The transition to a computer format has somewhat simplified the process of registering for the Medical College Admissions Test. MCAT registration can now be completed on-line, beginning six months before the testing date. The Association of American Medical Colleges recommends that you register for the MCAT at least 60 days in advance to increase your chances of testing at your preferred time and location.
The AAMC has also made it easier to change a testing date on-line. For the most part, though, registering for the Medical College Admissions Test is the same as it ever was.
Considerations for Deciding When to Register for the MCAT
Students typically take the exam during the same year in which they are applying to medical schools. In the event that a candidate wishes to delay his or her applications, however, many medical schools will accept MCAT scores that are two or three years old.
Students are now allowed to take the MCAT three times in a calendar year, although MCAT registration is allowed for only one testing date at a time. Therefore, if you think you may take the exam more than once this year, your first exam date should be within the first five months of the calendar year, January through May. Otherwise, your MCAT registration for a subsequent exam will fall within two months of the exam date and you may not find a spot at a nearby testing location.
Students are charged with determining which testing dates will enable them to receive scores in time to meet their application deadlines; the test administrators take no responsibility for making sure that the appropriate test date is chosen. Regular registration typically ends 14 days before the testing date; during the next week, students may still register, but for a slightly higher late registration price.
MCAT Registration Fees
MCAT registration must be paid for with a major credit card.
In January 2010, the standard fee for MCAT registration is $230, with a $55 surcharge for late registration.
An additional $55 will also be charged for rescheduling a test date or for changing a testing location. If you reschedule a test date and change a testing location at the same time, you will be charged only one $55 fee, however if you change the location and time in two separate requests, you will be charged a separate $55 fee for each request, totaling $110.
Finally, if you register for an international testing site, you will be charged a $65 international test site fee.
MCAT Registration Cancellation
Students who register for the MCAT and then decide to cancel a testing date are eligible to receive half of their money back if they cancel prior to the standard registration deadline - that's at least 14 days prior to the scheduled exam date. In January 2010, registrants who paid the regular MCAT registration fee would receive a $115 refund, while those who received AAMC fee assistance would be refunded $85. As with all other aspects of the registration process, test cancellation is performed on-line. Other fees charged for late registration, date or location changes, or international testing are non-refundable.
Typically, if the cancellation is submitted on-line prior to the standard registration deadline, the refund will be automatically applied toward the original form of payment within a few days.
After the standard MCAT registration/cancellation deadline, you may still cancel your registration up to two business days prior to the scheduled exam, however you will not receive a refund. Late cancellation must be handled through the AAMC MCAT Resource Center. While a late cancellation is not eligible for a refund, it does make it possible for you to register sooner for another test date.
Information provided by Morrison Media LLC
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