MCAT Test Dates: Full Guide to Choosing in 2020 & 2021

MCAT Test DatesChoosing the right MCAT test date is more than just crossing out numbers on your calendar. 

Your MCAT schedule depends on selecting an appropriate date that gives you enough time to prepare mentally and physically. Thus, the need to check out MCAT test dates.

We’ve listed down the exam dates for the years 2020 and 2021. This article also includes tips and guides to help you prepare for the MCAT. 

Let’s get started!

MCAT Test Dates 2020 to 2021

MCAT Test Date
Score Release Date
Period to Register for MCAT
May 29, 2020 (Friday)
June 30, 2020 (Tuesday)
Between January to March
June 5, 2020 (Friday)
July 7, 2020 (Tuesday)
Between February to April
June 19, 2020 (Friday)
July 7, 2020 (Tuesday)
Between February to April
June 20, 2020 (Saturday)
July 7, 2020 (Tuesday)
Between February to April
June 27, 2020 (Saturday)
July 14, 2020 (Tuesday)
Between February to April
June 28, 2020 (Sunday)
July 14, 2020 (Tuesday)
Between February to April
July 7, 2020 (Tuesday)
July 21, 2020 (Tuesday)
Between March to May
July 18, 2020 (Saturday)
August 4, 2020 (Tuesday)
Between March to May
July 23, 2020 (Thursday)
August 6, 2020 (Thursday)
Between March to May
July 31, 2020 (Friday)
August 18, 2020 (Tuesday)
Between March to May
August 1, 2020 (Saturday)
August 18, 2020 (Tuesday)
Between April to June
August 7, 2020 (Friday)
September 9, 2020 (Wednesday)
Between April to June
August 8, 2020 (Saturday)
September 9, 2020 (Wednesday)
Between April to June
August 14, 2020 (Friday)
September 15, 2020 (Tuesday)
Between April to June
August 29, 2020 (Saturday)
September 29, 2020 (Tuesday)
Between April to June
September 3, 2020 (Thursday)
October 6, 2020 (Tuesday)
Between May to July
September 4, 2020 (Friday)
October 6, 2020 (Tuesday)
Between April to June
September 11, 2020 (Friday)
October 13, 2020 (Tuesday)
Between April to June
September 12, 2020 (Sunday)
October 13, 2020 (Tuesday)
Between April to June
September 27, 2020 (Monday)
October 27, 2020 (Wednesday)
Between April to June
September 28, 2020 (Monday)
October 27, 2020 (Wednesday)
Between April to June

Deadline Guide for MCAT Test Dates

All registrations should be completed and submitted by 11:59 PM on the day of the deadline. 

There are three deadline standards: 

  • Bronze – Registrations submitted 1 week before the scheduled MCAT test date. This is the final date to cancel your reservation and edit any changes to your registration information like name, address, and contact information. 
  • SilverRegistrations submitted 15 days before the scheduled MCAT test date. This is the final date for initial registration and if you want to reschedule your test date.
  • Gold Registrations submitted 1 month before the scheduled MCAT test date. This is the final date to receive a partial refund if you cancel taking the exam. This will also be the final date if you want to reschedule at a lower rate. 

MCAT Test Dates 2020: Your Guide Before the MCAT Registration

The MCAT registration process doesn’t take long to complete, but it’s critical to your MCAT schedule plan.

If you wait too long to decide, it’s possible you’ll lose the MCAT dates you want. This will also interfere with the date you want to start your prep program. 

If you lose a slot for the MCAT exam dates, you’ll have to adjust and possibly sacrifice time to study & prepare adequately for the MCAT. 

As early as now, it’s essential to plan when you decide to take the MCAT and, if you can, register as soon as you have a date in mind. Why wait until the last minute?

Here are 3 tips to help you: 

  1. Make a list of the top 3 possible test locations near you
  2. Stay updated when the registration opens for the test date that you want
  3. Bring a valid government-issued ID on the day of registration. Bring and use the same ID during exam day. 

When Should I Take the MCAT? 

If you aren’t sure when to take this admissions exam, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • How much time will I need to prepare before the MCAT?
  • Do I plan to apply for medical school after my fourth year? Or am I going to take a 1-year break? 

Preparing for the MCAT can take about 3-6 months before the exam. During these months you’ll go through the best MCAT preparation course, take practice tests, and answer full-length exams. 

Ideally, choose a date where you have ample time to prepare, study, and have room for unexpected things that can happen along the way. 

A good standard to use as a reference is an average of 300 to 350 hours set aside for studying for the MCAT. For the practice exams, 10-15 hours should be sufficient. Of course, if you need more time to study and master the concepts, adjust accordingly. 

Most students on average take the MCAT by the end of their third year or during the summer period before the fourth year. This is just in case they may need to re-take the MCAT. Not that you should make this a goal, but it’s good to have a backup plan in place. 

Finally, don’t rush your MCAT registration plan. This is the worst mistake you can make when prepping for this important admissions exam. To summarize: 

  • Consider the amount of time it takes for you to study, prepare, and review all the content materials & MCAT courses
  • Consider the best time to apply for medical schools and include this when you budget your time 
  • Evaluate your knowledge and understanding of the MCAT courses. This will gauge how much time you need to study and review for the MCAT. 

How Long Is the MCAT? 

The MCAT will take up to 7 hours and 30 minutes to complete. Below is a detailed table that will show the time for each section and the total number of hours it takes to complete the MCAT, with breaks included.

MCAT Test Date
Score Release Date
Period to Register for MCAT
Test Certification
4 minutes
Tutorial (optional)
10 minutes
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
59 Questions
95 minutes
Break (optional)
10 minutes
Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
53 Questions
90 minutes
Mid-Exam Break (optional)
30 minutes
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
59 Questions
95 minutes
Break (optional)
10 minutes
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
59 Questions
95 minutes
Void Question
3 minutes
Satisfaction Survey (optional)
5 minutes
Total Time
6 hours and 15 minutes
Total Time (with breaks)
7 hours and 30 minutes

How Do I Register for the MCAT? 

1. The first step is to make sure the MCAT registration is open, to begin with. If you decide to register in July or August, registration opens during February. 

2. Create an AAMC account. This is a simple setup process. Just create a username and password. AAMC will then issue your ID number. 

3. Apply for the Fee Assistance Program (Optional). If you decide to proceed with this step, you’ll need to act fast. There’s a 2-week timeframe limit so you have to apply immediately. 

4. Fill out any required information. Complete your background and registration information. Afterward, choose your preferred MCAT test date. 

5. Register for the MCAT. When registration day opens, select the test date, state, and test location. Remember, this is on a first-come, first-served basis. Have a credit card or cash handy so you can pay after you’ve completed this step. 

6. Check your email. You’ll receive a confirmation email from AAMC within 24 hours upon registration. 

MCAT Fees: 

Registration Fee: $320

International Fee: $115

Fee Assistance Program Registration Fee: $130

Fee Assistance Program Reschedule Fee: $50 – $75

Reschedule Date and/or Test Center Location Fee: $95 – $160

Reminders and Guidelines for Test Day

Regardless of how early you are in preparing for exam day, all the MCAT dates don’t compare to the actual test day. 

These tips should help you make the most of the months of preparation you’ve invested in this admissions exam. 

  • Bring one valid government-issued ID. Make sure this information matches your registration details. 
  • Make any arrangements beforehand since you can’t bring your phone inside the exam room. 
  • Review your test date and location the day before. Arrive at your test location 30-45 minutes earlier to prepare and condition yourself before the exam. 
  • Eat a light, healthy breakfast on the day of the exam. Bring drinks and light snacks if you feel you’ll get hungry at some point in the day. 
  • Take advantage of all the assigned breaks in your MCAT exam. This will give you time to breathe and prepare yourself for the sections that follow.

Table of Contents

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can change your MCAT test date. However, this will cost you a reschedule fee of $95 to $160. It’s not advisable to reschedule your test date impulsively. So don’t do it just because you can but because it’s necessary.

To get a good MCAT score (1), use a diverse range of content review materials and resources. Your study schedule should range between 4-5 months before the exam with as many full-length practice exams you can answer. 

Most importantly, keep in mind that giving yourself a lot of ample time will keep you from cramming.

Conclusion

The best approach to studying for the MCAT is to create a study plan (2) based on your learning style. This will depend if you learn best through self-study, in-person, or live online. 

Although review materials and practice exams are essential to your MCAT preparation, academic efforts shouldn’t be your only focus. 

Ample rest and proper physical and mental care essential to helping you strive through the MCAT. 

Most importantly, don’t forget that your strategy in taking the MCAT test also matters. Pacing and your ability to handle unexpected situations will come in handy to ace the admissions test.