How to Register for the MCAT
- by Fehbe Meza
- Oct 04, 2019
- MCAT Blog, MCAT Info
After [hopefully] years of shadowing, volunteering, and diligently maintaining your GPA, you’ve arrived at the next big step in your journey to medical school: the Medical College Admission Test. It’s no secret the MCAT is a big deal, from its arduous length to how long it takes to prep for the MCAT and even the sprint to register for the test. MCAT exam dates are released in September, but MCAT registration opens up twice every year; you can register for January-June test dates in October and then July-September test dates the following February.
It’s worth noting that if you plan on taking the MCAT in January, you should start prepping before registration opens in October. If you wait, you’ll only have just about four months to study for the MCAT, a feat not to be taken lightly. Schedule an MCAT consultation with our Academic Managers to help find the MCAT study plan to hit your goals and fits your timeline.
It’s always a mad dash to register because popular dates and test centers fill up quickly. To help take some of that stress off, here’s how to register for the MCAT.
Create an AAMC Account
To register for the MCAT exam, you need to create an account with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Be aware that it’s not unusual for the AAMC to do some system maintenance the closer it gets to the registration date, so you might be temporarily barred from signing up. You’ll then receive your unique AAMC ID. You might already have an AAMC ID if you’ve ever purchased or accessed other AAMC products/services, including the Medical School Admissions Requirements™ (MSAR®) database, the AAMC Fee Assistance Program, the American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®), or AAMC prep products. Never create multiple AAMC IDs—if you can’t remember it, there are options on the log-in page to request help.
Pre-Register for the MCAT
A few days before registration opens, the AAMC will allow you to pre-register for the MCAT, which is slightly less exciting than it sounds. You’ll be able to complete some of the required information including your contact and background information and agree to the terms. You won’t, however, have the option to select a date and location at this point. Starting the registration process early will allow you more time to enter your personal information and read/accept MCAT policies and forms before choosing a test.
If you’re applying for the Fee Assistance Program (FAP) you need to apply immediately! There is a 2-week turn-around and reduced fees are NOT retroactive. You must have FAP approval BEFORE you register for the exam.
Find out if You’re Eligible to Take the MCAT
If you’re reading this, you probably already hit the main criteria, which is you’re preparing to apply to a health professions program that accepts the MCAT to satisfy an admissions test requirement. However, you should be aware of the MCAT testing limits, especially if this isn’t your first time taking the test.
– You may only be registered for one MCAT at a time
– You can only take the MCAT up to three times in one testing year
– You can only take the MCAT up to four times over two consecutive testing years
– You can only take the MCAT seven times in your lifetime (beginning with the April 2015 administrations)
On Registration Day
You should have an idea of what MCAT exam date you want, and a few backups just in case before the registration date. And yes, you guessed it, the other thing harder than registering for the MCAT is choosing dates. Once registration opens up, log-into your AAMC account and have your credit card ready. You’ll be asked to select a test date, state, and then a testing location. If your state isn’t listed, then all of the seats for that date have been filled. Remember, it’s first-come, first-served. There might be “TBD sites” available, which are sites within a 40-mile radius of a metropolitan area. If the option is available for you, only choose it as an absolute necessity and if you’re prepared to travel.
MCAT fees seem to change every year, so it’s important to always stay up-to-date on the fee schedule to avoid sticker shock at registration time. Below are the 2020 MCAT Fees:
Regular Registration: $320
International Fee: $115
Date and/or Test Center Reschedule: $95-$160
The AAMC has a fee assistance program (FAP) for students who would otherwise be unable to take the exam or apply to medical schools. If you qualify for the program, your fees are reduced and you get a slew of other benefits when applying to medical schools!
FAP Registration: $130
FAP Reschedule: $50-$75
After you register for the MCAT, you will receive a confirmation from the AAMC within 24 hours; if not, contact them immediately. Then, the fun stuff begins, i.e. MCAT prep! Before you ask, you definitely should use the official AAMC MCAT prep resources, but we know that’s not enough for students trying to break into those high percentiles. That’s why Next Step students receive the AAMC resources with our Online MCAT Course. Need help figuring out your MCAT prep? Contact our Student Advisors!
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