You'll need current MCAT test dates and release dates at the very outset of your MCAT prep to decide when you should take the MCAT. We've triple-checked and compiled all the MCAT test dates and release dates you need in one place.

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MCAT Test Dates and Release Dates Before You Register for your MCAT Test Date What to Do on Test Day FAQs

MCAT Test Dates and Release Dates

It's important to note that testing dates fill up quite quickly after registration opens, so try your best to register as early in the period as possible. Students registering at international testing sites must pay an additional fee of $120 USD.

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Before You Register for your MCAT Test Date

Even though there are many options in the US and Canada for MCAT test dates and locations, it is best to start planning as early as possible!

According to the latest AAMC report, the average number of MCAT examinees per year is around 70,000. This means that those test centers and test dates fill up pretty quickly once the registration opens.

Do not procrastinate. Choosing the optimal test date and location can really ease your anxiety and help with scheduling your preparatory activities like MCAT diagnostic tests.

Additionally, your MCAT test date will determine your MCAT score release date. If you are planning to write the exam during the medical school application process, make sure you choose a test date that would allow your scores to be released on time for the schools’ deadlines. Here’s what you need to do before you register:

1. Find out when registration opens

Right now, the AAMC offers three registration dates taking place in November, February, and May. Keep checking the AAMC website for updates about registration and dates. If you need MCAT accommodations, apply for these as soon as possible. 

2. Research MCAT test dates and release dates

Determine which dates work for you and your medical school application timeline. Ensure you have a minimum of 3 months to study and prep for your MCAT. You should also try to choose a test date far enough in advance that once you receive your score, you'll still have time to retake the MCAT if you choose to. Scores are released around one month after your test date.

You can also schedule your test first as a way of motivating yourself to study with a firm date in mind. One of our experts, Dr. Tony Huynh, explains how he prepared for the MCAT:

"I choose my MCAT date first and built in practice MCAT dates into my study schedule. I paid close attention to my study progress and kept the option of postponing the date if need be. Fortunately, my diagnostics reflected an upwards trend that I was satisfied with. Had they not, I would've delayed my test until I was ready." - Dr. Tony Huynh, DO  

3. Choose a nearby testing center

Research which testing centers are available near you and choose the most convenient one. Remember that procrastinating with choosing your test date may result in filled-up centers near you. To stick to your application plans, you might have to travel to take the MCAT. This is an unnecessary expenditure that can be easily avoided if you research your test dates and locations on time.

4. Other factors to consider

If you’re planning on writing your MCAT after taking all the necessary medical school prerequisites in the second or third year of your undergrad, consider what other academic, professional, and personal commitments you have when you are planning your prep schedule and test date.

If you are planning on taking the MCAT in the year of your application cycle, we strongly advise you to take the MCAT before you begin working on and acquiring other application materials. While it is possible to combine MCAT prep with the application process, it would be much easier to concentrate on the quality of your application components after you finish the MCAT test. 

Want us to summarize some key points? Take a look at this infographic:

What to Do on Test Day

If you're nervous about what to do on test day or what to bring with you, make a quick checklist of all materials you'll need to bring, and follow these tips!

  • Double check the date, time and location of your test. Confirm the test start time, your test date and the address of your testing site. Plan to arrive early and give yourself lots of time. If you're traveling, account for traffic or travel time if your test site is some distance away.
  • Bring your valid government-issued ID with you. You will have to go through security measures onsite, including a palm scan and photo before being allowed inside. You'll also need to sign in before being allowed into the test room.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks with you. It will be a long day!
  • Check ahead of time that you'll have somewhere to safely store your personal belongings, as you won't be able to take them with you. Your test will be taken on a computer that will be provided.
  • If you need to take a break or you've finished your exam, stay in your seat and raise your hand.


1. Which MCAT test date should I pick?

Your choice will depend on many factors. Primarily, your circumstances and your level of preparedness based on diagnostic testing will determine your test date. Other factors that will affect your test date choice are application timelines, availability of test centers and test dates, and other professional and academic commitments.

2. When should I take the MCAT?

Take the MCAT when you are feeling 100% ready. This typically means that you are consistently scoring in the 90th percentile during your practice tests at least three times in a row.

3. What do I need to register for the MCAT?

You will need to create an AAMC account, a government-issued ID, and a credit card to register for the MCAT. Make sure to use the same ID when you register in the test center on the day of the exam.

4. When does registration for the MCAT test dates open?

In October, registration for January and March MCAT dates opens. In February registration for April, May, and June dates opens. In May registration for July, August, and September dates opens.

5. Can I reschedule or cancel my MCAT test date?

Yes, you can, but this must be done before a certain deadline and will incur a fee. Please check this website to see cancelation timeframes and fees.

6. How long should I have to study for the MCAT?

3 to 6 months is the recommended timeline to adequately prepare for your MCAT. Taking diagnostic tests early will help you determine whether or not you need more or less time.

7. Can I retake the MCAT?

Yes, you may retake the MCAT up to 7 times in your lifetime. However, keep in mind taking the test multiple times will cost a lot of time and money, and some schools will consider all your MCAT scores.

8. When should I start my MCAT prep?

It’s never too early to start MCAT prep, but you should be leaving 3-6 months open for more intensive prep. Taking a diagnostic test can help you determine how much time you need and what areas you need to work on most.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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