Top 10 Tips For MCAT Examinees: Test Day

After many months of studying, practicing, and reviewing, your MCAT exam is just around the corner. To help you have the best possible test day experience, the AAMC developed a list of the top 10 tips to prepare you for test day.

1. Check your appointment the day before your exam. On occasion, changes occur, so make sure you have the current address to your testing center. If you have been contacted by Pearson VUE or AAMC regarding your reservation, please reply as this may have implications on your appointment.

2. Read the MCAT Essentials. This document is crucial to a successful experience during your MCAT exam. It provides critical information about MCAT policies and procedures, and was required reading at the time you registered for the MCAT. You agreed to the terms listed in the Essentials by registering for the MCAT exam.

3. Practice with the exam features. Every testing platform is unique and knowing how to move through the exam, select answers, highlight passages, and strikeout answers is important. Understanding the various features and functions of the MCAT Exam before you arrive on test day will help you feel more prepared. 

4. Learn about the check-in process in advance. This short video provides you with a detailed overview of how the process will work at the test center. Knowing this in advance will help you better understand what to expect on test day.

5. Read “Honoring Your Examinee Agreement.” Your Examinee Agreement is required reading, and you will have to indicate your acceptance of it through the Test-Day Certification Statement before you even begin answering questions on test day. Be sure you understand why it’s important and what you are agreeing to when you take the exam.

6. Read through the “Guidelines for Discussing the MCAT Exam.” These guidelines provide a summary and examples of what you can and can’t say after you sit for your exam.

7. Be sure you have a valid ID  that you can present on test day. If your ID doesn’t meet the necessary criteria, you will not be allowed to test. Hint: Make sure that your first and last name on your ID match the name you entered during registration! If they do not match, you may change your registration in the MCAT Registration system up until the Bronze Zone Deadline.
**If you are unable to provide the required identification, or if you have any questions about our identification policies, you must contact AAMC Services no later than the Silver Zone Deadline, at 202-828-0600 for further assistance.

8. Plan to arrive at the testing center 30 minutes prior to the exam start time. Test administrators will start checking examinees in 30 minutes before the exams starts. Hint: Check the time zone of the test center and make sure to review campus map(s) if your test center is located at a college or university.

9. Bring food and drink. The MCAT exam is about 7 and half hours if you use all of the allotted time for each section and optional breaks, which includes the 30-minute mid-exam break. You can’t leave the testing center, so we encourage you to bring food and drink given the long testing day.
**Keep in mind your test time will stop only for the allotted scheduled break time, so plan your scheduled breaks accordingly and allow time for checking into the testing room. Once you are seated for your exam after your scheduled break, you will be required to start your exam even if your full break time hasn’t expired. 

10. Report any issues to the Test Administrators (TAs). Each test center has TAs on staff to assist you. In the unlikely event that you experience a technical problem, please remember to raise your hand and make sure the TA submits a center problem report. If you believe that test center conditions interfered with your performance on the exam, and wish to have the AAMC research what occurred, review Reporting a Test Day Incident in the MCAT Essentials for instructions.

MCAT Essentials

The MCAT Essentials for Testing Year 2019


Get answers to your questions about MCAT registration, scores, and more.