Mcat Tip #: The Mcat Is Just One Part Of Your Application
This exam is just one part of who you are as an applicant, so treat it as such! There are other meaningful ways to demonstrate your excellence and potential as a future physician. Dont be afraid to capitalize on those interviews, secondaries, and other little exams to fight your way into next years incoming medical school class.
The right school for you will recognize who you are as a person and will want you because of what you can offer to their campus and their community not because of the one score that you got on the MCAT exam.
Looking for an MCAT tutoring program designed just for you? Schedule a free consultation with the awesome advisors over at MedSchoolCoach!
So How Long Is The Mcat
Compared to most standardized tests, the MCAT is remarkably long. Previous to the MCAT, the vast majority of students only have experience with a few standardized tests. The most popular are the PSAT and SAT. The PSAT clocks in at 2 hours and 45 minutes, while the SAT is 3 hours plus another 50 minutes for those that choose to take the essay. Most Advanced Placement tests share a similar time range, and final exams rarely last longer than 3 to 4 hours.
The MCAT completely dwarfs these times as it takes students 6 hours and 15 minutes to complete, without breaks. With breaks, this duration increases by an hour and 18 minutes to a total of 7 hours and 33 minutes. Even for the most disciplined student, this is an exceptionally long period to sit and take a vital exam with absolute focus.
Tips For Developing An Mcat Study Plan
Set a test date early on in your MCAT preparation
Having a time-bound goal keeps you accountable to follow through on your study plan. You can set up a study plan with deadlines for each of your goals . As your test date approaches, you can consistently re-evaluate your progress. For example, if you are three weeks away from your exam and have not yet attained your goal score on an AAMC practice test, consider postponing your MCAT test date.
A good MCAT study plan should incorporate both content review and practice
The first step in studying is building your knowledge base. Set realistic deadlines for when you should be done reviewing content. Doing practice tests while getting through material is not an effective strategy. Instead, take practice exams after you have absorbed the content. It will be a waste of time taking exams when you have no mastery of a subject. When practicing, try to simulate the same test conditions of the MCAT. Exams will reveal gaps in your knowledge. Take time to work on those weak areas more.
Be wary of third-party MCAT practice exams!
A related study tip: dont take practice exams too often. After each exam, review the questions you got wrong and understand the concepts behind them. If you dont understand the mistakes you made, you cant expect your scores to go up!
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Mcat Application Process And Requirements
When Is MCAT Registration?
The exam is offered at least 30 times per year at certified Pearson VUE centers. Find a designated testing center near you and register at AAMC.
How Much Does Taking the MCAT Cost?
Exam fees for MCAT are $325.
How Many Times Can the MCAT Be Taken?
The MCAT may be taken three times per year, and up to seven times total. Test takers may register for one test date at a time and wait two days after testing before re-registering. You have the option to void your score on the day of the exam, at any point during the exam, or during a five-minute window after the end of the exam.
What Are the MCAT Requirements for International Students?
As a general requirement, to be eligible for the MCAT exam for international students you must have or be currently pursuing a pre-med course, such as a bachelor of medicine bachelor of surgery â also known as a MBBS degree.
Because the MCAT requirements for international students is only one part of a medical schoolâs admission process, the exact requirements to enroll in a medical school in the US will be different depending on the schools you apply to. The application process usually involves the following steps:
When Can I Take The Mcat
Your answer will help you gauge how long does it take to prepare for MCAT.
The earliest you can take the admissions test is during the sophomore year or incoming junior year. Ideally, its best to take it at the end of your junior year and apply for medical school when the senior year starts.
Given these data, you can plan out when to start preparing for the exam. Again, 2 months should be the minimum prep time, but adjust when needed. So, count back from when youll start sophomore or junior year to identify the start time.
Most people advise that you take the MCAT only when you feel youre ready. How do you know youre ready?
First, gauge yourself with the practice tests and exams youve taken over your entire study period. If youve taken 10-15 exams, the data from these tests should give you a lot to work with.
Second, add the best scores from the exams you took and ask yourself if you would apply to a medical school with the score you have right now. Remember these scores reflect the best-case scenario.
If you say yes, then youre ready. If you said no, then take some more time to review.
If your best case scenario didnt make you confident enough, allow yourself more time to breathe, reflect, and do what can to boost confidence in yourself.
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How To Use Your Break Time
Technically, all break periods during the MCAT are optional. However, most would agree that you should take full advantage of them! This exam is a marathon, not a sprint. This is the approach youll need to take if you want to get a good MCAT score.
Use your breaks to decompress and re-energize. Get up and walk around to stretch your legs and get your blood flowing.
Take some time to get a drink, a bite to eat, and maybe a bit of tea or coffee if you need some caffeine.
Its also an excellent time to use the bathroom. You can leave to use the restroom at any point during the test, but those short breaks will not stop the timer. For this reason, its wise to do your business on the allotted breaks to save as much time for the exam questions as possible.
How Much Does It Cost To Take The Mcat
The cost to take the MCAT is $310 during AAMCs regular registration window, but increases if you register late or if you reschedule. There are also cancellation and international fees that may pertain to some test takers. Its important that you choose the right MCAT test dateand test prepfor you, so you dont have to pay the fee a second time.
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Simulate The Actual Testing Environment When Practicing
When youre preparing for the MCAT, use real testing conditions, including the time allotted for each section. Start the practice test at the time the actual test will start, and take each break. While this is time-consuming, it will help you understand what to expect and learn how to pace yourself properly.
Are There Required Courses Or Pre
All of the content on the MCAT is covered in introductory courses at most colleges and universities, including introductory biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and first-semester psychology, sociology, and biochemistry. Research methods and statistics concepts on the exam are used in introductory science labs as well as introductory psychology and sociology courses. You are encouraged to reach out to the pre-health advisor at your institution who can help you determine the specific coursework you will need to meet your educational goals.
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Advice For The Mcat Test Day
How long is the MCAT test study plan with all the preparations in place?
A better question would be how to prioritize the time you need for the actual MCAT exam.
Here is how to do it:
1. Take all your breaks
Youve studied so hard and want to maximize as much time as you can to get every possible answer right.
Youre forgetting something though.
Pushing yourself too hard might cause burnout. Doing so early on will also mean youll run out of energy in the latter part of the exam.
If you burst your way without taking the breaks, even the 10-minute ones, youre not maximizing. Youre being inefficient.
The CARS section is the second part of the exam. Reading all the passages can drain you, so a break before and after should help you recharge.
2. Arrive extra early
Allot at least 30-40 minutes to prepare and condition yourself before taking the exam.
This should give you plenty of time to hydrate, use the bathroom early if necessary, meditate, and breathe before diving in.
If youre in a rush and have to hurry to get to your MCAT venue, its possible youll forget something along the way or waste precious minutes you couldve used to set your mind at ease.
3. Eat a healthy breakfast
Its important to eat hearty and healthy before an exam. A bowl of muesli and a banana will give you the fuel you need.
Or, better yet, dedicate yourself to eating healthy meals at least three to four days before the exam.
Its only for a few days after all.
How Early Should You Arrive
Ideally, you should arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled MCAT exam time. To be on the safe side, many test-takers try to be 35 to 40 early. Generally, testing centers are open half an hour before the exam. Some may open even earlier.
There are a few things to do before you get settled. Arriving early ensures that youre not rushed or stressed.
You can store your personal belongings in the available lockers, turn over your cell phone, and get settled.
The most important thing to do after arriving is to verify your identity and check in. Testing centers take this step very seriously. Only those who provide proper identification are allowed to start the exam.
Dont forget to bring a current ID issued by a government agency and fitted with a photo that administrators can use to identify you.
If you dont go through the check-in process, you wont be allowed in, and your attempt will be marked as a no-show.
Get plenty of relaxation the day before your test. Go to bed early and wake up with plenty of time to eat a typical breakfast. If youre unsure about where the testing center is, take some time before your testing day to find it and plan a driving route.
The last thing you need to worry about on exam day is being late or stressed.
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How To Prepare For The Length Of The Test Day
You must prepare and train yourself for the MCATâs length. Your test-taking strategies will be designed based on how long and tiring the exam is, so letâs review some of the tactics you can use to increase endurance.
First of all, when you take the full-length practice exams, try scheduling them around the same time as your allotted slot for the MCAT. So, if your MCAT test date is scheduled for 7:30 am, make sure to start your practice exams at 7:30 am. If your MCAT is scheduled for 3 pm, then start your practice tests at 3 pm. Make sure to follow the MCAT test day breakdown and time all the sections and breaks. Simply put, recreate the timeline and the environment of the actual exam.
Pay attention to how you feel while you are taking the practice exams. Notice when you get tired and when you need a snack. The more full-length tests you take, the more your stamina will grow. Additionally, you will habituate yourself to forestall fatigue and hunger until your allotted breaks. Remember, in the second phase of your MCAT prep, i.e., the practice phase, most of your MCAT prep will involve practice questions and full-length tests. Take advantage of this time to sync your personal test-taking schedule with the test day schedule.
How To Use The Mcat Flag For Review Feature
On the MCAT exam, you have the option of flagging a question for review. You can use this feature to flag questions that you may have guessed on, skipped, or had difficulty finding the answer. If you have extra time at the end of each section, you can look at the questions you marked and go back and review them or fill in an answer if you havent already.
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How Much Time Do I Need To Study For The Mcat
Every student is different, but in general, we recommend dedicating 3-6 months to study for the MCAT. You know your study habits, strengths, and weaknesses, so youll want to create a personalized MCAT study plan for yourself.
If youre struggling with the material or just need some accountability, consider hiring a professional MCAT tutor. Once you dig into the material, take some diagnostics tests, and consider your current school and work schedule, then you can work backward to create a study plan. Many students find it helpful to go ahead and book their MCAT exam date so they have a hard line in the sand for when they need to master the material.
What Is A Good Mcat Score
When considering your MCAT score goal, its always a good idea to look at the requirementsor minimums, if applicableat the med schools to which youre applying. In addition, here are some other details about MCAT scoring that can help you assess your target score:
Each of the four sections of the MCAT is scored from 118 to 132, with the mean and median at 125. This means the total score ranges from 472 to 528, with the mean and median at 500.
Why such odd numbers? The AAMC stresses that this scale emphasizes the importance of the central portion of the score distribution, where most students score , rather than putting undue focus on the high end of the scale.
The AAMC utilizes the whole scoring scale on the new exam. The AAMC has released an initial correlation between scaled score and percentile.
Top 10% of all test takers
514 to 528
Top 25% of all test takers
508 to 513
Top 50% of all test takers
500 to 507
Below 50th percentile of all test takers
499 or below
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Mcat Duration: How Long Is The Exam
Since the MCAT tests you on your knowledge of the various scientific concepts and subjects necessary for medicine, it runs pretty long. However, the exam itself is usually only 6 hours long, allocating enough time for each section and all 230 questions.
Though, if you account for the other aspects of the exam, such as check-ins, breaks, and others, the MCAT often lasts longer, running as long as 7 ½ hours or sometimes 8 hours per exam date.
However, in 2020, the Association of American Medical Colleges temporarily shortened the MCATs total duration to 5 hours and 45 minutes. For this, they reduced the number of questions but retained the content and its quality.
These changes were made to make way for the strict health protocols needed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AAMC later resumed administering the full-length MCAT exam for the 2021 to 2022 testing cycles.
What Is The Mcat
- The MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test, is a standardized, multiple-choice exam administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges .
- The exam is a prerequisite for admission to nearly all medical schools in the US and Canada.
- Annually, over 80,000 applicants to American and Canadian medical schools submit their MCAT scores .
- The exam has evolved over the years and, since 2015, has become primarily a reasoning-based exam although a wide breadth of basic knowledge is required to answer the questions accurately.
- The MCAT will evaluate your knowledge of natural, behavioral and social science concepts and principles, as well as problem solving and critical thinking skills that are required in medical school.
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