In an ideal world, you would probably begin studying for the MCAT right after going through the MCAT registration process, putting your complete focus on it. You’ll devote all of your time to studying efficiently, preparing ahead without any stressors.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the privilege to give all their time and reduce their responsibilities or obligations to study. In reality, students are juggling different duties, may it be a job, school, family, or other extracurricular activities that can’t be canceled on.
While it is challenging to squeeze in time to study for the MCAT, it’s not impossible. With careful planning, you’ll be able to study and do the MCAT practice test to increase your chances of passing. Here are the tips to follow:
- Fill your spare time with studying
You will need to plan ahead and create a study schedule that works for you and your other obligations. Figure out what your work or school schedule will be for the next 3-6 months and plan around those times.
Identify the spare time you have based on your current routine and spend it either studying or resting. Take note that you will need between 20-40 hours a week dedicated to studying, so try setting aside at least 2-5 hours a day, putting in more hours during your days off.
You can also fill all your spare time by studying quickly. If you’re on the bus heading to work, have flashcards to study along the way. If you can wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual, do so and set that aside for a quick study session.
Use all your free time to your advantage, but don’t forget to take a few breaks between that as well to reduce your stress.
- Hold yourself accountable
It will be difficult trying to study and finding motivation after long hours of classes or work. However, you need to hold yourself accountable!
You can do so by having a study buddy for MCAT, so you can both commit to learning about specific topics by certain dates, or even work by reward systems. This will help you stay motivated and accountable for the next months of studying.
- Be flexible and understanding
Life happens and there will be conflicts or abrupt changes of schedule. Some days, you just can’t get out of bed to study or perform your duties. This is okay, don’t be too hard on yourself.
Sometimes, you will need a break, which is why you shouldn’t make the schedule so strict to the point you restrict the fun things in life. Step away from work and the books for a day to prevent burning out, so you can get back feeling refreshed and inspired.
Wrapping It Up
Studying for the MCAT is difficult enough without the obligations we have to adhere to. However, you can still do it by staying consistent with a routine that allows you to study while taking short breaks for your mental health. Good luck!