The Time it Takes to Earn a Top MCAT Score

Written and edited by the MCAT Self Prep Tutoring Team

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Based on our analysis of top MCAT scorers, there is no set amount of time that will guarantee you a high MCAT score. Some high scorers only studied a couple hundred hours or less while others needed to study more than one thousand hours. The reason why there is so much variability is that every student is extremely unique. For instance, students who have a strong natural ability for reading comprehension, students who had amazing pre-med professors that pushed them, and students that took their pre-med coursework seriously will likely need to study for fewer hours than their peers. 


Because there is so much variability, it is crucial that your approach to MCAT studying is unique to your needs. This is why we offer the Create-your-own Study Plan Course, which will help you approach your MCAT studying in an individualized manner. Although it is impossible to know exactly how much time you will need to set aside for your MCAT studying, it is still a good idea to have a rough estimate. From my experience helping students study for the MCAT, I believe it takes 50 to 75 hours of studying to improve your score by a single scaled score point. The Create-your-own Study Plan Course will walk you through taking a diagnostic exam, providing you with a detailed estimate as to how many hours you personally need to study in order to attain your goal score. 

If your test date is fast approaching, you may want to take a look back and think about how many hours you’ve devoted to studying for this test. Not studying enough total hours is a very common reason for failing to achieve one’s goal score. If you think you need more time to study for the MCAT before taking it, don’t be afraid to push your test date back. It is much better to reschedule than to achieve a less-than-ideal score. If at all possible, you’ll want to knock out the MCAT on your first try. 

Feeling a little unsure about how to start or how to move forward? Don’t hesitate to reach out. You can request a free 10-minute phone consultation by visiting my tutoring profile page. I’d love to help you figure out what you need to do in order to achieve MCAT success. If you are feeling behind in achieving your goals, we can get you set up with one of our Elite tutors who have extensive experience advising and tutoring for the MCAT. They will help you not only craft the perfect study plan, but also they will help give you the accountability and professional tips to help boost your score last-minute.

Warm regards,

Theo Bennett


Theo Bennett scored a perfect score (528) on the MCAT and has been accepted at Harvard, UPenn, Columbia, UCLA, and other top 10 medical schools across the country. You can learn more and sign up to work with him one-on-one here.

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