MCAT Prep Overview

The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is a standardized, multiple-choice examination designed to assess the examinee's problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine. Scores are reported in Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, and Biological Sciences.

Most U.S. medical schools and many Canadian schools require applicants to submit MCAT exam scores. Many schools do not accept MCAT exam scores that are more than three years old.


MCAT Prep Section Comparisons

  Section # Of Questions Time Allowed Details Score Range  
  Section # Of Questions Time Allowed Details Score Range  
  Physical Sciences 52 70 min Tests math skills, physics, and general chemistry 1-15  
  Biological Sciences 52 70 min Tests basic biology and organic chemistry 1-15  
  Verbal Reasoning 40 60 min Similar to reading comprehension sections on other standardized tests, such as the SAT or the ACT 1-15  
  Trial Section (Optional, Unscored) 32 45 min Helps the AAMC determine value of future test questions. Volunteers will receive a $30 Amazon gift card You will recieve feedback on your answers  
  Totals (not including optional section) 144 3 Hours and 20 Minutes   Total Score Range: 3-45  

***Important information: MCAT Content Changes***

What will be different about the MCAT in 2014-January 2015?

If you plan to take the MCAT in 2014 or in January 2015, the Writing Sample section will no longer be part of the exam. In its place, a voluntary, unscored trial section has been added starting in January 2013. The unscored questions on the Trial Section will test content that will be added to the MCAT in 2015. The Trial Section will consist of 32 questions and will be administered in a 45-minute time period after all three operational sections (Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, and Biological Sciences) have been administered. Including the Trial Section, the 2013 and 2014 total testing time will be shorter than it was in 2012.

Examinees who volunteer to participate in the Trial Section and put forth a good faith effort will be compensated. The Trial Section will be administered under standard conditions for all examinees who volunteer to participate and scores will not be reported for this section.

Please note that admissions officers will continue to receive Writing Sample section scores from exams taken in 2012 and prior.


MCAT Prep Details

  • You may sit for the MCAT exam if you are preparing to apply to a health professions school. These include the following types of schools: allopathic, osteopathic, podiatric, and veterinary medicine. MCAT scores should be released 30-35 days after your test date.
  • There is no defined waiting period between tests. However, you may take the MCAT exam a maximum of three times per year, and can only register for one session at a time. In addition, there is not a lifetime limit to the amount of times that a pre-medical student can take the MCAT examination.
  • The average composite MCAT score is a 24, or an 8 on each of the multiple choice sections. Note: To be a competitive applicant at a U.S. medical school, your goal should be to score a 10 or above on each section (and a 12 or higher if you are aiming for a top 10 medical school).