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Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a compulsory test for anyone who plans to get admission in medical schools of USA and Canada. Our section provides complete information to candidates regarding Medical College Admission Test, MCAT in India and procedures followed. This exam is conducted by Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) twice a year.

What is MCAT?

The MCAT is a standard test created to deduce the analytical, problem solving and writing skills of the candidate pursuing medicine. Moreover, they also test the candidate’s ability to understand science concepts and principles, which are important for the medical career. It contains 4 sections, Verbal Reasoning, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences and Writing Sample. The candidate must complete the test in a single day.

The MCAT assesses the candidates' skills in the fundamental concepts in science like chemistry, biology, chemistry, and physics. Besides, they also test the knowledge in scientific problem solving along with writing skills and critical thinking. These skills are important since these concepts tested by the MCAT are those recognized by doctor and medical educators as a necessity for following a medical career. Besides, AAMC launched a new version of the MCAT exam on April 2015, where scores are reported in four sections:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behaviour
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Being an important test, almost all medical schools in US and many Canadian schools require the candidates to submit their scores of MCAT for taking up medical studies. Moreover, some colleges never accept MCAT exam scores that are more than 3-years-old. So, it is always a must for candidates about the changes in the MCAT exam since they are important for building the future medical workforce.

Why it was changed in 2015 ?

Over the period of several years, good researches have led to the development of new medical innovations and techniques which have changed the fundamentals of the healthcare and medical industry. Since the medical field has always brought together some of the best innovators and bright students of society the results also changed the face of the industry. These eventually transformed the way the treatments have to be given from delivering babies and treating cancer to dealing with psychological problems. Every year, researchers have developed many path-breaking technologies and techniques, adding new things to medical field. So this leads to surge in the health improvement and life span of patients and the success rate of health and critical care. So, medical students who are entering a health care system must be updated with the enormous changes.

Need for Improvement and Expansion

Medical education, which is a critical part of the society, must be continually being upgraded and updated to keep up with these changes in medical technologies and research. American Medical School curriculum includes vast exposure to the clinical environment, more importance to updates and curriculum that stress on vital aspects like inter-professional training, patient interface, public health, communication, and the social factors that are determinants of health.

How is the MCAT scored ?

Since MCAT is computer-based eligibility exam, which mainly used to check the candidates’ knowledge in the subjects like physical and biological sciences, apart from writing and verbal reasoning skills, score rating is given utmost importance. For each individual section on the exam is fixed between 118 to 132 range with an average score of 125. At the end of the exam, candidates will get a score for each section and an overall score. Complete scores will be centered at 500, where the range is determined between 472 and 528. There is penalty for incorrect answers.

Section: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

Score: 118-132,

Average: 125

Section: Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

Score: 118-132

Average: 125

Section: Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Score: 118-132

Average: 125

Section: Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

Score: 118-132

Average: 125

What is the cost of MCAT ?

The cost of the MCAT test ranges from $ 310 - $ 370. It depends upon when you are applying for the exam. There are three scheduling zones for the registration deadlines - Gold, Silver and Bronze. The registration fee includes the distribution of the scores of the candidates to all the medical colleges. One must also remember that there are fees for cancellation or rescheduling of the test. Besides, AAMC also offers a Fee Assistance Program (FAP) for test takers who require financial assistance. There are additional fees for location or date changes, and an international fee ($115) is also applicable for non-US test locations. If you wish to appear for MCAT exams you have to visit neighboring countries i.e. Singapore, Israel, Japan, Qatar or Thailand

Details Initial Registration Date and/or test center reschedule fee (non refundable) Cancellation Refund International Fee (non-refundable)
Gold Zone deadline
(29 days prior to exam date)
$315 $90 $155 $105
Silver Zone deadline
(15 days prior to exam date)
$315 $150 N/A $105
Bronze Zone deadline
(8 days prior to exam date)
$370 N/A N/A $105

Details of the three Zones:

Gold Zone scheduling fees are lower and there is flexibility of date and location. You can get partial refund upon cancelling the reservation. There is also an advantage of Low rescheduling and cancellation fee for Fee Assistance Programs recipients.

Silver Zone scheduling fees remain the same and there is no increase in the registration fees. You can reschedule exams on the given fee but there will be no refund if cancelled.

Bronze zone scheduling fees is higher. You can cancel reservation and there is no refund.

For official information and details about Fee Assistance Program (FAP), visit the official website:


MCAT Eligibility for Post Graduate

Aspirants who want to pursue MD degree in the US or Canada can take the MCAT test for the year 2020. Along with medicine, the following schools are also a part of ‘health professional institutions’:

  • Allopathic medicine
  • Osteopathic medicine
  • Pediatric medicine
  • Veterinary medicine.

Moreover, medical students who have completed MBBS need not require special permission to register for MCAT in the current academic year of 2020. But, it is mandatory for US and Canada medical colleges which offer MD degrees to allow only those who have an undergraduate degree before applying for the course. Students taking MCAT for purposes other than pursuing a career in medicine are required to get special permission from AAMC authorities. Applicants usually complete the following courses before applying to US medical schools:

  • Biology (One year)
  • Physics (One year)
  • English (One year)
  • Chemistry (Two years – Through organic chemistry)

For details on MCAT:

For official information and details, visit the official website: https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/taking-mcat-exam/