How To Maximize MCAT Study Time (And Keep Your Social Life Guilt-Free) | 514 Scorer’s Top Strategies

For even more top strategies that will help you optimize your MCAT prep, check out our Complete MCAT Strategy Course here →


With so much MCAT content to cover, how are you supposed to find the time of day to study everything?

What makes things even more frustrating is when you're spending hours every week studying as you watch your friends go out and have their fun...

Time is such a valuable resource when you’re preparing for the MCAT and we all wish we had more of it.

Something that your MCAT Mastery mentor, Hope, was constantly asking herself when preparing for the MCAT was ‘How can I maximize my MCAT study time?’...

So she took time to develop strategies to answer that question! With all the extra study time Hope made, taking the MCAT was a breeze, as she scored an impressive 514! 

In this video (and the commentary below 👇), Hope shares her most effective strategies that allowed her to maximize her study time and make time to attend social events guilt-free so that you can do the same! 

How To Maximize MCAT Study Time Tip #1: Listening To Materials

Something I found very helpful during her MCAT prep was listening to Khan Academy MCAT prep videos and podcasts. 

Any topic that is on the MCAT, Khan Academy has a video that covers it. It’s a great resource that many top scorers have used in their MCAT prep.

One of the great things about these resources is that the videos are anywhere from 5-20 minutes long! That means that you’re able to make time for these videos no matter how much or little time you have to spare.

A great feature with these videos is that you can also save and download them to watch later on your phone! You can take these videos with you on the go and create extra MCAT study time during moments where you wouldn’t be doing much otherwise (like while you’re on your commute to school or work)

I actually listened to Khan Academy videos on the way to my friend’s wedding!

After the weekend of my friend’s wedding, my mindset improved because I got to hear the information in a new way!

Exposing yourself to different explanations and techniques are a helpful way to have things stick in your head. I combined all of the different ways I had heard about concepts and content and made a definition for myself.

On test day, you’ll remember your words a lot better than someone else’s. 

Not only do these videos help give you more time to study for the MCAT, but they also allow you to feel like a normal person in society.

I know a lot of premeds can feel guilty when they go out instead of studying 24/7 and these videos let you find a happy compromise between MCAT study and having a social life… 

Maybe you can watch some videos on the way to your next social outing! 

Hope’s Podcast Recommendation: MCAT Biology Review with Vanfidel

In this podcast, Vanfidel reads through the content covered in Kaplan books. I love this series because these podcast episodes are easy to digest and I was able to listen to a lot of these while I was driving and on the go!

*If you're looking for another great MCAT Podcast, look no further than MCAT Mastery's new podcast, where we provide informative and inspiring accounts from top MCAT scorers. We cover subjects like scheduling, retaking strategies, success stories from top scorers who had the odds against them and even on how to maintain your mental wellbeing while studying (that includes your social-life). Check out our podcast here!!*

How To Maximize MCAT Study Time Tip #2: Use Flashcards

Another great way to maximize your MCAT study time is by flashcards!

These can be your own flashcards, Quizlet flashcards, or ANKI flashcards. 

Of these, so many of your MCAT Mastery mentors swear by ANKI for prep. ANKI really is a great resource that has figured out how students learn the best and we definitely think you should check it out!

Not only is ANKI great for MCAT prep, but it’s a resource that many students continue to use even while they’re in medical school.

For more on what ANKI is, why it’s such a great tool and how you can make the most of it check out our article here.

The reason why flashcards are so great for maximizing time is because you’re able to review these in very short periods of time where you wouldn’t be able to fit in a longer MCAT study session. 

I used flashcards for at least 10-20 minutes a day and over time even these short sessions really amount to a lot of content retention.


*If you're liking enjoying these maximizing MCAT study time tips and want to learn about more ways you can maintain your social life while studying for the MCAT you have to check out our podcast episode on that topic here!*

How To Maximize MCAT Study Time Tip #3: Use Jack Westin’s CARS Passages

This last tip is another resource that many of your MCAT Mastery mentors strongly recommend and that is Jack Westin’s CARS passages

Doing this will allow you to maximize your MCAT study time because they’re so easy to access. These questions and passages are smartphone friendly and can be done passage by passage…

Meaning that whenever you have an extra 10-12 minutes to spare throughout the day, it’s so easy for you to do a CARS passage.

I personally tried to get into the habit of doing at least 1 CARS passage a day and recommend you try doing the same!

*Hope credits a lot of her success on the MCAT (especially CARS) to Jack Westin's passages. Read more about her experience preparing for the MCAT and how she increased her score from 500 to 516 in 6 weeks the article here!*

Learn From Top-Scorers Who've Made Mistakes

If you find Hope’s video helpful, then remember that these strategies and resources don’t end here…

Check out our complete MCAT strategy course, full with strategies from your top scoring mentors that will help prepare you for every aspect of the MCAT. 

Learn from top-scorers who have made mistakes during prep, so that you don’t have to experience the same difficulties.

Finally, we know just how much the MCAT can take a toll on you when you’re pouring so much time and energy into the prep process…

But just remember that even if it’s a long journey, you have to take care of yourself along the way and make time for the things that will keep you healthy (both mentally and physically)!

Be kind to yourself and don’t make studying for the MCAT any more difficult than it needs to be.

You got this!

The MCAT Mastery Team
Your MCAT Success Mentors


The MCAT Mastery Team

About the Author

We're a team of future doctors passionate about giving back and mentoring other future doctors! All mentors on the team are top MCAT scorers and we all are committed to seeing you succeed in achieving your physician dreams ????  To help you increase your MCAT score to the competitive mark quickly, we have collaboratively created these self-paced MCAT strategy courses and are also available for one-on-one tutoring!


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