The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a pre-requisite for those aspiring to make their careers in the Medical sector. This is because; an overwhelming majority of Medical Schools in the United States and a growing number of those across the border in Canada accept these scores for screening admissions.
The test layout is standardized and features questions in the multiple-choice format. The MCAT tests for the problem solving and critical thinking abilities of the applicants. This is in addition to the core knowledge requirements of the concepts pertaining to the medical field.
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About the test
MCAT – What is it?
The Medical College Admission Test known by its acronym MCAT is a pre-requisite for gaining entry into most medical school programs. A computer based test (CBT), each aspirant gets about five hours to attempt it. Given that only a single attempt is allowed for each candidate, preparation becomes hyper-critical.
MCAT test scores are often held as an important barometer of one’s potential for succeeding at med school. The MCAT evaluates candidates for their performance in key skills that one would need in their medical career. These include generic skills such as writing and verbal reasoning, besides knowledge about core, biological science. The MCAT is often considered to be one of the toughest to score, considering the intensive nature of the questions and the duration (5 ½ Hours).
Canada medical schools too aren’t that far behind their North American counterparts when it comes to believing in the integrity of MCAT. Many schools have a cut-off percentage to filter applications.
Testing Times with the MCAT
Attempting a computer based test and one that is as lengthy as the MCAT is no easy task. Each section i.e. Sciences (Physical & Biological), writing and verbal reasoning is scored on a sliding scale of 1 to 15 (1 being the lowest grade and 15 the highest). The Essay section is graded twice – once by a machine followed by a human grader. T he scores are plotted on a J-T scale. The MCAT Cut-off grade usually hovers round the 30 mark for the combined MCAT scores, but applicants have been known to score a maximum of 45. Grades marked ‘P’ or ‘Q’ is usually considered to be on par for the Writing section of the MCAT.
While registration for MCAT is carried out online, it must be channelized through the American Medical Colleges Association is where all MCAT aspirants. It is recommended that one register early to improve their chances of getting a preferred test-date and location.
Tackling the MCAT
The MCAT is undoubtedly a steep hurdle in one’s medical career aspirations. However, it is merely the first of many more to come. Thankfully, expert help is at hand to see you through this first step. To learn more about our excellent MCAT test prep solutions, contact us
To attend med school, prospective doctors must tackle the daunting Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a tough-as-nails entrance exam that separates the best from the rest. Managed under the aegis of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the exam stretches up to 5 ½ Hours – a gruelling time for all applicants. Scoring strong in this test is the key to a career in medicine. But given the intense competition between aspirants, this isn’t an easy task. One must be prepared to toil hard and play smart at the same time, if they are to get the desired score that would keep them in the hunt. Needless to say, planning and prepping remain invaluable to achieving this goal.
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is sub-divided into four separate sections: Verbal Reasoning, Writing Sample, Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences. The MCAT pre-conditions stipulate that candidates are to have studied Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Organic Chemistry for a minimum of two semesters each.
Modelled on the lines of a Computer-Based Test (CBT) format, the key factor remains that it does not adapt and change the difficulty of questions according to the responses received from candidates. This offers a certain advantage to applicants than while attempting a Computer-Adaptive Test (CAT).
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) candidates receive four individual scores for the respective sections. Only the Writing Sample section gets graded on a JT scale (J<<<<<...<<<)
Medical schools tend to view scores more comprehensively these days. Thus, candidates with a gradual score curve are more likely to be preferred over those with a sharp bell curve. For example, a candidate who scores a ‘J’ in the Writing Sample section would find it difficult to be picked, even if he/she were to have had scored around the 12-14 mark in the other 3 sections. On the other hand, a candidate with say scores around the 11-12 mark but with a comparative score in the Writing Sample section would stand a favourable chance of being picked.
Belling the MCAT:
Registrations are open throughout the year, although the availability must be checked for specific dates, given the popularity of the test. Registrations for the MCAT are to be routed through the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) website: www.aamc.org/students/mcat
For additional information regarding the test, do contact us