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5 Tips for Staying on Top of Your MCAT Prep During the Holidays

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, turkey in the oven, and silver bells ringing—the last thing you want to think about right now is MCAT prep. Unfortunately, with the January MCAT Test Dates coming up soon, now is not the time to slack off. With the right strategy, prepping for the MCAT during the holidays might be difficult, but not impossible.

1. Schedule Your Time Wisely

No one wants to do practice problems after Thanksgiving dinner or on New Year’s Eve. That’s why if you want to successfully prep for the MCAT during the holidays you need to map your study plan out. Keep in mind any family obligations, holiday parties, shopping, events, and everything else packed into November and December.

The Blueprint MCAT Self-Paced Course gives you incredible flexibility and allows you to take your MCAT prep on the go. Tutoring students have the advantage of an MCAT instructor to modify their already-custom study plan, but any student can tweak their plan to fit their needs and social calendar. For the best of both worlds, our Live Course makes it easy to reschedule your live classes whenever life—or a last-minute reindeer romp—comes up!

2. Set Up A Reward System

Studying is tough, no matter what time of year it is. Add a bit of joy back into your life with a reward system! Whether you settle on a slice of pumpkin pie after you finish a section or a piece of candy after each question you tackle, there’s no greater motivator than knowing you have something waiting for you at the end. You’ll find treating yourself makes your study experience a much more positive and engaging one.

3. Redefine “Studying”

MCAT prep doesn’t have to be limited to poring over practice questions or books. Signing up for Questions of the Day, drilling with 1600+ high-yield free MCAT flashcards participating in free MCAT webinars, or even reading this MCAT blog are ideal additions to any study plan. You’ll still be digesting helpful information, but in a low-pressure way. And, to be honest, our MCAT modules were designed to be fun! 

4. Start Your Day with a Study Sesh

While it may not be the most ideal way to wake up on your holiday break, there are real benefits to studying first thing in the morning. It’s much more effective than staying up late and losing sleep. Pour yourself a cup of coffee (or eggnog) and take a free MCAT diagnostic test. Then you can have the rest of the day for yourself.

5. Take a Break

Above all else, remember these weeks are a time to reconnect with family and friends and recharge for the new year and everything to come. Don’t feel guilty if you need a break to take a calming snowy walk or go online shopping for an hour. MCAT prep can be stressful, and so can the holidays. Definitely try to sneak in as many relaxing moments as you need.

There’s no denying the January MCAT is right around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you should lock yourself in a room until then. Balance and time management are key, and can make for both a productive and fun season! And if you need a planner that lets you schedule holidays and breaks, you can check out this study planner!

MCAT is a registered trademark of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which is not affiliated with Blueprint.