MEDICAL COLLEGE ADMISSION TEST (MCAT)
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is required by most medical schools. It is presently approximately five-and-a-half hours long (testing time) and very demanding, both in terms of the level of preparation required to be successful and the very strictly controlled, speeded testing conditions. It is offered multiple times during the year, between January and September, at Prometric testing sites throughout the country. For more details on the organization, content (verbal reasoning, biological sciences, physical sciences), purpose of the test testing conditions, and a downloadable PDF version of the MCAT Essentials, please go to this Webpage: https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/preparing. A more detailed and comprehensive resource, The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam, 2nd ed., is available in the Career Center library. This volume may also be purchased for about $30 from the AAMC: https://members.aamc.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?webcode=PubHome
Be sure that you are prepared for this exam. It is expensive ($240 to register, with a $70 fee for any “changes,” such as place or date). We strongly advise that, at a minimum, you take six practice tests before you take the exam. Access to practice tests may be purchased at a “group” (significantly less expensive) rate through the Wesleyan Credential Service. At best, you will prepare extensively, either by using either a rigorous self-preparation program (on your own or with a couple of fellow students, utilizing print or on-line resources, or one of the commercial programs offered by ExamKrackers, Kaplan, Princeton Review, or others. (Commercial preparation programs cost approximately $1,800 or more.) Taking a commercial prep course is not necessary; many Wesleyan students and graduates have been very successful in preparing on their own.
We strongly recommend taking a spring MCAT before the beginning of the admissions cycle, so that you will have your scores in hand (30 days after test day) before July 1 and before you apply. Once you have received your results from a spring MCAT, it will be easier for you to decide whether to go ahead with your application or wait until the next application cycle and a better set of scores. Since most medical schools have rolling admissions, the majority of interview slots are filled by early applicants. Applications submitted in July or August and scores from a late summer or fall MCAT administration can put your application significantly behind the competition.
The MCAT is currently being revised and a new version is scheduled for 2015. It will be approximately two hours longer than the current test and cost more. While it remains a work in progress, the revised test will no longer include the Writing Sample. It will require some knowledge of statistics and biochemistry. The current Verbal Reasoning section will be replaced by a section entitled “Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills.” In addition, a new section on the “social, psychological and biological foundations of behavior” is slated for inclusion, but the depth, type, and scope of knowledge that will be tested on this latter section is not yet clear. The most up-to-date, provisional information about the 2015 MCAT may be found on the following AAMC Web page, which includes a downloadable PDF version of the Preview Guide to the 2015 MCAT: https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/.