When to Sign Up for the MCAT

Written and edited by the MCAT Self Prep Tutoring Team

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How do I sign up for my MCAT test date? 

New MCAT test dates for a given year are generally released in October the year before (dates in 2024 will be released Oct 2023). Spots tend to fill up quickly once they are released, so we recommend following the AAMC MCAT twitter to ensure you sign up as soon as they are released. The calendar for all possible exam dates and their score release dates can be found on the AAMC’s website. Seats fill up early, and some students end up traveling hundreds of miles because they registered a little too late. However, it’s better to take the exam on the day that works best for you rather than take the exam on a wrong day in your ideal location. 

What test date is right for you? 

The best answer is to take the exam when you’re ready. The MCAT is such an important piece of your application that your goal should be to perform well enough that you only take the exam once. While it is possible to retake the exam, the process is time-consuming and mentally draining. 

Choosing the correct exam date is critical to your success. Finding a date depends on a lot of factors, but you may want to seriously consider two of them:

(1) Pick a date that will maximize your chances for medical school acceptance. You will want to apply to medical school as early as you can as medical schools admit students on a rolling basis. For AMCAS (applying to MD schools) that means submitting your application at the beginning of June. Since forwarding your application from AMCAS to your medical schools will take about a month, choose an exam date with an exam release date before the end of June. This means you should take the MCAT in the spring if you are applying the same year that you tackle the MCAT. You’ll need to wait about 4 weeks to receive your MCAT score after the exam too, so the latest dates with early score releases are in the end of May and early June. If you plan to apply the following year, you can take the exam during the time that best fits your schedule.

(2) Pick a date that allows for adequate preparation. Most successful students choose to study hundreds of hours for the MCAT over the span of 3-9 months. We recommend planning your timeline months before you start your MCAT studies to allow yourself to free up as much time as possible. Take a light semester. Work part-time if you can. Additionally, successful students generally incorporate a month of full-time study (50-70 hrs/week) for the month before the exam date. Find a date, or shift your schedule, to allow for a month free of any outside commitments like school, work, etc., leaving you the ability to pack in a month of full-time MCAT prep. Using MCAT Self Prep, we will walk you through this month-long bootcamp.

How much does it cost to sign up for the MCAT?

$325! Applying for medical school in unbelievably expensive. That’s why we created MCAT Self Prep, to provide students with a low-cost alternative to the massive prep companies! From the MCAT to medical school applications and interviews, it’s not rare to spend over $10,000. But don’t spend thousands more on a test prep company! Using our Free eCourse, you will learn how to get all your MCAT prep materials for less than a few hundred dollars! We also offer private, online one-on-one MCAT tutoring sessions starting at just $149 each! During your first session, you and your tutor will be able to analyze your situation and determine the very best test date for you as well as work with you to make a personal and individualized study plan. We are here to help. Not sure where to start? Please start with a free consultation.

Warm regards,

Andrew George

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