MCAT Program Office
2255 North Dubuque Road
P.O. Box 4056
Iowa City, IA 52243
(Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
The test is offered twice a year, usually on a Saturday in April and August and is typically taken before the start of your last undergraduate year.
|Physical||77||100||1.3||GenChem and (non-calculus) Physics|
|Writing||2||60||30||written communication skills|
|Biological||77||100||1.3||Organic Chem and Intro Bio|
Note that the "Minutes per Question" data can be quite misleading. The test is largely devoid of independent question/answer pairs (called "discrete items"). Instead (with the exception of the writing sample), most of the tests consist of multi-paragraph "passages" follwed by 5-8 questions on that passage. The passages are often written at a level above that of your intro textbooks. You are being tested on your ability to make sense of the passage. In some sense all of these tests simply test critical reading--the science tests are distinguished only by having passages with technical content and vocabulary. You will often find that a quick scan of a passage will reveal only that you know nothing of this material. Do not give up! Even if the passage is complex, the questions really are designed for an intro-level knowledge base backed up by good reading skills. Remeber that your ability to apply eight semesters of science courses is going to be tested in your ability to read with understanding 22 passages. That's about 5 passages per year-long science course (GenChem, Organic, Physics, Biology)! You cannot afford to give up on any passage. (Incidently: leave no question blank; guessing can only improve your score.)
During an actual test you are not permitted to use aids of any kind. Calculators, slide rules, equation sheets, notes, books are ruled out. You may want to excercise your head-arithmetic if you have relied on a calculator in college. The science tests include a periodic table as a reference. You are permitted to use your test booklets for marginal notes (e.g., marks to come back to this question if time permits) and calculations. However, make no marks in material distributed for the common use of the class (e.g., tests on reserve in the library); instead use scrap paper.
The MCAT writing sample is scored on an alphabetic scale ranging from J (lowest), to N (median), to T (highest). For more information about the writing test, click here.
You will want to score "double digits" (10 or more) on these tests to be considered competitive by most medical schools. Admission to medical school is not determined solely by your MCAT score; indeed some medical schools will give very little weight to your MCAT score. Other factors including:
The current version of the FAQ is version 2.5.
FAQ Part 1:[Plain Text] [Hyperlinked]
FAQ Part 2:[Plain Text] [Hyperlinked]
The newsgroup's Frequently Asked Questions list is posted every 14 days to misc.education.medical and several other newsgroups. Comments or questions about the FAQ are welcome, and may be sent by e-mail. If you have a question that's not answered in the FAQ document, come join the discussion on m.e.m.!