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What is the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)?

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Question: What is the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)?
Answer: The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized exam required for admission by all medical schools. Virtually all applicants to medical school have good grades and excellent experience. The MCAT helps med school admissions committees distinguish among students with very similar academic experiences. The MCAT is designed to help the admissions committee determine who is best suited for medical school.

When to Take It
The American Association of Medical Colleges administers the MCAT from January through August. Only a handful of test dates are often each month and seats fill quickly. Plan to register early. The fee for taking the MCAT is $240.00 (with additional fees for international testing site and late registration). Based on specific criteria, some students may be eligible for a fee reduction or waiver through the AAMC Fee Assistance Program.

The MCAT is divided into four sections:

  • Biological Sciences: 52 questions in Biology & Organic Chemistry in 70 minutes
  • Physical Sciences: 52 questions in Physics & Inorganic Chemistry in 70 minutes
  • Verbal Reasoning: 40 questions in 60 minutes
  • Writing: 2 essays in minutes

Scoring:
Each subscale adds up to 15 points to your final MCAT score. The average score on each of the MCAT subscales is 8. Competitive applicants have scores of 10 and 11. If you are shooting for a top medical school plan for a score of 12.

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