What is...?
Important Info
Applying
More...
 

About the MCAT


MCAT Test Schedule | MCAT Test Centres in Canada


Important Changes to the MCAT

2013 and 2014: For MCAT test takers in 2013 and 2014, the Writing Sample Section will be removed.



2015: For applicants considering applying to medical school to start for the fall of 2016, there is a new exam (MCAT2015) that will be offered. Here are some general changes that are being implemented:

  • Medical changes have altered the natural sciences section content.
  • Addition of the social and behavioral sciences section
  • New Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section
  • For a summary of changes organized in a chart for the MCAT2015 by the AAMC, please click here.

    The AAMC has also created a preview guide which can be found here.


    What is the MCAT?


    The Medical College Admission Test, commonly known as the MCAT, is a computer-based standardized examination for prospective medical students in the United States and Canada. It is designed to assess problem solving, critical thinking, written analysis, and writing skills in addition to knowledge of scientific concepts and principles. Prior to August 19, 2006, the exam was a paper-and-pencil test; since January 27, 2007, however, all administrations of the exam have been computer-based.

    The new MCAT in 2015 will be offered on fourteen test dates per year. The total number of administrations will remain the same from previous years; however more administrations will occur on each test date to account for the reduction of total test dates per year. The new exam’s duration will be 7.5 hours long.

    The exam prior to MCAT 2015 was offered 25 or more times per year at Prometric centers. The number of administrations may vary each year. Most people who take the MCAT are undergraduates in college in their Junior or Senior year of college before they apply to medical school. Ever since the exam's duration was shortened to 4.5–5 hours, the test may be offered either in the morning or in the afternoon. Some test dates have both morning and afternoon administrations.



    What is the format of the MCAT?


    The new MCAT in 2015 will be first administered in April 2015.

    The test consists of four sections:

    • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
    • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
    • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
    • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

    All of the sections are in multiple-choice format. The passages and questions are predetermined, and thus do not change in difficulty depending on the performance of the test taker (unlike, for example, the Graduate Record Examination).

    Scores for the four multiple-choice sections range from 118 to 132, with 125 being the center point.

    The numerical scores from each multiple-choice section are added together to give a composite score. The composite score range for each section combined is 472 to 528. There is no penalty for incorrect multiple choice answers, thus even random guessing is preferable to leaving an answer choice blank (unlike many other standardized tests).

     

    Section Time
    Examinee Agreement
    8 min
    Tutorial
    10 min (optional)
    Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
    95 min
    Break
    10 min (optional)
    Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
    90 min
    Break
    30 min (optional)
    Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
    95 min
    Break
    10 min (optional)
    Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
    95 min
    Void Question
    5 min
    Survey
    5 min (optional)
    Total Test Time
    6 hrs 15 min
    Total Seated Time
    7 hrs 33 min

     



    Note: For test takers in 2013-2014, the Writing Sample section is removed and replaced with a voluntary Trial section.

    The test prior to the MCAT 2015 test consisted of four sections, listed in the order in which they are administered on the day of the exam:

    • Physical Sciences (PS)
    • Verbal Reasoning (VR)
    • Writing Sample
    • Biological Sciences (BS)

    The Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences, and Biological Sciences sections are in multiple-choice format. The Writing sample consists of two short essays that are typed into the computer. The passages and questions are predetermined, and thus do not change in difficulty depending on the performance of the test taker (unlike, for example, the Graduate Record Examination).

    The Physical Sciences section assesses problem-solving ability in general chemistry and physics and the Biological Sciences section evaluates these abilities in the areas of biology and organic chemistry. The Verbal Reasoning section evaluates the ability to understand, evaluate, and apply information and arguments presented in prose style. The Biological Sciences section most directly correlates to success on the USMLE Step 1 exam, with a correlation coefficient of .553 vs .491 for Physical Sciences and .397 for Verbal Reasoning. Predictably, MCAT composite scores also correlate with USMLE Step 1 success.

    Scores for the three multiple-choice sections range from 1 to 15. Scores for the writing section range alphabetically from J (lowest) to T (highest). The writing section is graded by a human reader and a computerized scoring system. Each essay is scored twice - once by the human reader and once by the computer - and the total writing sample score is the sum of the four individual scores. The total raw score is then converted to an alphabetic scale ranging from J (the lowest) to T (the highest).

    The numerical scores from each multiple-choice section are added together to give a composite score. The score from the writing sample may also be appended to the composite score (e.g. 35S). The maximum composite score is 45T. According to the AAMC, the average 2008 MCAT score for U.S. medical school applicants was 28.1P, while for matriculants it was 30.9P. There is no penalty for incorrect multiple choice answers, thus even random guessing is preferable to leaving an answer choice blank (unlike many other standardized tests). Students preparing for the exam are encouraged to try to balance their subscores; physical, verbal, and biological scores of 12, 13, and 11 respectively may be looked upon more favorably than 14, 13, and 9, even though both amount to the same composite score.

    It is recommended that every student taking the MCAT should prepare for the test beforehand. We at Ivy Global are prepared to equip you with the skills and strategies needed to maximize your results. Ivy Global offers both MCAT courses and MCAT tutoring.

     

    How can Ivy Global help me?

    Ivy Global offers full comprehensive MCAT courses in Canada and MCAT tutoring in Canada.

     

    MCAT Prep Course Toronto | MCAT Courses Montreal | MCAT Prep Courses
     
     
    . Go to USA