Scratch paper on the MCAT may seem like a trivial point, but is actually a very important component to doing well. Unlike most standardized exams you may have taken up to this point, the MCAT is both computerized and also has some very stringent security measures. As a result, scratch paper on the MCAT also follows some very specific guidelines.
Do I Get Scratch Paper on the MCAT?
The good news is that yes, you do get scratch paper on the MCAT. You will get a booklet of blank paper that you can use. You cannot bring anything into the testing area except for the key to your locker at the testing site and your official identification (a passport or driver’s license). You cannot bring any papers, even blank ones, into the test. In addition to providing the scratch paper, you must turn in the scratch paper once it gets full. If you use the entire booklet, a testing administrator will bring you an entirely new book. The AAMC provides some additional guidelines for use of scratch paper: you cannot bring it outside the testing room and cannot rip out any pages.
How to Use Scratch Paper on the MCAT
Although the rules regarding scratch paper are very stringent, you can still use scratch paper to your advantage during the MCAT. It might be worthwhile to write down some formulas or equations you have had trouble remembering in stressful situations on the scratch paper to help remind you about what to use. During reading comprehension sections, you can write down notes about what the passage is about. Knowing what scratch paper is offered on the MCAT can help you come up with a strategy on how to best approach the exam and your time.