What Time Does the MCAT Start?

MCAT Start Time

The MCAT is an important exam, one that you cannot afford do miss. So what time does the MCAT start? The official MCAT start time is 8:00 AM. However, the actual time that you begin your exam will vary depending on how long it takes you to go through the check-in process. It will not be far off from 8:00 AM though.

Official MCAT Start Time

According to the MCAT Essentials for Testing Year 2016, the start time for all MCAT exams is 8:00 AM. Test takers do have to arrive 30 minutes before the start time to be admitted to the exam. This means you should expect to arrive no later that 7:30 AM to your testing center. You will want to take this into account when you decide what time to wake up on test day. Remember, you also need time to eat a good breakfast and for transportation to the testing center.

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Actual MCAT Start Time

Before you start your exam, you will have to go through the check-in process. The test center administrators check students in one at a time. Each student will have to sign the Signature Log, present a valid ID, have their fingerprint and photo taken, and be scanned with a metal detector. Once you have completed the process, you will be assigned a seat in the testing room and may begin the exam. All of the test takers at your center will begin the exams at different times. As check-in occurs in the order of arrival, test takers that arrive earlier will be able to begin their exams earlier. Although your actual MCAT start time will not be exactly 8:00 AM, it will be fairly close. Do make sure that you are not late, as you will not be admitted if you arrive after the start time.

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Now that you know the MCAT start time, you will want to read about what to expect on your MCAT test day and the answers to your other questions in our MCAT FAQ!


  • Ken

    Ken is a former blog writer for Magoosh who left to focus on developing novel and effective ways to help students achieve success on the MCAT exam.

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