Introduction to the MCAT Examination

The MCAT or the Medical College Admission Test is a mandatory test required by all medical schools in the United States and Canada. A good score in the MCAT along with good scores in high school exams will help one secure a medical seat in a good university. It is a selection factor for the universities’ administration council to determine which students to give admission to. The MCAT is administered by AAMC, the American Association of Medical Colleges twice a year; once in August and once in April. Previously, applicants spent the whole day at the testing center as the examination used to last for about 9 and half hours. Now, the timing has reduced to about 5 hours. Until 2006, the exam was a paper and pencil test but since then it has been made a computer based test.

Prometric Ltd conducts this test around 25 times every year. It can be taken up both in the morning and afternoons. The applicants who take this test are usually in the junior or senior year of college and will take up medicine after their graduation.
The exam tests one’s ability to solve simple and complicated problems, critical thinking, writing skills and analysis. In addition to this, the students’ knowledge on scientific concepts and fundamentals learnt in high school are tested. The test paper consists of questions that appear in the following sections, in the particular order:
  1. Physical Sciences (PS)
  2. Verbal Reasoning (VR)
  3. Writing Sample (WS)
  4. Biological Sciences (BS)
The Physical and biological sciences as well as the verbal reasoning sections contain questions in the multiple choice format. However, in the writing sample, there will be two essays that have to be answered. The test is computer based, unlike the GRE, which is computer adaptive, so that the order of the questions are pre-determined and not appear on the basis of the students’ performance during the test.
The number of questions in the physical and biological sciences section is 77 each and they have to be completed in 1 hour 40 minutes. The verbal reasoning consists of 65 questions and needs to be completed in 1 hour and 15 minutes. The time for writing two essays in the writing section is 60 minutes. The average scores for each section of the MCAT are, 9.5 for verbal reasoning, 9.9 for physical sciences and 10.2 for the biological sciences.
Registration for the MCAT: 

As the test is offered twice a year, students can register online from January onwards.

The test fee is $200 per applicant. However, the AAMC free assistance program offers a free deduction or a total waiver for some students who are selected based on some criteria. For more information on the registration process for the MCAT, one can visit the website,

Taking the MCAT test in India:

The MCAT is offered in India in one city, New Delhi. The computer based test is conducted at: 

Prometric Senior Plaza 160-A 
Gautam Nagar 
New Delhi, India 
110 049


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