In this video post, I want to show you how I created my MCAT study plan for my January test date, which led me to score in the 99th percentile, all while working 30-40 hours and being a full-time student.
By the way, my name is Siraj and I am one of the tutors here at MCAT Mastery 🙂
I know how challenging MCAT prep can be. Personally, I felt really overwhelmed with all the content and resources available.
If you're feeling similarly, know that you can get through this.
I hope this video helps you and feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions!
How I Created My MCAT Study Schedule
Managing your time and creating a schedule at the beginning of MCAT studying is very important. One strategy that helped me stay on top of my studying was keeping myself accountable.
I created a physical calendar and wrote down all my midterms, work commitments, and school commitments. Then I made an excel sheet giving myself specific MCAT related tasks to do every day. It’d be even more helpful if you add time slots you want to study for the MCAT, for example, using the breaks in between classes, etc.
Make sure to create a reasonable schedule, don’t assign yourself too much. If you are planning to take the MCAT in January try to take advantage of breaks around thanksgiving and winter.
I was a third-year in college when I took the test. School took around 10-15 hours every week and I was at work from 3 PM onward for two days every week. I had to schedule my MCAT studying in between classes. I started with content review and spend 2.5months on it (September to mid-November) then I focused on practice questions.
Creating an MCAT schedule can take some time to plan but it's a worthwhile upfront investment. In fact, you can always work with one of us at MCAT Mastery to help you create the most efficient schedule for you and your unique situation, and adjust it for you as your score progresses. This will also keep you accountable.
Some students are nontraditional, some students are retakers, whatever your situation is, we'll come up with an efficient study schedule for you!
The MCAT Study Materials I Used
As for study materials for content review, I used Khan Academy videos the most. I watched the videos early in the morning around 6:30 AM until whenever I had a class or other commitments (around 9 AM).
At night, I would review my notes from the videos and do the Khan Academy questions that check for mastery. I would intersperse Khan Academy videos by reading the 300 Page Document from Reddit which has transcribed all the Khan Academy P/S videos.
On the days I didn’t work or the weeks I didn’t have midterms, I would try and do a few videos in the middle of the day. Essentially, whenever I had free time.
My goal was to do UWorld and all AAMC material before the test. I focused my mornings doing practice questions and at night I’d review.
School started to slow down a little in mid-December, I took some time off from work and had a winter break, so I took advantage of that to do a lot more questions.
How to Avoid MCAT Studying Burnout
I made sure to always have a break day - "no MCAT studying" days. These break days helped keep me refreshed while studying.
I would do something fun/interesting. I am based in Southern California; for example, one day I took a day trip to Joshua Tree.
I also always took days off here and there to study for midterms.
I highly suggest taking a break between the content review and practice questions. You need to be mentally focused when doing practice questions.
How I Stayed On Track With My MCAT Study Plan
In order to keep myself on track, I’d look at my study plan every two weeks and adjust if necessary. Sometimes, I’d just need a day off to remain focused so I just adjusted the rest of my schedule accordingly.
I really tried to make sure I had everything completed that I wanted to get done in a 2-week block.
Key Lessons From My Overall MCAT Journey
Creating a schedule, taking into account school and work commitments, and sticking to it as best as I could help me succeed.
As a student different things came up and I had to adjust my study plan. I figured out what resources I want to use early and stuck to them.
The study material is not an issue as long as you are consistently studying and keeping yourself motivated. I promise if you chose Examkrackers instead of Kaplan, that won’t be the reason you don’t do well. It will only make studying harder if you’re constantly switching between stuff.
When you are studying, you need to be mentally focused. The MCAT requires your full attention. That’s why it’s important to take breaks, at least once every week.
How You Can Keep Improving Your MCAT Score
If you're already in the middle of MCAT prep, it's not too late to adjust your MCAT prep schedule. Never get down on yourself, you can always improve.
This isn't an easy journey and I know there are a lot of frustrating moments, but you can make it through this. You just need to take some time on doing things like what this video is about; focusing on the strategy behind how you approach the journey; which includes how you plan your prep, how you go through practice exams, how you develop the right way to think for this exam, and so much more.
This is why I and the rest of the team at MCAT Mastery are constantly creating MCAT strategy resources to show you how to make it through this in the smartest, most efficient way possible.
And again if you need an MCAT mentor to work with you, you can sign up to work with me or anyone of us!
Thanks for reading and remember, you can do this!
Siraj from MCAT Mastery
Your MCAT Success Mentor