A Few Words About the MCAT Test
Are you interested in studying medicine in order to become a physician (MD or DO)?
Well, after completing your undergraduate degree, there’s still one major bridge you’ll need to cross before starting your actual med school application journey.
The Medical College Admission Test, more commonly referred to as the MCAT, is a national, multi-part, standardized test required for admission to nearly all medical schools in the United States.
This mandatory, computer-based entrance exam is designed to assess whether prospective medical students possess critical thinking and problem-solving skills and to measure their knowledge in a range of natural, behavioral, and social science subjects.
The MCAT tries to create a more equal playing field for applicants who come from varied and diverse backgrounds.
Admissions committees use this important tool to gauge applicants’ preparedness for the unique challenges of medical education.
The four test sections are as follows:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems (“Bio/Biochem”)
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems (“Chem/Phys”)
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (“CARS”)
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior (“Psyc/Soc”)
The MCAT is 7 hours and 30 minutes long, including break times.
Each section is graded on a scale from 118 to 132, and test takers receive individual scores for each section in addition to the total score.
The complete MCAT score is the sum of each section’s score, which ranges from 472 to 528. It is valid for up to three years.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) develops the MCAT test and administers it multiple times every year.
Test dates and registration information can be found on the official AAMC website.
Studying for the MCAT Online
Finding a good MCAT prep course is one of the most important steps on the way to becoming a doctor.
A structured study plan includes all of the content, educational materials, and training resources you’ll need to pass the test and achieve your target score.
Remember, the MCAT is a long, grueling, and comprehensive test that covers a tremendous amount of material.
Needless to say, it requires a great deal of preparation, self-discipline, and practice.
The sooner you start studying, the more time you’ll have to learn, improve, and maximize your chances of success.
The test-prep industry offers a variety of teaching methods: self-paced, on-demand courses, live video-based classes, and one-on-one private tutoring.
For those who prefer more traditional settings, learning in a physical classroom in the student’s local area is also an option.
Each student can choose his or her own type according to their preferred learning style, schedule, and budget.
Every company in this market offers different levels of flexibility, material comprehensiveness, instructor assistance, and user customization, so it’s important to compare all of the options before choosing a given program.
How Guaranteed MCAT Score Improvement Works
Some of the services that operate in the online test prep industry offer a guaranteed score increase or other types of specific results.
Each MCAT preparation website has its own terms and conditions regarding how their individual policy works.
However, in general, this type of guarantee often means that you should be able to hit a particular score threshold or increase your overall score by a certain number of points.
If the MCAT prep course does not produce the promised results and as long as you meet all of the other eligibility requirements that were set by the program’s provider, you are entitled to a partial or full tuition refund or, alternatively, to some other form of compensation, benefit, or corrective measure.
In addition to the guaranteed score results, some MCAT study and practice websites offer a general money-back guarantee for a short period of time (a few days or a week, in most cases).
During the specified timeframe, if you are not satisfied with how the course works, you can cancel your membership and ask for a refund.
A free trial may also be available with some services.