Quickly calculate an estimate for how long you will need to study based on material to cover and test date.
Your length of study will most certainly depend on very personal factors like your time availability and your prior familiarity with material. There will also be unknown factors that you will discover during the course of your prep that make an exact prediction unrealistic. These unknowns could include moving faster or slower through specific topics to achieve mastery, or honing a process of study that helps you learn and apply most efficiently.
Most importantly, you want to be able to set a realistic test date so that you don't get caught without having completed your preparation. So taking a look at how long it will take to go through your planned prep materials can be very useful. Be generous in the amount of time you are going to commit to studying before your exam. However, keep in mind as well, that you'll want to build and maintain momentum through test day and not lose retention of material studied earliest. Committing to a focused prep period that allows you time to move through material at a manageable but challenging pace helps you make it to test day with a well-oiled MCAT prep machine that is running at its peak and not burned out.
You can use the MCAT.me Study Plan Builder to get a look at how long you will be studying based on your materials, availability, and test date. As stated above, these are not the only factors you need to consider, so be mindful of your progress and performance throughout your prep.
One option is to see how long it will take you to study if you were focusing on covering all material on the MCAT by topic.
You can use any of the three scheduling methods — Calculate, Drag-and-Drop, List — but "Calculate" is probably easiest for broad scheduling. (Later you may want to compartmentalize parts of your prep and use the other methods to schedule a subset of your study sessions.)
The following snapshot was created using:
In this way, you can see that you'll be doubling or tripling up on what you will be studying to fit the given schedule parameters. You can test different scenarios here to see how changing your end date, days of the week, and the other factors will affect your schedule.
Scheduling only one study session per day is achieved by extending the end date to January 5, 2018 (3 months to 6 months in duration).
If all of your study sessions are not able to fit your schedule parameters, you will see a message "Unable to fit schedule with desired parameters.":
Follow a similar process as the one outlined above to selecting from the "Resources" dropdown instead of "Topics" to design your study sessions. This process helps you see an estimated length of time it will take you to complete your planned prep.
You can also set up your study sessions is a more advanced way to customize your approach. Here are a few ideas:
When you are ready to set up your study schedule with MCAT.me, you may wish to use multiple study plans to compartmentalize parts of your prep. This organization will allow you to separately track progress or redistribute study sessions for each plan as well as to independently overlap planned schedules.