In This Section:
What are the test dates?
The computerized MCAT is offered twenty-eight times a year; paper-and-pencil tests have been discontinued. For exam dates see the MCAT website.
What month should I take the MCAT?
Usually it is to the student's advantage to take the MCAT early enough that scores will be available to the medical schools by late summer of the year you are applying.
In determining when to take the test, a student should consider the following:
- Taking the MCAT when course material is fresher is usually advantageous.
- A test taken by June of the year you are applying has the advantage of producing scores in time to use them to make a timely (June/July) submission of your AMCAS application. Knowing your scores before making your final decision to apply is helpful, though scores on practice tests can also give you an idea of how competitive your scores may be. The MCAT scores are also useful in selecting which schools to apply to.
- If you take the MCAT after you have submitted your AMCAS application, AMCAS will send the scores to the schools when they become available. Do not delay submitting your AMCAS application solely because your MCAT scores will be available later in the summer. AMCAS can be submitted when you know one medical school you want to apply to. Additional schools can be designated later.
- Medical schools generally do not review an application until they receive the MCAT scores. September is the latest the MCAT is offered each year. Since scores are available 30 days after the test is taken, September test scores of the year of application may delay the date when the application will be reviewed. Most medical schools will accept the September test scores (a few do not), but September scores may put you at a disadvantage at schools with rolling admissions.
- If you take the test in September of the application year, and, for whatever reason, do not do as well as expected, there is no opportunity to repeat the test until January of the next year. Few schools say they will consider January scores submitted by those currently applying to them.
What are the registration dates?
Registration opens about twelve weeks prior to each test. Early registration will increase the likelihood of getting your preferred test date and site. If you register 60 or more days before the exam, you are guaranteed a seat at a site within 100 miles of your requested site.
Why is state of legal residence important?
State residence often determines the chance of being accepted to medical schools, particularly those that are state-supported institutions. Some medical schools consider the state of residence to be the one stated on the MCAT registration. Therefore, if you have a question about residence, it should be discussed with a health careers advisor before registering for the MCAT.