The MCAT is a standardized test for medical school. It’s a multiple-choice exam that aims to assess your knowledge of concepts in biology, chemistry, physics, and organic chemistry. For many students, taking the MCAT can be stressful because it can mean the difference between getting into their dream school or not getting in at all. But even if you’re someone who doesn’t want to go into medicine or dentistry (but still wants to take this test), there are important factors about how long the MCAT score is valid for—and when you have to take it.
When do I have to take the MCAT?
You can take the MCAT at any time during the year. However, if you want to be considered for admission during a specific application cycle, it’s important to know when your MCAT must be taken by. For example, if you’re applying for entry in 2023 and want your application process to start on January 1st of that same year, then you’ll need to have taken the exam by December 31st, 2022.
If planning ahead is not in your nature and procrastination is one of your vices (it was mine), don’t worry too much about timing—you can still take an exam from January through October 2023 even though those applications aren’t due until 2024. It’s also worth noting that because each institution has its own deadlines and requirements regarding how many times one needs to take an exam before applying (or if they even allow applicants who have test scores older than five years), it’s best not only to check with them but also to keep track yourself of whether or not there are any late testing dates available near or close to where a particular school is located, as well as what their policy might be regarding accepting these tests if they do happen within six months time frame prior deadline day.
Can you use old MCAT scores?
The MCAT is valid for up to 5 years after you take the test, but it varies by school. If you are applying to a school that requires an MCAT score and your scores are more than 5 years old, you will need to retake the exam. As long as your scores fall within this time frame, they can be used for any application cycle (and even for multiple cycles) with no penalty!
How many times can I take the MCAT?
You can take the MCAT up to three times a year. If you’re planning on taking it more than that, you should consider whether it’s worth trying for a lower score or waiting until next year to retake it. If your first attempt was significantly lower than your second, then redoing the test may be more beneficial than going for an even lower score.
If you wait 15 days between tests, there won’t be any problems with having to retake it again so soon. However, if you only waited 7 days before retaking and got another low score (or worse), then this could lead admissions committees to question your commitment level and honesty about wanting a good MCAT score!
Does it matter which schools you’re applying to?
One thing to keep in mind is that you may be required to take the MCAT within a certain time frame before beginning your application. While most schools will accept scores taken within three years of starting your application, some schools have specific deadlines and guidelines on how soon after taking the exam you need to have your score submitted. These differences mean it can be worth it to check with each school you plan on applying to so that you can make sure that things are done on time and avoid any potential problems down the road.
How long is the MCAT score valid?
- In terms of how long your MCAT score will be valid, it depends on two things: the number of times you take the exam and the number of schools you plan to apply to.
- If you take the MCAT once, your scores will be valid for three years after they are sent to the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges).
- If you were planning on retaking the test within a year of taking it, then there’s no need to worry about having to retake it before applying because your scores would have already expired. If it’s been more than a year since your original test date then checks with individual schools about what their policies are when accepting an older MCAT score. For example, some institutions may only accept scores from within five years while others might be more flexible with what they’ll accept as long as it was taken within ten years and hasn’t expired yet from being sent out by ETS (Educational Testing Service).
MCAT School-Specific Requirements
The MCAT policy of each school is different. Some schools don’t accept old MCAT scores and some will accept them if you take the test again. For example, Harvard Medical School accepts the score from any one of your three previous tests, while other medical schools may only accept the most recent MCAT score (this is because they are not as strict in their admissions criteria).
If you have taken an MCAT exam and want to apply to medical school, make sure you check with individual medical schools first before applying!
When is your MCAT expiration date?
Do you know that the MCAT expires? For most schools, it is valid for only three years. The exam is a standardized test, so it’s taken year-round by students applying to medical school and other graduate programs. GMATs, GREs, and other exams are also standardized tests.
What about your essay? It’s not part of the multiple-choice section of the exam; it’s an optional section that won’t factor into your score or application review. If you took an MCAT in October 2022 and want to use those scores for applications next school year (2023), then no problem—your old essays will still be considered valid unless they were plagiarized or otherwise problematic.
The MCAT is the most important part of the application to medical school, so it’s essential that you get prepared for it.