Submitting an Initial Application
An Initial Application is your first request for accommodations and is submitted via MCAT Accommodations Online (MAO)
The review cycle for an Initial Application may take up to 60 days for a complete application, so please be sure to submit your application as soon as it is complete. You may face significant delays if your application is determined to be incomplete. To ensure your application is complete when you submit it, make sure to carefully review the application requirements associated with your request.
|REMINDER: You first need to create an AAMC ID (if you don’t have one already) to obtain a user name and password that will allow you to access the MAO system.|
Please note that the 2021 testing year ends on September 11, 2021; see our Review Cycles and Important Dates for all applicable time guidelines. Initial applications submitted after June 27, 2021 are not guaranteed a determination in time to test in the 2021 testing year.
A complete application in MCAT Accommodations Online (MAO) includes:
- Complete Profile, Condition, and History sections in MAO.
- Write your Personal Statement (PS)
- Submit a current comprehensive evaluation
- Submit academic and medical supporting documentation
- Review your application for completeness and accuracy before submission
1. Complete Profile, Condition, & History sections in MAO.
Use your AAMC ID to log in to the MCAT Accommodation Online (MAO) to complete required information.
2. The Personal Statement
The Personal Statement (PS) is more than a cover letter. It is a narrative written from your perspective that describes your current functional limitations, history of accommodations, and what you feel is necessary to “level the playing field” on the MCAT exam. We understand this is personal, but it helps us understand your unique experience that may not be captured elsewhere in your documentation.
Here are some quick dos and don'ts regarding the information you include in your PS.
|Things to include in your PS||Things to leave out of your PS|
A description of the things you would have difficulty doing (i.e., functional limitations) if you were to take the MCAT under standard conditions.
What would go wrong if you took the exam under standard conditions? Examples from past standardized test experiences (e.g., SAT, ACT, GRE), if available, are helpful.
A reiteration of what your qualified professionals have said in your documentation.
It is ok to explain something you feel your qualified professional may have left out, but it is not necessary for you to restate information included in your documentation.
A description of your history of accommodations and how your impairment(s) impacted your academic experiences.
If you do not have a history of accommodations, explain why. If you are asking for an accommodation you have never used before, explain why.
A description of each of your educational experiences.
Instead, focus on the situations during your educational experiences that highlight your need for the requested accommodations.
3. A current comprehensive evaluation
A current comprehensive evaluation is a detailed written report from your evaluator and is a critical component of your application. The required components of your evaluation requirements may vary based on the nature of your impairment. Please share our What Evaluators Need to Know guide with your evaluator or qualified professional, as well as any of the detailed evaluation requirements below that are specific to your request:
*For our purposes, ABI includes any type of insult or injury to your brain, e.g., concussion, traumatic brain injury, cognitive changes due to illness, etc.
4. Academic and medical supporting documentation
Academic and medical supporting documentation is generally required or recommended for most applications. Please refer to the chart below for information regarding what documentation should be submitted in support of your application for accommodations.
|Academic Transcripts||Standardized Test Score Reports*||Verification of Previous Accommodation*||Supporting Academic Records||Previous Evaluations|
|Acquired Brain Injury||Strongly Recommended||Strongly Recommended||Required||If Applicable||Required|
|ADHD||Strongly Recommended||Strongly Recommended||Required||Strongly Recommended||Strongly Recommended|
|Learning Disability||Strongly Recommended||Required||Required||Strongly Recommended||Strongly Recommended|
|Physical Disability||If Applicable||If Applicable||Required||If Applicable||If Applicable|
|Psychiatric Disability||Strongly Recommended||If Applicable||Required||Strongly Recommended||Strongly Recommended|
|Sensory Disability||Strongly Recommended||Strongly Recommended||Required||Strongly Recommended||Strongly Recommended|
- Required: This document is necessary to complete your review. Omission is likely to result in an incomplete application (i.e., delayed determination).
- Strongly Recommended: This document is typically necessary for a full review. Omission may result in an incomplete application (i.e., a delayed determination).
- If Applicable: In some cases, this document may not be necessary if the onset of your impairment occurred after this document was created. We suggest you submit the document to ensure your application is complete and that you remain on schedule for your review cycle.
*Submission of these documents is only required in cases where applicants have taken such tests or received these services in the past.
This includes academic transcripts for high school, undergraduate education and any post-graduate education. Transcripts should be submitted according to the chart above, regardless of the date of diagnosis. You may upload unofficial transcripts distributed by your academic institution. Your supporting documentation should include your name.
Standardized Test Scores
This refers to standardized test scores for tests such as, SAT, ACT, and GRE. Scores should be submitted for all tests that have been taken. Official or unofficial copies from third parties are acceptable and should include your name. Score information should be submitted according to the information in the chart above, regardless of the date of diagnosis.
Verification of Previous Accommodations
This should be submitted in the form of official verification documents for accommodations received in educational institutions (e.g., IEPs, Section 504 plans, or Disability Support Services letters) and on standardized tests(e.g., SAT, ACT, GRE). The documentation should identify the specific accommodations received and the time period during which they were received.
Supporting Academic Records
This documentation assists us in understanding your functional limitations and need for accommodations. It may include (but is not limited to) earlier report cards, school progress reports, tutoring evaluations, notes regarding unofficial accommodations provided, teacher comments reflecting past and/or current academic difficulties, clinical notes or documentation from pediatricians/primary care physicians/other service providers referencing academic issues.
While a current comprehensive assessment of your functional limitations is necessary, it is also helpful to have historical documentation (such as previous assessments documenting your impairment and addressing your need for accommodations) to provide us with a holistic view of your need for accommodations.
5. Review your application for completeness and accuracy before submission.
Once a determination has been made regarding your request, we will notify you via email. You can then view your determination letter by logging into the MCAT Accommodations Online (MAO) system. Your determination letter will also outline any additional steps you may need to take.
Keep in mind:
All application materials must be in English. Materials submitted in another language cannot be reviewed.
Keep a copy of all documentation you are submitting with your request. The AAMC will not return your documentation or forward it to any third party.
Submit all materials together. Once an application has been submitted, we will not accept any additional documentation.
We recommend uploading your documentation into the MAO system since it is instantaneous. This is only an option for Initial applications, including those previously determined to be incomplete.
Due to privacy reasons, application materials will not be accepted via email or fax. Documentation for initial applications should be uploaded into the MAO system or mailed to our office.
Determinations cannot be changed over the phone or by email. Requests must be formally made through one of the appropriate avenues outlined in the following sections.
We cannot discuss your application with any third party (including parents) without an Authorization for Release of Information form from you.
If necessary, your application may be forwarded for further review to an external reviewer with expertise in the area of your impairment at the discretion of the Director of Accommodations Review. Your documentation will be kept strictly confidential.