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How to Organize the Last Few Months of MCAT Prep
How to Organize the Last Few Months of MCAT Prep

I've finished the Learning Modules - what should I focus on during the last 1-2 months of my prep?

Nathan Hamilton avatar
Written by Nathan Hamilton
Updated over a week ago

You're MCAT exam is coming up soon and you're almost done with your prep. First, congratulations on persevering and getting to this point in your prep! Preparing for the MCAT is a long process, and you're almost done.

You may notice that your Study Plan has fewer assignments each day during the last 1-2 months of your prep. This can vary depending on your timeline, but if you have gone through all of the Learning Modules and still have several weeks before your exam date, then your plan may be less populated than it was when you first started your prep. This is intentional, and this article will help you plan out how to study during this final part of your prep.

First, start with a practice exam. Take it under exam-day timing and conditions (no longer breaks, no other pauses, quiet location, etc.) This will let you know your current baseline, and the exam analytics and review will be essential to optimizing your study plan.

The day after the exam (or at minimum after a 2-hour break), you should review the exam, planning to spend at least as long reviewing as you did taking it. Stick with each question until you fully understand what went wrong and what you need to study/change. Fill out journal entries and write down which topics you struggled with and need to practice. Squeeze every ounce of insight you can from that practice exam. This article will go over the Lessons Learned Journal and effective review.

From there, spend time reviewing your insights. Which gaps in your preparation are more fundamental? Put those at the top of the list. Which topics are lower-yield and worth fewer points on the exam? Put those toward the bottom.

Now start filling out your Study Plan with Office Hours, modules, and practice sets to address your ordered priority list. Start with a module to refresh yourself on the concepts and strategies. You can find the modules under the 'Resources' tab, and you can use the search bar near the top of that page to search for a specific module. After reviewing the modules that you want to focus on, move on to Office Hours. You can use the 'Live' page and click 'Past' near the top of the page to find recordings of past Office Hour sessions. You can then use the filters on the left to find relevant Office Hour sessions to watch. Add a few practice sets spaced out over the next week to solidify those concepts. Pick 3-4 of the most important topics to fill out a few weeks of your plan at a time. You can sprinkle in some mixed practice sets that include other topics to keep yourself fresh, but your focus should be on your greatest opportunities for improvement.

As you're doing practice sets, remember: You have to be right before you can be fast. Do your Qbank practice untimed or at 2x speed to get your accuracy up first, and spend as long as you need reviewing until you're as accurate as you need to be to hit your goal score. Only then should you focus on speeding up your practice sets.

After you've spent a week or two studying those topics that you determined you needed to focus on more, take another practice exam. Practice Exams are the best way to assess what you've learned, and they're the best predictor of how you'll do on exam day. They'll also help you reorder your priority list as the weeks go on so you're always using your time wisely.

If your score on your first practice exam was much worse than you hoped for, then schedule your next exam for 3-4 weeks later. Otherwise, schedule exams 1-2 weeks apart based on how much you've accomplished and how close you are to your exam date. The last 1-2 months of your prep will repeat this cycle of taking a practice exam, reviewing it, using Learning Modules and Office Hours to solidify concepts and refine strategy, and then creating Qbank practice sets to apply those strategies. As you go through this cycle, gradually increase the time pressure as your accuracy and skills improve, until you're where you want to be.

And that's all there is to it! You're almost done, so stay positive, use this process to focus on the areas that you need to work on the most during the last few weeks of your prep, and get ready to celebrate finishing your prep!


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