Thursday, November 08, 2012

Five Steps to an Effective MCAT Study Schedule

Planning is core if you want to achieve something in any field. The same thing applies when preparing for the MCAT. While some students can breeze through the exam without spending ample study time (and still end up with exceptional marks!), the majority benefits most with a structured MCAT study schedule.

Of course, this important preparation tool needs to be personalized to suit your specific circumstance. Designing your own MCAT study schedule requires careful thought and assessment from your end. The following steps will guide you through this planning process.

Step 1: Determine your weaknesses and strengths. Consider your undergraduate training. If you don’t have a strong science background, then starting with the science review is ideal.  Otherwise, you can start with the verbal reasoning first.

Step 2: Rank the subjects accordingly based on difficulty, say one to five. If you find Organic Chemistry the hardest, then mark it as number one while the last number would be the subject you find the easiest.

Step 3: In this step, your academic grades play an important role. They are a good basis in deciding the amount of time you need for studying. Usually, candidates with science background and who averaged an A in all Science sections would only need three months preparation – even less. For those without science background, then extending up to six months would be ideal.

Step 4: Prepare your daily and weekly study guides. A minimum of 3 hours study time a day would be good. Select the most difficult, second most difficult subjects you have ranked and plot them in your schedule for two days a week. Make sure that you spend two thirds of your study hours reviewing your most difficult subject.  At least a month prior to your test day, do one or two realistic MCAT practice tests every week.

Step5: Make sure to stick with your study schedule no matter what.

You can download free templates of MCAT Personal Study Schedule at  Just sign up here for a free account: Sign-Up to