A study schedule for the MCAT is a good way to make a plan for yourself regarding MCAT prep. It both gives you a way to know if you are falling behind, as well as helps you make sure you save time for all of the prep you want to do.
Without a schedule, you could easily slowly fall behind on content review, and end up not having set aside enough full days for practice exams. Or you could end up having to cut content review short and rushing through some practice materials before your exam.
With a schedule, you can hold yourself more accountable and know that you are getting done what you need to to be successful.
All in all, you should plan to allocate anywhere from 300 to 360 hours to this 3-month MCAT study plan.
And before embarking on this 12-week schedule, you should have already done the following:
- Taken a diagnostic
- Read the AAMC official guide
- Purchased MCAT books
- AAMC CARS pack (Vol 1 and 2). Each vol has 120 questions, which should be about 20 passages, so 40 passages total
- AAMC section bank. Has 300 questions, 100 from each content section
What Is This Study Schedule?
This is a schedule outlining how you might study for the MCAT over the course of 3 months, or 12 weeks. This might be a common time frame for people testing at the end of the summer or after graduation. If you have more time to prepare for the MCAT, then you should look at the 4-month MCAT study plan that I outlined. Or if you want to craft your own study plan, you can also do that with my guide. You can also read about my study methods for scoring in the 99th percentile on the MCAT.
This schedule references the Kaplan books specifically, and also includes the use of the AAMC online materials. It includes seven full length practice exams, which means that two of these will need to come from another source, such as the free Blueprint full length.
How To Adapt This Schedule for You
This can be used exactly as written, or you might need to adapt it slightly to fit your needs and preferences. You can also feel free to shuffle days around or change the order of the subjects covered as it suits you. However, I would recommend going through all the books at once rather than finishing one subject before moving onto the next.
If I do not mention a way that you want this schedule altered, feel free to alter this schedule however you need to to make it work! Whether this is restructuring a few things, or simply using this as a reference for your own schedule, this is meant to be a useful tool for you, so use it however is best for you.
You might be using books other than Kaplan, which will require adapting this schedule some. Most other books also go through by subject, so you should be able to follow the subject schedule.
This schedule has 12 chapters for each of the six subject books (CARS is not organized by chapter), with 72 chapters total. Figure out how many chapters your books have, and try to line up the chapters accordingly.
This might mean covering 1.5 chapters in your book for each Kaplan chapter listed, or something similar. This could also mean changing how many subjects are covered in a day if it makes more sense for your books.
Different Time Frame
I know that some people might not have exactly 12 weeks. Maybe you are studying over 10 or 11 weeks, or even over 13 or 14. This example schedule can still be a good reference.
You can expand or compress this schedule as needed to suit you. If you are trying to get done faster, then try doing a little more than what is listed each day. You could also take out some content review or practice days if you feel that you do not need them or could fit them into other places.
Similarly, if your day-to-day time frame differs from this, you can push work from some days into other parts of the week to make room for work, courses, or other time commitments that you might have.
More/Less Practice Exams
If you wanted to take more or less practice exams than the 7 in this schedule, that can be altered as well.
You could remove a practice exam day and use that to catch up on the rest of the day from the week, or as a rest day. However, I strongly recommend to include at least the 5 AAMC practice full-lengths in your 3-month prep.
Adding days is a bit harder, but you could do a bit extra each day during the week to clear out a free day for a practice exam. You also likely could include some content review or practice on the same day as your full-length review if needed.
The 3-Month MCAT Study Schedule