By: Savvy Pre-Med Staff
Undoubtedly, the MCAT has been the most controversial COVID-related topic in the medical school admissions world.
Rather than moving the test online - like the GRE, ACT, SAT, etc - or making the test optional, the AAMC maintained its normal in-person procedures, with a few tweaks.
The AAMC’s justifications for this decision essentially boiled down to concerns over security and equity, which seems a bit ironic.
And guess what? In-person MCAT testing will continue into 2021, despite projections of not getting a COVID-19 vaccine until mid-2021.
Recently, the MCAT dates and times for the 2021-2022 cycle were released.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Here is a quick breakdown of the changes for the 2021 testing year:
There are 31 MCAT testing dates between January and September, including a similar number of testing appointments as previous years.
The AAMC has added ONE extra date (so generous!) in January for examinees in the U.S. who want to test and are applying for the current 2021 application cycle.
Registration for 2021 will be staggered to “give examinees a better scheduling experience” and “allow the AAMC to adapt to shifting pandemic conditions.”
The AAMC will announce specific dates and times, as well as any policy changes, in advance of each registration opening.
Pre-registration starts on Monday, November 2 at noon (ET). This allows you to save time on the actual registration day by filling out your information in the MCAT Registration System in advance.
We highly recommend taking advantage of pre-registration, since the spots are likely to run out quickly on registration day, and we believe it’s in your best interest to secure a January-March date.
Each test day will offer two full-length exams at 7:30am and 3pm, a 7.5-hour duration rather than the original 8 hours in 2019 and the truncated 6 hours in 2020.
This new schedule will help limit the number of people in the test center and allow for necessary social distancing.
There are 50 minutes of breaks, a 10-minute tutorial, and a customer satisfaction survey at the end, which are all optional.
Make sure to have an MCAT back-up plan!
In our minds, it’s ideal to secure an MCAT date in March and then secure another one in June if necessary to improve your score.
Taking the MCAT in early June is an informal deadline for anyone who doesn’t want their 2021-2022 application delayed.
Sort of. Beyond the ONE extra date being added in January, the AAMC is making prep materials and school-specific information more freely available.
The AAMC will extend access to MCAT Official Prep products through September 30, 2021 for all examinees who had exams canceled due to COVID-19 and did not reschedule a test for 2020.
MSAR is updating medical school admissions policies with COVID-19 information readily available to students without a subscription.
Have any questions about the 2021-2022 MCAT? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll respond to you personally!