All U.S. and Canadian medical schools require applicants to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). The test consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately seven and a half hours to administer. It includes four sections that cover:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
When to Take the MCAT
The application cycle opens each year in June. Ideally, you should take the MCAT exam by the time you submit your application to medical school, if not before. This way, you know your score as you develop your list of schools. However an MCAT score is not required to submit your application.
If accommodated testing is needed, visit the MCAT Exam with Accommodations page to know the policies for submitting documentation ahead of scheduling your exam date.
Additional considerations for Students with Disabilities who are thinking about applying to graduate or professional schools include identifying which exams are needed, how far in advance exam accommodations must be requested, and which documentations regarding your disability will likely be needed for exam accommodations.
Expiration of Results
Some schools do not accept MCAT results that are more than two or three years old. Check each school to which you are applying for their policy.
Retaking the MCAT
You should retake the MCAT only if you have confidence that you can identify the reason you earned an unsatisfactory score and resolve that problem. When deciding whether or not to retake the test, you should consider whether the potential for a higher score is worth the delay retaking might cause your application.
- Prepare for the MCAT Exam
- Learn about the MCAT exam scores and score reports
- Learn how the MCAT exam is scored
- Khan Academy MCAT Prep Tutorials
- March2Success online tool (provided by the U.S. Army)
- MCAT Ladder
- How Long Are MCAT Scores Valid?