What is MCAT?
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized test used to assess students’ potential for admission into medical school. It tests general knowledge, understanding of scientific concepts, and application skills. The MCAT exam is the most crucial step in your medical school application.
Important information related to MCAT
- The MCAT exam is an essential part of your medical school application. You should first identify the schools you are applying to and find out their requirements, including MCAT requirements. The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) has a free service called the MCAT Candidate Information Book. You can select the schools that are on your list. It will show you their requirements.
- Most medical schools require a score of at least 472 on the MCAT exam. A high MCAT score does not guarantee your acceptance into medical school, but it does improve your chances. The MCAT score is just one factor used to determine if you will be accepted to medical school
- The AAMC recommends that you take the MCAT exam in April or June of your year of graduation from college if you are applying for the following September. If you plan to enter medical school the year after you graduate, then plan on taking your MCAT exam in the spring before your application.
- It takes about a year to prepare for the MCAT, so plan accordingly. It is recommended that you start as close to the beginning of your senior year of college.
- You can take the MCAT exam three times in a calendar year, but the last scores will be the only ones reported.
- The MCAT is a computer-based exam. It is almost entirely multiple choice. The science sections have an experimental analysis portion that will require you to select an answer from a list of options. The writing sample is one long essay question that must be completed in 30 minutes.
- The MCAT exam will be about 7 hours long (depending on when you take the test). The timing of each section is as follows:
– Biology: 90 minutes
– Chemistry: 95 minutes
– Physics: 90 minutes
– Writing Sample: 30 minutes
- You will have a multi-pass system for the MCAT exam, as you do on your SAT or ACT exams. You start at a specific question, and if you need more time to think, you can move on to another question using the “mark and review” feature. The system will keep track of how many questions you moved in your multi-pass system.
- When you are almost out of time for the exam, you will see a “Review Screen” that will give you an idea of how you did on the entire exam. It will show you your current score, section scores, and cumulative score.
- All science topics on the MCAT are covered in high school, but some subjects will be tested on more than others. The goal of the science sections is to make sure you are familiar with the science content but also to test your critical thinking skill
- You will not be expected to know all five topics tested on the MCAT. The three most important topics you should study are:
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