What to Expect From the MCAT

If you are already familiar with MCAT and have gone through the MCAT registration process and studied at least 200 hours for it, you’re probably wondering what to expect on the day of the test itself.

Here are the things to expect when you are about to take the MCAT.

What’s Tested on MCAT?

For starters, It’s not like the MCAT practice test, that’s for sure!

The MCAT exam will take a bit over 7.5 hours, including the optional breaks (such as lunch).

It will measure one’s content knowledge on the following topics:

  • Critical analysis
  • Reasoning skills
  • Biochemistry
  • General Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

The test will be broken down into 4 sections under the subjects mentioned above.

Each section of MCAT is scored between 118-132, the mean and median being 125. The total score will range between 472-528, with the mean and median being 500. The top 25% of all test takers have a score between 508-513, while the top 10% bear a score between 514-528.

When to Arrive

When your test day comes, arrive at the test center at least half an hour before your scheduled exam. This gives you the time to know where to go, check-in, store items you can’t bring in the exam room, and settle down.

Do NOT cut it too close and arrive minutes before the exam, as the rush can frazzle you. Furthermore, it may risk you arriving late, so you can’t take the MCAT at all.

You should only bring your accepted MCAT ID and wear comfortable clothes, along with prescription eyeglasses. It’s best to bring food and your cellphone for communication as well, which will be stored in your assigned storage unit.

The test center will give you earplugs, a wet-erase note board booklet, a marker for note-taking, and a key to the storage unit for storing your personal items. Don’t bring any pens, pencils, or paper.

During the Test

MCAT has much higher security compared to other examinations. When you show your ID upon entering the room, security will take a photo of you and have your palm scanned to enter and leave the room. Furthermore, you’ll have to provide your signature to ensure it matches the signature you registered with.

While in the exam room, you cannot leave the testing floor or building, or this forfeits your MCAT. If you need to leave the room, raise your hand and a test admin will escort you out, as needed.

After the exam, you will be escorted out of the exam room and will return all materials the test center provided you. You will also receive a letter that confirms that you completed your exam.

You also have the choice to retake the exam if you believe you didn’t do well, and it won’t show in your records. However, you’ll be billed for taking the exam.

Wrapping It Up

The MCAT is quite intense and a very big deal, which is why you have to prepare for it accordingly. Make sure you bring everything you need and are equipped with all the knowledge from your studies. Good luck!

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