Since my lab is closing and a needed machine is down, I have not had a lot of work to do. Ihave been tyring to sit and study for the MCAT at my desk but I am too restless.
Any advice on how to beat this restlessness

“study for the MCAT” is a big, amorphous blob of an assignment. When I confront big tasks with lots of parts to them, it’s all too easy to fritter away the time - it just seems too big a thing to tackle. I suggest that you divvy it up into bite-size pieces. “I will spend 45 minutes reviewing SN1 and SN2 reactions,” I dunno, or "I will do two practice verbal passages and review the answers to figure out my mistakes."
And don’t expect yourself to sit there and study for hours at a time. My best studying happens when I am doing the laundry (! really!). I set a timer for every 45 minutes, go and switch loads, hang stuff up, whatever, and then sit back down again. Don’t ever sit for more than an hour without getting up and doing something else. It isn’t conducive to good learning.

In undergrad, I could study anywhere. Now it seems I get distracted much more easily, so I have to find a pretty quiet place to study. I also need to be consistent in going to this place. For me, it has become the library on the first floor by the large windows. While I was studying for the MCAT it was the Kaplan center.
I also agree with Mary that having an agenda helps keep you on track as well as gives you achievable goals.
Good luck,

When I was studying for the April test (which I subsequently did not take because I felt totally unprepared), I was taking snippets of time and just reading the Kaplan book… for me, this did absolutely not work…
Now, for the August test, I have started out trying to spend 2 hours per day studying… there have been several days when this has not been practical… and I would find myself watching the clock and my mind wandering… so instead, the last week I have set myself to trying to cover 1 chapter in the Kaplan book per day… I end up spending between 1-2 hours studying… and it helps me to be more focused… I am working towards a deadline… and it’s bite-sized and I know when the end is going to be… rather than a time, a set amount of material.
My plans at this point are to work through the Kaplan book, chapter by chapter… then work through Audio Osmosis and after that focus on problem areas. I also plan on working in some practice tests… once I figure out the schedule for this, (the practice tests) it will be much easier.
reader’s digest:
come up with a plan in bite-sized pieces (as others suggested) and try to stick to it… know that it won’t always be perfect, but life goes on… do what you can.
good luck!

Hi there,
Never underestimate the value of taking a small amount of information, recopying it to a large index card and keeping a few of these for places like: waiting in line at the bank, just before you fall asleep at night, waiting at the fast food drive through, etc. I used to memorize my drugs in that manner. Don’t put too much on the card but put things that you just want to review from time to time. Keep a stash of factoid index cards in your purse for those spare moments. Turn the cards over when you have gone through them.
You will be surprised at how much you can cover like this.

I think everyone has their own particular method. For myself, I can relate to the “restlessness” and having a hard time disciplining myself to sit down and read MCAT material for hours on end. What works for me: I don’t particular enjoy reading about the lac operon for an hour, but I do enjoy practice questions. It’s sort of like a contest, and I enjoy being “right” when I do the questions. Therefore, I supplement each reading with practice questions about whatever topic I was reading about. I find it easier to motivate myself to read the section and really study it, so that I can get the questions right at the end of my study session. Yes, it sounds sort of corny, but it works for me. That’s why I prefer EK material over Kaplan, because there are more questions dispersed throughout the material and I don’t have to hunt through other resources as much. Also, alternate between topics that you are interested in, and ones that are less interesting from study session to the next. If you’re interested in the endocrine system and digestion, but not in genetics or evolution, study genetics, then endocrine, then evolution, then digestion rather than reading about all the topics that interest you, and saving the hard and boring topics for the very end. Also, pick a set time every day or other day and study for a set amount of time, then do questions. Stick with this schedule and before long it will become habit, and you’ll find it easier to sit down and study.

You need to find a place to study without distractions and a place where you can study every day. You should set up a time of day when you schedule MCAT study time and you do nothing else during that time. Treat it as if you were in a class at college and had to show up for class or fail the course. Don’t allow anything or anyone distract you from that time frame.
Come up with a study schedule in advace. For example. Take a diagnostic if you haven’t already. Determine your weak point and set that subject up first in the day when your mind is the freshest. Then block out a time for the other subjects. Or do one subject per day and then start over when you finish all the subjects during the week. Or study PS or BS as a group.
It is very important that you set things up now, otherwise you will be restless and you won’t study efficently. And then you will be wasting your time.
Good luck