Things To Know Before Attempting The MCAT Exam
MCAT or Medical College Admission Test is conducted by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) up to 25 times in a year, starting from the month of January and extending up to September at various test centers spread across the world. Candidates who are desirous of taking up medicine as a profession need to attempt the MCAT.
MCAT scores are needed for getting admission to different colleges in the Australia, Canada, United States and a few other countries. Appearing for MCAT makes you eligible to take up Veterinary, Allopathic, Podiatric and Osteopathic as your course of medical study.
Syllabus for MCAT
The syllabus for MCAT includes the study of Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Verbal reasoning and a Writing Sample that measures your writing skills. MCAT is a multiple choices based test, except for the Writing Sample. Preparation for MCAT does not require an advanced study but only a recollection of the concepts that you have studied in your undergraduate course of study.
MCAT Test Dates
MCAT test dates needs to be selected after careful planning, as the application deadlines for different medical schools are different. Before selecting the test dates make an enquiry regarding the score submission date at the medical college of your choice. Register for the test at least 60 days in advance, so that you get the desired test location and the test date. Make the first attempts in the months of January or February; this will give you an opportunity to reattempt the MCAT if needed. But attempt the test only when you are prepared.
MCAT Scores and its Significance
MCAT scores are released after 30-35 days of appearing for the test. MCAT scores are made available at the MCAT Testing History (THx) System. The scores of MCAT are calculated based on the number of correct answers you have given, this forms the raw score.
The raw scores are then converted to a 15-point scaled score, which reduces any discrimination that may have arised due to differences in the difficulty level of the questions. This means that candidates with same intelligence level will get the same scaled score, even if there is a slight difference in their raw scores. The final scores for the multiple-choices section is displayed using the 15-point scale that starts from 1(lowest) to 15(highest).
Writing Sample requires you to write two essays based on the given topic. The rating is done by two readers and hence you get two scores for each section, thus getting four scores in total. These raw scores are then converted to scaled score. The final scores for the Writing Sample are reported on a scale which starts from J (lowest) to T (highest).
Preparation Methods for MCAT
There are several methods available for preparation for the MCAT. The official MCAT site www.aamc.org and www.e-mcat.com provides several preparation tips and materials. Practice tests are available at these sites that can be downloaded and practiced for getting a good MCAT score.
You can also join preparatory courses or study under a private tutor for MCAT preparation. Before attempting the MCAT, make sure that you are well prepared. Attempt as may practice tests as possible, this will help in keeping a track of your preparation.