Unlike other pre-health admissions exams like the OAT and DAT, the MCAT is not offered throughout the entire year. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) selects about 20 MCAT test dates each year and they are all between the months of January through September. You will want to plan your MCAT studies according to an available MCAT test date. In addition, the way that MCAT score release works is unique among the other pre-health exams. With the MCAT, you have to wait about a month before you get your score report.
MCAT Test Dates & Score Release Dates
Traditionally, the MCAT has only been offered in the months of January through September. There was an exception in 2014 where the exam was offered in October, November, and December. This was because the new MCAT was launching in 2015 and students were rushing to take the old exam. As all of the seats filled up, the AAMC released additional MCAT test dates. As this change has now passed, you should not expect any other exceptions anytime soon. Below, we have provided for you the MCAT test and MCAT score release dates for 2017. You can expect MCAT test dates in future years to follow a similar schedule.
|Test Date||Score Release Date|
|Thursday - January 19||Tuesday - February 21|
|Saturday - January 28||Tuesday - February 28|
|Friday - March 31||Tuesday - May 2|
|Saturday - April 22||Tuesday - May 23|
|Friday - April 28||Tuesday - May 30|
|Saturday - May 13||Tuesday - June 13|
|Thursday - May 18||Tuesday - June 20|
|Friday - May 19||Tuesday - June 20|
|Thursday - June 1||Thursday - July 6|
|Friday - June 16||Tuesday - July 18|
|Saturday - June 17||Tuesday - July 18|
|Thursday - June 29||Tuesday - August 1|
|Friday - June 30||Tuesday - August 1|
|Friday - July 21||Tuesday - August 22|
|Saturday - July 22||Tuesday - August 22|
|Thursday - July 27||Tuesday - August 29|
|Friday - July 28||Tuesday - August 29|
|Thursday - August 3||Tuesday - September 5|
|Friday - August 11||Tuesday - September 12|
|Friday - August 18||Tuesday - September 19|
|Saturday - August 19||Tuesday - September 19|
|Thursday - August 24||Tuesday - September 26|
|Friday - September 1||Tuesday - October 3|
|Saturday - September 2||Tuesday - October 3|
|Saturday - September 9||Tuesday - October 10|
MCAT Registration Tips
- Register early– Believe it or not, MCAT registration dates fill up very quickly. Most students want to take the exam at their preferred testing location on a date that works best for them. However, the closer it is to test date, the more likely it is that all of the spots at your local testing center will be filled. I once had to drive 60 miles from home just to take the MCAT!
Registration for the MCAT is split into two phases. In October, students may begin to register for January through May test dates. June through September test dates open for registration in February. You can follow the AAMC’s twitter page to learn the exact time when registration opens. In the past, it has opened early in the morning based on the Eastern Time Zone. To ensure that you can get the MCAT test date and testing center location you want, make sure to register as soon as possible.
- Keep long-term goals in mind– When you’re picking your MCAT registration date, keep in mind that it takes about 30 days to get your scores back. So if you need to have your scores back by a certain time for your application, for instance, be sure to take score release dates into consideration.
- Know the deadlines– Each MCAT registration date has associated deadlines to reschedule or cancel your registration. Know when these deadlines are and lock them into your calendar.
- Be prepared– There are a few things you should do in advance to make registering for the MCAT a little bit easier. Sign up for an AAMC account, if you haven’t done so already, have your government-issued ID available (something like a driver’s license), and have your form of payment handy.
- Pick a date that works best for YOU– Each student has a slightly different timeline for preparing for and taking the MCAT. If you know you need more time to prepare than your friends, then register for a later date. The goal is to take the MCAT as few times as possible, so pick an MCAT registration date that you feel will best help you achieve that goal! Also, if you’re looking for some extra help consider Magoosh’s MCAT prep.
Applying to Medical Schools
To submit a complete application for medical school, you will need your MCAT score, academic transcripts, personal statement, description of activities and awards, letters of recommendation, and any additional essays required by the school. These files are submitted in two phases: the primary and second applications. The primary application is the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). To submit your AMCAS application, you need your personal statement, academic transcripts, and description of activities and awards. Once your primary application is submitted, it will have to be verified by the AMCAS.
AMCAS begins transmission of verified primary applications to medical schools on the last Friday of June. When medical schools receive your primary application, they will begin to send you their secondary applications. For 2017, the AMCAS transmission date will be June 24th. This means that students that have verified primary applications by June 24th will begin receiving secondary applications on this day. If these students submit their secondary application on the same day, medical schools will begin reviewing their complete applications. Because of the MCAT score release delay, you can see that students must take the MCAT by May if they want their application to be among the earliest reviewed by medical schools. Students that take later exams will be delayed. For example in 2017, the earliest day that a June 1st test taker could have their application reviewed is July 6th.
*Contributions to this article by Magoosh blogger April.