MCAT Q & A

 Q: What is the MCAT?

A:  The MCAT is a test designed to see if you have the aptitude and knowledge to enroll in and successfully complete a medical college degree.   It is called the Medical College Admissions Test.  The test is typically a computer based standardized exam that uses multiple choice and other formats to assess your likelihood of succeeding in medical school.    It is developed by and administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). 

Q: Why do I have to take this test?

A:  Medical schools use the exam to assess an applicant’s qualifications and readiness to enroll in medical school.  Medical schools in the United States and Canada require an MCAT score as part of your application. 

Q: What are the requirements to take the exam?

A:  The Medical College Admissions Test  measures your knowledge base on a variety of topics.  The areas covered are biology, physics, general chemistry, organic chemistry, psychology, and sociology.  It is strongly recommended that you have completed at least two semesters of each subject prior to taking the exam.  Additionally, you will want a good foundation in mathematics, computer skills, critical thinking, and deductive reasoning.

Are you looking for MCAT preparation materials?  Check out these books and study aids from Amazon. 

Q:  What should I do to prepare for the test?

A: There are a variety of preparation materials and courses that you can take to prepare for the exam.  It is strongly encouraged that you study for the test prior to taking it.  You can also take practice tests to see how you might do.   You can take a prep course that helps you study and practice taking the test. 

Q: How long is the test going to take?

A:  The test can take approximately 8 hours from the time you check in to the time you exit the exam room.   This will include time to check in, test site orientation, breaks, tutorials, and actual exam time.

Q:  Where can I take the exam?

A:  The test is administered by a professional testing company contracted by the AAMC.   There are hundreds of testing sites in the United States.  You may also take the test in Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada.   The AAMC also offers the test to international test takers.    Click here to search for an MCAT test site

Q: When should I take the test?

A:  It is highly recommended that you take the test about one year prior to applying for medical school.  It is a good idea to schedule your test 12 months before you apply in case you want to re-take the exam to improve your score.     

Q:  How much does it cost?

A:  The current exam fee is $315 if you register at least 15-29 days prior to an exam date.   If you register 8 days prior to the exam it will cost $370.  Rescheduling will cost you additional fees.  There is an international fee in addition to the initial exam fee.  

If you can show financial hardship the AAMC does offer a discounted fee of $125 for an initial exam that is scheduled 15 days or 29 days prior to the exam date.   The 2018 exam fees can be found here.