When To Take The MCAT
Offered from January through September, the MCAT exam is a requirement for any prospective medical student looking to attend top-rank medical schools. With such a wide range of months in which you can take it, you might be wondering when is the best time to take it.
You’ll want to make sure you’re well prepared in advance, so picking one of the 25 test dates is imperative to your success.
While you should always aim to take it as early in the year as possible, the earlier you finish the exam, the earlier you can make your AMCAS application. The earlier you can apply, the better your chances of getting in.
However, this isn’t always realistic given an individual’s academic year. So if you have other commitments you don’t want to distract yourself from earlier in the year, here are some questions you may want to ask yourself when trying to find a date.
How Far Are You In The Application Process?
AMCAS applications can be submitted as early as June, and it is generally a good idea to apply as early as possible because most schools will offer rolling admissions.
Keep in mind that you can only finish and submit your AMCAS application after getting your results back, which can take a month to release upon completion of the exam. Without those scores, schools likely won’t even look at your application.
Have You Completed Your Prerequisites?
There are particular prerequisites that you should have fulfilled before you even consider writing the MCAT exam. These are at least two semesters in biology, organic chemistry, general chemistry, and physics each.
If you haven’t completed these semesters, you shouldn’t consider taking the exam just yet as you won’t have learned enough material. To find out if you are far enough in your education to consider taking the test, you can take a look at free practice tests.
Can You Make Time To Prepare?
One of the more significant issues that any student may face is time management. When planning to take the MCAT exam, you’ll have to balance your studies with studying for the exam too.
You will need to maintain a strong GPA, too, so be sure to find a healthy balance where you can manage studying and learning simultaneously or perhaps find open slots between semesters.
Will You Take The Exam Multiple Times?
If you are considering retaking the exam, then consider scheduling your first exam as early in the year as possible. That way, you can get your scores earlier and then have more time to prepare for the follow-up.
This can include finding a new seat or a new date. The main advantage of doing this is that you get an idea of what the exam will be like and get the opportunity to improve your MCAT score.
There are a limited number of seats and test dates, and it can be pretty daunting to find an appropriate time and place in your study schedule. However, it’s possible, and the exam test dates are spread out enough across the year to cater to as many as possible.