ReKAP: Choosing an MCAT Test Date
October 9, 2012
Last year we wrote about the proper way to choose an MCAT Test date. This week the AAMC released the 2013 MCAT test date schedule. MCAT registration for the January through May 2013 test dates will open on October 16th 2012. The exact time is not known but the AAMC recommends following them on twitter @AAMC_MCAT for the announcement.
Choosing an MCAT test date normally induces a lot of uncertainty so I want to take the time to ReKAP some things to think about:
The Time of Year
- There are 4 different “windows” to take the exam the Winter (late January), the Spring (March through May), the summer (June and July), and the Fall (August and September). The “ideal” time to take it, is when you feel fully prepared. It isn’t worth it to rush your MCAT if you don’t feel ready.
Morning or Afternoon Test
- There is no “easier” time. Some people tend to be morning people and some people prefer the afternoon. We recommend knowing yourself, making sure you pick a time you are comfortable with.
Weekday or Weekend Test
- This is going to be especially important for students considering a test date that falls into the academic year. You might prefer a weekend test date so as to not miss classes.
Important Personal Obligations
- Remember that you have a life outside of the MCAT. Things can come up at different times of the year: vacation, weddings, finals, and graduation. We recommend picking a time that you are going to be able to focus properly on the exam.
Testing Center Locations
- This is often something students forget about. You want to pick an exam location that is going to be convenient for you. Just like all things in medical school applications early is always better. It is in your best interest to register for your MCAT exam date ASAP. This way you are committed to studying for the exam and you are going to take the test at your preferred location. (Some testing centers fill up fast!)
I am a former Kaplan MCAT student that excelled on my exam through the Kaplan methods and began teaching for Kaplan at the University of Illinois – Urbana – Champaign center. Upon graduation I moved back to the Chicagoland area and became a full time teacher in our Chicago centers. I really strive to bring enthusiasm and energy to the classroom believing a positive attitude sets the tone for success! When I am not teaching the MCAT, you can find me training for triathlons or picking which bow tie to wear next!