Prepping for MCAT

I know that everyone’s study needs/abilities/habits all differ, but given that I have never looked at an exam like the MCAT before, I’m wondering how much time people have devoted to studying it. I will finish Orgo II next spring, and was thinking that I might do a TPR/Kaplan course near the end of the Orgo II term (ends in April) and hopefully write in May or June, rather than waiting till August. This would leave me the summer free with my kids (total selfishness here). Given that I plan on not working at that time, and will not be doing any other courses other than Orgo, how realistic is this? I’m guessing that I will be able to devote a minimum of 20 hours/week to studying for the MCAT at that time.

Any thoughts? How long did any of you prepare?

I was scheduled to take the MCAT on May 11, but between work & classes I haven’t been very diligent regarding setting aside time for MCAT prep. We don’t have kids, but 3 science classes with their labs in one semester sucks the life right out of me. At least kids would keep things interesting. Anyhow, I have decided to do Kaplan over the summer and take the test in August. This also gives me a little wiggle room for work/volunteering/studyin g (blowing the dust off my old physiology & microbiology texts) with time for a brief diving trip… and, of course, the OPM conference in June.

Ultimately, you will do what works best for you. If you take it a little easy on the classes, MCAT prep wouldn’t be too hard. The young gunner premeds in my program here are taking physiology on top of the same 3 classes I’m taking and they still make time to prep for MCAT. I can tell they are starting to fray a little at the edges, though. I don’t see the value in extreme masochism (I don’t think it earns you any extra points on your AMCAS app). Slow & steady wins (or finishes in plenty of time) the race.

Good luck at any rate :wink:

P.S. In answer to your actual question, here is what I always hear: prep for the MCAT as long as it takes to “feel ready.” A friend at Wake Forest says he experienced a kind of “zen” state where he just knew he was ready… shrug that kinda works for me too, I think, but maybe not for others. Test prep courses aren’t an awful idea for people (like myself) who need a little structure when facing down a challenge like the MCAT.