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.
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.
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!
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).
|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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