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Common MCAT Questions, Answered

The MCAT is a standardized, PC-based test that has been a component of medical colleges’ confirmation process for over 90 years. Every year, more than 85,000 students sit for the test. Almost all medical schools in the U.S. and a few in Canada require MCAT scores, and many graduate programs are presently acknowledging MCAT scores rather than other government-sanctioned examinations. The MCAT examines the abilities and learning that medical teachers, physicians, and undergraduates in therapy have recognized as vital in the achievement process.

The AAMC writes the MCAT test and oversees it on various occasions every year from late January to September, in many locations across the U.S. and Canada.

When should I take the MCAT?

Make sure you’ve taken some time for your MCAT prep and are comfortable with the test material. When you are ready, you will take the exam in the timetable year before the year you intend to enter medical school. Before choosing a test date, you will need to consider the amount of MCAT prep time it will take for you to be ready. Ideally, you should be giving yourself a couple of months for dedicated MCAT study, though you may want to talk to a MCAT prep tutor to figure out the best path for you.

How important is this test?

Taking the MCAT is an important step forward in the application process, but it is only one component of your general medical school admissions process. Entrance advisory boards take many different things into consideration including your academic history, experience, who you know or letters of recommendation, and your interests. All of these factors are combined to determine whether or not to admit a prospective student.

What if I can’t afford the fees?

The AAMC recognizes that nobody who wants to be a physician should be hampered by the cost of applying to medical college. The Fee Assistance Program helps students who would not have the option to take the MCAT test or use to recovery college without financial assistance. This program will reduce the enlistment fee if you fulfill the qualifying prerequisites. It also offers a few additional benefits, including free MCAT prep arrangements.

How should I get ready for the exam?

The first step is finding out what material will be on the exam, so you know what you need to study. Since the course material varies between colleges, analyzing the substance of the classes you plan to take to make sure they cover the same material you’ll need is an excellent idea. Your school’s pre-med counselors and other staff are incredible assets to help you plan which classes will best set you up for the exam. The best place to start is to assemble a MCAT prep schedule when planning for the exam. There are also many resources and tutoring programs that can help you thoroughly prepare.

How is the MCAT test scored?

Your MCAT exam will produce five scores; one for each of the four areas and a consolidated complete score. Segment scores range from 118 to 132 for each of the four zone scores. For each of the four sections, test takers will get ratings. Total scores are consolidated for the four segments to achieve an overall rating. The entire score varies between 472 and 528.

What if I don’t get a good score?

If your MCAT score is not where you want it to be, your pre-med counselor can advise you on retaking the test. Also, when deciding whether you should retake it, the MCAT Exam Official Guide offers some information to be used. Ultimately, you’ll just need to look at the average accepted scores of the medical schools you want to apply to and decide whether retaking the MCAT is worth it.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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