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MCAT

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) offers the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) as a computer-based test required for admission to medical school. The MCAT is often weighed heavily in admissions decisions, with nearly all medical schools in the United States and several in Canada requiring MCAT scores. The intent of the MCAT is to test applicants on core concepts in science, social science and verbal reasoning that have been identified as key prerequisites for success in medical school.

 

Timing: 

2020 Shortened MCAT Format:

Section Number of Questions Section length Content
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems 48 Questions 76 minutes Physics, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry
Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills 48 Questions 81 minutes Passage-based reading comprehension
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems 48 Questions 76 minutes Biology and biochemistry
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior 48 Questions 76 minutes Neuroscience, psychology, and sociology

 

The timings above reflect the shortened MCAT Format produced in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. This format will be applied until the end of 2020.

Standard MCAT Format:

Section Number of Questions Section length Content
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems 59 Questions 95 minutes Physics, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry
Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills 53 Questions 90 minutes Passage-based reading comprehension
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems 59 Questions 95 minutes Biology and biochemistry
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior 59 Questions 95 minutes Neuroscience, psychology, and sociology

 

 

Test Dates: 

The MCAT currently offers 25 test dates per year, primarily concentrated over the spring and summer. Click here to view the full list of test dates for the MCAT exam.

 

Scoring: 

Each of the MCAT’s four sections have scores ranging from 118 to 132. Test takers receive scores for each of the four sections. Scores for each of these four sections are combined to create a total score, which ranges from 472 to 528.

Score review & cancellation:

Medical schools generally accept scores dating back two or three years. Scores can be sent to other centralized application services (AACOMAS, CASPA, SOPHAS, etc.) or individual institutions in two ways:

  • Electronically through the Score Reporting System, or
  • Mailing a copy of your official score report

Students are not able to cancel their scores; all scores from every time a student has taken the MCAT will be sent to schools. If a student does not feel as though they did well on the test, they are able to VOID their scores, and the test will not be scored at all nor will your participation be reported to schools.

Due to COVID-19, all rescheduling fees for all exam dates have been waived until further notice to provide examinees with the flexibility to prepare for their new exam date and follow health and safety guidance in their local communities. If your exam is canceled due to COVID-19, you may elect to reschedule or receive a refund by submitting an Emergency Refund Request.

 

Accommodations:

You and your evaluator—a qualified professional supporting your request—will need to suggest the accommodations you deem appropriate for your situation. Some examples of accommodations include the following:

  • Extended testing time
  • Food and drink
  • Stop-the-clock breaks
  • Pregnancy/nursing-related accommodations
  • Separate testing
  • Accessibility accommodations including an adjustable-height workstation, adaptive mouse, or text enlargement

Some testing accommodations, such as those that involve a human aide (e.g., paper exam/proctor, reader, etc.), may be impacted by limits in availability, in order to comply with relevant social distancing measures.

 

How has the coronavirus affected this exam?  

The AAMC is expanding the testing calendar to help students impacted by recent cancellations as a result of COVID-19. Three new dates have been added to the calendar (June 28, September 27, and September 28) and three test appointments will be held per date. In addition to this:

  • A shortened exam will be administered from May 29 to September 28 to accommodate three test appointments per test date at test centers. The exam will be 5 hours and 45 minutes.
  • All MCAT rescheduling fees have been waived so that applicants can adjust their test dates to accommodate preparation and health and safety needs.
  • All subscriptions to MCAT preparation products have been extended through the end of the year to provide access to materials to support your adjusted exam date.
  • As of April 20, 2020, the AAMC Fee Assistance Program has expanded its eligibility guidelines to help more students with financial need qualify for benefits.

Please visit our blog post to learn more about how this year’s exam structure and timing has changed given the pandemic.

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