The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) has been part of medical school admissions in the USA for more than 90 years. It’s also accepted by schools in Canada, Australia and the Caribbean Islands.
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An MCAT exam tests your skills in problem solving, critical thinking, written analysis and knowledge of scientific concepts and principles. It takes around 7.5 hours to take the test, which is done using computers.
The only way to take the MCAT is in person at a testing centre in the USA or Canada as well as Australia, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and the UK. There are no testing centres in India currently.
But how does the MCAT registration process work? Here’s everything you need to know about registering to take the MCAT.
MCAT registration explained
The steps to register include:
- Visit the official website and create an account with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). You will need this ID to sign in to the MCAT Registration System.
- Click on Start Exam Registration to make an appointment. At this stage you’ll need to give the following information:
- Personal details
- Academic background
- You’ll have to read and sign the MCAT Examinee Agreement as part of the registration process. More details of what this includes are below.
- View the exam schedule and select your test centre.
- Pay the application fee.
You can apply for accommodations if you have a disability or medical condition that needs an adjustment to the standard conditions. You’ll have to supply documentation as well as evidence of any accommodations you have received in the past.
MCAT Examinee Agreement
When you sign the MCAT Examinee Agreement to complete your registration and book your exam, you are agreeing to comply with the rules and regulations. These include prohibited items and behaviors both during the exam and any scheduled or unscheduled break:
- Possessing, accessing or using an electronic device like a phone at any time between checking in and completing the exam.
- Possessing, accessing or using cameras or any other recording equipment.
- Getting or giving any help on the exam.
- Possessing, accessing or using books, notes of any other written materials (apart from those given out in the exam).
- Looking at someone else’s monitor or noteboard.
- Possessing weapons or anything that could be used as a weapon anywhere at the testing centre.
- Leaving the test centre floor or building after check-in and before completing the exam.
- Being disruptive or abusive, including talking with anyone other than a test administrator.
- Talking about the exam during any scheduled or unscheduled break.
The AAMC will investigate any reports of issues and you could be subject to any of the following actions:
- Having your exam cancelled.
- Receiving a warning letter
- Having your scores put on hold.
- Having your existing MCAT registration or score cancelled.
- Being suspended from MCAT registration eligibility for a limited period or permanently.
If you decide that the investigation report on the issue is unfair, you can request arbitration.
Rescheduling or cancelling your MCAT registration
You can make changes to your MCAT registration up to 10 days before the exam date. However, there will be fees to do this, regardless of how early you make your request. The fees are as follows:
|Timeframe||Reschedule Fee||Cancellation Refund|
|60 days or more before exam||$50 ($20 on Fee Assistance Program)||$160 ($65 on Fee Assistance Program)|
|30-59 days before exam||$100 ($40 on Fee Assistance Program)||$160 ($65 on Fee Assistance Program)|
|10-29 days before exam||$200 ($80 on Fee Assistance Program)||$0|
You can change your exam date and/or test centre, as long as there is availability now open on that date. You can check current availability on the MCAT Registration System.
If you choose to change both the date and test centre, as long as you make these changes at the same time, you’ll only be charged one fee. Otherwise each change will incur a fee.
There may also be occasions where MCAT needs to reschedule your exam date for situations outside of anyone’s control. These could include civil unrest, power outages or extreme weather. In these cases you will be offered an alternative date or a full refund.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What if I need to cancel because of an emergency?
If you need to cancel or reschedule your exam because of an emergency, you may be able to claim refunds. However, you’d need to provide the necessary documentation. The maximum refund possible would be the same as you would receive if giving more than 30 days notice for cancellation. Possible reasons for an emergency refund include:
- Death in the immediate family
- Unexpected military service
- Jury duty
- Natural disaster
- Testing positive for COVID.
- What ID do you need for the MCAT?
Your ID that you register with needs to be a current one issued by a Government agency, with the expiration date printed in and with a photo that clearly identifies you. This could include a drivers license, passport or green card. Credit cards, paper ID, birth certificates and social security cards are not accepted. The ID you use at registration needs to be the one you take with you to the test centre.