If you plan to become a doctor like Rachel Tobin Yale, you are probably already enrolled in an undergraduate program with a major like Pre-Med or Biology.

Towards the end of that program, you will have to take the MCAT as part of your medical school application. It can be intimidating, but you can earn a good score if you properly prepare.

MCAT Basics

MCAT stands for Medical College Admission Test. Medical students have been taking this exam for almost 100 years. The MCAT has four sections that cover your analytical skills as well as your knowledge of chemistry, biology and psychology.

It is a significant part of getting into medical school. If your school application is successful and you excel in school, you could work your way up to being on a Head of School Search Committee.

Logistics of Taking the MCAT

You will typically take the MCAT the same year that you submit your med school application. You have to register to take the test at a designated location. There are usually a few dozen dates to choose from throughout the year.

Plan to block out the whole day to take your test because it is over seven hours long. You should register for the MCAT by the fall of the year you plan to apply to med school because it can take around one month to find out your MCAT score after taking the test.

It costs over $300 to register, but the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) may pay for the fee if you meet their financial requirements.

MCAT Scoring System

You can earn a score between 118 and 132 in each section, so your total score will be between 472 and 528. Most people accepted to med school have a score of 510 or better.

However, your MCAT score will only be one component of your application. If your score is lower, you may still be accepted to medical school if the rest of your application is strong.

Getting Ready To Take the Test

Your undergraduate education is the most important part of preparing to take the test. If you took most of the freshman-level science courses at your school, you will have the information you need to score well on the MCAT.

Several test-prep companies can help you brush up on your knowledge and take practice exams for a fee. Some of these resources are also available for free through the AAMC.

You can purchase some MCAT test prep books to supplement your test prep as well. Just make sure that the books you choose were published or updated in the last few years.

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