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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

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The best schedule varies depending on the student’s current daily routine, their responsibilities, and whether they are working. Pixabay

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.

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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.

Also Read- Boeing Acknowledges Defects in 737 MAX Simulator Software after Crashes

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.

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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.

Next Story

Quit Facebook Now to Secure Good Grades in Exams

However, even when students used Facebook primarily for educational purposes, it was still a problem for lower performing students

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An iPhone displays the app for Facebook in New Orleans, Aug. 11, 2019. VOA

Parents, take note. If you want your children to score good grades in exams, tell them to quit social media as researchers have found that students whose grades were below average could boost their results if they devoted less time on social networking sites, especially Facebook.

The study, published in the journal Computers & Education, looked at the amount of time first-year university students spent on Facebook, and the impact it had on their grades.

More than 500 students enrolled in the first year subject ‘Introductory Accounting’ at an Australian university took part in the study, with an average age of 19.

The research from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) showed that while high Facachieving students were not affected by the amount of time on Facebook, below average students had significantly lower grades with greater Facebook use.

“Our research shows time spent on social networking platforms puts lower academic achievers at higher risk of failing their course,” said study researcher James Wakefield from the UTS.

Students taking part in the study spent on average nearly two hours a day on Facebook, however some were on the social networking site in excess of eight hours a day.

“Lower achieving students may already be grappling with self-regulation and focus, so it seems time spent on Facebook provides a further distraction from studies,” Wakefield said.

Researchers found that if the students used Facebook for three hours a day – not substantially higher than the average of just under two hours – the difference was around six marks in a 60 mark exam or 10 per cent.

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The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

While the research applies to university students studying STEM and business degrees, it is likely to also be relevant to high school students who use social media.

For the findings, researchers assessed the students’ general academic achievement using their weighted average mark (WAM) across all of their studies, and surveyed them about their Facebook use.

They also controlled for other factors that might influence their achievement, such as whether they were planning to major in accounting, as well as their age and gender.

“It appears that for students with lower academic achievement, the use of social networking sites replaces study time, whereas high achieving students are able to juggle both,” he said.

Also Read: Tech Giant Google Secretly Gathering Health Information of Millions of US Citizens

According to the researchers, students with below average grades would benefit from switching off notifications on their phones, and either quitting or reducing time spent on Facebook.

The research also looked at why students were using Facebook – whether to keep in touch with family and friends, for entertainment or for study purposes.

However, even when students used Facebook primarily for educational purposes, it was still a problem for lower performing students. (IANS)