When Should I Register for the MCAT?

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Session 19

The MCAT is arguably one of the most important pieces of your medical school application. Registering for it is one of the most important parts of the MCAT.

So when should you register for the MCAT? When do you need to take it? Other students say they’re not ready to take the MCAT yet so they don’t need to register yet.

Knowing it’s rolling admissions, it’s also very important to know how registration works for the MCAT.

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[00:50] An Overview of the Timeline

The first thing to keep in mind is that registration (as of this recording on October 18, 2017) has just opened for the beginning half of 2018.

It’s usually mid-October where MCAT registration opens up for the beginning half of the next year. This means MCAT dates from January through June.

So if you’re planning on taking the MCAT anywhere at the beginning half of next year, where the typical recommendation is somewhere around March to May of the year you’re planning on applying. This is going to be a year before you’re planning on going into medical school. This said, you need to register somewhere around mid-October.

[01:50] Why You Need to Register Early

It’s important to register early for several reasons. First, it keeps you accountable. This is real now. You just laid out some cash and now it’s important that you study.

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Second reason, and the most important thing, is that the MCAT is administered at Pearson VUE locations throughout the country. And they only have a certain number of seats per testing day. If you’re in a very busy location with lots of premeds in your area, those testing sites fill up fast. When this happens, this means you need to figure out where else to take the test.

Especially before the new MCAT came into existence, because they were trying to squeeze in the old MCAT, there have been stories of students flying to Guam to take the test. Talk about extra stress that isn’t needed. Plan on registering as soon as possible.

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So if something happens down the line, you can reschedule. It does cost money to reschedule but it’s probably going to cost a lot less money than traveling somewhere and staying in a hotel, plus the food and airfare expenses.

Again, register early so you don’t have to travel anywhere else. That added stress will probably not increase your score, but it has a likelihood of decreasing your score. Apply for MCAT registration early so you don’t fall into that trap. so you don’t fall into that trap.


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