What is MCAT Exam: Complete Guide for Medical Students

What is MCAT Exam

Last updated on March 14th, 2024 at 11:00 pm

The MCAT exam holds immense importance for medical students, a fact not hidden from anyone. However, there are still some students who are unaware of what the MCAT exam is, why it’s necessary, and how its scoring system works. In this article, we’ll explain what is MCAT Exam, its purpose, eligibility, scoring system, and many other aspects.

What is MCAT Exam?

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), recognized as one of the world’s premier medical entrance examinations, evaluates candidates’ critical thinking, problem-solving, and medical knowledge skills.

In the previous article, we told you in detail about Suffolk County Civil Service Exams 2024. Similarly, today we will also discuss in detail about MCAT exams and answer almost all types of questions related to it. Out of which we have written some important questions below.

Important Questions.

  • What is MCAT Exam?
  • History and Purpose of the MCAT Exam
  • Who is eligible for the MCAT in the US?
  • Scoring System of the MCAT Exam.
  • MCAT Exam Format: Sections and Structure
  • Registration Process for the MCAT Exam
  • What is a good score on the MCAT Exam?
  • What is the cost of the MCAT Exam?
  • What is the MCAT Exam used for?
  • How long is MCAT score valid?
  • MCAT test dates 2024
  • Tips to increase MCAT score in 2024.

What is MCAT Exam?

Some people think “What is MCAT exam in the USA?” or “What is MCAT exam in Canada?” So for your information, let us tell you that this exam is a crucial examination for students aspiring to gain admission to medical colleges or universities in the United States, Canada etc.

It encompasses a wide range of subjects including Chemistry, Biology, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Sociology, and Psychology. Lasting approximately 7.5 hours, the exam comprises multiple sections with short breaks interspersed throughout, providing examinees with an opportunity to rejuvenate their focus.

Before registering for the MCAT, it is imperative to possess basic computer literacy, as the exam is administered electronically. Renowned for its rigorous nature, particularly in the United States and Canada, success in the MCAT often requires a blend of diligence and strategic preparation. The exam format primarily consists of multiple-choice questions on MCAT, with passages presented to candidates. While some questions offer answers directly within the passage, others necessitate applying individual knowledge.

The exam unfolds in four main sections, each lasting 95 minutes. The initial section assesses scientific proficiency, covering topics such as Chemistry, Physics, and Organic Chemistry. The subsequent section focuses on logical reasoning, incorporating passages spanning diverse subjects like History. Notably, while responding to questions based on these passages.

History and Purpose of the MCAT Exam

The MCAT exam, originating in 1928 under the auspices of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), holds a significant role in the medical education landscape of the United States and Canada. Its inception stemmed from a need for a standardized assessment tool to evaluate prospective medical students consistently.

With the primary objective of facilitating admissions to medical colleges, the MCAT exam serves as a crucial component of the application process for aspiring medical professionals. Over the years, the MCAT exam has evolved to align with advancements in medical education and the changing landscape of healthcare.

Its purpose extends beyond mere evaluation; it serves as a measure of essential skills and knowledge essential for success in medical school and eventual practice as a physician. Medical educators, physicians, medical students, and residents have collectively identified these attributes as vital prerequisites for individuals pursuing a career in medicine.

(( Reference: This information was sourced from the AAMC’s official website. For further details, you can visit the website directly.))

Who is eligible for the MCAT in the US?

In the United States, all students who have passed the 12th class are eligible to take the MCAT exam. However, after passing the 12th class, one needs to obtain special permission from the AAMC before registering for the MCAT. Only after obtaining this permission can you register for the MCAT.

Additionally, if you have completed or are currently pursuing an MBBS degree or equivalent, you do not need special permission in this situation. You can directly visit the official AAMC website and register for the MCAT.

Scoring System of the MCAT Exam What is MCAT Exam
What is MCAT Exam

Scoring System of the MCAT Exam

The scoring system of the MCAT exam is quite straightforward. It consists of four sections, with each section having a minimum score of 118 and a maximum score of 132. When the scores of all four sections are added together, the total score ranges from 472 (minimum) to 528 (maximum). This final score, obtained by adding the scores of all sections, is referred to as the final MCAT score.

MCAT Exam Format: Sections and Structure

The MCAT exam consists of four main sections, each designed to assess different aspects of a candidate’s knowledge and skills.

1. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems (BBLS): This section evaluates the understanding of fundamental concepts related to biology and biochemistry. It covers topics such as cellular and molecular biology, genetics, metabolism, and biological systems’ functions.

2. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems (CPBS): In this section, candidates are tested on their knowledge of chemical and physical principles as they relate to biological systems. Topics include basic principles of chemistry, biochemistry, organic and inorganic chemistry, and physical principles underlying biological systems.

3. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior (PSBB): The PSBB section assesses understanding of how biological, psychological, and social factors influence behaviour and behaviour change. It covers topics such as behavioural and social sciences, psychology, sociology, and introductory biology.

4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS): This section focuses on evaluating critical reading, comprehension, and analytical skills. Candidates are presented with passages from a variety of disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, and are required to analyze and interpret the information provided.

Overall, the MCAT exam structure is designed to comprehensively evaluate a candidate’s readiness for medical school by assessing their understanding of scientific principles, critical thinking abilities, and aptitude for interdisciplinary learning.

(( Reference: This information was sourced from The Princeton Review website. For further details, you can visit the website. ))

Registration Process for the MCAT Exam 2024

The nearest dates to register for MCAT 2024 are 5th March 2024 and 11th March 2024. Whose examination will be held on 4th May 2024 and 10th May 2024. Registration for the MCAT exam has to be done two months before the exam. After that, its score is released one month after the examination.

To register for MCAT 2024, complete registration has to be done by following the steps given below.

Step 1 – Visit the Official Website: The first step in registering for the MCAT 2024 is to visit the official website of the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges).

Step 2 – Sign-In:  Once on the website, locate and click on the “Sign In” option in the top right corner of the dashboard. As shown in the image given below.

Registration Process for the MCAT Exam step 1

Step 3 – Create Account: After clicking on the Sign-In button, a new page will open. On the new page, you will find an option to “Create Account.” Click on this option to proceed. As shown in the image given below.

Registration Process for the MCAT Exam step 2

Step 4 – Provide Details: After clicking “Create Account,” another new page will open, prompting you to enter various details. This includes personal information, initial questions, and account information. Ensure that all details are filled accurately and with correct spelling. As shown in the image given below.

Registration Process for the MCAT Exam step 3

Step 5 – Complete Registration Form: Fill out the registration form step by step, providing details as requested. This includes personal information, initial questions, and account information, as shown in the accompanying screenshots.

Step 6 – Pay Registration Fee: Once the form is completed, proceed to pay the registration fee. After payment, your registration process is complete.

Step 7 – Sign In: Finally, click on the “Sign In” button and log in using your ID and password. All necessary information should be filled out during this step, and after completing the form, you’ll be required to make the payment.

By following these steps systematically, you can successfully register for the MCAT exam 2024 with ease.

What is a good score on the MCAT Exam?

Just as SAT score is important for normal universities in the United States, MCAT score is important for medical colleges. You may know that the highest score on the MCAT exam is 528, and nobody scores higher than that. However, not all students achieve a score of 528. Now, the question arises: what constitutes a good score on the MCAT exam? For your information, a score above 500 on the MCAT exam is considered a good score, and in every section, a score of at least 125 is desirable to be considered a good MCAT score.

What is the cost of the MCAT Exam?

If a student from the United States or Canada registers for the MCAT exam, they have to pay a registration fee of $335. However, if someone is enrolled in a Fee Assistance Program, the MCAT registration fee is only $140.

Additionally, if an international student registers for the MCAT in the United States or Canada, they have to pay an extra $120 international registration charge on top of the prescribed fee. Apart from this, the cancellation fee for MCAT registration varies, and we will discuss it in detail in another article.

What is the MCAT Exam used for?

The MCAT exam serves as a crucial criterion for admission to medical colleges or universities in the United States. It is designed to evaluate the proficiency of both medical and non-medical students in various aspects such as talent problem-solving ability, critical thinking, and knowledge evaluation.

Spanning approximately 7.5 hours, this comprehensive test thoroughly examines every facet to determine whether a student is capable of pursuing education in medical college.

How long is MCAT score valid?

The MCAT exam is highly competitive and considered mandatory for admission to any medical college or university. However, if a candidate has taken the MCAT exam in a particular year and achieved a good score but hasn’t secured admission to any medical university or college within the next three years, they will need to retake the MCAT exam for admission to any university. The new MCAT score will be valid for admission.

This indicates that an MCAT score remains valid for three years. However, once we complete our medical education after obtaining the MCAT score, it becomes a lifelong asset. Our MCAT score significantly aids us in showcasing our skills in any hospital job or interview in the future. Thus, the MCAT score serves as a valuable asset throughout our career.

MCAT test dates 2024

The 60-day deadline for some MCAT exams to be held in 2024 has passed, so we are not mentioning them in our table below. Apart from this, the list of those who have a 60-day due date left is given in the table below.

Exam Date60-Day Deadline
May 4, 2024March 5, 2024
May 10, 2024March 11, 2024
May 11, 2024March 12, 2024
May 16, 2024March 17, 2024
May 24, 2024March 25, 2024
June 1, 2024April 2, 2024
June 14, 2024April 15, 2024
June 15, 2024April 16, 2024
June 22, 2024April 23, 2024
June 27, 2024April 28, 2024
July 13, 2024May 14, 2024
July 26, 2024May 27, 2024
August 2, 2024June 3, 2024
August 17, 2024June 18, 2024
August 23, 2024June 24, 2024
August 24, 2024June 25, 2024
September 5, 2024July 7, 2024
September 6, 2024July 8, 2024
September 13, 2024July 15, 2024
September 14, 2024July 16, 2024

Tips to increase MCAT score in 2024.

The MCAT exam is not an exam that you should prepare from scratch because if you are eligible to take the MCAT exam and you have studied till this point, then you are already ready for the MCAT exam. But you have to learn some advanced things.

Below we have mentioned some points through which if you prepare, you can improve your MCAT score even more.

  • Start Early: Begin your preparation well in advance to allow ample time for thorough review and practice.
  • Practice Regularly: Dedicate consistent study sessions to cover all sections of the MCAT, focusing on weak areas and reinforcing strong ones.
  • Use Official Resources: Utilize official MCAT practice materials and resources provided by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) for the most accurate representation of the exam.
  • Take Full-Length Practice Tests: Simulate real exam conditions by taking full-length practice tests regularly to build stamina, improve time management, and identify areas needing improvement.
  • Review and Analyze Mistakes: After each practice test or study session, thoroughly review incorrect answers and understand why you made mistakes to avoid repeating them in the future.


In conclusion, the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) stands as a pivotal examination for aspiring medical professionals. This article delves into the intricacies of the MCAT, providing insights into its history, registration process, scoring system, and significance in medical education.

By understanding the nuances of the MCAT, students can better prepare themselves for this rigorous evaluation and embark on their journey towards a rewarding career in medicine.


The MCAT exam is approximately 7.5 hours long, including breaks.

Yes, accommodations such as extra testing time, enlarged print materials, and wheelchair accessibility are available for test-takers with disabilities.

Yes, you can cancel or reschedule your MCAT exam registration, but fees may apply depending on the timing of your request.

Yes, you can retake the MCAT exam if you're not satisfied with your score, but there are limits on how many times you can retake the exam within a certain timeframe.

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(What is MCAT Exam: Complete Guide)

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as medical advice or used as a substitute for professional medical consultation. We have given below the reference links for all the medical-related information given in this article. From there you can read the original source of information in detail.

Readers are encouraged to seek advice from qualified healthcare professionals regarding any medical concerns or questions.

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