Taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a momentous decision in the medical school admissions process. Not only does a high MCAT score enhance your competitiveness, but it also demonstrates your potential to succeed in the demanding field of medicine. To ensure adequate preparation, alignment with application timelines, increase your chances of success in the MCAT, and avoid unnecessary costs, you should pay attention to the test dates and deadlines and choose the test date that fits you best. You can make changes in your appointment 60, 30, or 10 days from the exam date, with all deadlines taking effect at 11:59 p.m. local test center time. On the other hand, exam scores are released by 5:00 p.m. ET on the scheduled score release date. 

Follow along as we give you an overview of the MCAT registration process, including information on the permitted frequency of attempts, associated costs, and a good MCAT score. But first, let’s look at the exam and score release dates and scheduling deadlines for 2024 provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Exam Date60 Day Deadline30 Day Deadline10 Day DeadlineScore Release Date
January 12November 13, 2023December 13, 2023January 2February 13
January 13November 14, 2023December 14, 2023January 3February 13
January 18November 19, 2023December 19, 2023January 8February 20
January 26November 27, 2023December 27, 2023January 16March 1
March 9January 9February 8February 28April 9
March 22January 22February 21March 12April 23
April 12February 12March 13April 2May 14
April 13February 13March 14April 3May 14
April 26February 26March 27April 16May 29
April 27February 27March 28April 17May 29
May 4March 5April 4April 24June 4
May 10March 11April 10April 30June 11
May 11March 12April 11May 1June 11
May 16March 17April 16May 6June 18
May 24March 25April 24May 14June 25
June 1April 2May 2May 22July 2
June 14April 15May 15June 4July 16
June 15April 16May 16June 5July 16
June 22April 23May 23June 12July 23
June 27April 28May 28June 17July 30
July 13May 14June 13July 3August 13
July 26May 27June 26July 16August 27
August 2June 3July 3July 23September 4
August 17June 18July 18August 7September 17
August 23June 24July 24August 13September 24
August 24June 25July 25August 14September 24
September 5July 7August 6August 26October 8
September 6July 8August 7August 27October 8
September 13July 15August 14September 3October 15
September 14July 16August 15September 4October 15

Overview of the MCAT

The MCAT is a standardized multiple-choice exam designed to assess the prospective medical student’s knowledge of natural, behavioral, and social sciences and problem-solving and critical thinking skills. This computer-based exam is divided into four core sections and takes seven and a half hours to complete. The four MCAT sections are:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems;
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems;
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior;
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills.

Each MCAT section is scored between 118 and 132. Test results will include individual section scores along with a comprehensive score ranging from 472 to 528, with the overall mean and median set at 500. For the 2023-2024 period, the average score is 501.3, and the 90th percentile score stands at 515. 

Your MCAT score reflects your readiness for the rigorous medical school curriculum and mastery of the essential knowledge and competencies expected. Moreover, it ensures a consistent and objective evaluation of candidates, regardless of their undergraduate major and grading scales. For these reasons, the MCAT remains a daunting but essential challenge that aspiring medical professionals should successfully overcome. 

Registration Process

Before registering for the MCAT, you need to create an AAMC account by providing a username and password. To finalize your registration, you must add information about your contacts, background, and education and agree to the MCAT Examinee Agreement and other policies and consents. Ensure that the first and last name on your ID matches the information provided during your MCAT exam registration. After registration, you can schedule your MCAT test date and location and proceed with the payment of the registration fee. 

But how do you choose the MCAT exam date that fits you best?

We recommend choosing an exam date that falls at least three to five months after you begin preparing for the MCAT. For instance, if you start preparing in January or February, aiming to take the exam in May or June would be ideal. However, keep in mind that the medical school application cycle opens in June each year, so you’ll want to have your official MCAT score ready before then.

Frequency of MCAT Attempts

Given the highly challenging nature of the MCAT, it’s not unusual for students to consider retaking the exam in an attempt to improve their scores. Multiple attempts also provide the opportunity to demonstrate commitment to self-improvement to the admissions committee. However, you’ll be allowed to sit for the exam only for a limited number of times. You can take the MCAT exam three times within a single testing year and up to four times across two consecutive years. There is also a limit of seven times that you can attempt the MCAT over your lifetime. Lastly, note that voids and no-shows also count as attempts toward your lifetime limits.

Opting for multiple MCAT attempts requires strategic planning. Before taking the exam for the second time, it’s crucial to analyze your performance in the previous attempt and identify weaknesses. Additionally, you should refine your study approach by tailoring your plan to address topics or questions that you deemed challenging in your prior attempt. And lastly, this process allows you to determine the learning method that works best for you, enabling you to channel your resources and maximize efficiency.

Cost of the MCAT

The cost of the MCAT varies according to the registration type. The Standard Registration fee is $335, and the Fee Assistance Program Registration reduces the registration cost by $140. Remember that if you take the test outside of the United States, Canada, or U.S. territories, an additional international fee of $120 will be added to the initial registration fee. 

Cost of the MCAT

The MCAT rescheduling fees and cancellation refunds by the AAMC are as follows:

Standard Change feesDate and/or Test Center Reschedule FeeCancellation Refund
60 or more days before exam$50$165
30-59 days before exam$100$165
10-29 days before exam$200$0
Fee Assistance Program Change FeesDate and/or Test Center Reschedule FeeCancellation Refund
60 or more days before exam$20$70
30-59 days before exam$40$70
10-29 days before exam$80$0

Keep in mind to also estimate the hidden costs associated with taking the MCAT exam, such as preparation costs, books or tutoring, traveling to a designated testing center, hotel accommodations, and food. 

Key Takeaways

Remember, choosing the suitable MCAT test date requires careful consideration. Be mindful of the key dates, deadlines, registration process, study plan, costs, planning of frequent attempts, and whether your MCAT score will be released before applying to medical school. Once you’ve got a date in mind, ensure that you allow yourself sufficient time to go through the study material effectively. Now that you have a clearer picture of the MCAT test dates in 2024, you can choose a test date and embark on the laborious journey of the medical school admissions process. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How to cancel the MCAT test date?

Visit the MCAT Registration System online to cancel your appointment. While you can cancel your MCAT exam date up to 10 days before your scheduled date, you’ll receive a partial refund only if you cancel before the 30-day mark. 

How to reschedule the MCAT test date?

If you want to reschedule your MCAT exam, you must ensure that your desired date has opened and seats are available. You can verify this by checking the MCAT Registration System online. Make any necessary changes to avoid costly rescheduling fees, and remember that you can reschedule up to 10 days before your scheduled exam date; after this period, no changes can be made. 

What are the 10-day, 30-day, and 60-day deadlines for the MCAT?

The 10, 30, and 60-day MCAT deadlines are specific timeframes during which you are allowed to reschedule or cancel your exam date or test center. These deadlines also correspond to associated fees and available refunds. Keep in mind that you will have to pay a higher rescheduling fee if you reschedule closer to the exam. The tenth day before the exam date is the final opportunity to schedule an exam, and if you want to cancel your exam at this point, no refund will be issued.