MCAT: The Medical College Admission Test


The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized exam required for admission to most medical schools in United States and Canada. MCAT is a computer-based exam designed to evaluate  applicants basic science concepts, problem-solving, critical thinking, and writing skills. MCAT is administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Read more to get details on MCAT practice test, MCAT registration, MCAT sample questions, MCAT scores and MCAT test dates.

Why MCAT is Important?

Applicants need to take up the MCAT exam inorder to pursue a career in the medical field. Within the United States and Canada almost all medical colleges require an applicant's MCAT score results for admission into a medical program. Also, medical schools give high preference to students with good MCAT scores as they know that these candidates are most likely to succeed in the program.

Test Structure

The MCAT exam consists of four sections: physical sciences, verbal reasoning, writing sample, and biological sciences. The total time to complete the test is over 4 hours and 20 minutes - with 3 hour, 20 minutes for multiple choice questions and another 1 hour exclusively for essay writing. Fundamental concepts of physics, general chemistry, biology, and organic chemistry is required for MCAT.

Focus Area


Total Time


Physical Sciences

Measures knowledge of basic concepts in physics and general chemistry like equations, formulae, conversions etc.



Verbal Reasoning

Evaluates skills in critical reading and comprehension  based on 500-word passages taken from the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.



Writing Sample

Consists of two 30 minute essays. This section focuses in evaluating an applicant's skill in written English, logical reasoning,  formulating effective arguments and sentences. As well as, the ability to  present complex ideas coherently.


2 Essays

Biological Sciences

Measures knowledge of  basic biology and  organic chemistry.



Tips to Prepare


Each multiple choice section on MCAT is scored individually on a scale ranging from 1 to 15, with 15 as the highest score. Writing sample essays is scored alphabetically on a scale ranging from J to T, with T as the highest. The average scaled score for verbal reasoning, physical sciences, and biological sciences section is approximately 8. The average scaled score for the writing sample is N.

Often, the MCAT essay writing score is left out altogether, and in fact, with the proposed changes to happen in 2014, the essay portion may be dropped out. Students however, need to get a score of above 10 in the multiple choice sections and above N in essay writing if they want to get into one of the top schools in the country. Test results are published approximately 8 weeks after an applicant has taken the test.


The MCAT fees is payable in U.S. dollars via credit card (VISA or MasterCard only). Here is a break down of the 2013 MCAT Cost:

•Regular MCAT Registration: $270;

•Testing at an International Site: $85 extra;

•Late Registration: $75 extra;

•Rescheduling a Test Date: $90 extra;

•Changing a Test Center: $90 extra;

Test Dates & Registration

The MCAT is offered at least 25 or more times a year at Prometric centers across United States and Canada. Most students take the MCAT  in their junior or senior year of college. Applicants can  view upcoming test dates or register for the MCAT online through AAMC's website.