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Entrance Exams for Allopathic & Osteopathic Medical Schools

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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:

  1. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  2. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  3. Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

When to Take the MCAT

The application cycle opens each year in June.  Ideally, you should take the MCAT by the time you submit your application to medical school, if not before, so you know your score as you develop your list of schools.  However, an MCAT score is not required to submit your application so you could take it the summer you're applying.

Expiration of Results

Some schools do not accept MCAT results that are more than two or three years old.
Check each school you are applying to learn at what point they no longer accept MCAT scores.

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.