MCAT Test Dates: When to Take the MCAT (2023)

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized 7.5-hour computer-based exam that tests a prospective medical student's critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and basic knowledge of scientific concepts. Your MCAT score is one of the most critical aspects of your medical school application, so it's important to prepare for it - and prepare well. But how do you know when you are well prepared and ready to choose when to take the test on the available MCAT test dates?

How do I choose an MCAT test date?

First, it's important to consider when you'll be ready to view the available MCAT test dates and set your goal. As medical students, we work hard to meet requirements such as volunteer hours, high GPAs, research experience, and more. Although the only official requirement to register for the MCAT exam is the intention to apply for a health professions program, this can make it difficult for students to decide when in their academic career to apply for the MCAT exam. In general, students are advised to consider two important factors when considering available MCAT test dates: completion of relevant coursework and their ability to take the time to fully prepare.

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1. Finish the job

The MCAT is divided into four sections, each testing different areas of scientific understanding and principles: the chemical and physical foundations of biological systems, critical analysis and reasoning skills, the biological and biochemical foundations of living systems, and the psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior.

For both STEM and non-STEM courses, students are advised to select one of the available MCAT test datesonly forcomplete introductory courses in general and organic chemistry, physics and biochemistry. These courses build a fundamental understanding of the scientific principles on which the MCAT will be based. For example, an undergraduate degree in biochemistry typically requires you to study 20 amino acids and memorize their names, structures, and chemical properties - a task that every student preparing for the MCAT should do. If you've already worked in a biochemistry class, that's one less thing to worry about during yoursMCAT preparation!

Along with relevant science courses, it is also recommended that students take introductory courses in psychology and sociology before choosing from the available MCAT test dates. Although these courses usually are noturgentfor a STEM bachelor's degree or requirement to apply to most medical schools, this is usually the caserecommendedas they introduce students to various new concepts and terms that will be tested on the MCAT (and may even help improve your GPA!).

2. Organize your curriculum

Between keeping up with a tough course, meeting social or family responsibilities, and still getting enough sleep, making time to study for the MCAT can seem impossible. Medical students preparing forUSMLE Step 1 boarding examthey are given special study periods of 4 to 8 weeks during which they can spend most of the time before the exam studying. This is a great template to consider when preparing for the equally important MCAT exam. However, keep in mind that 4-8 weeks may be too long or too short to reach your individual score goal.

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Although every student's schedule is different - some can reach their MCAT goal after 6 months of study while others will successfully prepare in 3. Approximately 10-15 hours of study per week for 4-6 months. That's why it's important to make sure youhe canreserve this study time for the weeks leading up to your chosen date on available MCAT test dates. Some ideal recommendations for the date of the MCAT test include taking it in the summer after your biochemistry degree to take a break from class and focus on your studies, or in the spring before graduation if you have a junior course and can allocate the time you need to specific MCAT preparation.

When are the MCAT test dates available?

OK, you've done the suggested lessons and now you know all the stages of Piaget's cognitive development and can recite the 3-letter and 1-letter codes for any amino acid in a dream. What now? For many students, the daunting task of dedicated MCAT preparation becomes a reality when you officially register for an MCAT test date.

MCAT test dates cover all of January, with subsequent MCAT test dates available between March and September. MCAT registration for the upcoming July-September test dates will open on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 12:00 noon. Eastern Standard Time. The official calendar of upcoming 2021 MCAT test dates, scoring dates and registration/cancellation deadlines can be found here.Here.

How do I know I'm ready to take the MCAT?

Congratulations on securing your MCAT test date! Whether you're just getting started on your content revision or you've completed 99% of the UWorld question bank, tracking your progress throughout your learning period is essential. Your progress over time is the best indicator of your readiness to take the exam on the scheduled MCAT test date and can help you decide whether to reschedule or postpone your test.

When you're working on something as important as the MCAT exam, it's important to set goals. Your target score may reflect your dream medical school's acceptance stats or just be "528", but it should be a realistic representation of your abilities. It is recommended that you start your study period with a foundational exam, such as the AAMC Official Full Practice Exam, to help you assess and understand your starting point and identify areas for improvement. From there, you can target your weaknesses during the learning period and track your progress. Your readiness by the MCAT test date reflects your progress during the study period, which can be measured in many ways: knowledge of the content, stamina to take the 7.5-hour exam, and confidence that you will succeed. All these factors are reflected in the results of practical tests!

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Trust your exercise results!

It's a very good habit to keep track of your scores as you work on your question banks, as well as follow trends in practice test score reports. Make a list of the practical exams you have passed, along with the dates they were taken and complete this list! As time goes on as your MCAT test date approaches, you want your exercise scores to come closer and closerpoint target. The closer your practice test scores are to your target score, the better prepared you will be to pass the MCAT exam!

In fact, we've found that official full-length AAMC practice tests are the best predictor of predicted results on MCAT test day, as long as you mimic the conditions on test day (my MCAT score turned out to be a perfect average of 4 in fully practice my AAMC exams!). So be sure to take these tests while studying for the MCAT and keep track of your scores as they will help you predict your actual score. If you are faithfully simulating test day conditions and your exercise scores are within your target range, trust your exercise scores - you are ready for the MCAT test date!

If you feel like your preparations have stalled and your performance trackers show that your exercise scores aren't going up or down, it could be a sign that you need to rethink your studies. Adjusting your preparation accordingly may include changing your study habits, scheduling an appointment with a tutor, or rescheduling your MCAT test date to allow for more thorough content analysis using more comprehensive resources such asMCAT drawn upor give you the option to fill out banks of AAMC practice questions. Regardless of your MCAT major, the biggest indicator of your performance and readiness is passing the full AAMC practice exams. Your study period can be 6 weeks or 6 months, but must include at least passing every available AAMC practice exam and a full review of your score report.

Either way, relying on your exercise scores will help you make an informed decision about your MCAT preparation and make sure you take the MCAT when you're truly ready - whether that means changing your MCAT test date or not.


When should I take my MCAT test? ›

When is the latest I should take the MCAT? You should plan to take the MCAT for the final time between January and April of your application year. For instance, if you'd like to enroll in medical school in August 2025, you'll want to take your MCAT during the first four months of 2024—that is, no later than April 2024.

When to take MCAT and when to apply to med school? ›

If you hope to attend medical school immediately after you graduate, then you will need to complete pre-med coursework and take the MCAT by early May of your junior year in order to get your score before submitting your application in June when the cycle opens.

When can I register for the MCAT 2023? ›

Be sure to register early so you can select your first-choice location, date, and time. Registration for January, March, April, May, and June 2023 MCAT test dates opened on October 25th and 26th, 2022. Registration for July, August, and September 2023 MCAT test dates will open on February 22nd 2023.

Is 3 months enough to study for MCAT? ›

Three months is the minimum amount of time most students should study for the MCAT. With just a few months before test day, you'll need to spend a good amount of time studying each week if you want to score competitively on the MCAT.

What is the easiest month to take the MCAT? ›

While the MCAT is offered from January to September, many believe that the best months to take the MCAT are between April and September. This will give you the most class time to learn the material and, if necessary, additional time when classes end, to study.

What year do most students take the MCAT? ›

Often, students will choose to take their MCAT exam in the same year they are applying to medical school. For example, if you are thinking about attending medical school in fall 2023, you might consider taking your exam during 2022.

Can I go to med school without MCAT? ›

Most US schools require the MCAT as part of your application unless you are entering medical school through a BS/MD degree or EAP program. Schools that don't require the MCAT in the regular admissions process are typically abroad, which may make obtaining a US medical license more complicated.

Do med schools look at GPA or MCAT? ›

Your GPA is the second most important factor in predicting your ability to handle the academic rigor of medical school. Your MCAT and GPA are the two most important objective measurements in a medical school application.

Do I need my MCAT score before applying to medical school? ›

The rule is simple: you do not need to have your MCAT score before you submit your application.

Can you take the MCAT 3 times in a year? ›

In one year, you can take the MCAT up to three times. The test dates can be scheduled as far apart as you wish, although you should give yourself time to review your score and study before retaking the exam.

How many times can I take the MCAT? ›

The MCAT exam can be taken up to seven times in a lifetime.

How much does the MCAT cost 2023? ›

How much does it cost to take the MCAT? As of September 2023, the MCAT registration fee is $330 for U.S. examinees and $450 for international test takers. If you quality for the AAMC's Fee Assistance Program (FAP), the registration fee is $135.

How long does the average person study for the MCAT? ›

So, where should you start? Most people need 10–15 hours per week to study for the MCAT over a period of at least four to six months . In total, you should aim for at least 200 to 300 hours of MCAT study time.

What is a 502 score on the MCAT? ›

Attaining a score of 502 on the MCAT means you performed in the 60% percentile. An even distribution for the section scores is preferred. For example: 130 (C/P) 125 (CARS) 123 (B/B) 124 (P/S).

How much does it cost to take the MCAT? ›

MCAT Price and Fees

Students can expect to pay $320 USD to register for the exam at all US and Canadian exam centers. In addition to the $320 registration fee, international students can expect to pay a $115 international fee plus any applicable local taxes (sales tax, GST/HST, value added tax, etc.).

When should I take my first MCAT practice test? ›

Two Weeks Before the MCAT

Plan on taking at least one, and no more than three, full-length practice MCAT exams during this time period. You should not take a full-length test in the three days leading up to your real MCAT. (That would be like running a practice marathon three days before running the real race.)

Do you take the MCAT in high school or college? ›

The Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT, is a test administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges and used by medical schools to consider students during the admissions process. Although the test is mostly taken by college-level students, in some cases, high school students take the test.

What year of college do you apply to med school? ›

The traditional timeframe is to apply at the end of your junior year as a rising senior in college. This requires that you take the MCAT early in your junior year or even during the summer between your sophomore and junior years of college.

How many times should you take the MCAT? ›

Although you can take the MCAT up to seven times in your lifetime, that number certainly doesn't reflect how many times you should be taking the MCAT. Taking the MCAT twice is fine; even three times shouldn't impact your admissions too much. However, any more tries can begin to damage your application.


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