Should You Void Your MCAT?

February 20, 2024

minute read

The MCAT can cause a great deal of anxiety!

Even with rigorous MCAT prep classes, the innumerable practice passages you have completed, and multiple practice exams –  dread and doubt may overcome any of us. 

On MCAT exam day, it’s possible that you feel as though you have performed poorly on the exam and thus severely affected your future in the medical field. However, you do have the option to VOID, which you may have seen but did not fully comprehend. 

In this article, we will explain to you when to void your MCAT and what happens if you do. Please keep reading.

What Does Voiding Your MCAT Mean? 

The AAMC allows you to submit or void your scores after finishing all sections. If you are not confident in your performance, you can chose to void your score. It will make it appear as though you did not take the exam.

In other words, neither the test results nor the fact that you took it will be disclosed to medical schools.

No marks are given for voided exams. Therefore, if you do not have any MCAT results, you will need to retake the exam to apply to medical school

This means registering and paying again to secure another test date. Additionally, going through the rigorous and laborious MCAT preparation

According to the AAMC’s guidelines, the MCAT can be voided by finishing the entire test. They will score your test even if you leave in the middle of it. You will be asked if you want your exam to be voided or not. 

You have to respond within 5 minutes. Otherwise, the exam will be graded. 

However, remember that if you invalidate your exam, you have already utilized one of your year's three exam attempts. 

Also, remember that once you void your score, it cannot be recovered. So it seems like the hours spent in front of the computer never occurred.

Should You Void Your MCAT? 5 Questions to Help You Answer the Question

Even if it may be inconceivable to consider nullifying your grades after spending weeks or months studying, several situations might make you think about it. 

Medical schools will not get a copy of your exam if you decide to nullify your scores following a subpar exam session.

Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself to know whether or not you should void your MCAT:

How Hard Did You Prepare for the MCAT? 

Think carefully about the amount of time you invested in your exam preparation. Did you spend a few days or weeks getting ready, or did you start months in advance? 

Many test-takers attend comprehensive MCAT preparation courses and work one-on-one with instructors/tutors to improve both their test-taking skills and knowledge bases. 

If you did not prepare well enough, you might want to void your MCAT. 

However, if you have put a lot of time and effort into planning, have faith in the job you have done. You might have been guided through the exam by your MCAT tutors, and with their assistance, you are sure to do well on the test.

How Did You Perform on the MCAT?

Only you can determine if your performance on exam day fell short of what it could have been. Perhaps you were ill, or doubt or fear overcame you. 

Voiding the MCAT is an option if you truly believe that your exam fears entirely paralyze you and prevent you from responding to questions to the best of your ability and finishing exam questions. 

Voiding is not an option you should engage in if you believe you missed a few questions or if you felt that some of the verbal passages were difficult or uninteresting.

Are the Questions Different and Significantly Harder than What You Had in the Practice Exams?

It is critical to emphasize that you should focus not on a particular question or paragraph that stumped you, but on the exam as a whole. 

One reason is that each exam section has several "beta" experimental questions that do not actually count toward your final score. 

As a result, you could have come across several questions that are especially challenging and obtuse since they are experimental. 

Be honest with yourself if most of the MCAT test sections felt more difficult and complex than normal, but do not overreact to one or two difficult questions you faced.

Do You Feel Voiding Like Your MCAT Because of Reasons Beyond Your Control?

This is the most likely justification for having an exam voided. However, perhaps you were sick or experienced something else unexpectedly early in the day which affected your performance. 

Maybe you had a difficult time sleeping the night before. Perhaps you experienced a panic attack during the exam. 

It might be better to void your MCAT if you feel that external factors contributed to your poor performance.

Is There Enough Time to Retake the MCAT?

There could or might not be enough time to retake the MCAT exam before it needs to be sent to the schools, depending on when you take it. 

You really cannot retake the exam if you do not have time and have already started applying for medical school admission.

4 Things to Remember If You Are Thinking of Voiding Your MCAT

Deciding whether or not to void your MCAT in the face of uncertainty is extremely challenging, especially on exam day when there is added pressure. 

Although you can never be sure of the right decision, taking some time to frankly assess your exam experience can help you make this judgment with assurance. 

These are the things that you have to keep in mind if you are considering voiding your MCAT. 

DO NOT Void. 

Some could argue: What if, after weighing the advantages and disadvantages, you conclude that having low MCAT scores will ultimately seem worse than the risk of medical schools learning that you canceled the exam?

First off, nobody takes the MCAT and feels like they aced it. 

The MCAT is a challenging exam that makes you feel confused. However, you did not necessarily perform poorly just because you thought you did.

A Bad MCAT Score IS NOT Bad. 

A poor MCAT score can be a sign of development on your part. Let us imagine you had a terrible year; the following year, you learn from it and succeed. 

You may now explain to your interviewers how you recovered, assessed your errors, and aced the MCAT when you are in front of them. Here, you changed a bad situation into a good one.

In Case of Background Noise, Have No Excuses. 

If a terrible distraction occurred in the background, you would not postpone a life-altering surgery or another unavoidable emergency, right? Keep in mind that excuses are awful.

A voucher to take the test at a later time may be provided by the testing center in case of unwanted noise. Avoid taking them. 

Because all the available seats are taken, you do not want to take the chance of postponing your MCAT for a substantial time. This might be particularly problematic if you take the MCAT in the summer.

Believe in Yourself. 

From weeks and months of preparing and studying for the MCAT, sleepless nights, and added stress to eventually taking the MCAT, you have come a long way. 

Give yourself credit and have faith that you did your best. 

Having to void your MCAT means that you would never find out how you performed on that day. That is something you do not want.

Should You Void in Case of a Medical Emergency?

This is one of the most valid (and rare) reasons you want to void your MCAT. We say rare because students taking the MCAT cite medical emergencies as a reason for either rescheduling or canceling the MCAT, but not for voiding. 

But what if you have a medical emergency during the MCAT? Should you void the MCAT? The answer is no. 

The AAMC is prepared for such a scenario, and they will assist you in going to a hospital. Given that the MCAT takes about 7 hours and a half, you should have enough time to go back and finish the MCAT. 

Later in your medical school interview, when the admission committee asks why your MCAT score is so low, you can say that you had a medical emergency, which AAMC can attest to. Therefore, we suspect that they will cross that score off their list.

How Do Medical Schools View Voiding MCAT? 

Although an admission committee cannot tell whether or not you have voided an exam, it is simple for them to make the connection that you studied for the MCAT during your pre-medical years but did not take it. 

You would have to either admit that you canceled the exam or tell the truth and claim you did not take the MCAT at that time, which may come back to bite you.

You have to explain to the admissions committee why you invalidate the exam if they find out, as you may not have been confident enough to take the MCAT. You will need to make an excuse of some sort to defend yourself. An organization focused on honesty and diligence would find this highly unappealing.

Although voiding your MCAT is not a deal breaker, it does not look good, given that medical schools will have several challenging tests that you will not be able to void.

Final Thoughts on Voiding the MCAT Test

The MCAT is indeed difficult. You have exerted a lot of hard work, money, and effort studying and preparing for it. 

In addition, your MCAT score is a big deal when it comes to your med school application. That is why the AAMC gives students the option to void. 

However, take note that just because you are given this option, you should not take it. Voiding your MCAT entails another 3-6 months of hard work and stress, do not give yourself that burden. 

Voiding your MCAT should only be done in case of unforeseen severe circumstances. Also, most test takers feel awful after taking the MCAT but still manage to earn competitive scores. Unfortunately, you might be one of them.

Additional FAQs – How Should You Know When to Void Your MCAT

How Do I Void My MCAT?

You have to finish the MCAT to have the option to void it. At the end of the MCAT, there will be two choices presented to you: 

"I wish to have my MCAT exam scored," and 
"I wish to VOID my MCAT exam." 

If you decide to void, there will be no trace of taking the exam, which will be erased. This poses a concern because it can make you continue studying while also delaying your admission to medical school.

How Many Times Can I Void My MCAT?

You are allowed to take the MCAT up to three times each year and four times in a span of two years. 

You have a lifetime maximum of seven MCAT attempts, and each test date's results are recorded independently. 

MCAT exams that are voided and "no shows" do count as attempts.

Do I Get a Refund if I Void My MCAT?

You will not get a refund if you void the MCAT. 

Once you start the MCAT exam, regardless of whether you finish the exam or not or choose to void your exam, you are not entitled to a refund

Only students who reschedule or cancel the MCAT 29 days (or earlier) before the MCAT can get a refund of USD 160.

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