Planning to pursue MD in a foreign university?
You’re in the right corner because below is the in-depth detail of MCAT which is a popular entrance test for admission into medical schools in Canada, USA, Australia and the Caribbean Island.
Why take MCAT?
- Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized test which is taken by students who wants to pursue their MD.
- It is a computer-based test which examines the student’s knowledge in scientific concepts and principles in 4 sections, i.e., Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems; Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills; Biological and Biochemical Foundation of Living Systems and Psychological, Social, Biological Foundations of Behavior.
- It is conducted 25 times a year between the months of January and September.
- It is conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
- As a part of their selection process, MCAT is popularly accepted by health professions and graduate schools.
Now let’s look into the sum and substance of MCAT because through a know-how of exam information, students can prepare accordingly to their strengths and weakness in the exam.
- MCAT is a multiple-choice exam which tests basic science, writing ability and verbal reasoning. It also tests students critical thinking, problem-solving and the knowledge of natural behaviour and social science concepts.
- It costs $310 for initial registration ( INR 19864.96 ) but can cost more if the student registers late or reschedules the exam.
- It is one of the most challenging standardized tests and is of 7 and a half hour.
- A periodic table is available during the exam but a calculator is not available.
- The total MCAT scores range from 472 to 528 where 500 is the midpoint. Per section, the scores range from 118-132 and the midpoint is 125.
- The scores of the exam are released in a month or over the month from the test date.
- MCAT can be taken up to 7 times in a lifetime.
It’s getting tricky, ain’t it? Worry not because the below test pattern will simplify your doubts.
Knowing test pattern is important because it will make the students aware regarding the types of questions to be asked in the exam and the student can prepare accordingly to the subject he/she is weak in.
With an approximate of 6 hours and 5 minutes, MCAT exam consists of 4 sections.
- The test starts with the examinee agreement which takes up to 8 minutes and the tutorial (Optional) takes up to 10 minutes.
- The first section, i.e., Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems consist of 59 questions where 10 are passage-based sets of questions, which has 4-6 questions per set. There are also 15 independent questions. The duration consists of 95 minutes.
- After the first section, an optional break of 10 minutes is given.
- The second section, i.e., Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills consists of 53 questions which have 9 passages and has 5-7 questions per passage. The duration consists of 90 minutes.
- After the second section, an optional mid-exam break of 30 minutes is given.
- The third section, i.e., Biological and Biochemical Foundation of Living Systems consists of 59 questions which have 10 passage-based sets of questions, where there are 4-6 questions per set. There are also 15 independent questions. The duration of this section is 95 minutes.
- There are an optional 10 minutes break after the third section.
- The fourth section, i.e., Psychological, Social, Biological Foundations of Behavior consists of 59 questions and has 10 passage based sets of questions where there are 4-6 questions per set. There are also 15 independent questions. The duration of this section is 95 minutes.
- After the fourth question, there are further void questions and the time limit is 5 minutes, there is an optional satisfaction survey given which consists of 5 minutes.
- So the total content time of the MCAT exam is 6 hours and 15 minutes. The total seated time is 7 hours and 33 minutes.
Wow! That was some great info, wasn’t it? Now let’s look at the eligibility details
Knowing the eligibility criterion is very important because through the knowledge students can be aware of the requirements to be eligible.
- Students are required to have an undergraduate degree before applying MCAT. The applicants are expected to complete one year of biology, one year of physics, one year of English and two years of chemistry before applying to US medical schools.
- International students do not require special permission to register if they have completed the MBBS.
- Schools like allopathic, osteopathic, podiatric and veterinary medicine are also a part of ‘health professional institutes’, which also includes medicine.
- When the students register, they will be required to provide a statement which verifies their intention to apply to a health profession school.
Don’t close the page right now because below are some pretty important key highlights which you would want to remember in detail.
- It is recommended that students should register for MCAT test early so that they can select the location, date and time because seats generally tend to fill quickly.
- The students are expected to be well versed in organic and inorganic chemistry, biological concepts, physics and also critical reasoning ability.
- It is advised that the MCAT should be taken by students one year before they intend to start medical school.
- The test preparation should be done 3 to 5 months before the MCAT test date.
- Students should check for the nearest test centre before applying for the test.