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MCAT exam – Importance, Exam Dates, and Goal Scores

How important of a factor is the MCAT?

The MCAT is required for the vast majority of US MD and DO schools. Although most competitive medical schools will look for a composite score of 30 and above, medical school admissions is largely a holistic process. This means that the MCAT, while an important factor, is unlikely to be the most important factor of your application. An average MCAT score will not break your candidacy, and a great MCAT score will not necessarily guarantee admissions.

When should I take the MCAT?

Aim to take the MCAT after the completion of all your prerequisites (physics, organic chemistry, and general chemistry). Upper-level science classes such as anatomy, cell biology, genetics, and biochemistry may also prove useful. In general, you should take the MCAT the year before you plan to matriculate (for example, if you plan on entering medical school in fall of 2015, you should take the exam in early or mid-2014).

When can I take the MCAT?

You can find the MCAT test dates for the next six months listed below:

March 22, 2014

April 5, 2014

April 11, 2014

April 24, 2014

May 8, 2014

May 17, 2014

May 22, 2014

May 31, 2014

June 5, 2014

June 13, 2014

June 21, 2014

Can I retake the MCAT?

Yes you can! In fact, nearly half of all MCAT takers choose to sit for the exam again due to dissatisfaction with their score. Although retakes are commonplace, they should be avoided if at all possible. Medical schools have access to your scores from all administrations of the MCAT. Some will consider your best score, some will consider your most recent score, and some will consider the average of all your exams. I recommend taking a look at the website of your favorite medical schools to see which exact procedure they employ.

What should I aim for on the MCAT?

As high as possible! In general, though, the average score for successful applicants to MD schools has hovered around a 30, while the average score for successful DO applicants has hovered around a 26.