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I want to become a doctor. If I complete my undergraduate degree in three years, how should I make time to study for the MCAT?

I am approaching my senior year of high school. I am planning on acquiring an MD in a 7-year period. I am also considering the possibility of becoming a surgeon. doctor neurosurgeon

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Hannah’s Answer

The thing is the MCAT is just like every other standardized test in that yes we need to know the basic sciences but we also need to know how to take the test. So I would dedicate a segment of about 6 weeks called dedicated time to focus on just the exam and nothing else. During that time work through a question bank and supplement with anki decks or books. But before that time study through out your courses with some kaplan books and some flash cards to keep concepts like biology fresh.

I am getting ready to finish med school in about 10 months and it is a wild ride. The key thing during under grad is learning how to learn and keeping the material fresh with flash cards so that you do not have to re learn anything

Hannah recommends the following next steps:

Anki flash card decks during under grad years
kaplan or other focused MCAT books
6+ weeks of dedicated MCAT prep
practice tests every 2 weeks in dedicated

Thanks for answering my question! Congratulations on medical school! Benjamin V.

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Will’s Answer

I agree with Hannah. The MCAT is the biggest barrier to entry for medical school; do poorly on it and it doesn't matter what the rest of your application looks like. It is an exam you only want to take once for multiple reasons. First, a poor score on the first try (even with better scores on subsequent tries) hurts you in admissions. Second, it's not fun to study for! The MCAT is not something to rush. I would recommend what Hannah said (finding some time to set aside where all you do is study full time) OR having a very light semester (e.g. 8-10 credit hours of somewhat light courses). As for how to actually study for it, I agree with what she said with an emphasis on practice questions and question banks. Do as many high quality, novel practice questions as you can.

Thank you so much for your input! Having the input of someone who has recently gone through the process is incredibly valuable! Benjamin V.

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Estelle’s Answer

Hannah gave a great answer. Three of my son's have taken the MCAT, and all three used a dedicated MCAT prep book set. they liked the Exam Krackers series. If you are going to study during the school year, then plan on 5 hours per week dedicated completely to MCAT prep work. If you are able to use a summer break, then plan on 6 weeks focused on the MCAT. Good luck!
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