When to Sign Up for the MCAT

How do I sign up for my MCAT test date? 

New MCAT test dates for a given year are generally released in October the year before (dates in 2024 will be released Oct 2023). Spots tend to fill up quickly once they are released, so we recommend following the AAMC MCAT twitter to ensure you sign up as soon as they are released. The calendar for all possible exam dates and their score release dates can be found on the AAMC’s website. Seats fill up early, and some students end up traveling hundreds of miles because they registered a little too late. However, it’s better to take the exam on the day that works best for you rather than take the exam on a wrong day in your ideal location. 

What test date is right for you? 

The best answer is to take the exam when you’re ready. The MCAT is such an important piece of your application that your goal should be to perform well enough that you only take the exam once. While it is possible to retake the exam, the process is time-consuming and mentally draining. 

Choosing the correct exam date is critical to your success. Finding a date depends on a lot of factors, but you may want to seriously consider two of them:

(1) Pick a date that will maximize your chances for medical school acceptance. You will want to apply to medical school as early as you can as medical schools admit students on a rolling basis. For AMCAS (applying to MD schools) that means submitting your application at the beginning of June. Since forwarding your application from AMCAS to your medical schools will take about a month, choose an exam date with an exam release date before the end of June. This means you should take the MCAT in the spring if you are applying the same year that you tackle the MCAT. You’ll need to wait about 4 weeks to receive your MCAT score after the exam too, so the latest dates with early score releases are in the end of May and early June. If you plan to apply the following year, you can take the exam during the time that best fits your schedule.

(2) Pick a date that allows for adequate preparation. Most successful students choose to study hundreds of hours for the MCAT over the span of 3-9 months. We recommend planning your timeline months before you start your MCAT studies to allow yourself to free up as much time as possible. Take a light semester. Work part-time if you can. Additionally, successful students generally incorporate a month of full-time study (50-70 hrs/week) for the month before the exam date. Find a date, or shift your schedule, to allow for a month free of any outside commitments like school, work, etc., leaving you the ability to pack in a month of full-time MCAT prep. Using MCAT Self Prep, we will walk you through this month-long bootcamp.

How much does it cost to sign up for the MCAT?

$325! Applying for medical school in unbelievably expensive. That’s why we created MCAT Self Prep, to provide students with a low-cost alternative to the massive prep companies! From the MCAT to medical school applications and interviews, it’s not rare to spend over $10,000. But don’t spend thousands more on a test prep company! Using our Free eCourse, you will learn how to get all your MCAT prep materials for less than a few hundred dollars! We also offer private, online one-on-one MCAT tutoring sessions starting at just $149 each! During your first session, you and your tutor will be able to analyze your situation and determine the very best test date for you as well as work with you to make a personal and individualized study plan. We are here to help. Not sure where to start? Please start with a free consultation.

Warm regards,

Andrew George

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How we Matched up the Khan Academy Passages with the eCourse Lessons

Each lesson of the eCourse contains links to 1 to 5 Khan Academy science passages for the purpose of providing you with non-AAMC material to practice your science passage reading skills on. By completing all the linked passages within every lesson, you will have finished all the freely available Khan Academy science passages.

To match up the Khan Academy Science Passages with the eCourse lessons, we carefully examined the passage and question content of each one. Then we decided which lesson of the eCourse best correlated with that content. You may notice that some passages don’t match up perfectly with the current lesson. If they don’t match up with the current lesson, they should match up with one of the previous lessons in the module. We did this carefully so that you could practice your science passage reading skills on passages that contain the content you’ve already learned.

Why we don’t recommend non-AAMC CARS practice questions

We recommend practicing CARS by reading non-AAMC CARS passages but not doing the associated practice problems. The reason we don’t recommend doing the practice problems is because the MCAT is written by the AAMC. They have a very unique style in which they write CARS practice questions that third-party companies (try as they might) are unable to replicate. When students spend time on non-AAMC CARS practice problems, they get familiar with the wrong style of questioning, leading them to overthink and incorrectly respond to the questions written by the AAMC. Thus, it is in your best interest to solely practice on AAMC CARS practice questions.

That said, we highly recommend practicing your reading skills on non-AAMC CARS passages. In our Ultimate CARS Strategy Course, we provide you with 1,000 free CARS passages and 100+ homework assignments, giving you ample material to practice on. Reading countless passages while practicing the proper reading habits and strategies will prepare you well to conquer the CARS section as it was written by the AAMC.

Which books do the lessons match up with?

The books we use in each lesson are linked below. We plan to stick with these older editions of the books since very little has changed and the older editions are much more affordable:

First Edition of the Kaplan 7-book Series
First Edition of the Princeton 7-book Series

Do the chapters match up perfectly?

The Kaplan Books, Princeton Books, and Khan Academy Videos were all produced by different authors. For this reason, there are some chapters in the Kaplan Book or Princeton Book that are not even found in the Khan Academy Videos and vice versa. For instance, the Kaplan and Princeton Books have chapters that cover certain experimental procedures that the Khan Academy Videos do not cover.

Our goal in matching up the books with the videos was to correlate the content as best as possible while also covering ALL the content from every resource. For this reason, when nothing in the Kaplan Books matched up with one of the video playlists, instead of leaving the reading assignment for Kaplan blank, we inserted material that did not fit in anywhere else (i.e. one of those chapters on an experimental procedure that was not covered by Khan Academy). So, when the assignment doesn’t appear to match up right, please know that this was intentional.

*If you follow the reading assignments outlined, you will finish the entire Kaplan 7-book series and/or Princeton 7-book series by the time you finish all 10 content modules.

Do the sections match up perfectly?

If the sections assigned in our eCourse do not match up with the sections contained in your content review book, you may have a different edition. The sections should still match up the large majority of the time, but in the rare instance that they don’t, I’d recommend simply reading sections that do match up and saving the ones that do not for a future lesson.

MCAT Launchpad Required!

Before jumping into our free eCourse, you’ll need to complete orientation by watching MCAT Launchpad. During this free 35-minute intro session with Head Tutor Andrew, you’ll learn 6 Keys to Earning a Top MCAT Score, the 5 Essential Elements of an Effective Study Plan, 12 Tips for Taking the Best MCAT Study Notes, and more! Andrew will also provide you with a detailed overview of the Free MCAT Prep Course, teaching you how to get started.

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