Top 10 Tips for MCAT Examinees: What's Next? After Selecting Your Test Date and Location

What comes next? You have selected your MCAT test date and location registered, but what do you need to do next? To help answer these questions, the AAMC developed a list of the top 10 tips to help guide you to your test day.

1. 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.

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. Read Honoring Your Examinee Agreement. Your Examinee Agreement is required reading. On test day, you will be presented with a Certification Statement that reminds you of your obligations under the Examinee Agreement.  By proceeding beyond the Certification Statement on test day, you will be certifying that you understand and agree to comply with these obligations. Be sure you understand why it’s important and what you are agreeing to when you take the exam.

4. 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.

5. Review the many resources available to help you prepare for the MCAT Exam. The AAMC offers both free and purchasable study materials that will help you at every stage of your preparation. 

6. Plan to arrive at the testing center 30-60 minutes prior to the exam start time. Test center administrators will start checking examinees in 30-60 minutes before the exams starts. It is best to plan ahead by locating the test center prior to test day – you won’t be allowed to enter the testing room, but you will know how to get there and how long it will take. Hint: Make sure to review campus map(s) if your test center is located at a college or university.

7. Know the time zone of your test center. If you are crossing state or county lines, be sure to confirm the time zone. Some states/counties do not adhere to daylight savings time.  

8. 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.

9. Know what you can and can’t have in and out of the testing room. These test center regulations and procedures ensure the fairness and quality of testing conditions for all examinees.

10. Contact AAMC Services with questions. AAMC staff are available to assist MCAT examinees with any MCAT related questions that may arise. You may call 202-828-0600 between 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. ET on weekdays to speak with an AAMC staff member or contact us at

MCAT Essentials

The MCAT Essentials for Testing Year 2019


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