Students who want to study any profession related to health are required to take the MCAT exam.
This article gives you more information on what the AAMC MCAT is, registration when to take the MCAT, scores, cost, duration, and answers to your questions on the subject.
At the end of this article, you will find answers to the following frequently asked questions about the medical school admission test:
- When should I take my MCAT for medical school?
- What is the best time to take the MCAT?
- What does the MCAT test you on?
- How do I study for the MCAT?
- What Year of Undergraduate Should I Take the MCAT?
- What is the best way to prepare for the MCAT?
- How much does it cost to take the MCAT?
- What is a good score on the MCAT?
What is the MCAT?
MCAT stands for Medical College Admission Test. Developed and administered by the AAMC, it is a multiple-choice standardized test designed to help medical school admissions offices assess student problem-solving, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
In addition, it helps them to evaluate the knowledge that the student has of the natural, behavioral, and Social Sciences concepts and scientific principles prior to the study of medicine. It serves as a predictor of your success with admissions officers.
The MCAT is required for admission to most medical schools. However, it is computerized and tests physical and biological science books, verbal reasoning, and writing skills.
In April 2015, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released a new version of the MCAT exam. Last revised in 1991, recent updates reflect developments in medicine and science and also test candidates on what they know but also how much they use what they know.
Before going any further, as a student, you need a guide. Take a look at our essential tips for students.
Content of the new MCAT
The new MCAT goes through several themes. They include verbal reasoning, biology, physics, general and organic chemistry, Biochemistry, Psychology, and Sociology. Below is a pie chart representation of the new MCAT content:
There are four sections for reporting scores:
- Biological and biochemical fundamentals of living systems.
- Chemical and physical foundations of biological systems.
- Psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior.
- Critical analysis and reasoning skills
Almost all American medical schools and many Canadian schools require you to submit your MCAT exam results. However, many schools do not accept results older than 3 years.
Necessary prerequisites for the MCAT exam
MCAT subject matter/content is covered by introductory courses at most colleges and universities, including introductory courses in General Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Psychology, Sociology, and First Semester Biochemistry.
The research methods and the statistical concepts of the exam are used in introductory science laboratories, as well as in introductory psychology and sociology courses.
We recommend that you contact your institution’s pre-health advisor who can help you determine the specific courses you will need to achieve your training goals.
When should I take the MCAT test?
The best time to take the medical college admission test is when you feel best prepared and ready. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. But when you make this decision, you can ask yourself three questions:
1. When do I want to go to medical school?
Often, students choose to take the MCAT exam in the same year that they apply to medical school. For example, if you plan to attend medical school in the fall of 2023, you may want to consider getting tested in 2023.
2. Is there a potential that I will have to try more than once?
Many candidates try it more than once. If you think you will be able to take the exam again and want to drop this option for yourself, you may want to consider taking the exam for the first time in an exam year. This will give you the opportunity to receive your scores, decide if you want to retest and find another seat at the date and location of your choice later in the year.
3. Do I control the tested content during the test?
The MCAT exam tests the content of introductory courses at most undergraduate institutions, including biology, chemistry, and general and organic physics, as well as biochemistry, psychology, and sociology in the first semester. Although there are no specific courses to follow to register for and take the exam, it is important to feel comfortable with the content and skills tested.
If you feel additional courses or studies are needed to help you prepare, consider taking tests later in the year to save time. Consult your pre-health advisor or faculty member for help in choosing a course, as courses vary from institution to institution.
Also, remember that medical schools will be able to see all of your results and there is now a limit to the number of times you can take the test. See MCAT Essentials for more information on posting scores and lifetime limits.
If you need help deciding when to get tested, talk to your pre-health counselor. The most important thing is to take the test when you are ready, not when you think you should be.
How do I study for the MCAT?
Preparing for the MCAT exam takes time and dedication. And balancing your preparation with an already busy schedule is a challenge.
AAMC has practical resources and products to help you no matter where you are in this process. These resources are discussed below:
What does the MCAT exam include?
The duration of the MCAT exam is 7.5 hours and covers all four sections: Biological and Biochemical Fundamentals of Living Systems; chemical and physical bases of biological systems; Psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior. and critical analysis and reasoning skills.
Overview of MCAT Sections
|Biological and biochemical fundamentals of living systems.|
59 Section 95-minute multiple-choice questions
Tests in basic biology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and biochemistry.
|Chemical and physical foundations of biological systems.||Section 59 multiple-choice questions|
Tests in basic biochemistry, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics.
|Psychological, social and biological foundations of behavior.|
59 Section 95-minute multiple-choice questions
Introductory tests in psychology, sociology, and biology.
|Critical analysis and reasoning skills||53 multiple-choice questions|
Similar to reading comprehension sections on other standardized tests
Passages come from a variety of humanities and social sciences disciplines
1. Create a study plan
How to start preparing for the MCAT exam? Creating a study plan is a great way to organize and stay focused. Download this six-step guide to creating your own plan provided by AAMC.
2. Free planning and study resources
Learn about the official AAMC MCAT preparation resources that AAMC provides to help you study for test day by clicking the link below:
3. Practice for the MCAT exam with low-cost official products
Learning through practice is key when it comes to the exam. Prepare for the exam with the official AAMC MCAT test prep products written by the developers of the test.
Click the link below for more information about MCAT Official Packets, AAMC Full-Length Practice Tests, Question Sets, and Print Products:
How do I register for the MCAT exams?
The MCAT exam is offered multiple times in 2023 from January and March through September at hundreds of testing sites in the United States, Canada, and around the world. To register, please log in to the MCAT Registration System.
2023 calendars, programming deadlines, and sheet music publication dates
Click on any section below to learn more about the US, Canadian, and International schedules, scheduling deadlines, and launch dates for the 2023 testing year.
- US Testing Schedule, Scheduling Deadlines, and Sheet Music Release Dates
- Canadian exam calendar, scheduling deadlines, and results release dates
- International Test Calendar
MCAT Scheduling Fee
Click on the link below for more information on the MCAT Scheduling Fee for the 2023 Test Year:
Taking the MCAT exam in Puerto Rico
Are you a Puerto Rican applicant? There is important information for test takers taking the test in your country. Visit the link below: https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/article/taking-mcat-exam-puerto-rico/
MCAT Test Day
To be as confident and prepared as possible for your test, you need to know what to expect and what is expected of you at the test center.
Test Day Rules
The AAMC is committed to ensuring the accuracy and validity of test results, as well as providing candidates with fair and safe testing conditions. To do this, the staff at each test center strictly follow a common set of procedures. For a full list of strategies, see MCAT Essentials.
When you register for the MCAT exam and abbreviated on test day, you will certify that you have read the MCAT Examiner Agreement. Reading, understanding, and honoring this document is important for all candidates, not only to prepare for the exam but also for future doctors. Learn more about the meaning of this document.
Know what you can and can’t discuss after your medical college admissions exam.
Learn more about the policies and procedures each candidate must follow on test day.
The following items are the only items allowed in the testing room during the Medical College Admission Examination exam:
- photo identification
- Scoreboard provided by the center and the scoreboard
- Facility-provided storage key
- The Center is fitted with foam and wireless earplugs.
During the MED exam, you will have two 10-minute breaks and one 30-minute break in the middle of the exam. During these times, knowing what can and cannot be accessed.
On the day of the test
When you arrive at the test center, you must register with the test administrator. You will be required to log in, present valid identification, digitally scan your palms and take a photo of test day. Learn more by clicking the link below:
Official scores are released 30-35 days after the test date. To see your scores, click on “Get MCAT Test Results” on the official page.
How is the medical university admission test scored?
Each section of the test is scored in a range of 118 to 132, with an average score of 125. You will receive one grade for each section, plus one overall grade. Total scores will center around 500, with ranges from 472 to 528.
What is a good score on the medical college admission test?
The MCAT is a scaled test, which means that your raw score (depending on the number of questions you had) is converted to a scaled score taking into account the difficulty of the questions.
MCAT Percentiles 2023
Each year on May 1, the percentile ranks are updated using data from the past three years. These annual updates will ensure that the percentile rankings reflect current and stable information about your student’s scores.
This means that changes in percentile rank from one year to the next reflect significant changes in candidate scores, rather than fluctuations from one year to the next. Updating the percentile ranks is consistent with industry practice.
You’ll get a percentile rank with your MCAT score to help you compare your performance to other people who’ve taken the test. Did you get a percentile rank of 50? You got 50% or more than the other quiz participants! The higher your MCAT percentile, the better.
CHECK the latest MCAT percentiles published by AAMC HERE
How much does the MCAT cost?
Taking the MCAT costs $315 (and $370 for a late registration a week or two before your test date). The initial enrollment fee includes the distribution of your scores to the MCAT at medical schools.
Please note that cancellation or postponement of the test is subject to additional charges. The AAMC offers a Fee Assistance Program for candidates who, without financial assistance, were unable to pass the MCAT.
For more information on MCAT exams, material, testing time, scores, topics, categories, sections, and cost breakdown, please click the following link:
The above article contains the necessary information you need about MCAT exams, their duration, new MCAT topics and section breakdowns, topics, costs, and tests.
We hope you find it helpful in preparing for medical school.
Success and good luck!!!