The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is the standardized test required for medical school admission. It's a seven hour computer-based test that is offered during select dates from January to September at testing centers throughout the U.S.
A liberal arts education is excellent for laying the foundations needed for this exam. Reflecting the recently suggested changes to medical education, the MCAT has four sections, each with a separate score:
- 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
For additional information about registering and preparing for the MCAT go to the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) MCAT page.
Ideally, you should plan to take the MCAT when you are fully prepared and can reach your full potential but no later than early summer of the year you are applying. For most schools, MCAT scores are valid for two to three years.
- AAMC: MCAT Essentials
- The AAMC will provide important information about the procedures and policies regarding all aspects of the exam, test day, score reporting, and post-test day score report requests. When you register for the exam you must certify that you have read the MCAT Essentials and that you understand the policies and procedures contained in it. Bring a copy of the booklet with you to the MCAT test site along with personal identification in the form of a government-issued ID with a photo and signature.