MCAT Test Information

MCAT Test Information for Every Aspirant

The MCAT i.e. the Medical College Admission Test is a medical entrance test that is administered in the United States and Canada. Candidates are required to take this test if they aspire to seek admission in a medical school. The MCAT determines admissions in the following type of medical schools - allopathic, podiatric, osteopathic and veterinary. However, prior to taking up the test, there is some generaltest information that every candidate must be aware of. Let us start by discussing the structure of the test.

MCAT Test Structure:

The MCAT lasts for about five and a half hours. The test is divided into four sections that aim to test the candidate's critical thinking skills and whether he has a sound foundation of the scientific concepts and principles considered to be a prerequisite for entering the medical profession. Candidates are provided with an optional 10-minute break after each section. The majority of the exam is in the form of multiple choice questions (MCQs) except for the Writing Section.

  • The first section is the Physical Sciences section with 52 multiple choice questions to be solved in 70 minutes. The areas of study covered in this section are General Chemistry and Physics.
  • The second section is Verbal Reasoning which has 40 multiple choice questions to be solved in sixty minutes. This section tests a candidate's ability to analyze, interpret and then answer questions based on passages whose topics vary between humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and technology.
  • The third section is the Writing Section which has two essay questions to be completed in 30 minutes each. Each essay question asks the candidate to write a 'unified' essay that does justice to three different tasks. These tasks are basically the guidelines on which students have to format their essay.
  • The last section is the Biological Sciences section that again has 52 multiple choice questions to be solved in 72 minutes and these questions are based on topics that come under the premise of biology and organic chemistry.

For more information regarding the test structure, follow this link - https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/preparing/85560/test_sections.html.

Eligibility Criteria:

Before starting with the test preparation, the candidates need to be aware of information regarding eligibility criteria as well. National as well as international students need to be applying to a health professions school if they want to register for the MCAT. If you are an international student enrolled in a MBBS degree program or the holder of an MBBS degree, you do not require any special permission to take the MCAT. On the other hand, students who belong to U.S., Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands and are already enrolled in a medical school or are not applying to a health profession school, need special permission to take the exam. Request for special permission can be emailed to mcat@aamc.org along with the reason why the candidate wants to take the MCAT. Replies are usually sent within 5 days.
Registration for the test needs to be done at least 14 days prior to the test and registration deadlines are extremely stringent. The test can be taken up to 3 times in a single year though at a time, only one registration date is allotted.

Testing Accommodations:

AAMC, the organization that conducts MCAT, provides special testing accommodations for candidates suffering from various types of disabilities. To apply for such accommodations, you have to submit an application requesting the same when you register for the test. The MCAT Office of Accommodated Testing will review your application and get back to you. Even if you aren't awarded special accommodations, your original registration still remains valid. You will have to take a decision now whether to give the exam without accommodations or to cancel registration. Detailed information regarding this aspect of the test can be found here - https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/accommodations/85280/accommodations_examples.html.
Candidates are provided with all other related facilities such as choosing their own test centre, cancelling their registrations, changing test location, changing test date, invalidating scores, different ways in which to release scores, etc. Information regarding all these services can be found on the official site of MCAT (https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/).