How to Register for the MCAT

June 25, 2024

minute read

Once you have decided you want to go to med school, one of the next steps you have to take is to register for the MCAT. You are mistaken if you think it is as simple as just going to the AAMC website and booking a test date. There is more to registering for the MCAT than choosing a date when to take it. 

This article focuses on everything you need to know about the MCAT registration. 

All the aspects of how to register for the MCAT, its requirements, costs, steps, and the best time to register for the MCAT will be discussed here. Please keep reading to find out more.

Who Can Take the MCAT?

The only prerequisite for taking the MCAT exam is that you must be enrolled in or planning to enroll in a medical school program.

You should not be enrolled in a health professions program when you register. With your MCAT results, you may apply to the following programs:

Current medical students and test-takers who do not intend to apply to health professions schools cannot take the MCAT. However, they may ask the AAMC for what is known as "special permission" to take the test. 

You may think it is absurd that someone would want to take the MCAT but not apply to medical school. These individuals do exist, though. They are the following:

  • Applicants who need to take the MCAT for a purpose other than applying to a program in the health profession
  • Applicants who are presently registered in a program for health professionals but wish to switch institutions
  • Applicants who are unable to adhere to all of the AAMC regulations for reasons other than a handicap or a medical condition
  • Applicants who are currently working for a test preparation business that offers MCAT preparation tools and training

How Much Does the MCAT Cost?

The MCAT costs at least USD 330. You will also need to pay extra fees if you want to transfer test sites or postpone your MCAT, administrative fees from the AAMC range from USD 50 - USD 200.

This is why we suggest you pick the right test location immediately. It is critical to confirm the exam costs when the AAMC releases the MCAT dates because they can increase yearly.

If you want to take the test outside of the United States or Canada, you must pay an extra USD 120 on top of the regular MCAT registration price. Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Lebanon, and other nations have testing facilities available abroad.

As of 2022, international test-takers must pay an additional USD 120 fee on top of the standard USD 330 registration fee.

When Should You Register for the MCAT? 

You can choose when to prepare and take the exam because the AAMC provides 30+ MCAT test dates between January and September (as of 2022). It can be simple to put off choosing when to take the MCAT when there are so many upcoming MCAT test dates. 

Consider it this way: your MCAT test date affects many longer-term choices, such as when to plan your test preparation. 

Therefore, setting your test date in advance can give you a head start and enable you to create a solid strategy for passing the MCAT.

MCAT Test Dates

60-day Registration Deadline

30-day Registration Deadline

10-day Registration Deadline

 MCAT Score Release Date

January 14

November 15, 2021

December 15, 2021

January 4

February 15

January 15

November 16, 2021

December 16, 2021

January 5

February 15

January 20

November 21, 2021

December 21, 2021

January 10

February 22

January 21

November 22, 2021

December 22, 2021

January 11

February 22

March 12

January 11

February 10

March 2

April 12

March 25

January 24

February 23

March 15

April 26

April 8

February 7

March 9

March 29

May 10

April 9

February 8

March 10

March 30

May 10

April 29

February 28

March 30

April 19

May 31

April 30

March 1

March 31

April 20

May 31

May 13

March 14

April 13

May 3  

June 14 

May 14

March 15

April 14

May 4

June 14,

May 19

March 20

April 19

May 9

June 21

May 27

March 28

April 27

May 17

June 28

June 4

April 5

May 5

May 25

July 6

June 17

April 1

May 18

June 7

July 19

June 18

April 19

May 19

June 8

July 19

June 24

April 25

May 25

June 14

July 26

June 25

April 26

May 26

June 15

July 26

June 30

May 1

May 31

June 20

August 1

July 16

May 17

June 16

July 6

August 16

July 29

May 30

June 29

July 19

August 30

August 5

June 6

July 6

July 26

September 7

August 20

June 21

July 21

August 10

September 20

August 26*

June 27

July 27

August 16

September 27

August 27

June 28

July 28

August 17

September 27

September 1

July 3

August 2

August 22

October 4

September 2*

July 4

August 3

August 23

October 4

September 9*

July 11

August 10

August 30

October 11

September 10

July 12

August 11

August 31

October 11

* On these dates, there will be two exam sessions: one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Gold, Silver, and Bronze Zones: What They Are and How They Help You Plan Your Registration for the MCAT?

As you register for the MCAT, remember that planning ahead is critical. In case of a retake and to give you enough time to prepare for med school, choosing the best date is a game changer. 

However, under circumstances that cannot be prevented, you might have to cancel your registration or change your test date

The MCAT has the Gold, Silver, and Bronze zones for you to choose from for scheduling (and re-scheduling) your MCAT test dates.

Gold Zone

This registration window typically lasts 29 days before the test date. If you need the flexibility to modify your test date, this is the time to book your exam. 

The gold zone offers the lowest exam registration cost (USD 330) and the lowest exam rescheduling cost (USD 95) compared to the other zones. 

Additionally, this is the sole window of time during which you can cancel and get a partial refund (USD 155).

Silver Zone

This zone comprises all days between the gold zone deadline and the silver zone deadline because the cutoff for this registration zone is 15 days before the exam day. 

You can still register for an exam during this period for the standard registration fee (USD 325), but the rescheduling fee increases to USD 155 from the previous USD 135. 

Exams taken within this period do not qualify for partial refunds.

Bronze Zone

The deadline for this zone's registration is eight days before the exam day. As a result, the period between the silver zone's and the bronze zone's deadlines is included in the bronze zone. The bronze zone deadline is the final day to register for a specific test date.

You will pay a higher registration price of USD 375 in this zone, and you will not have the chance to reschedule or get a refund if you have to cancel.

When is the Earliest I Could Take the MCAT? 

The MCAT should be taken as early as possible. Ideally, this is recommended towards the end of the sophomore year of your undergraduate program (or high school) before enrolling in medical school. It’s best that you have finished most of your medical school prerequisites by then. This will decrease the amount of content review you'll have to undergo when preparing for the MCAT exam.

Twenty-four (24) of the approximately 30 test dates are between April and September. This means MCAT test-takers have many test date options when they decide to take the MCAT. 

Make sure that you are giving yourself enough time to study and prepare for the test. Ideally, it’s recommended that you give yourself two to four months. All of this depends on how well you understand the content and your capacity for concentration. 

Thus, you can perform as well as you can on your first try. Retaking the MCAT is never fun, and many test-takers find it discouraging.

When is the Latest I Could Take the MCAT? 

You should schedule your final MCAT exam between January and April when you apply. 

If you plan to start medical school in August 2024, you must take the MCAT no later than April 2023 during the first four months of 2023.

You may be asking why you require such a window. Even your primary application cannot be submitted until late May, according to AMCAS

It is your best option to finish the MCAT by April for the following reasons:

  • Your medical school application essays must be given much thought. Suppose you wait too long to take the MCAT, then you will not have enough time to focus on other med school prerequisites (personal statement, AMCAS Work and Activities part, multiple secondary essays, etc.).
  • The medical schools to which you should apply will be primarily based on your MCAT score(s). The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time and resources on applying for a medical school (s) —  only to learn later that your MCAT score disqualifies you entirely.
  • Your MCAT results will not be announced for around a month following the test. It’s wise to finish your MCAT test early, so it can help the medical school’s admissions committees to consider your applications.

In other words, it is a good idea to schedule some time to retake the MCAT, just in case you are not scoring as high as you would like. A good way to asses this is through MCAT diagnostics or practice exams. You can do these by the end of the summer before your medical school application year.

How to Register for the MCAT?

Registration for the MCAT must be done carefully because every detail entered by the candidate must be accurate because it cannot be changed, and they may not be able to fix it in the end. 

To familiarize yourself with the MCAT registration process, we have listed the steps below.

  • Go to the official AAMC website and create/register an account by providing the requested details.
  • The registered email address will receive a verification email. Click on the link provided in the verification email.
  • Sign in using the account created/registered. Then, select "Start Exam Registration."
  • You will be required to submit personal information, including your address. Make sure to enter your personal information exactly as it appears on the government ID you will use to prove your identity on test day.
  • Click "Schedule an MCAT Exam" when you have finished filling out all the necessary forms and are on the "Schedule" page.
  • Choose the time and place of your test. You can ask to be alerted if tickets become available in your preferred location and the date is unavailable, but there are no guarantees.
  • To pay for your registration, click "Proceed to Checkout" after choosing your meeting place and time.

How Fast Does MCAT Registration Fill Up?

MCAT enrollment dates fill up very quickly. Most students desire to take the test on a date that works best for them at their preferred testing venue. As you might expect, Saturday is a very popular day for taking the MCAT.

Naturally, it increases the likelihood that every available space at your local testing facility will be taken the closer it gets to the test date (and the deadline for registering). You will have a higher chance of receiving the slot you desire if you can register early.

You may start registering in October for test dates in January through May. Test dates from June through September go on registration in February. 

Based on the Eastern Time Zone, AAMC registration usually starts early in the morning. Register as soon as possible to guarantee that you can acquire the MCAT exam date and testing center location of your choice.

5 Tips and Advice Before Registering for the MCAT

Your road to med school is fraught with little complexities can make the process overwhelming at times. The registration process itself is a bit complex and involves multiple steps. We have some advice for you to lighten your load brought about by the MCAT, we have some advice for you.

Do Not Put Things Off

Start the registration process early, or at the very least, make a strategy. The MCAT exam date should be selected well in advance as it helps to outline your preparation strategy. 

Start looking for MCAT prep resources. Research and understand what the MCAT is. 

Reach Out to Your Connections

You can get helpful advice on the registration process from your instructors, pre-med mentors, and the doctors you interact with as a pre-med student. Make these connections if you are a pre-med student in your younger years. 

Throughout the application process, you will require direction and expert mentoring (not to mention a few letters of recommendation).

Assess Your Situation Objectively

We know this sounds like a cliche, but you are the only one who truly knows yourself. 

Consider the counsel of your mentors in light of your unique study methods, abilities, and challenges. This will influence how you prepare for the MCAT and the timing of your test day. 

If you are a younger student, try out several study methods to help you become the best effective learner you can be.

Plan and Choose the Best Date

Take the MCAT as early as possible without compromising your preparation level. 

Remember that besides the MCAT, you have other things to prioritize. Planning ahead of time lessens the MCAT's stress and anxiety.

Be Ready to Spend More Money for the MCAT

Registering for the MCAT costs USD 325. But your MCAT expenses do not end there. It is just the beginning. 

Once you have registered, looking for the best MCAT prep materials is next. For some, they enroll in MCAT prep courses and MCAT tutors. They are costly but, more often than not, are the most effective ways to ace the MCAT.

Additional FAQs – How to Register for the MCAT

When is the Best Time to Register for the MCAT?

Aim to take the MCAT as early as you can in the year, ideally by mid-May before the AMCAS application submission period opens in early June. 

You can complete your AMCAS application earlier if you finish the exam earlier, and the earlier you submit your application, the better.

Can I Register for the MCAT Online?

You can register for the MCAT online. 

For this, you must go to the AAMC's official website. 

Make sure you have a valid government ID and an acceptable mode of payment as you register for the MCAT. Remember to input the correct information as you register.

How Much Does It Cost to Register for the MCAT?

The MCAT costs USD 330. This includes the fee for the exam and the score distribution. 

Furthermore, international students who wish to take the MCAT outside Canada and the US must pay an extra USD 120 in addition to the standard registration fee of USD 330.

Is Registering for the MCAT Hard?

Registering for the MCAT is not tricky. You just have to follow the step-by-step procedures we have outlined above. 

Choosing the best date, however, may be challenging. There are times when your preferred dates are already fully-booked. 

You either choose another date or change your test location on those occasions. Hence we strongly encourage you to register early.

Can I Register for Two MCAT Test Dates?

You can only register for one MCAT test date at a time, according to the AAMC. Until you release your registration, you will not be able to sign up for more than one test day. 

Strive to take the MCAT only once. Ideally, you will not need to take it twice. However, you can reapply after taking the MCAT, and you need a retake.

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