How Many Times Can You Take the MCAT?

MCATHow many times can you take the MCAT is a question that many students ask. You might worry that you did poorly on the test and that you won’t get into the right medical school, or you just might wonder how quickly you can take the test and attempt to get a better score. You should learn a little more about the exam and how to prepare for the test before looking at how often you can take it.

What is the MCAT?

MCAT is the abbreviation for the Medical College Admission Test, which is an extensive examination required of many medical schools of students entering advanced programs. While you do not need to take the test before starting a pre-med program, you will need to take the exam before enrolling in med school. This test asks you questions about different scientific and medical fields and topics, including biology, chemistry and physics. Other questions will test your knowledge of social sciences and your ability to do simple research and think critically.

Why Take the MCAT?

One reason you might wonder how many times can you take the MCAT, is because you know it has bearing on whether you get into medical school. Though medical schools may weigh your score in different ways, most use this as a way to get a better view of how well you will do in an advanced program. A high score may show that some of your lower grades in college were just a fluke and that you have the skills necessary to complete one of these programs. Medical schools usually require that you take the MCAT, submit letters of recommendation and have a transcript that shows you did well in advanced math and science classes.

Can You Take it More Than Once?

Though you can take the MCAT more than once, the testing board responsible for this exam does limit how many times can you take the MCAT. You can take the exam a maximum of three times in one calendar year. If you take the test in January, again in May and then in June, you cannot take it again until the following January. You may only take the text a total of four times within two years. The testing board will not allow anyone to take the test more than seven times total.

Tips for Taking the MCAT

While you do have the chance to improve your score each time you take the test, you need to know how to best prepare yourself for the exam. As you only have a limited number of attempts, you want to do your best each and every time. Anubodh Varshney of U.S. News and World Report suggests taking a practice test several times and setting aside the sections you had problems with on that practice test. You can then go back to your books and work on improving your skills in those areas before taking another practice test.

Related Resource: When You Should Take the LSAT

The MCAT is a serious and important test, but you need to relax and settle your nerves before taking that test. Using practice tests can help you improve your score and do better every time you take the exam. Though there are limits to how many times can you take the MCAT, you can take the test up to three times in one year.