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MCAT

The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is an examination that is composed of four major sections: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems; Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems; Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior; and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. This is a standardized, multiple-choice examination that assesses your problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of natural, behavioral, and social science concepts and principles. The exam is offered from January through September across the United States, Canada and around the world. You are required to register through AAMC to schedule your exam date.  
 
Visit the AAMC's website to learn more about “What’s on the MCAT Exam”. Shemassian Academic Consulting also shares an excellent resource:  What MCAT Score Do You Need to Get Into Medical School?

MCAT Registration/Dates  

Click here to register and view the schedule for the next year. (The schedule is usually available in mid-September.) 

Please view the AAMC COVID-19 and the MCAT Exam page to learn more about the processes and response to the pandemic.  

MCAT Exam with Accommodations 

If you have a disability or medical condition, you may receive accommodations for the exam. To receive accommodations, you must apply on the AAMC MCAT Accommodations website. 

The AAMC provides a stipend (up to $800) to assist with obtaining a medical or psycho-educational evaluation if it's required to support your MCAT testing accommodations application. See the Fee Assistance Program for details on how to apply.  

Preparing for the MCAT 

Preparing for the MCAT takes time, dedication, organization, and persistence.  To begin we recommend reviewing these steps to help determine when is the right time to begin.  

Pre-Considerations:

  • You have been on an academic course leading you towards and preparing you for the medical field.
  • Medical school is your goal upon receiving your Bachelor’s Degree.
  • You have planned to give yourself time, one year recommended, to study for the MCAT exam.
  • You know that you need your MCAT results in order to apply for Medical School.

Step 1: When is the MCAT?
Schedule your MCAT testing date. The MCAT exam is offered in January, and March through September at hundreds of test sites across the United States, Canada, and around the world.

Step 2: What’s on the MCAT?
Find out everything you can about the exam. Here is a PDF with an overview of the entire exam content. (https://students-residents.aamc.org/media/9261/download)

For more information on section specific content, you can refer to the list below.

Step 3: How much do I know?
Assess your knowledge level compared to that tested on the exam. Taking an AAMC full-length practice exam will give you an accurate view of your preparedness. The exam also gives you data about your scores on the specific sections, questions you did well on, and which ones you can improve upon. The AAMC MCAT Official Prep Sample Test mirrors the actual test in length and functionality but does not include a scaled score. It can be accessed in the “MCAT Official Prep Hub” by creating or logging in to your account.

Step 4: How do I learn what I need to know?
Gather free and low-cost resources to help you prepare according to the insight you gained from the AAMC MCAT Official Prep Sample Test. Understand that your resources for studying will be different from your resources for practicing. Study resources will be content-rich, while practice resources will mimic test taking and application. Study resources that help you prepare will also be strategic and include active study planning. AAMC offers worksheets and study plan resources in “How to Create a Study Plan for the MCAT Exam”.

Step 5: What materials can I use to study the correct content?
AAMC offers many study resources, and has partnered with other higher learning organizations to provide content-rich and appropriate resources.

Free AAMC Study Resources:

Free and Low Cost AAMC Practice Resources:

Step 6: How do I maximize the use of these resources?
After discovering where you need to improve and accessing the resource materials, you will need to organize your time and commit to study strategies. AAMC provides a Study Plan Schedule template in the How to Create a Study Plan for the MCAT Exam resource that will help you solidify your plan. This process will help you see how much time you have available to study, what areas you need to study, and what strategies you will use to optimize the time you dedicate to each section.

*If not yet registered for a test date, this would be a great point to assess the time you will need to be fully prepared and register for the date that works best for you.

Step 7: Put it into practice!
Your plan should include a variety of approaches to help you learn, integrate, and apply new concepts and strengthen areas you are already strong in. After learning new material, make time to practice and apply them to test-taking methods. The AAMC provides more in-depth test preparation strategies that are proven to help MCAT test takers in the How to Create a Study Plan for the MCAT Exam resource.

Step 8: How do I prepare for test day?
Now that you have studied and prepared, take the AAMC MCAT Official Prep Sample Test again and reassess where you stand. It is recommended that you replicate the actual test-taking conditions as much as possible. After taking this practice test, you will need to consider if you are satisfied with your score. If there are any areas you need to focus on studying more until the day of your actual test, consider adjusting your study plan. Consider whether you need to reschedule your exam date to provide you enough time so that you are confident on test day.

You might also want to consider holding a mock test day with an advisor or study group to best replicate the test taking environment. At this point, you are now prepared with the content knowledge, and the best test taking strategies to be successful!