Knowing when to take the MCAT is one of the most important aspects of taking the exam, yet you rarely hear anyone talk about it. Timing is so important when it comes to applying to medical school and, as such, most students aim to submit their completed applications as early as possible. In a perfect world, you would have your stellar MCAT score report back in time to submit a complete application by June 1, which is usually the first day that the AAMC accepts primary applications. However, sometimes things don’t always go according to plan, and studying for the MCAT gets pushed further and further down on your list of priorities. If this sounds like you, don’t worry, rescheduling MCAT exam days is more common than you might think.
The number ONE thing to consider for postponing your MCAT
The most important thing to consider when rescheduling the MCAT is your preparation. How prepared do you really feel to take the exam? A lot of students elect to take the exam before they are truly prepared as a trial run, but this is not a very good strategy. Despite your best efforts, you still may need to re-take the MCAT. So you don’t want to throw away one of your attempts by doing a trial run. In short, it is crucial that you don’t take the MCAT before you are truly ready. To get ready you should create a study plan and give yourself ample time to learn and review content in addition to answering plenty of practice problems under timed conditions.
What if I already registered but now need to reschedule the MCAT?
MCAT rescheduling after you’ve already registered is actually a pretty common occurrence. For this reason, the AAMC gives premeds options to cancel or reschedule the exam. MCAT registration deadlines are divided into 3 categories: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. You can reschedule or cancel the exam for a partial refund before the Gold Zone deadline, you can reschedule or cancel (no refund) before the Silver Zone deadline, and you can cancel only (no refund) before the Bronze Zone deadline. Granted, there are fees associated with each of these deadlines, but they give test takers some flexibility up until about a week before the exam, which is when Bronze Zone deadlines are.