By: Petros Minasi
Summer will be over before you know it. Chances are, if you haven’t started your MCAT prep yet, you’ve probably decided to take the exam in 2016. So, what should you know about the 2016 MCAT dates?
Here’s a few things to keep in mind when scheduling your Test Day.
Plan enough study time before your MCAT date
The AAMC has not yet announced the official testing calendar and MCAT dates for 2016 (set to be released before the end of the summer). According to their website, however, there will be testing dates in January and every month from April through September. Not to worry—although registration hasn’t opened, you can still start planning out when you are going to sit for the exam.
While it’s still technically possible to take one of the September exams, we generally recommend students give themselves three to five months to prepare for the MCAT. As such, you probably want to prepare for the January test at the earliest.
Balance MCAT prep with pre-med commitments
Here are some other factors to consider when choosing from among the MCAT dates. If you are planning on taking the exam in January, you’ll want to start preparing by the end of August or early September—but no later than October. This way, you’ll give yourself plenty of study time, while also being able to take some time off at Thanksgiving and the holiday season.
By getting your MCAT prep out of the way this fall, you’ll be able to use the spring to focus entirely on submitting your primary applications in June of 2016. However, you only want to take the MCAT in January if you’ve already finished your prerequisite courses. There is no need to rush to take the January MCAT, as the April and May exams will still afford you the opportunity to balance study time with your applications in the spring.
If you’re still in school, you will also want to make sure your course load is light enough to allow sufficient study time to prepare for Test Day. You want to treat your MCAT prep like a five-unit class—in total, expect to dedicate about 300 to 350 hours.
Get a jumpstart on raising your MCAT score
If you are thinking about taking the MCAT 2016 in the spring (April or May) you can still get started now and spread your preparation out a little more. In fact, you can still get started even if you haven’t completed your prerequisite courses by reviewing old content.
Regardless of when you plan to take the exam, signing up for a Kaplan MCAT course gives you access to our Review Books, The MCAT Channel, our Science Review Videos, and much more. The key is to structure your study time. Rather than waiting until the last minute to get started, beginning your MCAT preparation early will allow you a little bit of cushion before Test Day.
So, as you begin to plan out your fall and choose from among the MCAT dates available, be sure to factor in these considerations on your journey towards wearing a white coat.
With so many different MCAT prep options, it’s easy to find one that works for you. Visit Kaptest.com/MCAT to view our upcoming class schedules.
– See more at: http://www.medschoolpulse.com/2015/08/21/2016-mcat-dates-mean/#sthash.ci5lrvHV.dpuf