When is too early for MCAT prep?

Hey all, I am 1 yr into my post bacc. As I speak to more and more people, advisors and former non-trads (now Dr.'s), I know that my MCAT score will be a crucial factor on my application. I know that’s the case for many, but with an undergrad GPA that was sub-3.0 from 12+ years ago, I need to REALLY make sure my work now is top-notch.

My question is, with both semesters of Chem and Bio under my belt now, is it too early to start to practice MCAT questions for these sections, here and there? I’m not talking about several hours per week of intense practice/study. Just an hour or so, here or there, if time permits.

Is there downside to this that I’m not seeing? Should I maybe be doing more?? I just don’t want 6 months to go by, and say to myself, “Wow, I should have done a little more of this to get ahead.” I appreciate your thoughts…

It’s never too early to start! Like you, I’m a year out and I’m already studying.

Best wishes,


Thanks, Dan. I should have mentioned that fact, I’m a year away from taking it (APR 2012).

The original plan was to start Kaplan officially around December/Jan.

I couldn’t see how starting to do passages in bio/chem could hurt. But, the more experienced on here sometimes bring up viewpoints that I miss.

Thanks again.

I thinks it useful to read and look over passages and see how the questions ask for the information from the very beginning of coursework. it may help you focus how you study the original class material so you start getting an MCAT mindset early. Beyond content, beyond how to take the exam, beyond almost everything, students get real FUD (fear uncertainty and doubt) over the MCAT. anything you can do to master that anxiety will help in the long run

I ordered MCAT books and started studying and doing problems about a year before my test. I take my real one in less than 2 weeks.

I didn’t start doing practice tests until 4 months ago but looking back, I don’t think it would have hurt to do one last year just to see how it was.

Thanks for the replies everyone. I’m going to start slow and steady with passages now. I think it’s been 17 years since I took a standardized test!

As someone who is knee-deep in MCAT prep at the current moment I would definitely say that looking back I wish I would have taken a practice test sooner–just so I could get the feel for it. Also, I agree with a previous poster who said that just glimpsing over some practice MCAT tests can give you an idea of how to study in your regular classes. This will be good if you can at least realize that you need to focus on concepts and long-term memorization and understanding not just rote memorization. On the other hand, this may not be good when you should obviously be prioritizing trying to make the best possible grade you can in your pre-req classes–and sometimes the way your professor sees things is not the same way the MCAT makers see them in regard to how you answer questions. Good luck with your prep!

I don’t think its ever too early to start prepping for the MCAT!

  • pathdr2b Said:
I don't think its ever too early to start prepping for the MCAT!

Bump. I agree. I think at least a half-a-year of time minimum, or even a year.

Ditto…I’ve started now to take it next year. I’m reviewing old concepts and practicing the Kaplan way.