Get answers to frequently asked questions about taking the MCAT exam.
Health and Safety
What are you doing to ensure the health and safety of examinees during MCAT administrations?
Examinee health and safety continues to be a priority. We will be closely monitoring the conditions of the pandemic and state and local guidance through the fall. Any modifications to the health and safety protocols will be determined closer to testing in 2022. Information will be updated on our website by November 30, 2021.
Below are the current health and safety measures in place for 2021:
- Requiring the use of face masks for all staff and MCAT examinees. (Anyone who does not comply with the policy will be removed from the test center.)
- Limiting the number of people in each MCAT test session.
- Observing social distancing between individuals in the testing room.
- Approving the use of gloves while testing (upon inspection).
- Allowing personal hand sanitizer bottles in the test room (upon inspection).
- Having hand sanitizer available during testing. Examinees will be asked to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before they enter the testing room.
- Cleaning and disinfecting regimens in between all testing appointments and throughout the day.
- Requiring examinees to acknowledge that they meet the health requirements for testing and that they will follow health and safety guidelines while testing by providing their signature on the e-pad during check-in.
- Utilize clear sneeze guards to create a barrier between test center staff and examinees during check in.
Please visit the Protecting Your Health and Safety Information on Test Day page and Pearson VUE’s website for a comprehensive list of health and safety measures in place at all test centers.
I am a healthcare worker. Will I be able to take the exam?
Medical and health care professionals who have had close contact with someone who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19 within the last 14 days of their test date will be permitted to test if both they and the patient were wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Please see our Protecting Your Health and Safety Information on Test Day page and Pearson VUE’s website for more information.
I live with someone who is immunocompromised. Is a private room available for me to test?
Our private rooms are reserved for examinees who require separate testing due to a disability or health condition. The health and safety protocols in place at test centers are layered by design to prevent spread of the coronavirus even if an asymptomatic individual entered the test center. Social distancing and mask requirements in addition to frequent cleaning practices safeguard against any lapses in the protocols. These protections help keep examinees and those with whom they live safe.
What if I feel sick on test day?
Do not go to the test center if you feel sick on test day. Instead, please stay home and file an Emergency Refund Request in the MCAT Registration System. Once your original exam date passes, you may schedule another exam. Please review the health and safety requirements for testing on our health and safety page.
I was exposed to COVID-19 recently or have tested positive.
You cannot test if:
- You believe that you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have recently tested positive; or
- 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.
If it is more than 10 days before your exam date, you can reschedule or cancel your exam in the MCAT Registration System. Otherwise, you must file an Emergency Refund Request in the system. Once your original exam date passes, you may schedule another exam. Please review the health and safety requirements for testing on our health and safety page.
How can I report a violation of a health and safety protocol?
The AAMC is committed to keeping examinees healthy and safe. There are six different ways you can report a health and safety violation depending on your preference for sharing this information. All reports will be treated in a confidential manner and there are no repercussions for reporting this critical information to the AAMC.
- Notify your proctor immediately.
- Send an email to email@example.com.
- Submit your concern through our online form.
- Call the anonymous tip line at 202-828-0973.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contact AAMC at 202-828-0600.
What should I expect when I arrive at the test center?
Please watch this video explaining the health and safety measures prior to attending your exam in 2021. The protocols are robust and designed to protect examinees and test center staff for the full duration of time they are in the building. The AAMC continues to monitor the health and safety protocols and will continue this practice in 2021 to remediate issues and make improvements. Please visit our health and safety page for more information.
Can I wear more than one mask?
The CDC released updated guidance on how to wear masks to limit the transmission of COVID-19. You are strongly encouraged to wear a multi-layered cloth mask, or a cloth mask over a disposable mask, at Pearson VUE test centers. Note that the CDC advises that KN95, KF94 or similar high-quality masks should not be worn with a second mask. Pearson VUE test centers do not allow face shields or ventilated masks.
Will I be able to safely eat and drink during breaks?
We understand examinee concerns about eating during breaks. Reduced center capacity and staggered exam start times help reduce the number of people on breaks at the same time. Test center layouts differ slightly; however, most have a larger waiting room area that is set up for social distancing, and some have a separate designated space for eating.
If you are not comfortable removing your mask to eat or drink indoors, and/or the test center layout does not allow for sufficient social distancing, you may step outside to eat, drink, or take medication during the mid-exam break. You may not access study materials, cell phones or other digital devices, or speak with anyone, and you are bound by the Examinee Agreement. If you do not return to your exam before the scheduled break time expires, your test time will be reduced by the overage from your break.
Please note: If you are testing in a locality with a ban on indoor eating you will be required to leave the test center during breaks. In all other locations, leaving the test center to eat is an option and not mandatory.
I was absent from my exam for COVID reasons. When can I test?
If you cancel your exam due to a positive COVID test or possible exposure, you must wait at least 14 days from your COVID positive result or exposure date to test.
If you reschedule to a date that does not meet the health requirements to test at Pearson VUE test centers, you may be asked to provide proof of a negative COVID result. If you are unable to do so, your scores may be canceled, before or after the scores are reported, without a refund.
Why is the AAMC requiring masks when Pearson VUE says they are not required on all other test days?
The AAMC takes the health and safety of examinees very seriously. Given the spread of the Delta variant and added protection masks provide, we are continuing to require them for all MCAT examinees and staff. We will require masks even in those jurisdictions that have lifted their mask requirements for indoor spaces.