There is great variation to the weight assigned to the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), but most commonly it accounts for about 30 percent of the decision-making process. Most schools count either the best set or the most recent set, but review all scores. With very rare exceptions, other tests are not acceptable in lieu of the MCAT, but some schools will look at other scores to resolve ambiguities.
It is strongly recommended that the MCAT, or other standardized examination required for application to dental or other health professional school, be taken no later than the summer between your junior and senior year. The MCAT is now offered 22-24 times a year, once in January, then from March through September. Medical schools begin to process student applications in August (of your senior year) and begin to interview students in September/October. If you take the MCAT exam too late, your application will not be processed until students who have applied before you have been interviewed, and positions filled, since most schools roll their admissions list. To register for the MCAT, visit the AAMC website.
The MCAT experienced a major overhaul resulting in the new MCAT2015. Now in its second year, there are four sections, each scored from 118 to 132 for an overall result of a score ranging from 472 to 528. The test is scored in a way that 500 would be in the 50th percentile. The four sections on the MCAT are:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS)
These sections cover information from a variety of undergraduate classes such as Introductory Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Sociology, and Psychology. We encourage you to begin your preparation at the AAMC Website and then expand your resources. Use different study methods and resources to prepare. We highly recommend UConn’s MCAT/DAT Course. Best of luck with your preparation and on the exam!