The Medical College Admission Test, or the MCAT® for short, is a standardized exam that is required in order to enter most medical schools in the United States. This exam is designed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to determine whether or not an individual has the basic knowledge necessary to succeed in a medical program. The MCAT test is comprised of four primary sections, which include a physical sciences section, a verbal reasoning section, a writing sample section, and a biological sciences section. The physical science, verbal reasoning, and biological science sections of the exam each include a series of multiple-choice questions that are related to basic biology, chemistry, physics, and reading comprehension skills. The writing sample section of the exam, however, is not a multiple-choice section, as it requires the individual to write two essays based on two separate statements. The information covered in each section of the exam may not necessarily be directly related to medicine, as most of the information covered on the exam is related to basic verbal and scientific topics rather than specific medical concepts.
The MCAT test is required by most medical programs in the United States, but certain programs and universities may require other tests instead of or in addition to the MCAT test in order to be accepted into a specific medical program. The exact score that an individual must achieve on the MCAT test in order to gain entrance into a particular program varies from program to program, but most universities and programs do not use the MCAT test as the only factor considered for admission. In fact, most universities and programs use several other factors such as entrance essays, grade point averages (GPA), and other similar factors that are considered in addition to the individual's MCAT test scores when deciding whether a particular student should be accepted into a medical school or not.
Last Updated: 02/26/2013