When To Start Studying?

MCAT preparation and implications of MCAT scores.

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When To Start Studying?

Postby rsarti » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:47 pm

I'm an undergrad Junior. I have this tutor who is taking the MCAT for the second time (The first, he got 33. He has a 4.0 GPA) and offered a course which is 5 times/week, 2-hr/day during 3 months, for $500 total. He's going to take the MCAT on August so in the mean time, he keeps tutoring for other classes at this center, and doing research and came up with this idea. Now, he knows I'm still missing orgo, and bio chem to be able to take the exam, but this summer, he's only going to focus on all of the other subjects (of course until I graduate next year, I'd taken the chems I'm missing and reviewing everything else, in order to prepare for the exam)

Now, my sister already took the test once (she got a 29 and is planning to take it again) but like I guess most, she started focusing most of her attention after graduating from college and then took the test 4-5 month after and she says that this is the [smart] way to do it because, Ok, I take this course now, but a year from now, I would've forgotten most of the stuff I reviewed now and it would be a waste of money and time. But I argue that I'm not going to forget because I'll be reviewing everything AND adding more info as I go and learn what I'm missing (I think It's too stressing just doing it all few month prior the exam, because it's not only the exam I need to worry, it's also research/work, personal statement, volunteering, etc that come into the equation as well) but I guess she has a valid point, too.

So, do you think it's a good move to take this course and start studying/practicing now, a year before the actual exam, or should I start 5-4 months prior it like I've read/heard most of the people do?
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Re: When To Start Studying?

Postby elitea » Thu May 28, 2015 8:06 am

I think you should be cautious about paying someone this money, especially if he hasn't 1) received the score he wants, or 2) had enough experience to successfully teach someone else to pass the test. However, I think you have the right idea in wanting to get started early.

You definitely don't want to start studying only months before the test, so I would suggest scheduling out a study plan for the next year. This way, you'll get plenty of review of the subjects and you won't be procrastinating like many others.

I'd also recommend looking at resources on this site and others to figure out the best study practices, such as knowing when to switch up your routine, recognizing which subjects to study and when, and learning when to take practice tests for review.

How's everything been since you posted a couple months ago?
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Re: When To Start Studying?

Postby CaribMD » Thu May 28, 2015 10:05 pm

'm an undergrad Junior. I have this tutor who is taking the MCAT for the second time (The first, he got 33. He has a 4.0 GPA) and offered a course which is 5 times/week, 2-hr/day during 3 months, for $500 total. He's going to take the MCAT on August
Retaking the MCAT....... can be a bad idea.

Why? A 33 is great score and good enough with a 4.0 and good application. its a waste of time. What would this person do if they get a 32? or a 34? retake it again because its not a magical 35 to 38? The statistical difference between a 33 and 35 is not that much in reality. Taking an MCAT a second time and getting a lower score is a RED Flag, Taking it a 3rd time to get a higher score and not is a confirmation.

SO I would not risk it.

Second: You should study for the MCAT on your own and take honest practice tests, why? The MCAT is thinking test and correlates with the USMLE step 1, you need to take practice tests to assess your weaknesses and then focus on those.
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