What Does MCAT Stand For?

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
The MCAT is an admissions test administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges to assess a student's skills, knowledge, and aptitude for medical school. Learn about the definition, significance, content, and structure of the MCAT.

About the MCAT

MCAT stands for Medical College Admission Test. This entrance exam measures an applicant's readiness for medical school and is commonly required for admission. The standardized, multiple-choice MCAT exam comprises four sections and takes more than six hours to complete. Aspiring medical students typically take the MCAT after the junior year of their pre-med studies. The test is available, via online registration, at locations around the world throughout the calendar year.

MCAT Exam at a Glance

Section Content Time Allotted
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems 59 questions 95 minutes
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems 59 questions 95 minutes
Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior 59 questions 95 minutes
Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills 53 questions 90 minutes
Total 230 questions 6.25 hours (not including breaks)

Preparing for the MCAT

Given both the comprehensive scope of the MCAT and its importance in the medical school application process, students may spend anywhere from 3-12 months preparing for the exam.

To prepare for the MCAT, students can use online self-study courses like's MCAT Test: Practice and Study Guide, which features brief and engaging video lessons to help them refresh their knowledge on the exam's subject areas. This course comes with lesson quizzes and a final exam for additional practice.

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