MCAT FAQs from AUC's Office of Admissions.
What is The MCAT Exam?
The MCAT exam is an important rite of passage on your journey to medical school. Administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), this standardized, computer-based test measures your grasp of concepts fundamental to the study of medicine. It’s designed to be challenging, comprehensive and, above all, thorough. It’s not an exam that rewards note memorization—it’s designed to assess how well you understand these concepts, and how you can apply them to real-world healthcare scenarios.
To help you better understand how the MCAT fits into medical school requirements, the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) Office of Admissions has compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about the MCAT. Check out the FAQs, and the answers, below.
Why Is the MCAT Exam So Important?
Reputable Caribbean medical school admissions committees, such as AUC’s, look very closely at an applicant’s MCAT scores when evaluating that person’s readiness for medical school. That’s not necessarily because we think that your MCAT score defines you—it doesn’t. Rather, it’s because studies show that a student’s MCAT performance can be directly correlated to that individual’s future medical school performance.
AUC takes a holistic approach when we’re considering you for our program—the MCAT is just one piece of your overall profile, along with your undergraduate performance and adherence to personal attributes that AUC looks for in a candidate, like volunteerism and social maturity.
Many schools, AUC included, offer merit-based scholarships that take your MCAT score into account along with your other qualifications.
What Topics Does It Cover?
Take a look at this page for a detailed breakdown of what you can expect on the MCAT, including descriptions of each section.
When Should I Take the MCAT?
We’ve compiled a breakdown of upcoming MCAT test dates to help you answer that very question. We've included information about when you need to take the MCAT if you are planning to enroll in one of AUC’s three-semester starts each year.
One note: Know that the MCAT isn’t really a test you can cram for. Taking the MCAT exam without adequate time to study could potentially work against you. But keep in mind that if you retake the exam, some schools, including AUC, will consider both scores.
The MCAT, at a Glance
All told, you will encounter four sections on test day:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
The first three sections will test your overall knowledge of foundational concepts, not just facts. At the same time, they will challenge you to integrate and analyze information from multiple disciplines and to apply that information to new situations. For these sections, you’ll need to be demonstrating knowledge of scientific concepts and principles; scientific reasoning and problem-solving; reasoning about the design and execution of research; and data-based and statistical reasoning.
Reaching for your energy drink yet? The fourth section will ask you to read and think about passages from a wide range of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities and answer questions that test your ability to comprehend, analyze, and reason about anything from Horatio to Hollywood.
Wondering how the exam will be scored? The AAMC has released information detailing the scoring scale and what your MCAT score report will look like.
For More MCAT Information
For more, check out this detailed breakdown of the MCAT.