UMass Boston

MCAT Preparation

What is the MCAT?

The Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®) is a standardized, multiple-choice examination designed to assess students’ problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of natural, behavioral, and social science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine (AAMC).

The exam covers 4 topics:

  1. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  2. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  3. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Click here for more information about what is covered on the exam.

When should I take the MCAT?

Most students plan to take the MCAT in the year they submit their application to medical school. Students may choose to take it earlier if they think they may need to take the exam multiple times. Students should also make sure they have completed introductory-level coursework in biology, general and organic chemistry, and physics, as well as first-semester biochemistry, psychology, and sociology before they take the exam. It takes approximately 1 month to receive exam scores. Click here to see upcoming exam dates.

How do I register for the MCAT?

There are 2 opening registration dates for the MCAT: October (for dates in January and March - June), and February (for dates in July - September). Click here to see upcoming deadlines. Students register for the MCAT on the AAMC website. Click here to watch a video about how to register for the MCAT.

How much does it cost to take the MCAT?

It costs $320 to register for the MCAT exam. However, there is a fee assistance program that allows qualifying students register at a reduced fee of $130.

How can I prepare to take the MCAT?

There are a number of free resources to help you prepare for the MCAT exam, including:

Students can also access low-cost practice exams, question sets, and print products here. Please see a video about preparing for the MCAT here.

I completed the MCAT, why do I have so many scores?

Students receive 5 exam scores: one for each of the four sections and one combined total score. The total score ranges from 472 to 528. The midpoint is 500.