The general advice that I give on preparing for the MCAT is to put time in studying for the exam up-front. You want to go into this process with the goal of taking the exam once, while it is okay to retake it, if needed. It is a costly exam, both of your time and financially; so, dedicating at least 500-600 hours to study content, and taking 10-12 practice exams will provide you with a solid study plan.
Another key point is to create a realistic study schedule that works well with your other commitments; classes, extracurriculars, labs, etc. Define your MCAT study days and break the hours up into manageable blocks. For example, if you dedicate an entire 8 hours to MCAT prep, break those up into 2-hour blocks. Take frequent breaks; maybe a 10-minute break after each hour or two, and a 30-minute break mid-way. During those breaks, do something creative and fun to engage the right side of your brain. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to begin your next section!
MCAT Resources to get you started:
- AAMC’s Prepare for the MCAT Exam
- AAMC’s “How to Study for the MCAT Exam: Ask the Examinees”
- MCAT FAQs
- March2Success online tool and FAQs