Last Updated: October 29, 2023
MCAT Test Day
The MCAT examination is conducted by AAMC in order to have a standardized test that can assess the abilities of examinees equally upon the same grounds. They do this by providing an interdisciplinary approach to the test along with a fair, consistent, and secure testing condition for all the test-takers.
Due to the importance of the test in securing admission to any medical school in the U.S., the rules and regulations from the time of registration to the procedures to follow on test day. The necessary information
Reaching the Test Center
- Candidates are requested to enter the test center and report to the authorized people at least 30 minutes before the exam time. Test centers generally open exactly 30 minutes before the test and this will help the students reach first and compose themselves before the test.
- The student will be required to check in, store their belongings in the lockers provided, and prepare for the examination in this time duration.
- Being unable to reach on time for the examination will make the candidate lose their chance at attempting the examination. They will be marked as a “No-Show” and will not be eligible for refunds.
What is a No-Show in MCAT?
Candidates are marked as No-Shows when they do not show up on the test date in the test center. This is applicable to students who arrive late for the examination and are not allowed to sit the test. It is also applicable to students who are not admitted for the test due to improper identification or other policy violations. Being marked as a No-Show will not be reported to the schools and universities that had been applied to the student.
Failing to attend the examination under any circumstance will be counted toward the number of attempts the candidate has to take the exam. These students will not be granted a refund.
What is the Check-In Process for MCAT?
Test takers are admitted to the testing room when they arrive at the test center and seated in their respective seats one at a time by the Administrator. This is done through the following steps which may vary in the order in which it is done by the center. The procedure is as follows-
- Reviewing Regulations- Candidates will be provided with the AAMC Candidate Rules Agreement which has to be read thoroughly since it contains the standard center rules and regulations. The regulations can change according to the test center and violating these regulations will terminate the exam and the candidate will be subject to disciplinary action.
- Verifying the ID- The Administrator will ask for the candidate’s identification document which has to be the same as the one used to register for the examination. This ID is digitally authenticated and can be scanned fully or partially by the Administrator and digitally stored.
- Digital Signature- Candidates are required to provide their digital signature during check-in to verify that the person who registered for the examination and the person taking the test is the same. This signature is also taken as an agreement by the candidate to adhere to the rules and regulations of the examination and the test center.
- Palm Vein Scan- This is an uncommon method of verification used by the AAMC where the candidate’s palm veins will be scanned by a near-infrared light source. It is done to prevent proxy testers and validate the MCAT scores acquired.
- Photograph- During the check-in process, a digital passport-style photograph of the candidate will be captured by the test center which will be used for the investigation procedures by AAMC.
Storing Personal Belongings
All personal belongings brought to the test center by the candidate have to be stored away in the sealed bags provided by the test center. These bags should remain sealed until the end of the examination. The seal of the bags will be broken by the Administrator at the end of the examination. Students with special needs may request prior permission to keep necessary items during the test.
Items that can be brought to the test center
- MCAT accepted ID
Items provided by the test center
- Storage Key
- Note-board booklet
- Fine-point marker
What is a Test-Day Certification Statement in MCAT?
The MCAT exam can only be taken by students who are planning to be admitted to a medical school. Due to this, the students are required to certify the same by agreeing to the terms mentioned on the Test-Day Certification page.
This is also an agreement that states the penalty for not following the rules and regulations mentioned along with confirmation that the student has not given or received information regarding the questions that can appear on that particular test.
Decorum in Testing Room
- Students must have their ID visible on the desk at all times.
- The time provided is specific to each section and students can choose to move on to other sections. However, it has to be noted that the time from the break or the time remaining from the previous sections will not be carried forward to the next section.
- The instructions provided by the Administrator must be followed within the test center at all times.
- The test center is closely monitored and visuals are recorded and saved through a closed-circuit digital video recording system.
- In case the candidate faces any problems during the test or wants to leave the premises, they are supposed to raise their hand and wait until the administrator arrives and escort them outside.
What to do in the Optional Break?
There will be 3 optional breaks provided in all during the test out of which 2 are 10-minute breaks and the 3rd one is a 30-minute break. Students must take note that if they take untimed breaks the testing time will be running and they will lose precious time. Students will not be permitted to wear a watch to keep track of time so they should make use of the clocks in the room or enquire the same to the instructors in the test center. It is understood that the student will keep track of the time during breaks.
- Students are not allowed to leave the test center before the completion of the test even during the break.
- Time breaks by providing time for redoing the check-in procedure before the next section begins.
- It is recommended that students bring their food and drinks for the test since they will not be permitted to eat from outside during the breaks.
- The food can be stored in the lockers provided but cannot be refrigerated or heated up in microwaves during the break.
Scoring/Voiding the Exam
Upon the completion of the test, students have the option of scoring or voiding the test depending on how the student has performed. It is recommended that students don’t void their test since they only have a limited number of attempts in all.
- Notifying the instructor to void the exam is not accepted as an official statement. The student must click on the applicable prompt that shows up on the page.
- If the student is certain that they have underperformed in the test, they must void the test since the incomplete scores will be released and will remain in the student’s test history.
- If a student has voided one of their exams it will be visible on the score report sent to medical institutions later.
Issues Stopping the Candidate from Finishing their Exam
It is recommended that the candidate files a Test Center Concern if workstation failures, power outages, or other test-day problems prevent the candidate from finishing their exam.
- The AAMC may, at its absolute discretion, allow the test-taker to retake the test at no additional cost or receive a partial or full refund of the registration fee in lieu of receiving a score in the unlikely event that the test administration service is not successfully delivered or completed.
- The AAMC retains the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel the candidates' exam scores in the extremely unlikely event that an anomaly arises and affects one of the standardized aspects to the point where the candidate may have been unjustly harmed or favored. In these situations, the test-taker, medical school, or any other interested parties will not be informed of the raw or scaled score. The AAMC will use all reasonable efforts to arrange for the candidate to retake the exam at a later date.
- If a candidate feels that a question was unclear, redundant, or repetitive, they should let the AAMC know no later than five calendar days after the exam.