When Should I Take the MCAT?

When Should I Take the MCAT in 2024?

There are 30 MCAT test dates to choose from in 2024. When deciding on an MCAT test date, consider the fact that you’ll need 3-5 months to study and want your MCAT scores to be ready by the time primary applications are submitted in June. Other factors include whether or not you want a weekend test date, seat availability at your preferred testing center, and personal obligations.

Taking just a little bit of time now to determine your future test date can put you ahead of the game and help you develop a strong plan for your MCAT success in 2024.

[ READ NEXT: How to Study for the MCAT in 3 Months ]

2024 MCAT Test Dates

These are the 2024 MCAT test dates, plus score release dates, and registration deadlines. The standard MCAT testing time is 8:00 AM, unless noted otherwise. You can see MCAT test dates, score releases dates, and registration deadlines below.

January 12, 2024November 13, 2023December 13, 2023January 2, 2024February 13, 2024
January 13, 2024November 14, 2023December 14, 2023January 3, 2024February 13, 2024
January 18, 2024November 19, 2023December 19, 2023January 8, 2024February 20, 2024
January 26, 2024November 27, 2023December 27, 2023January 16, 2024March 1, 2024
March 9, 2024January 9, 2024February 8, 2024February 28, 2024April 9, 2024
March 22, 2024January 22, 2024February 21, 2024March 12, 2024April 23, 2024
April 12, 2024February 12, 2024March 13, 2024April 2, 2024May 14, 2024
April 13, 2024February 13, 2024March 14, 2024April 3, 2024May 14, 2024
April 26, 2024February 26, 2024March 27, 2024April 16, 2024May 29, 2024
April 27, 2024February 27, 2024March 28, 2024April 17, 2024May 29, 2024
May 4, 2024March 5, 2024April 4, 2024April 24, 2024June 4, 2024
May 10, 2024March 11, 2024April 10, 2024April 30, 2024June 11, 2024
May 11, 2024March 12, 2024April 11, 2024May 1, 2024June 11, 2024
May 16, 2024March 17, 2024April 16, 2024May 6, 2024June 18, 2024
May 24, 2024March 25, 2024April 24, 2024May 14, 2024June 25, 2024
June 1, 2024April 2, 2024May 2, 2024May 22, 2024July 2, 2024
June 14, 2024April 15, 2024May 15, 2024June 4, 2024July 16, 2024
June 15, 2024April 16, 2024May 16, 2024June 5, 2024July 16, 2024
June 22, 2024April 23, 2024May 23, 2024June 12, 2024July 23, 2024
June 27, 2024April 28, 2024May 28, 2024June 17, 2024July 30, 2024
July 13, 2024May 14, 2024June 13, 2024July 3, 2024August 13, 2024
July 26, 2024May 27, 2024June 26, 2024July 16, 2024August 27, 2024
August 2, 2024June 3, 2024July 3, 2024July 23, 2024September 4, 2024
August 17, 2024June 18, 2024July 18, 2024August 7, 2024September 17, 2024
August 23, 2024June 24, 2024July 24, 2024August 13, 2024September 24, 2024
August 24, 2024June 25, 2024July 25, 2024August 14, 2024September 24, 2024
September 5, 2024July 7, 2024August 6, 2024August 26, 2024October 8, 2024
September 6, 2024July 8, 2024August 7, 2024August 27, 2024October 8, 2024
September 13, 2024July 15, 2024August 14, 2024September 3, 2024October 15, 2024
September 14, 2024July 16, 2024August 15, 2024September 4, 2024October 15, 2024


Expert Test Tip

Aeri Kim, MCAT Instructor

“Try out different study schedule methods to help you stay on track. Students commonly over-budget themselves, then abandon the schedule because they’re “just not a scheduling kind of person”. Instead, the study schedule should be adaptable and fluid so that it’s a useful tool, not a source of stress.”

If you stick with your selected MCAT test date, you will avoid rescheduling or cancellation fees, which increase the closer you get to your test date.

The importance of choosing your 2024 MCAT Test Date

In 2024, the MCAT will be offered in January and every month from March through September. With so many MCAT test dates coming up, it can be easy to put your decision of when to take the MCAT on the back-burner.  But think about it like this: lots of longer-term decisions—like when to schedule your test prep—depend on your 2024 MCAT test date. Taking just a little bit of time now to determine your future test date can put you ahead of the game and help you develop a strong plan for your MCAT success.

Taking the MCAT in time for your Med School application

We generally recommend that students give themselves at least three to five months to prepare for the MCAT. As such, if you want to test in January or March, then you’ll want to get started in September or October. If you’re testing in April, May, June, or July, then January or February is the perfect time to get started on your prep.

Remember that the application cycle opens in June of each year, and you will want your official MCAT score to be released and ready to go when you submit your medical school application. That way, your application can immediately be considered as soon as it is received, since most schools operate on rolling admissions.

Is the January 2024 MCAT test date right for you?

If you have completed all or most of your MCAT prerequisite coursework, you are definitely a candidate for taking the January MCAT exam. Even if you are completing those courses this term, you can still be ready for the January MCAT test date.

If this describes you, it’s a great idea to get your MCAT preparation and administration out of the way early in the year. Taking the January exam will allow you to put the MCAT portion of your application away for the Spring term so you can free up your focus for the application itself—including the preparation and revisions of your personal statement.

In addition, a lot of students choose to take the MCAT in January because there is usually a lot of break time leading up to the test date, which provides a nice chunk of time for them to focus on MCAT prep without the distraction of classes and finals.

Are the March, April, and May 2024 exams right for you?

March, April, and May have historically been—and will likely continue to be—the most popular testing months because they occur before the application cycle opens in June. While these Spring months might seem far away, now is the perfect time to get started preparing for these exams. This way, you can comfortably pace your MCAT study and not be rushed into cramming—an unadvisable strategy when it comes to preparing for standardized tests—during the Spring terms.

MCAT Prep Tip

As the official MCAT prep of the AMSA, Kaplan has many MCAT classes to prepare you for any test date. You can register months in advance, so you can enroll and save your spot for when they begin. This way of thinking ahead has an additional payoff: Even though you might not start your MCAT class meetings right away, once you enroll, you get access to your Kaplan materials and can get a jumpstart on your preparation.

What about the summer 2024 MCAT test dates?

The MCAT test dates scheduled for the summer are ideal for students who want to spend the academic year completing coursework and therefore need to dedicate their summer months to studying. If you are planning on taking the MCAT in June, you will want to start your preparation no later than February, but if you are thinking of July, August, or September, you can wait until the latter part of the spring to get started.

Testing in summer allows you to intensely study for the MCAT without worrying about classwork. But just remember—if you wait until these later exam dates to test, you will be entering the application cycle once it is in full swing.

Why you should start prepping for the 2024 MCAT now

As you start to think about your MCAT prep and how it affects—and is affected by—your chosen MCAT test date, remember the immediate benefits of taking an MCAT prep course.  As soon as you enroll, even if your class sessions aren’t starting for months, you get access to all of your materials, including the review books, class sessions and workshops, and Science review videos.

A lot of students who want to get a leg up on their competition start using those materials right away. Not just to jump start their MCAT prep, but also to get the edge in their undergraduate courses. Take a page from their book and you’ll in essence be killing two birds with one stone: prepping for the MCAT while getting extra resources for your classes.

Here’s one good way to get the most out of those resources. For example, if you are taking biochemistry this year, you could use the MCAT Workshops and Science review videos that focus on biochemistry to give yourself a boost in those courses—think of it as background material.

Also, your access to the review notes, which nicely summarize the big topics of biochemistry, could give you an added advantage. Might as well get the maximum value out of enrollment, with the longest course access possible leading up to your test date. That’s extra time to prepare for the exam and simultaneously fortify your knowledge of the topics that will help you get into, and succeed in, medical school.

How Long Do You Need To Prepare For The MCAT

A typical amount of time to prepare effectively for the MCAT is between 200-300 hours total. We actually recommend 300-350 hours. Ideally, you would spread this out over several months, especially if you have other commitments such as school or work. A common error that many test-takers make is to try to study for the MCAT while carrying a very heavy load of activities. Remember, the more things you are involved in, the less time you’ll have to study effectively.

Some test-takers spend six months preparing for the MCAT, while others choose to cram it all into just a month before the test. Consider your own schedule carefully, be realistic about all of your commitments, and plan as far in advance as possible. Then you can be realistic about your ability to master the demands of the MCAT.

[RELATED: MCAT one-month study plan & MCAT three-month study plan ]

When to Register for the MCAT in 2024

It’s crucial that you check the registration dates for the date you want to test ahead of time. Historically, testing seats fill up very quickly—some in less than 24 hours— and we expect the same to occur this year. You might say that MCAT seats were just as popular as the hottest music events!

Of course, in order to register, you’ll need to know which MCAT test date you’re going for—just another reason to select it now so you are prepared. (Notice how much we’re emphasizing this?) Take some time now to build out your calendar for the next few months. Include personal, academic, and professional obligations so the date doesn’t sneak up on you.

MCAT Academic Background Requirements

The MCAT does not require you to have taken high-level science courses. In fact, introductory-level courses that are typically taken in the first two years of college are almost all that you need to have the right background for the MCAT. The only exception is Biochemistry, which is typically taken later in your college career.

The undergraduate courses that are reflected in the Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems section of the MCAT are:

  • Introductory General Chemistry (30%)
  • Introductory Physics (25%)
  • Organic Chemistry (15%)
  • Biochemistry (25%)
  • Introductory Biology (5%)

The undergraduate courses that are reflected in the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section of the MCAT are:

  • Introductory Biology (65%)
  • First-semester Biochemistry (25%)
  • Introductory General Chemistry (5%)
  • Introductory Organic Chemistry (5%)
  • Additional biology classes such as Cell Biology, Genetics, Anatomy, and Physiology, or Microbiology can be helpful but aren’t required.

The undergraduate courses that are reflected in the Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior section of the MCAT are:

  • Introductory Psychology (65%)
  • Introductory Sociology (30%)
  • Introductory Biology (5%)

The Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section of the MCAT does not require any specific coursework. As the name implies, this section of the MCAT asks you to use critical reasoning skills to read, analyze and interpret passages and answer related questions. Reading at a level expected of a college undergraduate is appropriate for this section of the test.

[RELATED: What’s Tested on the MCAT? ]

Considerations When Choosing an MCAT Test Date in 2024

In summary, there are several factors that MCAT test takers should take into consideration when deciding when to test.

  • The Time of Year

    There are 4 different “windows” to take the MCAT in 2024: the Winter (late January), the Spring (March, April, and May), the summer (June and July), and the Fall (August and September). The “ideal” time to take it is when you feel fully prepared. It isn’t worth it to rush your MCAT if you don’t feel ready.

  • Weekday or Weekend Test

    This is going to be especially important for students considering a test date that falls into the academic year. You might prefer a weekend test date so as to not miss classes.

  • Important Personal Obligations

    Remember that you have a life outside of the MCAT. Things can come up at different times of the year: vacation, weddings, finals, and graduation. We recommend picking a time that you are going to be able to focus properly on the exam.

  • Testing Center Locations

    This is often something students forget about. You want to pick an exam location that is going to be convenient for you. Just like all things in medical school admissions, early is always better. It is in your best interest to register for your MCAT exam date ASAP. This way you are committed to studying for the exam and you are going to take the test at your preferred location. (Some testing centers fill up fast!)

No matter when you choose to test in 2024, you can still get started now and spread your preparation out. Even if you haven’t completed your prerequisite courses, reviewing old content can ensure you stay fresh and up to date. At any point, signing up for a Kaplan MCAT course gives you access to our Review Books, MCAT Workshops, Science Review Videos, and much more.

Kaplan is the official MCAT® prep of the American Medical Student Association.

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