MCAT Study Schedule I: Weekly Mapping

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In this video, I'm gonna walk you through a hypothetical 15 week study schedule for the MCAT, working backwards from an actual test date. So let's say that, you have committed to studying 320 hours in 15 weeks. You are maybe a junior. You're still going to classes, junior year and you're on the semester system. So if this is the case, I recommend, if possible.

One really good option is, looking for a test that happens towards the end of your spring break term. So, let's hypothetically say you are, for instance, since this is where I teach this is where I live, a Berkeley student. And Berkeley's last day of finals, for this particular year, 2016. Is the 16th.

So if that's your last day of finals, maybe you're gonna take a day off and start studying the 18th, so. Sunday, the 18th of December. And for these first two weeks, so working backwards again, 30 hours a week. This is the holiday season for a lot of people, 40 hours a week might not be totally realistic.

But 30 hours a week can be, especially if you have flexible family and friends, which hopefully you do. Since you're going into medical school. After that, again if you're on the semester system, you're likely to have two weeks before you start classes again. So these are weeks that if this is an option to you, fully devote yourself, 40 hours a week for these two weeks.

And then you have 12 weeks, where you can devote, let's say 15 hours a week. A lot of people say they are going to study more than that, but you want to set up something that is more sustainable so. I really think 15 hours a week while you are taking other classes is, anything too much higher than that, is probably not gonna be sustainable or that realistic. There are exceptions, but 15 hours a week, is what I recommend.

And then after these 12 weeks, you get to this last week before the test. And at Berkeley, this happens to be spring break. So that gives you a little bit of extra time, to cover some last minute concepts, really review your notes and even. Maybe rest a little bit since you won't be in classes. So, that is one setup there are also really good reasons and arguments, for taking maybe a MCAT towards the end of summer, or maybe early fall.

But one thing that's really nice about this setup, is that. Your scores, if you were to take a March 31st test, are going to be released in early May. And that gives you enough time to apply for June openings, medical schools, then missions in 2017, open June 6th. So you'll be able to get those scores in early.

Which can be an advantage, when applying to med schools. So let's look at the more micro view. So going back and thinking about these 12 weeks, where you're gonna be devoting around 15 hours a week to studying. On the basis and assumption, that you are taking classes. Three hours a day, five days a week.

That's a nice starting point. I recommend every day devoting some time, to the CARS section. So again, that's the reading comprehension. Reading sample passages is great, but you can also just do any kind of analytical reading. So look at our cars video lessons, for more information on that.

But 30 minutes a day devoted to reading. You might then spend about 30 minutes on videos. 60 minutes on actually studying content, that your not as familiar with. And then 60 minutes on self testing. So this could be flash cards, it could be practice questions online. Something to quiz yourself, on material that you've already studied.

So this is a sample schedule, that I setup. That I would create for myself, if I were studying for the MCAT right now. Based on my schedule and based on my subject expertise, so the areas were I'm strongest and weakest so. I have designated Saturday as my off day. And working backwards, I'm going to find out my so called easiest subject, or the subject that I'm most familiar with.

And schedule for the end of the week. Okay so Soc&Psy be that for me. The second easiest or subject in which, I'm second most familiar is Biology. I would do that on the second to last day, that I am actually working. I don't want to jump in Sunday, on my most difficult topic. I might be a little bit too much of cold water on the face type of experience, after a day of rest.

So Monday and Tuesday, would be the days to really focus on the difficult subjects. For me that would be Organic-Chemistry and Biochemistry. And then General Chemistry, Physics would be somewhere in the middle. So that's a good starting place. I also have set up a Flex Day.

And mine happens to be Wednesday. Your's might be some other day in the week, but it's really helpful to come up with some kind, I have here, a buffer. So things happen. Emergencies happen or you get sick and ultimately, you don't want to get behind on your schedule.

It's demoralizing when you do. It's frustrating when you do and by building in a flex day or a buffer day, you have that extra space to compensate, for days in which you don't get things done. So, I highly recommend it, because it's going to keep your motivation up, it's going to keep you meeting your goals, so buffer day is a good day.

And if you wind up not needing it, if you do stay right on schedule, you don't need a buffer day, you can. Either take another rest day or you can use it to just take practice tests, which is always a good use of time.

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