Are you registered or planning to register for the MCAT, but not sure how to approach the big day?  Check out our list below to help you prepare.  Remember to also use all the resources available to you, whether that be free online textbooks, practice exams, your school library, etc.  Happy studying & good luck!

1. For highest competitiveness, take the exam on May 19th at the latest (scores should be delivered by July 1st when AMCAS Service sends applications to medical schools)

2. Begin studying 3-4 months before the exam, otherwise you risk forgetting information

  • Try to study 4-8 hours per day during the summer time or when you are not working or in school
  • Study 5-6 months before if you have a course load or have to work

3. Create a content review spreadsheet & study schedule

  • Keep track of your strong & weak areas
  • Spend most of your time on subjects you do not yet know, but still review those you already know well

4. Use the “Hat-Trick” method

5. Prevent burnout!

  • Take breaks
  • Take a day off per week
  • Eat, sleep, & exercise

6. Day before the exam = REST DAY

  • Spend the day with supportive people
  • Light review from study guides
  • Get 8 hours of sleep

7. Don’t second guess yourself – keep your first answer

8. Answer ALL questions – there is no penalty for guessing

9. Time to spend on questions:

Chem/Phys; Bio/Biochem; Psych/Soc:

  • 96 seconds per question
  • 30 minutes – complete 18-19 questions
  • 60 minutes – complete 37 questions
  • 80 minutes – complete 50 questions


  • 1 minute 41 seconds per question
  • 30 minutes – complete 17-18 questions
  • 60 minutes – complete 35.6 questions
  • 80 minutes – complete 47.5 questions

10. You will need to score approximately 127-128 on each section to get 510 (84th percentile).