Updated May 27, 2020

This update is based on current information about the spread of COVID-19 and the anticipated ability for in-person testing. The AAMC will provide further updates as circumstances change.

We understand that the uncertainty around COVID-19 makes it difficult to schedule a test date. This page is designed to provide information that will help examinees make decisions about when and where to take the MCAT exam this year.

Testing plans during COVID-19

The AAMC is committed to providing examinees with the best testing experience possible during this very challenging time. The health and safety of examinees is the AAMC’s priority. Our test delivery partner, Pearson VUE, has implemented health and safety measures across all test centers, including social distancing practices, rigorous cleaning regimens, and mask requirements for all examinees and test center staff. Exams will not be held if the conditions in test center locations are unsafe, in accordance with state and local restrictions on non-essential businesses or other activities that would prevent MCAT administrations in those areas.

The AAMC has made significant changes to the testing plans for the remainder of 2020 to support a safer testing experience and offset the regional effects and possible resurgences of COVID-19:

  • We have made changes to respond to the impact of the pandemic on different states and regions, as well as the impact on examinees’ ability to report MCAT scores.
  • We have expedited score reporting for certain dates.
  • We have shortened the exam to 5 hours and 45 minutes, which enables us to increase the number of appointments by 1.5 times the number we have in a typical year. This increase compensates for canceled exams and reduced test center capacity due to social distancing.
  • We are offering three test appointments per day at test centers and have waived all rescheduling fees to provide more options and flexibility so you can adjust your plans as needed.

Considerations when selecting an exam date

It is important to consider the state and local safety, health, and travel guidance in your area when selecting a test date. We do not encourage students to travel far distances to test centers during this time.

The MCAT exam has resumed administrations in some locations, but not all. Going forward, states and their counties and local municipalities are continuing to lift stay-at-home orders and open non-essential businesses at different times. We cannot predict these timelines and we will follow state and local advisories as well as national guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when making decisions to cancel exams. Your safety is our top priority. We are committed to keeping you informed about the potential impact of this guidance on existing test appointments.

Examinees testing with accommodations: If you have received approved accommodations, please follow the instructions outlined on the MCAT Accommodations Services homepage to schedule or reschedule your exam. If you have questions about your accommodations for the MCAT exam, please contact the MCAT Accommodation Services team at accommodations@aamc.org.

Cancellation decision timeline

Government guidance on the reopening of non-essential businesses is changing. The operating status of Pearson VUE test centers can vary by week, with more centers becoming available as time goes on. At this time, the AAMC will not make cancellation decisions more than 10 days in advance of an exam date given the fluidity of local health and safety guidance. This is to avoid prematurely canceling an exam, which would cause examinees to lose their scheduled date and time.

However, we understand that you need information to help you plan and adjust your test date proactively based on your personal preferences. Our decision-making process and the actions that will follow include:

  1. Approximately 3-4 weeks in advance of an exam date: Examinees holding appointments that are “at risk” of cancellation – i.e., in test center locations where government guidance would restrict MCAT exams from being administered will receive a notification email on scheduled dates (see chart below). Examinees will only receive an email if their appointment is at risk, but their appointment will not be canceled at this time.
  2. Approximately 10 days in advance of an exam date: The AAMC and Pearson VUE will make final decisions about the cancellation of exams based on the current government restrictions on non-essential businesses and other activities that would prevent MCAT administrations. Affected examinees will receive an email notifying them that their exam has been canceled and their appointment has been placed on hold. At that time, they can select a new appointment or cancel their appointment for a full refund of their base registration fee in the MCAT Registration System.

* To support flexibility in making changes to appointments, rescheduling fees have been waived for the remainder of the testing year. The MCAT Registration System now supports rescheduling in the bronze zone.

Cancellation timeline for June exams

Exam date(s)

Notification Date for “At Risk” Appointments

 Notification Date for Canceled Appointments

June 5

5/20

5/27

June 19 & 20

5/27

6/10

June 27 & 28

6/3

6/17

July, August, and September timelines will be posted as health and safety guidance impacting regions during those months has been announced by local government agencies

Emergency Cancellations: Despite our best efforts, we anticipate that the unpredictability of COVID-19 could result in cancellations with less than 10 days notice in some instances, as government guidance could change at the last minute. It is also possible that a test center might encounter other challenges related to safely delivering exams, such as staffing or supply shortages. We will work in partnership with Pearson VUE to minimize these occurrences and assist affected examinees in getting appointments rescheduled as soon as possible.

Medical school commitment to flexibility throughout the 2021 AMCAS Application Cycle

We continue to work closely with medical schools to help them prepare to receive many applicants’ MCAT scores later in the application cycle. Schools are acutely aware of the challenges prospective applicants are facing and will be flexible. Many are changing their timetables for application processing, inviting applicants to submit secondary applications before their MCAT scores arrive, and making interview invitations without MCAT scores. Medical schools have begun to update their admissions policies with COVID-19-related information in the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) online resource, accessible without a subscription. You may also download a PDF of the policies here