If you want to take the MCAT, then you need a study plan...
Here is a guide to customizing your study plan for the MCAT:1) Take the free pretest offered by the Association of American Medical Colleges:
2) Giving yourself at least 3 months to study (I plan to take the MCAT on September 11th this year 3 months from now) create a study plan.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (makers of the MCAT) provides a content outline for all four sections of the test explaining exactly what they want you to know for the test (27 Pages for Science 2 for Reading).
Take a quick glimpse through all the information you should know for the test:
Based on your free pretest scores (mine were 7, 10, 7) and how much you understand on the content outline, guess which sections will need more study time and which sections need less (I need less on Verbal Reasoning and Writing).
Look online for the test date you want (January-September) that allows the results to be available for whatever your deadline is to apply for Medical School (for me September 11th). https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/reserving/261800/deadlineandscorerelease.html
Count the days between today and your test day, then subtract 5 (4 rest days and the test day). For me June 10th - September 11th = 94 days - 5 days = 89 days to study.
Ex. 94 days - 5 days -> 89 days to study
Assign the Verbal Reasoning and Essay the least amount of days you think is reasonable.
Leave a day for each pretest you plan to take (take as many as you can afford to buy or borrow). Also leave a day to review the wrong answers.
Then divide 27 by your remaining days to see how much of the science content you need to get through each day (For me 0.49 pages of science a day).
Ex. 89 days to study
-7 days Verbal Comprehension
-7 days to practice timed essay
-10 days to take pretests
-10 days to review pretests
=55 days left for science
27 pages/55 days -> 0.49 pages/day
Summary: The content guide has 27 pages of science and 2 pages of verbal comprehension tips. Leaving one week for reading verbal comprehension study tips (7 days) and one week for practicing timed essays (7 days) (since I scored better in those areas on the pretest), 10 days to take pretests and 10 days to review wrong answers on pretests, that makes 34 days for pretests and non-science subjects. 89-34 gives me 55 days to review the sciences. 27 pages of content divided by 55 days is 0=.49 pages a day of the content outline for science. So as long as I finish half a page a day when I study science, I will finish in time to have four days off before the test day.
If I was stronger in science and weaker in reading, I could have devoted more time to reading. If I was weak in writing, I would take the MCAT next year, when there is no essay. Everyone should reserve plenty of time for pretests. Knowledge is half the MCAT, knowing how to take the MCAT is half the MCAT. Pretests are very important to get a sense of the tricky way questions are asked and how to save time when answering in order to finish on time.
Pick the order of the sections you prefer.
I plan to cover the content in this order:
Biological Sciences (Biology and Organic Chemistry)
Verbal Reasoning (Reading Comprehension)
Physical Sciences (Physics and General Chemistry)
Writing (Essay) (The essay is being removed next year see link below)
Plot Each day:
Day 24: July 3rd Bio page 11 (last half) Genetics
Day 25: July 4th Bio page 12 (first half)
Day 26: July 5th Bio page 12 (last half)
Day 27: July 6th Bio page 13 (first half)
Day 28: July 7th Bio page 13 (last half)
Day 29: July 8th Bio page 14 (first half)
Day 30: July 9th Bio page 14 (last half)
Day 31: July 10th Bio page 15 (first half)
Day 32: July 11th PRETEST 2
Day 33: July 12th PRETEST REVIEW
Day 34: July 13th Bio page 15 (last half)
Day 35: July 14th Bio page 16 (first half)
Day 36: July 15th Bio page 16 (last half)
Day 37: July 16th Bio page 17 (first half)
Day 38: July 17th Bio page 17 (last half)
Day 39: July 18th PRETEST 3
Day 40: July 19th PRETEST REVIEW
Day 41: July 20th Verbal Reasoning Read Tips and Practice Speed Reading
Day 42: July 21st Verbal Reasoning Read Tips and Practice Speed Reading
Day 43: July 22nd Verbal Reasoning Read Tips and Practice Speed Reading
Day 44: July 23rd Verbal Reasoning Read Tips and Practice Speed Reading
Day 45: July 24th Verbal Reasoning Read Tips and Practice Speed Reading
Day 46: July 25th Verbal Reasoning Read Tips and Practice Speed Reading
Day 47: July 26th Verbal Reasoning Read Tips and Practice Speed Reading
Day 48: July 27th PRETEST 4
Day 49: July 28th PRETEST REVIEW
Day 50: July 29th Physics page 1 (first half)
Day 51: July 30th Physics page 1 (last half)
Day 52: July 31st Physics page 2 (first half)
Day 53: August 1st Physics page 2 (last half)
Day 54: August 2nd PRETEST 5
Day 55: August 3rd PRETEST REVIEW
Day 56: August 4th Physics page
Day 57: August 5th Physics page
Day 58: August 6th Physics page
Day 59: August 7th Physics page
Day 60: August 8th PRETEST 6
Day 61: August 9th PRETEST REVIEW
Day 62: August 10th Physics page
Day 63: August 11th Physics page
Day 64: August 12th Physics page
Day 65: August 13th Physics page
Day 66: August 14th PRETEST 7
Day 67: August 15th PRETEST REVIEW
Day 68: August 16th Physics page
Day 69: August 17th Physics page
Day 70: August 18th Physics page
Day 71: August 19th Physics page
Day 72: August 20th PRETEST 8
Day 73: August 21st PRETEST REVIEW
Day 74: August 22nd Physics page
Day 75: August 23rd Physics page
Day 76: August 24th Physics page
Day 77: August 25th Physics page
Day 78: August 26th PRETEST 9
Day 79: August 27th PRETEST REVIEW
Day 80: August 28th Practice Writing Timed Essays
Day 81: August 29th PRETEST 10
Day 82: August 30th PRETEST REVIEW
Day 83: August 31st Practice Writing Timed Essays
Day 84: September 1st My Birthday!
Day 85: September 2nd Practice Writing Timed Essays
Day 86: September 3rd Practice Writing Timed Essays
Day 87: September 4th Practice Writing Timed Essays
Day 88: September 5th Practice Writing Timed Essays
Day 89: September 6th Practice Writing Timed Essays
Day 90: September 7th Rest
Day 91: September 8th Rest
Day 92: September 9th Rest
Day 93: September 10th Rest
Day 94: September 11th MCAT Test Day
Notes about plotting: It is very important to have a schedule to refer to, to know if you are falling behind, or if you are ahead enough to take a day off. It also makes the abstract idea of taking the test more concrete. Arrange the topics and pretests anyway you feel will be effective for you. If your study schedule doesn't work on paper, it probably won't work in reality either. It always helps to complete large goals, if the large goal is broken down into smaller manageable goals, which is what each day's schedule becomes - a small goal on the way to doing great on the MCAT.
3) Register for the MCAT
Paying the $240 cost should help you study more seriously.
Don't wait until the last minute, registration is first come, first serve.
If your household was within 300% of the poverty line for 2011 you can get fee assistance:
4) Stick to your study plan. It may help to write a list of the reasons you want to do well on the MCAT and put it up where you can see it.
This is my plan. I will stick to it, because I have no excuses. Good luck to everyone else taking the MCAT.