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MCAT Study Schedule 1 Month (Also for 2 & 6 months)

I know you must have heard this several times, but I will repeat nevertheless; cracking the MCAT test does require a lot of resilience.

You have to strategize and apply consistency to ensure you’re productive at the end of it all. Some students have more time than others to study and that’s great.

But, if for some genuine reasons you find yourself having only one month to prepare, then you must put in more effort to master as much content as possible, to understand the MCAT testing patterns and score well.

But;

Is 1 month enough time to study for the MCAT?

When you decide to give yourself only a month to prepare for your upcoming MCAT test, then you’re signing up for not a so easy path.

But, you can still manage to good score if you plan your time well.

Also, your level of confidence matters a lot. Because if you keep questioning yourself at the back of your mind, then your level of concentration will be less and you won’t even cover much.

Forget about feeling stressed or blaming yourself for not starting your preparation early, it won’t help, plus you really have no time for pity-party.

So, the best you can do for yourself at such a time is to believe in yourself.

Think of the time that you were faced with a difficult situation in your life and you managed to come out victorious; this too shouldn’t be any different.

If you put your mind to it, then you can draw your inner strength to grasp as much useful information as you can.

Yes, you might not have enough time to let a junk of details sink in, that’s why summarized and simple to understand materials will come in handy.

Also, a month can be enough depending on how high you want to score. If a score of 35+ is what you want, then it might be almost impossible to achieve, but if you will be okay with a 25-30 equivalent score, then a month should be good enough.

But even as you settle into a month of comprehensive test prep, keep in mind that some students do even 300 hours of study in around 3 or more months. So, that should reflect in your study plan.

And that takes us to my next point;

Guide to build your 1 Month MCAT Study Schedule

Essential Tools and Materials you need

  • Prep.Books

The current marketplace is filled with several MCAT test prep books. And the most famous ones are the Kaplan and The Princeton Review book sets.

Both companies are led by a team of certified experts and they offer practice tests and online access videos that can serve you well.

The good news is that I have compared them both, so ensure to go through it and choose the one that best suits your needs.

You can also add the MCAT with Online Tests to the list. It contains numerous passages and an easy breakdown of the questions.

  • The MCAT Exam’s 5th Edition Official Guide

This guide is published by the Association of American Medical Colleges and can be found in both print and electronic format, so choose the one that you prefer.

And if you have extra bucks you can also get the Official Guide to Medical School Admissions for strategies on what administrators look for.

  • The AAMC Practice Test

This practice test will play a very important role in actualizing your MCAT score.

This is because the questions are set to project the real test, thus helping you identify your key weaknesses and plan on enhancing them.

And because of limited time, it’s best to take it within your first week of study.

  • Kaplan MCAT Flashcards + App (Kaplan Test Prep) 3rd Edition

These Kaplan flashcards will help you go through all the important information you need to know within the shortest time possible.

The best part is that you get to carry them with you wherever you go so you can maximize your time even when on-the-go.

  • Notebook

Buy one large notebook that will help you summarize what you read into memorable diagrams or even equations.

It will be easy for you to carry it around with you for reference, especially if you don’t have a laptop or tablet.

Now, that you know what you need, let’s jump straight into the 1-month study schedule to help you get every necessity covered.

1st Phase: Studying Content

This is the stage where you need to review all the necessary subject materials that will help you crack the exam.

And this means you have to come up with a weekly schedule to help you track your progress for accountability purposes.

In this case, this should be your number one priority. Remember, you’re working on a marathon time-frame, so you would want to get right into the juicy content once and for all.

During this period, let your calendar be full of studying blocks. Plan to study for at least 3 hours each day for 6 days and then take a day to rest.

5 days should be dedicated to the 5 science subjects and 1 day for CARs (Social Sciences and Critical Analysis)

The best way to know what to focus on in the next week is by taking a full-length practice test at the end of each week. Use the ones I suggested above or source out for some free ones online.

Also, remember to study an extra CARs section daily by at least going through passage-related questions. You can find some of them here.

And don’t forget to review the test. You can even set aside a notebook for easy access.

You will use the results you get to know which areas need more focus and which ones you can simply peruse through.

Depending on what materials you have, take a day each week to go through these subjects;

  • Biology; Genetics, Cell structure, Reproduction, Immune system, Endocrine system, Nervous system, Digestive system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, Homeostasis, and Musculoskeletal System.
  • Bio-Chemistry; Enzymes, Protein structure, Amino acids+ proteins, Biological Membranes, Lipids, carbohydrates, Glycolysis, Citric Acid Cycle, Bioenergetics, Oxidative Phosphorylation, and Pentose Phosphate.
  • Organic Chemistry; Isomers, Bonding, Nomenclature, Alkenes+Aromatics, Alcohol+Ethers, Ketones+Aldehydes, Nitrogen Groups, Carboxylic Acids Separations, Spectroscopy, and Amino Acids
  • Physics; Kinematics Work, Units, Heat, Fluids, Energy, electricity, light, waves, sound and Magnetism
  • General Chemistry; Stoichiometry, Periodic table, Types of bonds, Kinetics, Equilibrium, Gases, Electrochemistry, Thermochemistry solutions, Acid/base, and Redox,
  • Social Sciences; Behavior, demographics, disorders, language, stress, emotions, personality, memory, learning, sensation, perception, and identity.

So for instance, your week should include:

  • Week 1

Spend a day this week to concentrate on one of these subjects;

Social Sciences (identity, Perception, Sensation)

Organic Chemistry (Isomers, Bonding, Nomenclature)

Biology (Genetics, Reproduction, Cell structure)

Physics (Units, Kinematics Work)

General Chemistry (Periodic table, Stoichiometry, types of bonds)

Biochemistry (Enzymes, Protein Structure, Amino Acids& Proteins)

CARs (Study to find the most essential areas)

  • Week 2

Use your study materials to go through each of the following. Each section for a day. The number of hours should be at least 3, if you can study for long hours, then the better for you. But be sure not to overwhelm yourself.

Also, the amount of time you spend on each area should be based on how difficult you find it to understand.

If for instance, you find social studies easy to grasp, then you can take a few hours reviewing its content, take a rest and use the remaining time to review the subject which is hardest for you.

You can call this the subject’s “bonus time” e.g.  Biochemistry bonus time, given that you’re studying it on a day meant for social studies and will study it again on its official day.

I hope you get the idea.

Social Sciences (Memory, Learning, Personality)

Organic Chemistry (Alkenes+Aromatics, Alcohol +Ethers, Ketones+Aldehydes)

Biology (Immune system, nervous system, Endocrine system)

Physics (Fluids, heat, energy)

General Chemistry (Kinetics, Gases, Equilibrium)

Biochemistry (Glycolysis, Citric Acid Cycle)

CARS (Study for the most essential areas)

Just as you did with week one, take time for extra CARs study every day.  Also, don’t forget to take the full-length practice exam for week 2.

And if you have a tutor, then plan on meeting up at least once a week for an elaborative discussion on areas that are proofing hard to understand.

Remember, to take your “mistakes notebook” with you, so that you can update it with the solutions you come up with.

You should also come up with a plan on how you’re going to push yourself further in the coming week.

  • Week 3

Like section week 1& 2, use the materials you have to study the following subject matters per day. The advisable time-frame should me more than 3 hours and never less.

Social Sciences (Stress, Emotions, language)

Organic Chemistry (Carboxylic Acids Separations, Nitrogen Groups)

Biology (Respiratory system, cardiovascular system, Digestive system)

Physics (Light, Waves, Sound, Magnetism, Electricity)

General Chemistry (Electrochemistry, Thermochemistry solutions)

Biochemistry (Glycolysis, Citric Acid Cycle, Bioenergetics)

CARS (Study to find essential information and do some foundation comprehensive questions & also, try to test your reasoning using text questions)

The weekly steps from week 1&2 apply here too.

  • Week 4

Of course, you will still use all the available materials to go through the following subjects. Each day with one subject.

But remember, this week should have the least materials to cover compared to weeks 1-3.  So, you get enough time to rest and review essential parts one last time.

If you used your bonus time well in those 3 weeks, then you should be left with very little subjects to tackle this week;

Social Sciences (Behavior disorders, Demographics)

Organic Chemistry (Amino Acids, Spectroscopy)

Biology (Musculoskeletal system, Homeostasis)

Physics (Nuclear, Optics)

General Chemistry (Acid/Base, Redox)

Biochemistry (Pentose Phosphate, Oxidative Phosphorylation)

CARs (Now test your reasoning beyond the test questions and see if you can answer all the questions within the specified time)

Repeat all the other weekly steps from weeks 1, 2, and 3. You should have mastered them by now and thus should be easy to pull through.

Also, by this time, you should be accustomed to studying for long hours. It’s beginning to get interesting even, but don’t be lured into overly doing it, because fatigue can overwhelm and that’s the last thing you want to deal with just a few days to your exam day.

Also, it will be best if you complete all the week 4 topics by the 4th day of the week. So, you can combine subjects as you find favorable.

 You can download this exact study schedule for free here:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eLpzYFj0kFwUAe6YxjvsERvKwRfcANSyx7xMj8eFALk/edit?usp=sharing 

I will explain why in the next section and provide more insights too. Keep reading!

Phase 2: Practice Tests

This is where you start taking the practice exams, going through your weaknesses and strengths, and Passage-style questions.

Normally this phase can take between 4-8 weeks, but because you’re short on time, that’s why I recommended above that you be doing full-length practice tests at the end of each week.

In addition to this, you should set aside an hour or two to do some extra work on the CARs.

You, however, will do much of the practice tests in week 4, because you won’t have much work left.

So, first, begin by focusing on the areas that you experienced difficulties. This should be from the 1st to the third week.

And it’s because of this that you will find your “mistake notebook very helpful.

In Week 4 meet with your tutor (if you have one) around 2 times for final touches. Lay bare your fears and weaknesses and let them help you to come up with a plan on how to smoothen those rough patches in the final lapse.

The reason as to why I recommend that you finish all the week 4 topics by the 4th day of that week is because you need time to SOLELY relax and reflect. And the most appropriate day to do this is the day before the exam.

That leaves you with 2 days to go through a question and answer session. And by this I mean that you use the resources you have, (feel free to add others from the hundreds of free MCAT prep materials available online) to answer questions.

Afterward, take to go back through your notes and grasp some of the concepts you might have missed out, but are covered in the questions.

Most, questions and answers materials rank these questions on matters of importance, so work on the most essential ones, and then go through the less difficult and less “famous” ones.

3rd Phase: Mental preparation (tips on how to be ready mentally)

This is the wrap-up phase when you’ve done everything you needed to do;

  • Gone through all the subjects
  • Done the right number of full-length tests
  • Reviewed your mistakes/weaknesses
  • Spent extra time on CARs
  • Are content with the number of passages you’ve gone through and the answer-questions sessions

Now, that all that is done, it’s time to prepare your self psychologically for the test day.

And you can do this by;

  • Take the last few hours to the exam relaxing and not on cramming points.
  • Get as much sleep as necessary. It helps you consolidate what you had studied
  • Think positively. No room for negative thinking or doubting what you have been doing. If possible stay away from people with negative energy.
  • Eat healthy food and drink enough water. Your body needs all the energy and your minds need the power to thrive. Include a good dose of vitamin B, C, Omega-3, and COQ10 foods.
  • Avoid discussions about your studies. Rather, trust that you have prepared adequately.

Now, that you fully understand the one month MCAT study Schedule, let me quickly take you through the 2 and 6 months MCAT Study schedules, using the above format;

MCAT study schedule in 2 Months

Like in the one month study, use the available materials to study the following areas on a rotation basis.

You should take at least 2 hours a day on a specific subject;

  • Biology; Genetics, Cell structure, Reproduction, Immune system, Endocrine system, Nervous system, Digestive system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, Homeostasis, and Musculoskeletal System.
  • Bio-Chemistry; Enzymes, Protein structure, Amino acids+ proteins, Biological Membranes, Lipids, carbohydrates, Glycolysis, Citric Acid Cycle, Bioenergetics, Oxidative Phosphorylation, and Pentose Phosphate.
  • Organic Chemistry; Isomers, Bonding, Nomenclature, Alkenes+Aromatics, Alcohol+Ethers, Ketones+Aldehydes, Nitrogen Groups, Carboxylic Acids Separations, Spectroscopy, and Amino Acids
  • Physics; Kinematics Work, Units, Heat, Fluids, Energy, electricity, light, waves, sound and Magnetism
  • General Chemistry; Stoichiometry, Periodic table, Types of bonds, Kinetics, Equilibrium, Gases, Electrochemistry, Thermochemistry solutions, Acid/base, and Redox,
  • Social Sciences; Behavior disorders, demographics, language, stress, emotions, personality, memory, learning, sensation, perception, and identity.

Week 1

Social Sciences (behavior disorder)

Organic Chemistry (Isomers, bonding, Nomenclature)

Biology (Genetics)

Physics (Kinematics Work, Units, Heat)

General Chemistry (Stoichiometry, Periodic table)

Biochemistry (Enzymes, Protein structure)

CARs ( Study to find the most essential areas)

Week 2-5

Your studying block should reflect the rotation of all the areas.

Also remember to study CARs daily, using the materials we mentioned in the 1st section. The AAMC sample questions and sections will come in handy.

The amount of time you spend on each area depends on how difficult it’s.

  • Week 2

Social Sciences (demographics, language, stress, emotions)

Organic Chemistry (Alkenes+Aromatics, Alcohol+Ethers)

Biology (Cell structure, Reproduction)

Physics (Fluids, Energy, electricity)

General Chemistry (Types of bonds, Kinetics)

Biochemistry (Amino acids+ proteins, Biological Membranes)

CARs (Study for the most essential areas)

  • Week 3

Social Sciences (personality, memory)

Organic Chemistry (Ketones+Aldehydes, Nitrogen Groups)

Biology (Immune system, Endocrine system)

Physics (light)

General Chemistry (Equilibrium, Gases)

Biochemistry (Lipids, carbohydrates, Glycolysis,)

CARs (Study to find essential information and do some foundation comprehensive questions)

  • Week 4

Social Sciences (learning, sensation)

Organic Chemistry (Carboxylic Acids Separations)

Biology (Nervous system, Digestive system, cardiovascular system)

Physics (sound)

General Chemistry (Electrochemistry, Thermochemistry solutions)

Biochemistry (Citric Acid Cycle, Bioenergetics)

CARs (Try to test your reasoning using text questions)

  • Week 5

Social Sciences (perception)

Organic Chemistry (Spectroscopy)

Biology (respiratory system, Homeostasis)

Physics (waves)

General Chemistry (Acid/base)

Biochemistry (oxidative Phosphorylation)

CARs (Now test your reasoning beyond the test questions and see if you can answer all the questions within the specified time)

Week 6-7

This where you start taking practice tests seriously.  So, ensure you take a full-length each of these weeks and then review the outcome.

So for instance, if you do a test today, use the following day to review your strengths and weaknesses to help you refocus your energy on the weaker parts the coming week.

The CARs studies should go on daily, without failure.

So, use 3 days to study different areas, 1 day for the practice exam, 1 day for test review and planning your study and 1 day to revisit all your weak points to help you modify your study plan.

1 day should be for resting.

  • Week 6

Social Sciences (Identity.)

Organic Chemistry (Amino Acids)

Biology (Musculoskeletal System.)

Physics (Magnetism)

General Chemistry (Redox)

Biochemistry (Pentose Phosphate)

CARs (How to read and answer questions)

  • Week 7

Let your calendar feature weak areas of each subject.

The full-length test and review apply too.

CARs (How to read and answer questions)

  • Week 8

Review the practice test you took and pick out your weak areas.

Also, review CARs and use the last days to your MCAT exam to polish on all your weaknesses.

Create time to visit the test center for a quick survey.

The day before the exam should be for relaxing. No reading! Your mental health matters.

MCAT Study Schedule for 6 Months

Now that you already have a clue of what an MCAT study schedule for two months should look like, it shouldn’t be difficult to come up with a 6-months one.

As always, we recommend that you 1st take the full-practice test to help you identify your areas of weakness.

Six months is sure enough to prepare so the Kaplan and the Princeton Review test prep sets we had mentioned earlier will come in handy.

Include The Princeton Review MCAT Psychology and Sociology Review 2nd Edition to the list.

In this case, your study plan should include at least 1 hour each day of the week, for 6 days. The 7th-day id for resting.

A rotating schedule covering the following topics will be ideal;

  • Biology; Genetics, Cell structure, Reproduction, Immune system, Endocrine system, Nervous system, Digestive system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, Homeostasis, and Musculoskeletal System.
  • Bio-Chemistry; Enzymes, Protein structure, Amino acids+ proteins, Biological Membranes, Lipids, carbohydrates, Glycolysis, Citric Acid Cycle, Bioenergetics, Oxidative Phosphorylation, and Pentose Phosphate.
  • Organic Chemistry; Isomers, Bonding, Nomenclature, Alkenes+Aromatics, Alcohol+Ethers, Ketones+Aldehydes, Nitrogen Groups, Carboxylic Acids Separations, Spectroscopy, and Amino Acids
  • Physics; Kinematics Work, Units, Heat, Fluids, Energy, electricity, light, waves, sound and Magnetism
  • General Chemistry; Stoichiometry, Periodic table, Types of bonds, Kinetics, Equilibrium, Gases, Electrochemistry, Thermochemistry solutions, Acid/base, and Redox,
  • Social Sciences; Behavior disorders, demographics, language, stress, emotions, personality, memory, learning, sensation, perception, and identity.

Week 1

Biology (Genetics)

Bio-Chemistry (Enzymes)

Organic Chemistry (Isomers)

Physics (Kinematics Work)

General Chemistry (Stoichiometry)

Social Sciences (Behavior disorders)

CARs (Study to find the most essential areas)

Week 2-22

Use the 2 months schedule above, but multiply by 3.  For example, week 2 will now become weeks 2-4, week 3 will be weeks 5-7, week 4 will be weeks 8-11, and on you go.

The idea is to spread everything out so that you study with ease. No pressure.

Take the full-length exams at the end of each week and review the results to help you adjust the schedule accordingly.

The weakest areas should be allocated more time as compared to your strongest areas.

Don’t forget to allocate more time to CARs.

Weeks 23-24

By now you should be aware of the study prep materials that work for you. Use them to master CARs.

Read passages and repeat as necessary to identify the information that matters most to you.

This is also the time that you should master those difficult materials. Polishing up everything.

Remember, to repeat the weekly steps as indicated in the two months schedule and your now self-made 6 months study schedule.

The day before the exam is for relaxing. No reading.

Apply the mental preparedness tips I gave and, be ready to crack that MCAT test!

FAQs About MCAT Study Schedule

How many hours a week should I study for the MCAT?

It all depends on how long you have to study for the MCAT test.

For instance, if you have a month, then at least 3 hours per day for six days will do, which means 18 hours at the least.

For 2 months, at least 2 hours for 6 days a week, which translates to at least 12 hours a week.

And if you have 6 months, then an hour a day for six days a week which is at least 6 hours a week.

What is the hardest part of the MCAT?

In my opinion, the hardest part of MCAT lies in the fact that its focus both on the immense content and critical thinking. So, it’s like measuring one’s intelligence.

How many practice exams do I need to take before taking the MCAT?

Aim at taking at least 5 full-length exams. But if you can manage to do 1 diagnostic exam and combine it with 3 full-length exams, then they should be enough.

Don’t forget including the AAMC practice resources.

Conclusion

A tough exam such as MCAT requires sufficient preparation. And although preparing for a longer time gives you an easy time of the study; no pressure, you’ve to adjust accordingly when you have no choice but be test-ready within a month!

The above 1-month schedule is meant to help you grasp all the essential concepts more fairly.

I also included 2 months and a 6 months study schedule just in case you change your mind or want to share with a friend.

Also, don’t forget to go through the mental preparedness tips.

I hope they work for you and help you crack that MCAT test.

All the best!

John Reed
My name is John Reed and I am the chief editor of TestPrepPal.com. I am alumni of university of of Pennsylvania and want to help future graduates with their tests.

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