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What’s the latest I should take the MCAT for an application cycle?

A pretty common question we get asked is “what’s the latest I should take the MCAT if I want to apply this year?”. Great question! There’s 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.

Scenario 1: Taking the MCAT just one 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
Friday, January 19, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018
Saturday, January 20, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018
Thursday, January 25, 2018 Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Saturday, March 24, 2018 Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Friday, April 6, 2018 Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Friday, April 20, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Saturday, April 21, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Saturday, May 5, 2018 Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Friday, May 18, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Saturday, May 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Thursday, May 24, 2018 Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Friday, June 1, 2018 Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Saturday, June 2, 2018 Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Saturday, June 16, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Friday, June 29, 2018 Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Saturday, June 30, 2018 Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Saturday, July 7, 2018 Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Friday, July 20, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Saturday, July 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Tuesday, July 24, 2018 Thursday, August 23, 2018
Friday, August 3, 2018 Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Saturday, August 4, 2018 Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Thursday, August 9, 2018 Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Friday, August 10, 2018 Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Saturday, August 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Friday, August 31, 2018 Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Saturday, September 1, 2018 Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Saturday, September 8, 2018 Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Tuesday, September 18, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018