Taking the MCAT during the Pandemic: 2021 Edition

Last year, AAMC had to make significant changes to the MCAT testing experience in response to the pandemic. This year some things have returned to normal (the full-length test has resumed, for example), but there are still pandemic-related changes to the process that examinees should become familiar with as they plan their test.

Registration 

AAMC has staggered the registration process to better adapt to changing pandemic conditions. There are now three registration periods.

If you plan to take the MCAT in July, August, or September 2021, you can register beginning on April 21, 2021 for test centers located on the east coast and April 22, 2021 for other test locations (see map below). We recommend registering as soon as the system opens (12:00 PM EST) to best assure you obtain your preferred date and testing center.  

Registration Map

Rescheduling or Cancelling Your Test Date

If you need to reschedule your test date or cancel your exam, AAMC has extended its policy of waiving fees for rescheduling and cancelations. If you need to cancel within 8 days of your test date, you will need to complete an Emergency Refund Request. 

AAMC emphasizes that they will follow local and national safety guidelines, and may have to cancel test dates if conditions change. They aim to provide at least 10 days notice for any canceled dates. If you are feeling sick on your test day, if you believe you have been exposed to Covid-19 or have recently tested positive, or if you have had close contact with someone who has confirmed or suspected Covid-19 or has tested positive within the last 14 days of your exam date, you must cancel your test.

Accommodations

If you have a disability or disease that requires adjustment to the standard testing policies, you can apply for accommodations.

Test Day Experience

This test year, AAMC will administer the full-length test rather than the shortened exam instituted last year to accommodate more testing slots. Scores will be available approximately four weeks after your test date.

Examinees can still expect to follow standard social distancing and mitigation efforts during their exam, including mask wearing for test takers and staff, social distancing, and enhanced cleaning and sanitizing. For more information about what to expect on your test day, watch this video. 

If you have any questions or concerns about the MCAT, schedule an appointment with a pre-health advisor. Happy testing!

By Caroline Wilky
Caroline Wilky Associate Director, Graduate School Advising Caroline Wilky