A very important question MCAT takers ask after going through the MCAT registration process is: How long should I study for the test? How many hours should I be studying for to be fully prepared? This is a crucial question to ask because if you don’t create a good schedule and give yourself time to study, then you may end up failing and needing to retake the exam again.
That said, there isn’t one answer when determining how many hours you should study for the MCAT. Here are the factors to consider and things to follow as you determine how long you need for studying.
- In General
On average, MCAT passers have put around 250-400 hours into studying for the MCAT, though this number may be shorter or longer, again depending on specific factors.
- Your Prerequisites
Where are you with your prerequisites? If you don’t have a strong base and haven’t focused on passing your prerequisites yet, the test will end up being harder than expected.
While the MCAT is all about reasoning and reading, it will also tackle many topics learned from your prerequisites. So make sure that you have taken your prereq classes and done well in them, understanding all of them well so you are able to study more efficiently.
- Any Anxiety?
If you are anxious, the harder it would be for you to study and make progress. You may need a bit more time, maybe more than 3 months, to overcome that anxiety until you are confident enough in yourself and what you studied. However, some may take longer to get their target score, as anxiety prevents people from understanding what they read.
- Other Commitments
If you have other commitments such as school or a job, then it would take maybe twice as long for you to completely study for the MCAT. This is because you are juggling different things at once and this causes strain in your schedule and mental health.
While it is possible to study for the MCAT with other commitments, you will need to set aside more time and plan in advance to work around your commitments and other key issues. But if you can cut back and remove extracurricular activities, do so during this period! Just do NOT sacrifice your grades and GPA for the MCAT.
- What’s Your Starting Score?
The lower your starting score, the longer it may take to build strong bases. The higher your starting score is, the shorter it would take. But if you have a high score, this doesn’t mean you should stop studying or slack off!
It means you just need to put more focus on any problem areas you have while studying everything else in good timing.
Wrapping It Up
Take these factors into consideration as you determine how long you need to study for when it comes to the MCAT. Good luck!