Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a computer-based, standardized exam developed and administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Complete information about the exam, including registration dates and deadlines, is available on the AAMC website. Register early for the best rates and choices of test location. For more information about MCAT registration, preparation, and scores, please go to the AAMC’s MCAT FAQ site.
It’s best to take the exam after you have adequately studied the requisite content and taken enough practice exams to feel comfortable with the timing and format of the exam. For more information about when to take the MCAT and when it would be appropriate to retake the MCAT, please refer to PDF Document: Guide Three.
What is the best way to prepare for the MCAT?
There is no right or wrong way to study and prepare for the MCAT exam. AAMC’s “How I Prepared for the MCAT Exam” testimonials showcase study tips and approaches employed by students who performed well on the MCAT exam. Each student profile includes study schedules, strategies, personal challenges, and dos and don’ts as narrated by the students themselves.
The Office of Pre-Professional Advising does not recommend one preparation study method over another—it’s best to do some research on the various options and decide what’s best for you. Some students choose to take a prep course while others study on their own or in small groups. If you are trying to decide whether a prep course offered by a commercial firm is right for you, consider your learning style and how you have studied for previous exams. Regardless of your chosen study plan, the key seems to be lots of practice exams to gain familiarity with the computer-based format, with time spent analyzing what you got right and wrong, and adjusting your studying based on your performance on the practice exams.
Free Planning and Study Resources
Prepare for the MCAT exam with free and low-cost AAMC MCAT Official Prep resources. In particular, note that one of the self-study resources recommended by the AAMC is the Khan Academy MCAT Video Collection, which contains sample content from all four sections of the exam and includes 1,100 videos and 3,000 review questions to help you study.
Johns Hopkins’ Odyssey Program MCAT Review Course
Johns Hopkins University’s Odyssey Program offers an MCAT Review course held during Intersession. This course was developed in close consultation with the Office of Pre-Professional Advising. It offers an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the MCAT, using materials created by veteran instructors, the AAMC, and Examkrackers.
Test Prep Companies
Recognize that the material offered by the AAMC, additional printed materials, along with a rigorous undergraduate education, may make enrollment in such courses unnecessary. That said, here are some commercial options:
- Altius (offers free 1/2 length exam)
- Berkeley Review (offers home study materials)
- Dr. Flowers MCAT
- Kaplan (offers free 1/2 length exam and events)
- MCAT-prep.com (offers free 1/3 length exam)
- Next Step (offers free 1/2 length diagnostic, full length exam, and events)
- Princeton Review (offers free full length exam and events)
- UWorld (offers practice questions)
Note that that the Office of Pre-Professional Advising does not officially promote, sponsor, or recommend any test preparation company—we gather information for our students and make it available to them.
Before taking your MCAT exam, make sure to review AAMC’s Ten Tips for Test Day. Good luck!