Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

NEW RESOURCE! Check out this MCAT Study Plan Database that pre-med UConn senior Zach Giguere compiled over the Fall 2022 semester.

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is one of four main components in an individual’s application to medical school. The majority of schools will either count the best set of scores or the most recent set of scores, but all scores will be reviewed. Applicants are welcome to take the MCAT more than once, but they should be aware that each attempt will be seen and taken into account by schools; therefore, it is important to be prepared.

MCAT Timing

The MCAT will be offered 30 times in 2023, beginning with a few times in January and then is consistently offered from March through September. Visit the AAMC’s website for testing dates, scheduling deadlines and score release dates.

Schools will not begin to review an individual’s application until the four main components (primary application, secondary application, MCAT, letters of recommendation) of their application have been received. Due to the rolling nature of medical school admissions, it is important to have MCAT scores available by July/August so that applications can be reviewed early and will not be at a time disadvantage. The office strongly recommends that the MCAT be taken no later than July of the year in which an individual plans to apply.

While MCAT scores are not required for your primary application to be verified, admissions committees will generally not review an applicant’s file until scores are available–even if all three other application components noted above have been received. Please note that scores are released approximately one month after the date of any scheduled exam.

MCAT Registration

Individuals will register to take the MCAT through the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). It costs $330 for one-time registration for the exam; this fee covers both the cost of the exam and the cost of score distribution. Please see below links to the AAMC’s website with information about how to register for the MCAT, seek special accommodations, and request a registration fee waiver.

Register for the MCAT: this is where you will navigate to register for the MCAT. You will find various resources about the test from the AAMC, as well as the registration hub.

For testing dates from January through June of this year (2023), registration is open. Registration for dates from July through September will open in early February.

Individuals are able to take the MCAT up to three (3) times in a single testing year, and up to four (4) times in two (2) consecutive years. It is possible to reschedule your chosen date up to 48 hours before testing. You are only able to register for one seat at a time. Rescheduling and cancellation fees have been reinstated for this testing year.

AAMC Testing Accommodations: if you are seeking special testing accommodations, we recommend that you begin this process early, soon after you plan to take the MCAT. The process is very detailed and involves a good deal of paperwork.

AAMC Fee Assistance Program: if you think that the cost of registration will be too steep, we strongly encourage you to look into this program to receive a fee waiver.

By registering for the MCAT through the AAMC, scores will automatically be sent to any MD schools to which an individual is applying. Applicants do not need to worry about personally sending their scores to MD schools. For information about sending to non-AMCAS institutions, please see here.

MCAT Content

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. For each section of the MCAT, students will be expected to integrate and analyze information across various disciplines—informational understanding is based on foundational concepts and the “big ideas” from these different areas. Students are expected to have completed all of their prerequisite coursework before taking the MCAT.

MCAT Preparation

We encourage students to begin their preparation with the basics and then expand their understanding by using different study methods and resources to prepare. Remember that the MCAT involves elements of memorization, but is largely focused on a functional understanding of scientific material that emphasizes scientific inquiry and reasoning skills. The test itself is seven hours and thirty minutes long (7h 30m), so academic, mental and physical preparation are all necessary when getting ready to take the exam.

According to the AAMC, a slight plurality of students spend about four months studying for the MCAT, though students who reported time spent studying were fairly evenly split between taking 0 – 8 weeks (26%), 9 – 12 weeks (27%), 13 – 16 weeks (19%), and more than 16 weeks (28%).

Below are several MCAT study resources:

Free Resources from the AAMC

Other Free Resources

Lower-Cost Resources

Online Preparation Courses (ranging from around $1500 to $2000)

Each of these services typically offers some free resources as well, or other low-cost preparation materials, so we encourage students to explore those offerings.

NOTE: The Pre-Medical & Pre-Dental Advising Office does not officially endorse any preparation services or resources. It is up to student discretion how they will study for the exam and which services they do or do not patronize.

MCAT Scoring

The format and content of the MCAT experienced a major overhaul in recent years, resulting in the new MCAT2015. There are four sections, each scored on a scale from 118 to 132, for an overall score ranging from 472 to 528. The test is scored in a way such that 500 would be in the 50th percentile. For more information on how the MCAT is scored, visit the AAMC’s website.

It is recommended that students try to score a minimum of 125 on each section of the MCAT. While students are bound to find some sections easier than others, there should not be a very wide deviation in scoring as this can suggest a lack of comprehension in a certain area.

The average MCAT score for UConn applicants that matriculated to medical school for the past three application cycles was 513. Explore our admissions statistics page for more detailed information about UConn applicant and matriculant data.

Visit the AAMC’s MCAT and GPA Grid for Applicants and Acceptees to U.S. Medical Schools, which includes aggregated data about the acceptance rates at different MCAT and GPA levels from 2018 – 2019 through 2021 – 2022.