Getting admission into medical school has always been a dream to many, and being a medical professional is by far one of the most interesting career paths in life.
As a kid, you have always dreamt of becoming a physician, and what was just taken as a childhood fantasy is now an achievable career option.
It is now the period to take some necessary steps to make the dream a reality. One of the steps to take is writing the MCAT exam. You will have heard tales of how grueling and intimidating the MCAT examination is, but the best way to handle the stress and scary tales surrounding this test is to be truly informed about the test.
In this article, we will tell you the things you need to know before deciding to take the MCAT test.
Things you need to know before taking the MCAT
• You need to know the basics: The MCAT which is an acronym for Medical College Admission Test is a very important part of the admission requirements to get into medical school in the United States, Canada, Australia, the Caribbean Islands, and 15 other countries in the world.
The test is written by over 85,000 students every year and has been administered for over 80 years. The content of the MCAT is divided into four sections namely, Biological and Biochemical Foundations of living systems, Chemical and physical foundations of biological systems, Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS), and Psychological, Social and Biological foundations of behavior.
The MCAT is written about 25 times in a year, from January to September. The test was developed and is been administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
• You should be familiar with the registration details: Before you decide to take the MCAT, be sure to get familiar with the registration details, the dates, the registration fees, deadlines, and rescheduling procedures and the fees it attracts.
There are lots of exams dates and deadline types, the AAMC decided to make available a detailed breakdown of MCAT deadlines for each zone. You can visit the AAMC website to get the detailed breakdown of the MCAT deadlines and rescheduling.
You should also be aware of the MCAT registration fee which is $310, which will cover the cost of the test and also the release of your score. However, there are added fees for late registration, exam location changes, and registration changes.
• You should know how the scoring system works: There are four sections to be answered in your MCAT exam. You are graded based on how many answers you got right in the different sections, and the total answers are accumulated to form the total score.
Every section is scored between 118-132, when the total score for each section is calculated, the total scores then fall into different percentile range.
The total score in the MCAT ranges from 472-528, but the average score to be considered for admission is set at 509.
• MCAT scores are important, but not the only crucial requirement: Lots of medical schools consider different requirements for them to offer a student admission.
One of those requirements is the MCAT, but other requirements considered are your academic strength, personal statements, extracurricular activities, personal recommendations, interview, life experiences, and the drive to help others, impact on your community, and then if your values align with the institution's value.