COVID-19 & The MCAT: New AAMC Update Summary

October 24, 2023

minute read

Big updates from the AAMC released on April 24, 2020...

You may be hearing a lot of things from a lot of different people.

Here's a short, simply summary breakdown of the changes.

We hope this makes things easier to process:


  • Three new test dates added: June 28, 2020. September 28, 2020, September 29, 2020
  • Online registration for new test dates will open May 7th
  • Score reports will be out in 2 weeks instead of 1 month for all exams between June 19th to Aug 1st
  • All 2020 MCAT exams are shortened to 5h 45m to open up early morning, afternoon, AND evening slots
  • New timings will now be: 6:30am, 12:15pm, and 6:00pm

The MCAT will resume to normal format in Jan 2021.

At this time, rescheduling fees are still waived.

Apparently the cuts to the MCAT will only be "from parts of the exam that don’t impact scores, such as some questions that are being given a test run and an end-of-day survey."

That includes the 10-minute tutorial in the beginning.

Med-schools are still trying to figure out if they should be screening applicants without their MCAT scores.

Many already are accepting primary applications without scores. 

New Updated MCAT Section Timings 2020

Here's the new breakdown of MCAT section timings:

Chemistry/Physics is now 48 questions in 76 minutes (was 59 questions in 95 min)

CARS is now 48 questions in 81 minutes (was 53 questions, 9 passages in 90 min)

Biology/Biochemistry is now 48 questions in 76 minutes (was 59 questions in 95 min)

Psychology/Sociology is now 48 questions in 76 minutes (was 59 questions in 95 min)

Lunch is now 10 minutes (it was 30 min before)

Void question after P/S is now 2 minutes (it was 5 min before)

Will the shorter MCAT be easier? No, AAMC specifically said it won't. The distribution of topics will be equal to the normal exam. Which also means...

Med-schools will probably not give treat short exams any differently than normal exams.

2020 MCAT Changes: Implications For You

Try to speed up on CARS, more than normal. Try to complete your CARS practice exams with more than 5 minutes remaining. Read The CARS Mastery Report if you haven't already. 

Don't worry about the change in timing as much. If you're used to the normal exam, that just means you have built up a great endurance. You're now at an advantage. 

With a shortened lunch, learn to eat fast and/or bring food that can be eaten fast. Also, practice eating that same meal you plan on bringing in less than 7 minutes. So you can have 3 minutes to relax and get present.

We Know These MCAT Changes Are Frustrating

We know you have questions.

As we get more answers, we'll be in touch. 

For now, remember to take care of your mindset. Let's focus on the big picture...

At the end of the day, you will get through this and you will become a doctor. 

A stressed mind will limit your thinking, your creativity, and your methods of adapting.

If these changes got you feeling nervous, do something fun and relaxing right now. Go for a long walk, get in nature, listen to music. Give yourself a little time to recoup. 

You have too much stuff to do? You'll be able to do them far more efficiently when you're in a better mental state. Taking a break is an investment!

Feel free to forward this to family or close friend to update them on the current situation, so you don't have to go through explaining it and re-experiencing the negativity/stress that will inevitably be felt as you go on into a long discussion about it, especially as you try to answer follow up questions that you don't have the answers to!

Stay safe and stay positive,

The MedLife Mastery Team
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