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When to Start Studying for the MCAT Exams

The AACP has specified that 300 hours of study are required for the MCAT exam

Students who wish to get a good score in their Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) are aware that there are a large number of students taking the exam, and they should be well prepared if they wish to get a good score. While the AACP has specified that 300 hours of study are required for the MCAT exam, many students who are intending to take the exam are not sure when they should start their MCAT prep; a few months earlier or a year earlier. The best schedule varies depending on the student’s current daily routine, their responsibilities, and whether they are working.

For Full-Time Workers

There are many students who have a full-time job and are interested in taking MCAT, so they should do some long-term planning. They usually have a busy schedule and can spend only a few hours weekly studying for the exam, so it is better to start studying a year in advance of the exam date. They are only free on weekends, so they spend one day weekly studying the course material. In a situation like this where free time is so limited, it is usually recommended that the student find an MCAT prep tutor to help them make the most of the time they do have.

When, Start, Studying, MCAT, Exams
AACP has specified that 300 hours of study are required for the MCAT exam. Pixabay

Then, just before the exam, they can increase the time they spend studying, taking a vacation from their work to focus on the exam preparation and taking practice tests.

For Full-Time Students

Many students are attending school or college during the morning and still wish to take MCAT. So, these students can spend a few days in a week preparing for the exam. These students will still have to complete their college coursework and exams, so they will have to take periodic breaks from their MCAT preparation. Like those who are working full time, they will also have to increase the number of hours they study, just before they actually take the exam. If their college course is similar to the MCAT study material, it will help to some extent.

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The Fast Approach

Some students wish to study for the exam quickly in only a few months. Many colleges and schools have a summer break and winter break, when the students have no other studies or exams. This can be used by the student to focus exclusively on MCAT preparation, studying for eight to ten hours daily. However, there is a possibility that the student may get bored while studying continuously, so it is important to take some breaks from the daily study routine. The student can either relax watching tv or spend time with family and friends. This method is preferred since the student will have more recently studied the different topics.

When, Start, Studying, MCAT, Exams
It is important to take some breaks from the daily study routine. Pixabay

After Taking A Break

In a few cases, students who were planning to take their MCAT exam are unable to do so because their studies were interrupted due to health or personal problems. They can now consider resuming their studies. In these cases, it is advisable for them to review the reasons why they were unable to complete their studies earlier and take suitable precautions to ensure that the problem does not occur again. Compared to the other test takers, they may have to spend less time in preparing for the exams since they have completed some of the course work earlier. It is advisable to take some practice tests, to check their proficiency in the various subjects.

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