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When do I start studying for the MCAT?

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Subject: Career question for you


4 answers

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Robert! Great question! Taking the MCAT is based on when you want to go to medical school. For med school the application opens in June and then there is a whole year of interviews. In high school for college you apply senior year and begin after graduating but in med school it's different. That being said if you want to begin medical school after graduating college then I would take the MCAT junior year. That way you apply in the summer of your senior year and spend the year going to interviews and get an acceptance hopefully before formally graduating college. If you are okay with a gap year or want to finish college first then take it senior year. The main thing is when taking the MCAT and applying to medical school, it's not a race but only when you're ready. The MCAT tests a variety of subjects, it takes time to prepare usually you need to study 400-500 hours before exam day. That could mean the whole summer or a longer time if you have other commitments like work or family. I would advise to complete all prerequisites that are tested on the MCAT especially the advanced ones like Biochemistry. For the psych/socio section you can take intro courses in college but Khan academy has a lot of great videos to prepare you on these subjects. In addition, Kaplan is also great with the books they offer, it is a bit costly but definitely worth it to refresh/learn information you may have struggled with. Talk with your adviser and see how you're going about in your classes and if you think you can study during the summer or while taking a lighter load go for it! It's really up to you and how you feel about it!
Best of luck!

Yasemin recommends the following next steps:

Speak with premed adviser
See how many classes left for the prereqs
Check out Khan academy
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David’s Answer

I started my study for MCAT after my 2nd or beginning of 3rd years of college course works, I do not mean my 2nd years or 4 semesters of college, I mean after I completed all my pre-med course works from the course lists, another way of saying is after finishing these courses I have listed below.

- Biology II & Lab
- Physics II & Lab
- Fundamentals of Biochemistry
- Fundamentals of Physiology
- Human Anatomy
- Cell and Cancer Biology

Some would say take the whole summer to do it, which I recommend as well because you are not taking any course work or classes during that time, but some will which is not a bad ideas to do it while you don't need to care about the heavy loaded of college work on you while taking classes. It is like doing SAT during high school, some people went to take the course for it and some just buy the textbook and study on their own. Every Grad or Profession admission test is the same concept but just how to take it into action in studying.
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Richard’s Answer

You should devote an entire summer to studying between sophomore and junior year. That way if you do not perform up to your expectation, you can have time to retake it.

Consider paying for a prep course if you can afford it.

My son used MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2019-2020: Online + Book + 3 Practice Tests (Kaplan Test Prep) Kaplan Test Prep
Kaplan Test Prep
It was about $140 and he achieved his goal score.
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Estelle’s Answer

Start studying about 2 years ahead then really buckle down the summer before you take it. Get review books like the others have recommended so that you can have an idea of your strengths and weaknesses.