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MCAT, AMCAS and More


MCAT – Medical College Admission Test

This is required by almost all medical schools.  Knowledge in Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, Writing Sample, and Biological Sciences as well as critical analysis and reasoning skills are tested.  This is usually taken during the spring semester of your 3rd college year.

The exam is being updated, the writing section will be removed in 2013, and the exam further modified for 2015.  There are 4 sections in the 2015 exam:

1) Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems,
2) Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems,
3) Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior, and
4) Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

More specific information on content can be found here:

Many review books and practice tests are available for the MCAT.  Make sure to find one that fits your study style and is current.

It is useful to start thinking about reviewing for the MCAT during the summer after your sophomore year.  Plan to take the MCAT during the spring of your Junior year.  Thinking about it early will help you find preparation materials or take a preparation course.

American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)

AMCAS is a centralized application service for people applying to medical school.  It is used by most medical school programs.  This helps you submit one application that will go to multiple schools.  You will then likely receive supplemental application materials from schools you apply to.

Information and application deadlines can be found here: 

One major exception of schools that do not use AMCAS are several Texas medical schools.  These schools use the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS) (Most of these schools, however, use AMCAS if you are applying for a MD/PhD program.)

Application deadlines are set by individual medical schools for regular applications.  The exception is applications for the early decision program are due for all schools by August 1st.

Other Helpful Web Links and Sites of Interests for Pre-Med Students

General Medical Sites:

The American Medical Association

The Association of American Medical Colleges

Specialized Medical Sites:

The American Dental Education Association

The American Dental Association

The American Public Health Association

The Association of Schools of Public Health

The American Osteopathic Association

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

The American Academy of Optometry

Preparatory Sites for Placement Exams:
MCAT: Medical College Admission Test

The Official MCAT Web Site

Kaplan Preparatory Courses

DAT: Dental Admission Test

ScholarWare’s DAT Computer Sample Tests and Guide

PCAT: Pharmacy College Admission Test

ScholarWare’s PCAT Computer Sample Tests and Guide

OAT: Optometry Admission Test

ScholarWare’s OAT Computer Sample Tests and Guide

Summer undergraduate research programs:

The road to becoming a doctor: