What is the MCAT? Everyone is asking that question. Well to start off, MCAT stands for Medical College Admission Test and it’s a mandatory test that all med school applicants must take (with a few exceptions here and there for special programs). It is basically a SAT for med school but with different subjects.
Let’s break down the MCAT. The test consists of three sections – Verbal, Biological Sciences, and Physical Sciences. In Biological Science, it consists of Biology and Organic Chemistry. In Physical Sciences, it consists of Physics and General Chemistry. Starting January 2013 until September 2014, AAMC is implementing an experimental Psychology subject into the MCAT and has permanently taken out the writing portion of the MCAT.
The highest score that a student can achieve is a 45 (a total of 15 pts from each section); however, the average MCAT score for the entering classes for all med schools combined is a raw score of 31. The national average is around a 28.
People usually take around 3 months (ideal) to a year studying for the MCAT. Med school admissions do look at how you do on the MCAT; however, your GPA and extra-curricular would count just as much. Just allocate a good period to just the MCAT, preferably during the summer so you can take the September MCAT, and get it over with.
Don’t stress out about it. Learn to enjoy the subjects and studying and you’ll do perfectly fine!