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medical | opinions & advice | applying to medical school
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To attend med school, prospective doctors must tackle the daunting Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).
Produced, administered and scored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), this 5.5 hour exam requires a multitude of preparation and planning in order to achieve a strong score. And you'll definitely need a strong score if you want to remain a competitive applicant.
The MCAT has four components: Scientific Reasoning: The Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, Scientific Reasoning: The Biological Sciences and an optional trial section.
Before you sit for the exam, you should have taken two semesters each of biology, physics, chemistry and organic chemistry.
The MCAT is computer-based. However, unlike some computerized standardized tests, the MCAT computer-based test (CBT) is not a computer–adaptive test (CAT). This means that the questions given on the MCAT CBT are predetermined; they are not selected based on the test taker's performance. You can get some familiarity before test day by taking one of our MCAT free practice tests.
The Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, and Biological Sciences sections on the MCAT are scored between a 1 and a 15. (1 is the lowest score and 15 is the highest score). In total, the lowest MCAT score you can receive is a 3, and the highest MCAT score is a 45. Most competitive medical schools look for a combined MCAT score of at least 30.
Taking the Test
The MCAT is administered on multiple days of the year in morning, afternoon and weekend sessions. Find MCAT test dates here, or to register, visit the AAMC website: www.aamc.org/students/mcat.
For additional information regarding the test, please read our MCAT frequently asked questions.