The MCAT, short for the Medical College Admission Test, is a test required for getting into medical school. The computer-based test assesses test takers' critical thinking, problem solving and written skills, in addition to their knowledge of scientific connects. In what follows, you'll find out more about how the test works today.
The MCAT is offered at least 25 times over the course of the year at specified test taking centers. The MCAT is usually taken by college juniors or seniors, or in the year prior to applying to medical school for those who've already graduated. The test takes about five hours to complete and is offered both in the morning and evening.
The test is made up of four sections: Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, a writing sample and Biological Sciences. Other than the writing sample, the entire test is multiple choice. The writing sample consists of two short essay questions. The Physical Sciences section always comes first and is made up of 52 questions about chemistry and physics. Next comes the Verbal Reasoning section, which has 40 questions and takes 60 minutes. After a break comes the Writing Sample section, which given the examinee an hour to answer two prompts. Finally, the examinee gets the Biological Sciences section, which asks questions about organic chemistry and biology.
Each multiple choice section is graded for a score between 1-15, and the writing section is graded 1-6, with letter grades ranging from J-T. Thus, the top raw score on the test is 45T. Unlike some exams, the MCAT has no penalty for guessing. However, that's no excuse for failing to study your tail off, as the MCAT is probably the most important exam you've ever taken!