The Medical College Admission Test or MCAT is a standardized test required for admission to medical schools in the USA and Canada taken by students in their junior or senior year of college. The MCAT is computer-based and designed to test writing, critical thinking, written analysis, problem-solving, and knowledge of scientific concepts and principals crucial for success in medical school. The MCAT consists of four sections: Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills, Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, and Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior.
The Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems section is allotted 95 minutes and contains 59 questions that test knowledge on the topics of Biochemistry (25%), Biology (5%), General Chemistry (30%), Organic Chemistry (15%), and Physics (25%).
The Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section is allotted 90 minutes and contains 53 questions that test knowledge on non-science related questions.
The Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section is 95 minutes and contains 59 questions that test knowledge on the topics of Biochemistry (25%), Biology (65%), General Chemistry (5%), and Organic Chemistry (5%).
The Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior sections is 95 minutes and contains 59 questions that test knowledge on the topics of Psychology (65%), Sociology (30%), and Biology (5%).
The test spans approximately a total of 7 hours and 30 minutes including breaks. The sections are scored on a scale ranging from 118 to 132 and are centered at 125; these scores are added to produce a total score that ranges from 472 to 528 and are centered at 500. Students that score in the center of the scale are likely to do well and succeed in medical school. Below is a chart of High, Good and Average MCAT scores provided by the Gold Standard MCAT-PREP website:
The MCAT exam is offered 25 or more times per year through Prometric centers from late January through early September. Late registration ends approximately one week before the test date. MCAT test dates are available online through the AAMC website, where you can also register for the test.