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The MCAT is a computer-based exam and consists of 4 sections:
  • 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

The MCAT exam is typically offered on about 25 dates from January through September. There will be no test dates in February or October - December. Specific test dates can be found on the AAMC/MCAT website.

Learn more about how the MCAT exam is scored.

The AAMC MCAT site provides comprehensive information about the MCAT. 

Timing of MCAT

Northwestern pre-med students should take their MCAT after completion of their pre-med required courses, usually in the spring of their junior year or the summer after their sophomore year.

We're happy to meet with students to discuss the best time for them to take the MCAT!

Please also refer to the AAMC's list of medical school policies for accepting new vs. old MCAT scores for the next three application cycles.


The MCAT web site also provides the following preparation materials:

MCAT Study Resource From the AAMC

The AAMC has announced a new resource, A Roadmap to MCAT® Content in Biochemistry Textbooks,  for students to view and download free of charge. The AAMC reached out to publishers of biochemistry textbooks and asked them to identify where the foundational concepts and content categories tested on the MCAT exam can be found within their textbooks. At present, there are three textbooks included in this resource, all of which are free and open-access. As the AAMC hears from other publishers, they will continue to update this resource.

MCAT Program Resource From AAMC

AAMC - Summer Enrichment Programs: Search engine through the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) where students can search programs by state, focus (i.e. MCAT prep.), length of time, and institution.


Financial Assistance

The AAMC Fee Assistance Program (FAP) assists MCAT® examinees and AMCAS applicants who, without financial assistance, would be unable to take the MCAT or apply to medical schools that use the AMCAS application.