The Road to the MCAT

Registering and abiding by the policies set forth by the AAMC in order to take the MCAT is not necessarily a walk in the park. There are a variety of things you must consider when preparing to take the MCAT.

The first question many people ask is, “when should I take the MCAT?” The general guideline is to take the MCAT the year before you plan to enter medical school. For example, the class of 2013 should take the MCAT sometime before or during the summer of 2012. Your basic science coursework should be complete by this point.

You should decide on a date you want to take the MCAT early on to avoid dealing with limited capacity at test centers and to setup a daily study plan. More information about available dates and locations can be found on the AAMC’s website.

The registration fee for the MCAT is $225, which includes the cost of administration of the exam as well as distribution of your scores to the schools of your choosing. There is a $55 fee for each of the following: late registration, date change, and change of test center. There is a financial aid program (AAMC Fee Assistance Program) available however to assist individuals with financial limitations by decreasing the registration fee to $85.

Accommodated testing is an area frequently looked over in the MCAT. There are many restrictions and something as simple as bringing some candy to keep blood sugar up must be approved. Other normal items such as inhalers and insulin pumps must be approved as well. The four main areas include: learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, psychiatric disabilities, and physical disabilities. Be sure to apply for accommodation early as it may take up to 60 days for the AAMC to process your request.

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