Considering Med School? What You Need to Know About the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

If you are at all considering medical school, you will need to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The MCAT is a standardized test. It is multiple choice and written. It tests a candidates problem solving, writing skills, critical thinking and knowledge of science. The various scores obtained are Physical and Biological Science, Writing Samples and Verbal reasoning. Medical schools look at these scores when a potential student applies. Many Medical schools are very competitive and MCAT scores can make or break a student’s chances of getting the college or university that a student wants.

The Association of American Medical Colleges administers the test. Their Web site,, is full of useful information. You can order a practice test, create a study plan and sign up for tips on how to study for the exam. What is even more important is you will register for the test on their Web site.

The MCAT is scheduled 22 times during the year. A student can take it at testing locations all over the United States. A student can also register to take it at 15 international sites, but there is an additional charge. Sign up early for the date that you want. There is also a late registration fee.

The test itself will take about 5.5 hours. Each person taking the test is provided a workstation. The MCAT is a computerized test and is only administered in English. While taking the test, most sites are able to handle 20 test takers at one time. While that may seem like quite a few people taking the test, the proctor will ensure that the environment remains quiet. If needed, noise-reducing headphones will be available.

There is a table on the site as to when scores will be available for each testing date, so plan accordingly. Most medical schools will not accept an MCAT test that is older than three years. The medical schools will be looking at all of the scores that are reported. They will help determine if you are accepted or your application is declined. Doing well on this test will determine your chances.

Be sure to allow yourself plenty of study time. It is recommended that you schedule the MCAT test for after you have completed all of your science classes. This way you will have all of that material available. The MCAT is not an easy test. It is meant to show those who have the aptitude to make it to medical school.

Related Articles:

  • How Many College or Graduate School Applications Should You Send?
  • What is the LSAT Test?
  • What is the TWE Test?
  • Value of Liberal Arts Degree
  • TOEFL Test: The Test of English as a Foreign Language