If you're set on going to med school, you'll have to conquer the MCAT first. Here's a brief overview of the test.

MCAT Quick Facts

Frequency 15 times/year
Duration 7 hours, 30 minutes
Sections Physical Sciences, CARS, Biological Sciences, Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior
Cost $315 for initial registration
Max. Score 528
Avg. Score 500 total, 125 in each section

What is the MCAT and why is it important?

The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is required for admission to most medical schools. The MCAT is computer-based and tests physical and biological sciences, verbal reasoning, and writing skills. In 2015, the AAMC added a new section called Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior. This section tests your ability to understand sociocultural, biological and psychological influences on behavior and social interactions as well as how people process emotion and stress. You'll only want to take this seven-and-a-half hour test once, so prepare as thoroughly as possible.

Admissions officers use the MCAT as a predictor of your success in medical school. The exam is designed to test the skills you'll use when you get there, including basic science, verbal reasoning, and writing ability. The MCAT is a 7½ hour, computer-based test that has the reputation of being one of the most challenging standardized tests.

In Canada, most schools weigh your MCAT scores very heavily. Some schools set minimum cut-off MCAT scores that applicants must meet in order to be considered.

What specifically does the MCAT test?

The MCAT is computer-based and tests physical and biological sciences and verbal reasoning skills. See more information about each section .

How is the MCAT scored?

Each individual section on the exam is scored using a 118 to 132 range, with a median score of 125. You'll receive a score for each section, plus an overall score. Total scores will be centered at 500, with ranges from 472 to 528. Learn more about your MCAT score .

How much does the MCAT cost?

It costs $315 to take the MCAT (and $370 for late registration 1–2 weeks before your test date). This initial MCAT registration fee includes the distribution of your MCAT scores to medical schools. Be aware that there are additional fees for cancelling or rescheduling the test. AAMC does offer a a Fee Assistance Program  for test takers who, without financial assistance, would be unable to take the MCAT.

How do I register?

MCAT registration is done online through the Association of American Medical Colleges. We recommend that you register early to secure your MCAT test date and location.

How can I prepare?

We can help. We have MCAT prep solutions for every student and every budget.