Last Updated: October 25, 2023
The MCAT examination is conducted by the AAMC as a standardized test for medical schools to provide admission to aspirants. The exam has an interdisciplinary approach with 4 sections and it is conducted with a time duration of 7 hours and 30 minutes including the breaks. The exam is offered by AAMC multiple times a year in their test centers throughout the world.
Registering for the MCAT has to be done meticulously since every detail the candidate enters must be true to the word as it cannot be changed and they might not be able to correct it eventually. It should be noted that the candidate may take the exam a total of only seven times in their lifetime and that entering incorrect information during registration can make them lose one of their chances.
Eligibility for Registering for MCAT
The only eligibility criterion for registering for the exam is that the student must be preparing to attend a health professions program. They should also not be enrolled in a health professions program at the time of registration. The programs they are going to apply to with their MCAT scores can be
- MD programs
- DO programs
- DPM programs
- DVM programs
- Other health-related programs that accept MCAT for admission
Obtaining Special Permission to take MCAT
Students who are not going to apply for admission to a medical school must request Special Permission through their registration portal. The eligibility requirements for requesting special permission are as follows-
- Candidate needs to take the exam for reasons other than applying for a health-professions program.
- Candidate is already enrolled in a health professions program but wants to change schools. Candidates who have been accepted into a health-professional program but have not enrolled in classes yet are not required to apply for the Special Permission.
- Candidate cannot comply with all the AAMC guidelines due to reasons other than disability or medical conditions.
- Candidate is currently employed by a test preparation company dealing with MCAT preparation products and courses.
The candidate must have an AAMC ID with the Personal Information section completed in order to apply for the Special Permission. Students who have not taken the Special Permission will not be allowed to take the test under any circumstance. It will be considered as a Registration and Scheduling Violation.
Eligibility Requirements for International Examinees
International students do not have any additional requirements to apply for MCAT. Students who are pursuing their bachelor of medicine or bachelor of surgery program or hold an MBBS degree are allowed to register for the examination as long as they are going to attend a health professional program. They are not required to apply for Special Permission.
MCAT Registration Process
- Step 1: Create an AAMC ID- The first step in registering for the MCAT exam is to create an AAMC ID. Candidates can create the ID by logging in to the MCAT Registration System where they will have to enter their personal information and create a username and password. In case the candidate already has an AAMC ID which they created for purchasing Official Prep materials or for applying for the AAMC Fee Assistance Program, they only have to log in using their existing credentials. It is imperative that students do not create a new ID even if they have forgotten their old password since this will be considered a violation and they will not be allowed to take the test.
- Step 2: Start Exam Registration- Students will be able to find this link once they have logged in to the MCAT Registration System. The candidate will have to provide personal information which should be the same as the information available in the Identification document they are going to produce at the test center. Discrepancies in the information provided in the registration system and the identification document can make the candidate lose their chance at writing the examination.
- Step 3: Schedule the MCAT Exam- Candidates will be required to select a test date and center in this step. In case there are no seats available in the test location and date of their choice there will be an option to notify them of available seats in their preferred location.
- Step 4: Pay to Complete the Registration- Candidates will be able to pay for the examination once they have scheduled their test date and location. The cost to register for the examination is $320 even though AAMC does provide a Fee Assistance Program under specific conditions where the candidate will only have to pay $130.
Identification Document Requirements
The identification document provided by the candidate must have the following information on it-
- The candidate's first and last names must EXACTLY MATCH the name(s) and name order on their ID (which they will use on test day).
- The ID should contain the candidate’s visible signature.
- The photo in the ID should be enough to identify the candidate.
- ID must be whole without any evidence of tampering.
- ID must be issued by a government agency.
- The expiry date on the ID must be printed on it and not a sticker or extension of any sort.
- The ID must not have expired on or before the scheduled test date. The candidate is responsible for updating the ID in such cases.
- The ID must be in English.
The documents that are accepted and generally recommended as identification documents are the State Driver’s License
. Cross-check whether the above criteria are fulfilled in these two recommended documents before submitting them.
Violating the conditions placed by AAMC can result in the candidate losing one of their attempts at taking the MCAT. They might even be banned from taking the examination for a particular period of time considering the violation that has been made. The violations listed that ought to be avoided during registration are-
- Candidates should not obtain more than one AAMC ID.
- Candidate should not register under another person’s AAMC ID.
- Candidates should not let another person register using their AAMC ID.
- Candidates should not let another person use their ID to take the MCAT.
- Candidate should not have multiple appointments made for the exam at the same time.
- Candidates should not provide fake information while registering for the exam.
- Candidate should not sell/give away their AAMC appointment to others.
- Candidate should not purchase an AAMC ID from another person.
- Candidates are not allowed to switch registrations with another examinee.
Depending upon the seriousness of the violation made by the candidate, AAMC will have the right to punish the candidate accordingly, sometimes even not letting the candidate attempt the MCAT again.