Last Updated: April 10, 2021
MCAT COVID-19 Related FAQs
AAMC has brought in a few many changes to MCAT due to the COVID-19 situation in the world. The changes reflect in the test-day rules and regulations along with the accommodations made for students during the exam. They have added health and safety requirements that have to be adhered to by the candidates. These changes that have been made create confusions and questions that have to be clarified regarding the test. The most frequently asked questions have been amassed here for easy reference.
For how long is the registration open since the pandemic?
Due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, registration is open for only 3 months at a time making it easier to adjust the testing program according to the most recent health and safety guidelines. The information regarding the same will be provided in an up-to-date manner on the registration page.
Can candidates reschedule their exams due to restrictions related to COVID-19?
The fee for rescheduling and canceling the exams have been waived off by AAMC now. Students can reschedule their exam for free until their Bronze deadline which is 8 days prior to the test. But if they have to cancel their test after this time, they are supposed to submit an Emergency Refund Request.
Is there a possibility of the exam getting canceled? How will candidates know about this?
In case the exam has been canceled due to unprecedented events, AAMC or Pearson VUE will send an email to the candidate mentioning the exam has been canceled. The email will also contain information regarding the rescheduling of the exam. Unless the candidate has received one such email, it is to be assumed that the exam will be conducted as planned.
Why are the exams of some students being canceled even when the test center is holding exams?
COVID-19 restrictions have made the AAMC reduce the number of candidates per test to be limited. Since they are reducing the number of candidates, the test may stand canceled for some students whose exams will be rescheduled to a later date so as to adhere to the occupancy limitations.
What should a candidate do if they have to travel to take the test?
Students are requested to not travel further than necessary for the MCAT exam. If it is necessary that they do, they are requested to keep track of the travel regulations of their state and of the location of their test center. Travel requirements will have to be fulfilled before scheduling the exam.
Is it necessary to cancel the scheduled exam to apply for a later date?
As long as the student hasn’t crossed the Bronze deadline, they can reschedule their test to any later date. If they have passed the deadline, they have to cancel their exam by requesting an emergency refund and then register again.
Are healthcare workers allowed to take the exam?
Yes, healthcare workers who have come into close contact with people with COVID-19 are permitted to attend the test as long as both the patient and the healthcare worker wore personal protective equipment during the interaction.
What should the candidate do if they feel sick on the test day?
It is advised that candidates do not go to the test center if they feel sick on the test day. They are required to file an emergency refund request and will be able to schedule another exam 24 hours after the test date.
Can students who have been exposed to COVID-19 or have been tested positive in the recent past take the test?
Candidates cannot take the test if they have been exposed to COVID-19 or have tested positive within the last 14 days of the exam date. They are requested to apply for an emergency refund through the MCAT registration system and register for a later date.
How are candidates expected to wear the mask during the test?
Candidates are required to wear a mask during the test without which they will not be allowed to enter the test center. Test centers expect students to wear multi-layered masks, cloth masks, or a cloth mask over a disposable mask in order to limit the transition. Masks like KN95 or KN94 should not be worn with a second mask. Candidates are not allowed to wear face shields and ventilated masks to the test.
Are candidates assured of their safety while they consume the food and drink that has been brought?
AAMC understands the safety concerns of students and though they have reduced the test center capacity and most centers have large waiting rooms, students are allowed to step out to each and drink. This is allowed in the cases where students have inhibitions of taking off their masks in the test center even if it is to eat or drink the food they have brought.
But during this time, students are not allowed to access any study material or digital devices including mobile mobiles which will be considered an Examinee Agreement Violation. Candidates are expected to return to their seats before break time ends.
Will there be online-proctored examinations available for MCAT?
No, AAMC has decided to not conduct online-proctored exams for the MCAT examination. Due to the lack of ways to ensure equal access to testing locations and test integrity they have ruled against this option. All tests conducted as of now are in test centers.
What are the options available for immunocompromised students to take the test?
Immunocompromised students can apply for accommodations while registering for the test. This will require prior approval and the student will have to provide additional information regarding their health for the same. Students who are unable to gather the necessary documentation to avail accommodation for the test can contact AAMC through email@example.com. Applications pertaining to this issue will be dealt on a case-by-case format and it is to be understood that applying does not guarantee a positive outcome.
How should candidates submit their mailed-in documentation during COVID-19?
It is recommended that initial applications should be made only through the MCAT Accommodations Online System. Other requests pertaining to Extensions, Reconsiderations, Appeals, Accommodation Financial Benefits, etc. should be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.