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I Haven’t Completed All My Medical School Prerequisites! Can I Still Start My MCAT Prep?

Medical school application timelines look different for every student. You might find yourself planning to take the MCAT before completing a medical school prerequisite or “recommended” course. Many students wonder if they can start their MCAT prep if they haven’t taken physics, a psychology class, etc. I won’t lie to you—this will make preparing for the MCAT slightly more difficult. You will need to approach your MCAT prep differently than other students.

Students who take all courses are at an advantage as they will be reviewing content rather than learning never-before-seen material. However, you can still achieve your goal MCAT score if you adhere to the following guidelines in your MCAT prep. 

1. Make a Detailed, Personalized Schedule for MCAT Studying

You will need to schedule more time in your MCAT preparation to learn the content of the course you are missing. The amount of time you schedule depends on the course you’re missing; for example, if you are missing a psychology course, you might want to schedule a larger chunk of time to learn this material as psychology makes up 65% of the Psychology and Sociology section of the MCAT.

By contrast, if you are missing Physics 2, you may need less time to learn the material as it makes up a much lower percentage of the Chemistry and Physics portion of the exam. Blueprint allows you to make a personalized MCAT study plan that you can customize based on your needs, outlining the subjects and skills necessary for success in each subject on the MCAT

2. Obtain the Necessary Resources

Depending on your learning style, you may want to use textbooks, videos, flashcards, or an online course to learn the material you are missing. Whichever method you choose, be diligent about covering the material within the scope of the MCAT and not wasting time on concepts that will not be tested (unless they are integral to your understanding of the subject as a whole). 

3. Follow the AAMC Outline

The AAMC outlines exactly what is on the MCAT in a handy PDF (and we organized it all into a handy checklist). Navigate to the subject matter you have not taken, and take inventory of the knowledge you will be responsible for on the MCAT. This can be used to guide your MCAT studying plan and keep your self-studying sessions relevant to the scope of the MCAT.   

4. Practice, practice, practice!

Whether you are missing a course or not, the best way to improve your MCAT score is to practice with MCAT-style questions. Use these questions to gauge your level of understanding of the content as you learn new material, and continue to adapt your study plan to reflect your strengths and weaknesses. Powerful AI-generated QBank questions and full-length practice MCAT exams are great ways to get this practice in, assess your weaknesses, and reflect on best practices to continually improve your score. 

If you missed a required or recommended class and need to start your MCAT prep, don’t worry. As long as you plan your MCAT studying intentionally to reflect your missing coursework, follow AAMC guidelines, and practice a TON, you will be just as successful on the MCAT as the next student! Remember that there is no set studying journey for a student, and you must be adaptive and flexible as you progress through studying. With diligence and determination, you can learn the necessary material and achieve your goal score! 

And don’t forget we’re here to help! From 1600 free MCAT flashcards to practice exams with in-depth analytics showing you exactly what concepts you need to work on, we have everything you need to for the MCAT. Get started by creating your free Blueprint MCAT account today.

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