Updated March 25, 2021
We are closely monitoring pandemic conditions in all testing locations. The AAMC considers national, state and local guidelines on health and safety when making decisions on whether to cancel an MCAT exam session. Our goal is to provide examinees with at least 10 days’ notice if their exams need to be canceled. At this time, we are anticipating that very few exams will be impacted, although there may be times when emergency cancellations are required. The AAMC will work with any affected examinees to help them find a new test date as soon as possible. This webpage provides important information on the following:
- 2021 MCAT registration plans
- What to expect on test day
- Rescheduling and cancellation information
2021 Testing Year
The 2021 registration plans and testing year reflect the feedback we received from examinees, prehealth advisors, and admissions officers. We listened carefully to the suggestions – as well as the criticism – and reviewed every aspect of the testing process. We have made several improvements to make taking the MCAT exam a better experience for you, and we will continue to assess our plans and procedures so that we can make further enhancements as necessary.
Strict health and safety protocols continue to be in place. These protocols are robust and designed to protect examinees and test center staff for the whole time they are in the building. Learn more about the protocols – including the health requirements that all examinees must follow. You can also watch a video about what to expect on test day.
Changes for the 2021 testing year at-a-glance:
- There are three registration dates (November 2020, February 2021, and April 2021).
- The full-length MCAT exam is being administered.
- There are two exams administered each test day.
There are 31 MCAT testing dates between January and September 2021, which is a similar number of testing appointments as in previous years. We added one extra date in January knowing there may be examinees in the U.S. who want to test and are applying to the 2021 application cycle.
Registration for the 2021 testing year was staggered to give examinees a better scheduling experience and to allow the AAMC to adapt to shifting pandemic conditions.
Learn more about the registration process and what to expect on opening day in these videos, which provide more detail about the MCAT Registration System and MCAT Registration Waiting Room feature (the waiting room is only in effect during the first few hours of registration opening day, when traffic in the system is highest).
In January 2021, the AAMC resumed administration of the full-length MCAT exam.
There are 50 minutes of breaks, a 10-minute tutorial, and a brief customer satisfaction survey at the end of your exam. These are optional on test day.
Each test day will offer two full-length exam sessions at 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. This schedule helps limit the number of people in the test center and allows for necessary social distancing.
As in a typical testing year, scores are reported within a 30-35 day window following your test date. Scores from the January 2021 exams and February make-up exams were reported in about two weeks to help students who wanted to take the MCAT exam and submit scores in their 2021 applications.
Rescheduling and Cancellations
Rescheduling and cancellation fees continued to be waived at this time to give examinees flexibility to change their exams as needed.
When deciding whether to reschedule or cancel an exam, please keep in mind that exam dates tend to fill up toward the end of the testing year.
When possible, we encourage you to reschedule or cancel an exam as soon as you know you do not want to test. This will help make it possible for others to secure a date.
We’ll continue to monitor changing COVID-19 conditions, as well as national, state, and local health and safety guidance. Our goal is to provide examinees with at least 10 days’ notice if their exams need to be canceled. At this time, we anticipate that very few exams will be impacted, although there may be times when emergency cancellations are required. The AAMC will work with any affected examinees to help them find a new test date as soon as possible.
Important Information About Canceling After the Bronze Zone Deadline
Submitting an Emergency Refund Request
If you have an urgent need to cancel your exam after the Bronze Zone deadline (eight days before your exam) due to COVID-19, please submit an Emergency Refund Request in the MCAT Registration System.
Please provide documentation and an explanation about why you are unable to attend your exam (for example, a COVID-19 test result, your potential exposure, or you need to be in quarantine). An emergency refund request is NOT reversible. Once submitted, you will not be permitted into the testing center on the date.
We strongly encourage you to submit this request by your exam date. When you submit an emergency refund request, you will receive a case number - this is your receipt of submission sent to your email address on record in the MCAT Registration System.
Review Process and Refunds
Your Emergency Refund Request could be reviewed after your exam date, and your exam may go into a “no show” status and could count as a testing attempt. A “no show” status is an internal record only, which cannot be removed or changed. It will not be presented on any of your medical school applications.
You will receive notification of any approved refunds within two weeks of receipt of the required documentation. Approved refunds will be applied to the method of payment used for the original exam. If approved, you will receive a refund in accordance with the fee structure and, if needed, a testing attempt will be credited to you.
Please note: After you submit an Emergency Refund Request, you are required to follow the current guidelines about when you may sit for the MCAT exam.
For non-COVID-19-related emergency refunds, please see the Emergency Refund section in The Essentials.