THE MEDICAL COLLEGE ADMISSION TEST® (MCAT®) IS A STANDARDIZED MULTIPLE-CHOICE EXAM USED TO HELP DETERMINE MEDICAL SCHOOL ADMISSION AND SUCCESS. THE TEST ASSESSES PROBLEM SOLVING, CRITICAL THINKING, AND NATURAL, BEHAVIORAL, AND SOCIAL SCIENCE CONCEPTS RELATIVE TO THE PREREQUISITES FOR THE STUDY OF MEDICINE.
Okay, but what is it really? Well for an average premed, it is the second most important exam of your life (first is you end up not doing well, second if you go to med school and preparing for USMLE. You will spend about 7.5 hours sitting and 6.25 hours thinking super hard. The score you get is determined by percentiles (find here) and allows medical schools (and some other schools) to compare you with other students regardless of any other factor. It is like your golden ticket to the Willy Wonka factory. You can use it to open the gates, but that doesn't always let you stay. In order to impress Willy Wonka (ie your dream med school) you need to get a 507+ or 85th percentile. IE you need to be in the best 15% of test takers (~10,000 a year).
Your med school looks are scores in this scale:
It makes no sense. We know. Check our other blog to figure that out. You want to aim for 129-132 in every section on your practice tests to get a 507+.
Here is what your test day will look like:
Okay, how in the world do you study for a 7.5 hour test? Check our other blog to find out! You need to begin by making a plan, registering in a course, or hiring a tutor.
Here are the dates to take the exam (register WAY before).
You need to study harder than 85% of people. You need to study for as long as you need. This means you need to do more, as much as possible. This exam is a BIG DEAL. It is worth more than that GPA you spent 2-4 years on. It is worth more than every single activity and background experience that convinced you medicine is your dream. It is worth more than EVERYTHING. You need to invest your time, effort, and energy and work AS HARD AS POSSIBLE to get into med school. Good luck!