that everything I knew about the MCAT subjects, I have just forgotten at this point. Any tips for basically teaching yourself from scratch?


In the same boat as you. Sorry no real expert advice or success story. But I will be getting out of the Army soon and have been studying as much as I can. I was given the Kaplan 2021 MCAT 7 book series. Good material in my opinion so far. Have all my notes from undergrad. Been reading and taking notes/making flashcards when necessary. Switching up subjects every week and trying to get quality time in with one subject per week whether it be 3 chapters or 5 chapters. I err on the side of quality versus quantity so I’ve been doing 3 xhaoters per week. Might not be the fastest, but being 3+ out of the saddle like you, its been a good pace to actually relearn and memorize the info. It’s like hopping back on a bike, the learning curve is exponential and the understanding of the material is amplified as compared to when I was an undergrad belive it or not.

Old post, but still might give some valuable input.

Reddit has a 300 page document, and 154 page document outlining literally everything you need to know for the MCAT (Google for: Khan Academy MCAT 300 page document or the shorter 100 page: Formatted Lazy OCD KA, and AAMC Content Guidelines UPDATED MCAT document), as well as full 10,000+ card Anki decks covering everything you need to know, organized in great form. Anki will be your life in med school, and starting it now is only a bonus - coming from personal Anki devotion, it is a god send to learn vast amounts of information. Practice test Practice test Practice test. Do 8-15+ full length practice tests that mock the testing environment - breaks and all. Take the MCAT when your last 2 tests reflect a score 2-4~ points higher than what you want. Take at least 3-6 months to study, and study like it’s your job - 3-8 hours per day. With all of the free resources out there, there is zero excuse not to get the score you want.

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@Coffee Would you happen to know which one of these books I should get as a study prep material?

  • Kaplan MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review

*Test Prep Books’ MCAT Prep Book

  • Princeton Review’s MCAT Subject Review Set

I’ve been doing research for my MCAT prep and I found these recommendations on Exam Cave. I’m not sure which one I should get, and I just want feedback from other people since these materials come at a pretty expensive price. Or do you have any other suggestions (hopefully free)

If those are the only two you are choosing from, I highly (highly) recommend Kaplan.

Definitely do not forgo other resources, like Reddit (as mentioned above), external practice tests, Khan Academy (THIS IS GOING AWAY SOON), and the official AAMC resources and tests. The AAMC resources are effectively mandatory, because it comes from the people who literally write the exam questions.

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You’re a champ, thank you! I’ll definitely check that out. :grinning: