How to Prepare for the MCAT While Working Full Time
It can be a tricky and stressful task to strike a balance between a full-time job and studying for the MCAT. But don’t worry, with a little bit of planning, you CAN make both work. Here are some tips on how to study for the MCAT with a full-time job.
1. Do a Detailed Time-management Analysis
The key to success when you’re juggling multiple responsibilities is to take the time to plan out your weekly schedule.
- Be realistic: If you already work a full-time job, have other commitments or a family, you likely won’t have time to set aside hours of uninterrupted study time every day. Instead, look for shorter windows of time that you can fit in studying, such as your lunch break or between meetings.
- Break tasks into attainable goals: It can be overwhelming to look at the mountain of material you need to cover for the MCAT. Break down your studying into small, achievable tasks, such as spending an hour on practice problems or dedicating a few minutes a day to memorizing facts.
- Tailor it to you: Everyone learns differently, so match the time you’re setting aside to your own learning style. You might prefer spending an hour a week on independent study or meeting with a tutor once a week; whatever works best for you.
Not sure how to create your weekly schedule? Consider using a task manager app that will help you keep track of your assignments, due dates and exams.
2. Research Flexible Study Programs
If you’re struggling to find the time to self-study, it might be worth looking into an MCAT prep program with flexible times and locations. Many programs now offer online streaming video classes so you can study from the comfort of your home or office.
Whatever program you choose, make sure it’s reputable and will provide the support and resources you’ll need to be successful.
3. Make the Most of Study Breaks
Keep in mind that you don’t have to spend every free minute in a feverish effort to prepare for the MCAT. In fact, actively taking breaks is important to let your mind rest and keep things in perspective.
Consider adding breaks into your studying schedule so you can do something fun, hang out with friends or just take a few moments to yourself. Doing something that you enjoy will not only give you a break, but will also help you stay motivated until test day.
4. Stay Positive and Focused
Above all, be patient and stay positive. Balancing two demanding tasks will be tough at times and it’s OK to admit that. If you’re having trouble getting motivated, remind yourself that you can do this and understand that it’s completely normal and OK to feel stressed out.
Remember that this is only a temporary situation and that it will all be worth it when you pass the MCAT and take the next step in your future. Just take things one step at a time, stay focused and be prepared to reach success.