The MCAT should be planned well in advance as you should ideally take the exam only one time and only after you have completed the recommended courses. Most successful applicants devote several (at least 3) months and approximately 300 hours or more to studying so consider when you will have this time available. The MCAT is offered in January, and then monthly from March to September. A January exam means that you will study throughout the fall. A March, April or early May test date will mean that you will need to study for the exam while maintaining your spring courses and activities. An August exam will give you the entire summer to study. We recommend that you take the MCAT at least a month before you send in your application so that you have your scores back (medical school applications go in around June 1 which means taking the MCAT in early May). Many students will take the MCAT much earlier, in January or even in the preceding August.