MCAT Exam with Accommodations

The AAMC is committed to providing all individuals with an opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency on the MCAT exam. That includes ensuring access to persons with disabilities in accordance with relevant law. If you have a disability or medical condition that you believe requires an adjustment to standard testing conditions, we encourage you to apply for accommodated testing.

Visit our FAQ page for updates on the MCAT testing program's response to Covid-19.

Scroll down for Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates for Accommodated Examinees.

This website contains information you need to understand the application process and how to schedule your exam with accommodations. Each page of our site is geared towards a specific component of the accommodations request process.

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the entire process before applying. You can access these pages by using the buttons to the right.

Important Steps Before Applying

  • Create an AAMC ID (if you have not already done so)
  • Understand how our review process works
  • Review pertinent review cycles, deadlines, & dates
  • Understand all necessary application steps
  • Identify application requirements associated with your condition

Are you an evaluator? Click here.

Our Review Process

Our policies are guided by the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as our mission to provide a valid exam while maintaining a level playing field for all test takers. Keep in mind, it is your current functional limitations (in combination with the demands of the task you will be undertaking), not diagnosis alone, that determines the appropriateness of a requested accommodation.

Accommodations are granted only when they are supported by sufficient evidence. To assist you in understanding how your request and supporting documentation are considered, please review our guide.

Below is an overview of the components that we look for within your documentation:

  • Identification of your diagnosis and impairments
  • Discussion of the current functional limitations affecting your ability to access to the exam
  • Recommendations for accommodation on the exam
  • A rationale for each recommended accommodation

Our Review Process

Our policies are guided by the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as our mission to provide a valid exam while maintaining a level playing field for all test takers. Keep in mind, it is your current functional limitations (in combination with the demands of the task you will be undertaking), not diagnosis alone, that determines the appropriateness of a requested accommodation.

Accommodations are granted only when they are supported by sufficient evidence. To assist you in understanding how your request and supporting documentation are considered, please review our guide.

Below is an overview of the components that we look for within your documentation:

  • Identification of your diagnosis and impairments
  • Discussion of the current functional limitations affecting your ability to access to the exam
  • Recommendations for accommodation on the exam
  • A rationale for each recommended accommodation

COVID-19 Updates for Accommodated Examinees

Please refer to the MCAT Coronavirus page for general information regarding the impact of the coronavirus (COVD-19) on 2020 testing. Accommodations related FAQs can be found below.

Yes, you may still apply for accommodations for the shortened MCAT exam. Please note that standard submission dates and review timeframes apply. More information can be found on the Review Cycles and Important Dates page.

We are unable to receive documentation submitted via mail due to COVID-19. Initial applications should be submitted using the MCAT Accommodations Online (MAO) system. Requests for Extensions, Reconsiderations, Appeals, and the MCAT Accommodation Services Financial Benefit (and supporting documentation) should be submitted via email at mcat_accoms_docs@aamc.org. Please be sure you have submitted your application using the methods listed above to avoid unnecessary delays in the review of your request.

We are aware that some applicants may encounter challenges in gathering the documentation necessary to support requests for accommodations due to factors related to COVID-19. If you have encountered such difficulties, please reach out to us at accommodations@aamc.org for recommendations on how to proceed. All applications for accommodations are reviewed on a case by case basis; consideration will be given to the unique challenges you may have experienced related to COVID-19.

Please note, Pearson VUE will continue to be your main point of contact to schedule your exam with accommodations. We have updated the process for scheduling your MCAT Exam with accommodations as outlined below.

  • As of May 15th, examinees approved for accommodations may complete the Scheduling request for the MCAT® Exam online form to begin the process of scheduling their exam instead of calling Pearson VUE. Please note that if you have already submitted your scheduling preferences to Pearson VUE over the phone, you do not need to do anything else at this time.  
  • If you have been approved for accommodations and you currently have a standard appointment, Pearson VUE will reach out to you as your exam date gets closer. You also have the option to submit the Scheduling request for the MCAT® Exam online form to start that process now.   
  • After you submit your scheduling request form, Pearson VUE will review your preferences and approved accommodations, and they will identify a potential appointment as close to your preferred date and time as possible.  
  • You can expect to receive an email from Pearson VUE within one week from the date you submit your scheduling request to provide you with either a proposed exam appointment or an update on your request. You will then have the option to accept the appointment that is offered or to request another option. Please note, Pearson VUE will have the most up-to-date information on available dates and times for scheduling appointments. As a reminder, MCAT Accommodations Services does not have access to this information.   
  • Once you have confirmed your appointment, you will receive a confirmation email from Pearson VUE.

Our usual scheduling process requires that Pearson VUE’s scheduling team confirms the exam appointment of every examinee testing with accommodations with a phone conversation. When MCAT reopened registration this month, our scheduling process was overwhelmed, even with added resources and capacity deployed to support examinees seeking to schedule their exams with accommodations. We are actively working to implement improvements to address the concerns we have heard about long wait times, repeated phone calls, and uncertainty as to appointment confirmations. We will keep you updated along the way.

We are working with Pearson VUE to address these issues. Please note that if you have already submitted your scheduling preferences to Pearson VUE by phone, online form, or if you are currently holding a non-accommodated appointment, your information is already captured. Pearson VUE will reach out to you to follow up on your appointment details. It can take a little time to confirm everything is in place for a particular accommodation, and Pearson VUE needs to do this before they can confirm the appointment with you. Please do not worry if it takes a few days or more before you hear from Pearson VUE.

The AAMC adjusted the 2020 MCAT Testing Calendar to provide more test appointments to examinees and follow safe social distancing practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our updated testing calendar will support delivery of about 1.5 times the number of testing appointments we would offer in a typical year.

Additionally, please know that we always plan for and reserve seats across our network specifically for examinees testing with accommodations; these appointments are not available for examinees without accommodations. While it has taken longer than we would have liked to confirm your appointment, please know we are working to make sure your appointment gets scheduled as close to your preferred date and time as possible.

We are committed to seeing that the needs of accommodated examinees are met under the shortened exam format. All examinees scheduled to test with accommodations will receive the same or equivalent accommodations on the shortened exam to the extent possible given current health and safety precautions associated with the pandemic.  

For example, if you are approved to test with extended time, your exam will still be administered over 2 days and your approved extended time will be applied to the content sections of the shortened exam at the same ratio as indicated in your determination letter.  You will receive the same amount of break time on the shortened exam as indicated in your determination letter.

Some testing accommodations, such as those that involve a human aide (e.g., paper exam/proctor, reader, etc.), may be impacted by limits in availability, in order to comply with relevant social distancing measures.
If you have questions about the impact of these changes on your specific accommodations, please contact MCAT Accommodations Services at accommodations@aamc.org.

 

Exam scheduling is based on availability for all examinees. The start times for each day of a two-day exam will depend on the appointments that are available at the time you schedule your exam.

If you had an exam scheduled with accommodations, you will have received a new appointment time consistent with the new testing schedule. The standard start times for the exam are 6:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. Exam times for standard and accommodated examinees were selected equitably based on availability in consideration of current health and safety precautions. If you would like to change the appointment time that was reserved for you, you will need to contact Pearson VUE to provide them with your scheduling preferences. You may do this by completing the Scheduling request for the MCAT® Exam online form or by calling Pearson VUE at 1-800-466-0450.

More information about the format of the shortened exam and how to prepare can be found in the MCAT Coronavirus FAQs.

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MCAT Exam with Accommodations FAQ

Get answers to frequently asked questions about applying for accommodated testing.

Contact MCAT Accommodation Services

To protect the applicant, the MCAT Office of Accommodated Testing will not accept inquiries from third parties regarding an applicant or his/her accommodation request unless specifically an MCAT Accommodations Authorization to Release Health Information form has been submitted.

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