MCAT Study Schedule: 75 Days



Doing well on the MCAT is definitely one of the most challenging tasks in preparing for medical school. Studying for the MCAT was an intense experience for me, but it payed off because I did it right. Proper attitude and planning is required to succeed; you might really want to quit your job to study for this. I spent about 6-8 hours per day studying and doing passages; it was my full-time job. Be confident. This is your dream! This is the schedule I used. Feel free to modify the schedule so it fits your needs. I hope you find this schedule helpful.

You may also like my MCAT study guide109 Tips & Strategies for improving quickly, or the condensed version – How to study for the MCAT.


MCAT Study Materials

I recommend Examkrackers (EK) – Complete Examkrackers MCAT Study Package (8th Edition) for all subjects, and The Berkeley Review (TBR) for Physics, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry. I supplemented EK with The Berkeley Review MCAT prep books (TBR). I also purchased EK 1001 Questions in all four subjects. Each 1001 book literally has over a thousand authentic and realistic MCAT questions, a must for any MCAT taker because practice is the key variable in your MCAT equation. EK is succinct and has great In-Class exams in their books (buy unused/unmarked!). I also highly recommend using Examkrackers 101 Passages in MCAT Verbal Reasoning for all of your verbal needs.
Do verbal passages every day, and don’t be surprised to see your score steadily increase but over a long time period. I recommend using Examkrackers and The Berkeley Review because they worked well for me and for many others. Other MCAT prep books, including The Princeton Review Series, have had great outcomes with other students. There are, however, many testimonies about how well the book setup I used has proven to result in MCAT scores well in the upper 30′s. Most test takers agree that Examkrackers (EK), Berkeley Review (BR), and The Princeton Review (TPR) prep books prepared them better for the MCAT than did Kaplan MCAT prep books. BR teaches you how to find an answer without finishing a calculation or how to create formulas without plugging in numbers, and BR has practice passages that reflect the actual MCAT very well. EK Verbal 101 gives you endurance and real MCAT verbal passages. See cited materials at the bottom of this page. In addition, if you have the money, you could also get Examkrackers MCAT Audio Osmosis.The CD’s condense many major concepts into a series of compact, conversational lectures, and you can listen to them while driving or working out in the gym.

I have gotten many emails with questions about specific materials, but it really is my humble opinion that if you have enough time, I really recommend using all three sets (Complete Examkrackers MCAT Study Package (8th Edition), The Princeton Review Series, and The Berkeley Review). The AAMC Full-Lengths are also very important, as they enable you to simulate a real MCAT. I know these materials are not cheap, but if you’re careful and sell them right after you are finished, you should be able to get back up to 80%.

The following is a 75-day schedule. Most people score best with anything from 6 to 2.5 months of rigorous preparation, depending on your personal circumstances (job, etc.). The reason this schedule is so valuable is because it will keep you in check as you study. You will be pushed with this schedule, and you will learn a ton. You will learn not only all the material the MCAT expects you to know, but you will also learn fantastic strategies to help you take on difficult and unfamiliar test questions.

Please feel free to give yourself one break day per week. I had to cram a bit, and looking back, I would only change one thing – adding more breaks. Breaks give your brain time to recoup and process everything you have been learning. They also allow you to spend time with friends, and friends are important because they give you the support you need to take on such a huge task.

The Golden Standard: Examkrackers

 

 

Berkeley Review MCAT Study Guide

This is the Berkeley Review Set that I used. There are newer versions available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget to do 3-5 verbal passages at the start of each day except break and FL days, as your MCAT test will start with verbal. Also, time your passages and review EVERY answer in both your BR/EK passages and your practice MCATs. Additionally, NEVER retake practice exams.

The recommended timing for each topic is as follows:
BR passages: 6-7 minutes per passage, aim at 6 minutes
EK 30-minute exams
EK 1001, except Bio series: 30 seconds to 1 minute per question
EK Verbal 101: 6-7 minutes per passage, aim at 6 minutes
EK Bio 1001: 6-7 minutes per passage, aim at 6 minutes and 30 seconds to a minute per discrete
AAMC FLs: Use their timing

Here is the 75-day schedule I used. Feel free to mold it to fit your style and preferences, but do push yourself. Take breaks as you need them, and do not try to cram all this into less than 2 months; you will burnout. If you have any questions or comments, just let me know in the comments section below! If your schedule looks different, with different materials and a longer time frame, that’s perfectly fine!

Schedule:
Day 1: BR Physics Chapter #1 + Every other passage of the corresponding passages for this chapter (e/o)
Day 2: BR Gen Chem Chapter #1 + e/o
Day 3: BR O-Chem Chapter #1 + e/o
Day 4: EK Biology Chapter #1 + e/o passage of the corresponding passages in the BR Bio book – you will have to match them up as best as you can.
Day 5: BR Physics Chapter #2 + e/o
Day 6: Re-read ALL of the previous chapters. Additionally, work through corresponding EK 1001 sections for the chapters you worked through. Also, only do every other problem/passage in the EK 1001s. Lastly, complete the in-class exam for EK Bio chapter 1. This day’s work will be abbreviated: “Re-read chapters + EK 1001 + EK Bio In-class exam”
Day 7: BR Gen Chem Chapter #2 + e/o
Day 8: BR O-Chem Chapter #2 + e/o
Day 9: EK Bio Chapter #2 + e/o
Day 10: BR Physics Chapter #3 + e/o
Day 11: BR Gen Chem Chapter #3 + e/o
Day 12: Re-read chapters + EK 1001 + EK Bio In-class exam
Day 13: BR O-Chem Chapter #3 + e/o
Day 14: EK Bio Chapter #3 + e/o
Day 15: BR Physics Chapter #4 + e/o
Day 16: BR Gen Chem Chapter #4 + e/o
Day 17: Break
Day 18: BR O-Chem Chapter #5 + e/o
Day 19: Re-read chapters + EK 1001 + EK Bio In-class exam
Day 20: EK Bio Chapter #4 + e/o
Day 21: BR Physics Chapter #5 + e/o
Day 22: BR Gen Chem Chapter #5 + e/o
Day 23: BR O-Chem Chapter #6 + e/o
Day 24: EK Bio Chapter #5 + e/o
Day 25: Re-read chapters + EK 1001 + EK Bio In-class exam
Day 26: BR Physics Chapter #6 + e/o
Day 27: BR Gen Chem Chapter #6 + e/o
Day 28: BR O-Chem Chapter #7 + e/o
Day 29: EK Bio Chapter #6 + e/o
Day 30: BR Physics Chapter #7 + e/o
Day 31: Re-read chapters + EK 1001 + EK Bio In-class exam
Day 32: BR Gen Chem Chapter #7 + e/o
Day 33: BR O-Chem Chapter #8 + e/o
Day 34: EK Bio Chapter #7 + e/o
Day 35: BR Physics Chapter #8 + e/o
Day 36: BR Gen Chem Chapter #8 + e/o
Day 37: Re-read chapters + EK 1001 + EK Bio In-class exam
Day 38: Break
Day 39: EK Bio Chapter #8 + e/o
Day 40: BR Physics Chapter #9 + e/o
Day 41: BR Gen Chem Chapter #9 + e/o
Day 42: EK Bio Chapter #9 + e/o
Day 43: BR Physics Chapter #10 + e/o
Day 44: BR Gen Chem Chapter #10 + e/o
Day 45: Re-read chapters + EK 1001 + EK Bio In-class exam
Day 46: Catch up! Review flashcards and formulas
Day 47: Break
Day 48: EK Bio Chapter #9 + e/o
Day 49: BR Gen Chem Chapter #10 + e/o
Day 50: Remaining questions (r/qs) in BR passages and 1001 Qs for Chapters 1
Day 51: Remaining questions (r/qs) in BR passages and 1001 Qs for Chapters 2
Day 52: AAMC FL #3
Day 53: Review full-length practice exam (FL) + r/qs Chapters 3
Day 54: Review FL + r/qs Chapters 4
Day 55: Break
Day 56: r/qs Chapters 5
Day 57: r/qs Chapters 6
Day 58: Break
Day 59: AAMC #4
Day 60: Review FL + r/qs Chapters 7
Day 61: Review FL + r/qs Chapters 8
Day 62: AAMC #5
Day 63: Review FL + r/qs Chapters 9
Day 64: Review FL + r/qs Chapters 10
Day 65: Break
Day 66: AAMC FL #6
Day 67: Review FL
Day 68: AAMC #7
Day 69: Review FL
Day 70: AAMC #8
Day 71: Review FL
Day 72: AAMC #9
Day 73: Review FL
Day 74: AAMC #10
Day 75: Review FL

Take a break for a few days.

Day 80: MCAT

Take it one step at a time and be confident. You can do it!
List of cited materials:
Complete Examkrackers MCAT Study Package (8th Edition)
The Princeton Review MCAT Materials
Examkrackers 101 Passages in MCAT Verbal Reasoning
Examkrackers 1001 Questions in MCAT Chemistry
Examkrackers: 1001 Questions in MCAT in Physics
Examkrackers: 1001 Questions in MCAT, Organic Chemistry
Examkrackers 1001 Questions in MCAT Biology
Examkrackers MCAT Audio Osmosis
The Berkeley Review MCAT Home Study Material
AAMC Full-Length (FL) Practice MCAT Exams (Exams 3-11)

Other guides:

How to study for the MCAT
MCAT Study Guide (108 Tips and Strategies)

*This schedule was partly inspired by SN2ed, the creator of a 3 month MCAT plan.

37 thoughts on “MCAT Study Schedule: 75 Days

  1. Aminah

    Thank you so much for sharing all of this. You have NO IDEA how much this means to all the Pre-Meds of the world.

    Reply
  2. Tom

    how can i integrate tpr material into your 75-day plan? do you have one written out that includes it? would you recommend a longer one that integrates tpr? do you have a to-do list for that potential version? i retest in early may and took tpr already. thank you for the direction!

    Reply
    1. Naomi Post author

      I do recommend TPR! I don’t have a day-by-day plan that also integrates TPR, but they are among the top 3 MCAT material publishers. It’s good to absorb them all. Early May is a great time to retake the MCAT, make sure you do as much as you can and do a lot of practice full-length’s. Good luck!

      Reply
      1. Sheryl

        Hi Naomi! I’m taking a Princeton Review course over summer, but I really like your schedule and I want to definitely use it to do a lot of supplemental studying in areas that I am weak. I was wondering approximately how many hours per day in these 75 days you spent on MCAT studying? Thanks!

        Reply
        1. Naomi Post author

          Hi Sheryl!

          I spent about 8 hours a day studying with my schedule. Some subjects took longer, others were shorter. It all depends on your reading and learning speed. If you find that you are taking longer than you expected, you may need to increase the 75 days to 90. However, if you spend more than 3 months studying, you may find that you’re forgetting the things you first learned. If you’re running out of time, spend more time doing questions. Questions, questions, questions – that’s going to boost your MCAT score the most.

          Good luck!
          Naomi

          Reply
  3. Negar

    If I am retaking my MCAT, and I already did the EK 30 min tests should I not redo those? Is it better to start studying again 1-2 months after you get your score or should you wait longer? Also, for the 75 days schedule is it a bad idea to start reviewing the material at a slow pace before starting the 75 schedule? Thanks!

    Reply
  4. Naomi Post author

    There’s no need to wait at all to start “restudying”, unless you are in dire need of a break, which you definitely deserve! :) Waiting a month or two will help your brain recoup, but it’s not necessary.
    I wouldn’t recommend retaking any tests, whether full-lengths or EK 30minute tests. Chances are you didn’t take all the 30 minute tests, so just take the ones you haven’t taken this time around.
    If you want to lightly review material before the 75-day period, that will definitely benefit you. Just make sure you don’t skip that material when the time comes to study it during the 75-day schedule – you want to actively think about what you’re learning and how to apply it when you relearn it!
    Go all out this time and do as much as you can – you can do it!

    Reply
    1. Negar

      Thanks Naomi! I have two other questions. I am basically working 40 hours a week and so I think that I will have to spread this schedule out over a longer time frame. Does that sound ok? Secondly, when I am reading the chapters, should I take notes on the side or just in the book?
      Thanks! :)

      Reply
      1. Naomi Post author

        Hey,
        If you have to work full-time, then you’ll have to study over a long period of time as you suggested. That should work fine, but make sure you don’t burn out while still doing all the studying you need.
        If you write inside of the book I’d use a pencil so that you can resell the books later. I did that, and I also took notes on the side. Good MCAT materials have great resell value! Good luck :).

        Reply
      2. Lee

        hey Negar,
        If you lay out a study plan with full-time work, could you share it? I’m in the same boat.
        Thanks and good luck!

        Reply
  5. Pingback: Examkrackers Audio Osmosis

  6. Negar

    Hi Naomi

    I have one other question. I noticed there are break days in the schedule. If I plan on studying on Mon, Wed, Sat and Sun can I disregard the break days because I will have 3 days where I cannot study?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Naomi Post author

      Three months is a good time period. I would add more break days and reserve some time to target your weaknesses after you get through the bulk of studying. In addition to being well prepared with the bulk of material, I definitely recommend squeezing in more full-length practice tests. Good luck!

      Reply
  7. Dianne

    Hi Naomi,

    I will not have organic or physics when I take the MCAT the first time, any advice on what would be good resources to start studying for them now – I have 9 months to prepare

    Reply
  8. Jacqueline Gaton

    I am sorry but from your schedule, I don’t understand what book you are referring to in your Day 1…. “Day 1: BR Physics Chapter #1 + Every other passage of the corresponding passages for this chapter (e/o)”…. Every other chapter of what book? The verbal passages book?

    I want to follow the schedule the best I can. The tools I am using are….
    I have a complete 2010 Princeton Review set that was given to me for free, 7 books total. I bought the Examkrackers 101 Passages in MCAT Verbal Reasoning. I also have Kaplan Edge for all subjects (also for free).

    Reply
  9. Naomi Post author

    Howdy,
    BR stands for The Berkeley Review books. Examkrackers are great and so is Princeton Review – however, this schedule is mostly based on Examkrackers and BR. You can make your own schedule using TPR and EK. Good luck!

    Reply
    1. Naomi Post author

      Hi Carly,
      I mostly used TBR, but I supplemented with EK: I used EK when I was rushed and didn’t have enough time to go through an entire TBR chapter, when I understood something but wanted to read a summary again to solidify the concept into my memory, or when I wanted some fun pictures that stick in my head to accompany the concept. (EK has great pictures and mnemonics!) I referenced to EK almost every day; their material is short and easy to get through.
      Naomi

      Reply
      1. Carly

        Thanks a lot! One more question, did you skip BR Ochem ch. 4? I’m up to day 18 but it says to read ch. 5 when I haven’t read ch.4 and I don’t see it anywhere on the schedule. Let me know if there was any reason I may want to skip it!

        Reply
        1. Naomi Post author

          Hey Carly, don’t skip anything :). The books I used were older, or it may be a typo. I will have to look into it. Thanks for pointing it out!

          Reply
  10. Ari

    Hey Naomi,
    It says that you used EK and then *supplemented* with berkely review. does that mean you read both? What results do you think you would of gotten with just EK? If you do reccomend using both, how should i use both? Read both chapters? Or use some subjects EK and some TBR? Would it be bad to use EK and then just go over TBR chapters quickly to see if there is anything else i can learn?

    Reply
    1. Naomi Post author

      Hey Ari,
      You can see on my MCAT Study Schedule what exactly I did, but that doesn’t flat out state that I would refer back to either book series when I came across some tough concepts. Also, TBR has passage questions at the end of each chapter which VERY good. I did almost all of those passages, especially in biology, since I mostly used EK for Bio. Many people have just used EK and done well, but they generally also did very well in their undergraduate classes and remembered a lot of the concepts. TBR are not the kind of prep books you can “go over quickly”. They are very dense and thoroughly explanatory, which was great for me but doesn’t mean it’s great for everyone. Choices, choices! Best of luck!

      Reply
  11. Alexander Neely

    Hi Naomi. I just wondered if there was a reason that you leaned toward exam krackers for biology but TBR for the other sciences.

    Reply
    1. Naomi Post author

      Hi Alex, I’ve learned that EK does a superb job with their Biology prep. It contains 30 minute practice exams in MCAT style at the end of the chapters and has many supporters and success stories. It’s up to you and your style, but I know TBR’s Biology is a thicker book than all the rest and could possibly drag out the overall prep time.

      Reply
  12. Lee

    Hi, thanks for sharing your plan. It’s really helpful. Hope this question isn’t too lame, but could you de-code the acronym “e/o” ?
    Thanks!

    Reply
  13. Ada

    Hi, thanks for all of this! It is really useful. I have all the EK and TKR books, but none of TBR. Do you think it’ll be fine to supplement the TBR with EK textbooks while still working the 1001′s? Or are there TBR books that are substantially better than EK that I should invest in?

    Reply
    1. Naomi Post author

      Hey Ada,
      You’ll have to see how well you are prepared by taking full-length tests and seeing how you do. If you’re not doing well enough I suggest you get some of the materials that you cited. Good luck!

      Reply
  14. Fola

    Hi, thanks for your advices, they are very helpful. For me, I figured I should start really early and do small portions everyday. I started with the verbal section and I have 85 done and 16 passages left in the EK 101 MCAT book. When I started, I was getting about 35% correct, and now I am gradually taking it to about 60% correct. I am concerned that I have almost finished the passages in the EK and I need much more practicing to do, as I have not yet gained mastery of this section. Do you see anything wrong with my strategy? If so, what? and what can I do to improve my overall profeciency in this section so I can get the most out of my practice tests?

    Reply
    1. Naomi Post author

      Hey,
      There are tons of practice materials suggested above. I would also recommend buying all of the AAMC full-length MCAT tests and taking them. They are excellent practice because they are real (old) MCAT’s. The Berkeley Review also has tons of passages. Good luck!

      Reply
  15. Gabby

    Hey, this looks great. I only have once concern for the Exam Crackers test prep, I see that the books are from 2007, I am just worried that some info will be out of date. What is your opinion on this? I know the MCAT will be changed in 2015, however I don’t know how much they actually change it over the years.

    Reply
    1. Naomi Post author

      Until the big changes come, you will be fine with the current materials. 2007 is recent enough!

      Reply
  16. Jacqueline Gaton

    I know BR means Berkeley Review…. but I don’t understand what book you are referring to when you say ” + every other passage of the corresponding” …. “Day 1: BR Physics Chapter #1 + Every other passage of the corresponding passages for this chapter (e/o)”….

    Every other chapter of what book? BR again?

    Reply
    1. Naomi Post author

      Yep, BR again – do the passages of that chapter – and depending on how much time you have for your schedule, every other passage to speed things up.

      Reply
  17. Molly

    So I have 30 days to my MCAT and I don’t exactly recommend taking that many full lengths back to back (even with a day in between) with fear of a burn out (has happened in my situation in the past). I feel that it would be best to separate them with review of general material. But regardless, my main point is do you have a 30 day schedule for someone who has gone through all the material once and needs to work on strategy? All I can do is more questions/full lengths but don’t want to burn out more than I am already. Any suggestions? Unfortunately I have already taken the MCAT twice and this is my last chance.

    Reply
  18. Xocoyote

    This looks like a workable system for accomplishing MCAT study. I would agree on the part about Kaplan. I was given some Kaplan MCAT books dated 2005. I compared them to a set dated 2013. The learning-oriented content (text) is EXACTLY the same. The only difference are the illustrations and the addition of practice sets. Compare this to Princeton Review. I have an older set of theirs and I compared it to a newer set. The content and organization were very different: different writing, illustrations, etc. This tells me that Princeton at least updates their material, even if many of the problem/exercises were the same between the books.

    Reply

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