Question of the Week: MCAT Timing

Sept. 23, 2022

Q: MCAT registration just opened for January. How popular are January dates with Princeton premeds? Will I have enough time to study for a January test if I start now?
A: Choice of test date is spread across the calendar for Princeton applicants. Over the past three years, August has been the most popular, and March and July the least. We expect that January will become more popular now that finals are in December (which started in 2020-21). About 20% of our entering med students this year took the January 2021 exam. We’ve listed some pros and cons of different dates on our MCAT handout that’s posted on our website.
Whether or not you have enough time will depend on your other commitments between now and January, and how much time you need to achieve the scores you’re aiming for. Past applicants have estimated 250-500 hours of studying, including numerous full-length practice tests, which take a full day each. Use our MCAT panel notes and recordings, use the AAMC “creating a study plan” guide, and map study hours on to your other responsibilities to gauge how realistic a January date is for you. We hope to host an MCAT panel this fall with some January test takers who will share their advice.

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