What's the Latest I Should Take the MCAT for an Application Cycle

What’s the Latest I Should Take the MCAT for an Application Cycle?

medschoolcoach

Students often ask: What’s the latest I should take the MCAT if I want to apply this year? Great question! There are several factors to consider when you talk about MCAT timing. We’ve laid out a few different scenarios below to help you determine what the latest date you should take the MCAT is.

UPDATE: In 2020-21 application cycle, with COVID-19 Pandemic affecting so many things, AAMC has released a new timeline for the cycle. More information can be found here.

Scenario 1: Taking the MCAT just once and applying early

If you are only taking the MCAT once, the most ideal scenario is that you have your MCAT score by the time the application opens up in early June. That usually means taking the MCAT in the winter/early spring (Jan – April test dates) because MCAT scores take about a month to be released (see score release dates below). For some people, that is during their Spring semester, which may become busy (classes, MCAT, application, extracurriculars, etc!). For others, this is during a gap year so it’s not as cumbersome to carve out MCAT study time.

Scenario 2: Taking the MCAT just one and applying without an MCAT score

This scenario is fairly common for test takers in the later Spring. If you take your MCAT in mid-May, you won’t have your score back until mid-June. Remember, the application opens up in early June, so that means you don’t have your score by the time you apply. That’s not the end of the world as you CAN STILL SUBMIT OUR AMCAS WITHOUT AN MCAT SCORE (little known fact, but super important one!). You can choose a list of schools and add to it as well post submission, depending on your MCAT score. You can do this and have your score come out as late as mid-August (which means a mid-July test date) and still be relatively early in the cycle because you’ll be “complete” by the time secondaries come out and you submit them. That typically means that mid-July is the absolute latest we’d recommend taking the test, if you are only taking it once, and you want a relatively early application. Even with that, you should be getting the rest of your application done before your MCAT (which can get difficult with timing, but hopefully you get the idea!

Scenario 3: Taking the MCAT multiple times

It’s of course possible to take the MCAT more than once. That means you can have a score, apply, and still have a pending score. The same situation as scenario 2 applies in that you may not have a final school list yet. You may also start getting your AMCAS application actually evaluated by schools because you already have 1 score, so that means you can take the second MCAT a tiny bit later (mid-August MCAT date would be the last advisable date in this scenario).

MCAT Test Dates and Score Release Dates

Test Date Release Date
January 17, 2020 February 18, 2020
January 18, 2020 February 18, 2020
January 23, 2020 February 25, 2020
March 14, 2020 April 14, 2020
March 27, 2020 May 1, 2020
April 4, 2020 May 5, 2020
April 24, 2020 May 27, 2020
April 25, 2020 May 27, 2020
May 9, 2020 June 9, 2020
May 15, 2020 June 16, 2020
May 16, 2020 June 16, 2020
May 21, 2020 June 23, 2020
May 29, 2020 June 30, 2020
June 5, 2020 July 7, 2020
June 19, 2020 July 21, 2020
June 20, 2020 July 21, 2020
June 27, 2020 July 28, 2020
July 7, 2020 August 6, 2020
July 18, 2020 August 18, 2020
July 23, 2020 August 25, 2020
July 31, 2020 September 1, 2020
August 1, 2020 September 1, 2020
August 7, 2020 September 9, 2020
August 8, 2020 September 9, 2020
August 14, 2020 September 15, 2020
August 29, 2020 September 29, 2020
September 3, 2020 October 6, 2020
September 4, 2020 October 6, 2020
September 11, 2020 October 13, 2020
September 12, 2020 October 13, 2020

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