If you're set on going to medical school, you'll have to conquer the MCAT test first. Here's everything you need to know in a brief overview of the test.

MCAT Exam Quick Facts

Frequency 2-4 times a month, January & March - September
Duration 7 hours, 27 minutes
Sections Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills  Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior
Cost $335 for initial registration
Max. Score 528
Avg. Score 502

Choosing a Medical Career

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Applying to Medical School

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What is the MCAT?

The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is required for admission to most medical schools. The MCAT exam is computer-based and tests physical and biological sciences, verbal reasoning, and writing skills. In 2015, the AAMC added a new section called Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior. This section assesses your ability to understand sociocultural, biological and psychological influences on behavior and social interactions as well as how people process emotion and stress. You'll only want to take this six-hour exam once before medical school, so prepare as thoroughly as possible.

Why is taking the MCAT important?

Admissions officers use the MCAT exam as a predictor of your success in medical school. The exam is designed to test the skills you'll use when you get there, including basic science, verbal reasoning, and writing ability. The MCAT is a 6-hour and 15-minute computer-based test that has the reputation of being one of the most challenging standardized tests.

In Canada, most medical schools weigh your MCAT exam scores very heavily. Some medical schools set minimum cut-off MCAT scores that applicants must meet to be considered.

Do all Medical Schools Require the MCAT?

Yes, nearly all medical schools require the MCAT as part of the application process.

What specifically does the MCAT test?

The MCAT is computer-based and tests physical and biological sciences and verbal reasoning skills. See more information about each section .

How is the MCAT scored?

Each individual section on the exam is scored using a 118 to 132 range, with a median score of 125. You'll receive a score for each section, plus an overall score. Total scores will be centered at 500, with ranges from 472 to 528. Learn more about your MCAT exam score .

How much does the MCAT cost?

It costs $335 to take the MCAT (and $370 for late registration 1–2 weeks before your test date). This initial MCAT registration fee includes the distribution of your MCAT scores to medical schools. Be aware that there are additional fees for canceling or rescheduling the test. AAMC does offer a Fee Assistance Program  for test takers who, without financial assistance, would be unable to take the MCAT for medical school.

How do I register?

MCAT exam registration is done online through the Association of American Medical Colleges. We recommend that you register early to secure your MCAT test date and location.

How can I prepare?

We can help. We have MCAT prep solutions for every student and every budget.