MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)
The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is a standardized test to
check the suitability for studying medicine abroad. It has been used to
select prospective medical students in the United States and Canada for
over 80 years. The MCAT is performed by the test provider Prometric on
behalf of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which has
the majority of medical schools at US and Canadian universities.
Target group of the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)
you can start studying medicine in Germany right after school, it is not
possible in the USA and Canada to apply to a medical school right after
high school. Instead, a bachelor's degree is required. Only then does
the mostly four-year medical degree, which ends with the MD (Medical
Many US and Canadian students choose a major in natural sciences for
their bachelor’s degree or even take a pre-med program that aims to
prepare them for later medical studies. Basically, however, the
application to the Medical School is open to Bachelor graduates of all
Against the background, it is understandable that the medical schools
use a test like the MCAT for the selection of their applicants. It is an
important criterion in order to better compare the suitability and
skills of the applicants with their sometimes very different
professional backgrounds. For this reason, both domestic and
international applicants must take the test.
Exam contents and test structure of the MCAT
The MCAT examines the following three areas:
- Physics and chemistry (physical sciences)
- Biology (biological sciences)
- verbal reasoning
It takes about 4 hours and 5 minutes in total and consists mainly of
multiple choice questions.
The physical science questions examine the problem solving skills in
the general areas of these two basic disciplines. There are 70 minutes
available for this.
The area of the Verbal Reasoning takes 60 minutes. The questions test
reading comprehension based on given text passages. The texts can come
from the humanities, social or natural sciences and do not require any
special knowledge. Good basic knowledge is certainly helpful.
The biological science exam takes 70 minutes and includes questions
on the basics of biology and organic chemistry.
Until 2013 there was also another section of the exam - the Writing
Sample. However, this has now been abolished. The so-called trial
section has taken its place. This voluntary examination section lasts 45
minutes and is not included in the evaluation. The trial section
contains questions for future trials that will be tested under realistic
MCAT rating scale
Each of the three parts of the exam is rated on a scale from 1 (low)
to 15 (high). The total score consists of the sum of the three
individual scores. The optional trial section is not assessed, but the
test participants themselves receive feedback on their performance in
this area if the tasks are dealt with seriously.
Repetition of the MCAT
It is possible to repeat the MCAT to improve the score. However, the
test can only be taken up to three times within 12 months. If you have
the feeling immediately after the MCAT that it did not go well, you can
have the test deleted immediately. It is not evaluated at all and
therefore not included in the maximum number of tests that can be
performed each year.
Preparation for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)
A thorough and long-term preparation on the MCAT (Medical College
Admission Test) is essential. Many local students start preparing for
the MCAT early and in the course of their bachelor's degree. Admission
to medical schools in the United States and Canada is very competitive.
The competition is therefore fierce, especially since only a small
proportion of the study places at the medical schools are allocated to
But it is not just the preparation of the content that is important.
In the unfamiliar test situation, you should also know as exactly as
possible what to expect. Therefore, participants should also deal with
the test structure and assessment methods in advance.
The AAMC offers various learning aids to prepare for the MCAT. The
subject areas that are checked in the MCAT can also be viewed free of
charge on the MCAT website. On the other hand, you can also purchase the
Official Guide or the Official MCAT Self-Assessment Package on the same
Test centers, exam dates and registration
The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is offered several times a
year in various test centers in Germany. Unfortunately, there is
currently no test center in Austria and Switzerland. A list of all test
centers worldwide as well as the current examination dates are
accessible via the MCAT Scheduling and Registration System. To do this,
you need to register on Prometric's official MCAT website. You can then
register for the test yourself in the same way.
Registration at least four weeks in advance is recommended. The
organizer AAMC divides the registration deadlines into:
- a gold zone (about four weeks in advance)
- a silver zone (about three to four weeks in advance)
- a bronze zone (about one to two weeks in advance)
The later the registration is made, the less flexibility there is in
the event that the examination date has to be changed again.
When choosing the examination date, it is also important to note the
application deadlines of the medical schools at which the application is
to be made. It may take 30 to 35 days for the MCAT results to be
MCAT costs and funding options
The registration fee for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)
for registration within the gold or silver zone is US $ 275. If the
registration is only in the bronze zone, the fee is US $ 325 There is
also an international fee of US $ 90. The total examination fees range
from US $ 365 to US $ 415 depending on the registration date. Payment of
the fees is currently only possible online by credit card.