What Is the MCAT Exam?
The MCAT exam, or Medical College Admission Test, is an exam that potential medical students must take. It is a standardized and multiple-choice exam requirement to receive acceptance into medical schools in the United States and Canada.
This exam is administered by the AAMC, or Association of American Medical Colleges, to ensure that medical schools have a formal method for comparing different applicants’ readiness and overall qualifications for medical school. Typically, a medical school admission professional will evaluate your MCAT score and academic records to determine if you have the proper foundation for a career in medicine. A higher score on the MCAT will result in a positive impact on your medical school application. Most individuals who pass and receive a high score on their MCAT exams receive acceptance into their medical school of choice.
The MCAT will cover many different fields of study, including chemistry, biology, biochemistry, sociology, psychology, physics, and more. The test will also test your ability to think critically and critical reasoning. Passing the MCAT will require more than just studying specific content. You’ll also need to be good at critical reasoning and thinking.
What Is on the MCAT Test?
The MCAT is divided into a few different sections, though the subjects for each section are not mutually exclusive. There will be overlapping areas in terms of subject, which is naturally how a medical student will encounter issues while in med school. The sections include the following:
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behaviour
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
For each section, the student scores from 118 to 132. The total score for the exam is from 472 to 528. There will be forty-four passage questions, fifteen independent questions, and fifty-nine questions in total. The time limit to complete the test is 95 minutes.
How Do I Study for the MCAT?
There are many best practices for studying for the MCAT. To start, take a mock MCAT online to see your “baseline” score before studying. Practice will give you a good idea of where you are and what study practices you’ll need to implement. We recommend taking as many complete practice tests as possible, as these will give you more confidence when taking the actual test. It’s also essential to manage your stress while studying for the MCAT test, as the test conditions require focus and speed.
MCAT Exam FAQs
The MCAT appropriately assesses if a potential medical student has the conceptual knowledge and critical reasoning skills needed to succeed in medical school and the field.
In general, a good MCAT score is 127 out of the 132 points for each section. In total, a good score would be at least 508 out of 528. Students should strive for this score to enter most medical schools in the United States and Canada. If you want to score in the 90th percentile and grab the attention of your school’s admission team, try to aim for a score of 515 or greater. Any score over 517 is considered very good.
However, a perfect score is tough to achieve. The highest possible score under the current MCAT is 528. Among the highest-ranking medical schools in the United States, the median score was about 517 in 2020.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, anyone can take the MCAT and plan to apply to a medical school in the U.S. or Canada. Any student interested in becoming a physician or even a veterinarian can take the MCAT exam. Any pre-med student will have this opportunity.
The MCAT will cost students a minimum of $320 to take. For individuals who are late to register but manage to register within eight days of the MCAT test date, that cost will be $375. Students who need to reschedule their test date to change the specific location of their test centre of choice will have to pay an extra $95. For international students, there is also a $115 fee.
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How Do I Become a MCAT Tutor?
If you have a passion for teaching others and love MCAT, becoming a MCAT tutor is easy. You need a minimum of a high school degree or GED to start teaching kindergarten and middle school grade levels. You may need a degree in a specialist subject for higher-level MCAT courses depending on the level of practice you plan to teach. The costs of MCAT tutors vary because you will set your pay rates and time schedules depending on your own experience and circumstances.
Your first step will be to decide which topics you’d like to tutor. Then choose the age groups and grade levels you want to teach. Learn the curriculum and critical concepts for those grade levels. And lastly, establish your teaching methods, tools, and eventually, you will create your own course materials over time as you get more experience working with students.
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