MCAT Registration Tips: When Should I Take The MCAT?
MCAT Registration

MCAT Registration Tips: When Should I Take The MCAT?

MCAT registration for 2020 spring dates (January - June) opened in October 2019 and MCAT registration for 2020 summer dates (July - Sept) opens February 2020.

The exact registration dates get announced by AAMC on their website and on their Twitter profile

If you haven't registered yet, this article was written to help you decide when you should take the MCAT and register.


MCAT Registration Strategy

Just like there’s strategy in how you study for the MCAT, there’s also strategy in WHEN you take the MCAT.

It's true; when you take your MCAT can have a massive impact on how well you do on the MCAT, on your applications, on how you get considered for med-school, and ultimately if you get in...

Which is why most future doctors who end up in med-school spend some time on 'MCAT registration strategy'.

Strategy is about getting an edge, making your life easier, making your success more attainable, and maximizing your ability to attain your doctor dreams.

Which is why in this article, we want to give you some strategy recommendations for MCAT registration from those who not only scored 510+ on the MCAT, but also got med-school admission!

Let's start with the most recommended testing months for MCAT registration!

Keep in mind, you don't have to take the MCAT in these months, but below we've also listed out some of the reasons you might want to...

When Should You Take The MCAT? The Most Recommended Testing Months To Keep In Mind For MCAT Registration


The Strategy

  • You have a good amount of time in the worst case you need to retake before applications open (don’t count on retaking though - this is the last time you’re studying for the MCAT!)
  • You can leverage the December break for focused MCAT studying
  • Free up your mental energy to focus on applications (personal statement, etc) during the spring
  • Feels awesome knocking out the MCAT with a great score in the beginning of the year
  • If you’re retaking or pushed back, you likely already have a good foundation of content so if you start prep in the fall you just need to learn how to take the MCAT and work on your strategies (if needed, with a strategy tutor)


The Strategy

  • Write in April so you can get your score back in May, which gives you enough time to improve if needed to retake before submitting applications in June
  • You can have your MCAT completed before finals

August (The Year Before)

The Strategy

  • Study during Spring months, spend the Summer doing focused study, and completing the MCAT before school starts
  • Write in Aug, get your score back, and if you need to re-test, then you spend a month studying and write in Sept so you don’t lose all the MCAT prep work you’ve been doing since the Spring

Next we want to highlight a key question top MCAT scorers recommend you ask yourself before registration day...

A Key Question Top MCAT Scorers Asked Themselves Before Registering

You probably have some idea in mind of when you plan to take the MCAT. You may even have a date in mind. Ask yourself this...

Will I honestly be ready to take the MCAT at this time?

Think about your school, extracurriculars, family, work, and anything else that can come in your way of being disciplined enough to put in the hours successful MCAT prep requires...

The MCAT is expensive. Changing your testing date is expensive. Putting in time to study for the MCAT, but not doing it wholeheartedly with complete dedication, is even more expensive!

When your attention is way too divided, you’re likely not doing any of those things with excellence. Be honest with yourself during this time as you’re looking to choose your test date. 

Several of the MCAT Mastery Strategy Tutors were able to achieve 510+ scores while juggling a busy schedule (and they can help you with that if you want), so we’re not saying it’s impossible - we’re asking if you’re willing to go through the stress it can require without letting that stress damage your MCAT performance.

We’re asking, are you willing to strategically plan and prepare for that? 

And if you don't know if you can do it yourself, are you willing to work with a MCAT coach who can create a customized plan for you (and make sure you stick to it)?

Be sure to spend some time reflecting on that.

A Quick Note On MCAT Pre-Registration

You’re just able to fill out your information during pre-registration. There’s no selecting of test date or exam location just yet!

That’s available on the registration date. During pre-registration, you’re able to work on your background and biological info, which we highly recommend you do!

An Important MCAT Registration Recommendation A Lot of Top Scorers Emphasize

Top MCAT scorers recommend to register early because you’ll get more test date options than later. Sounds obvious but there are so many students every year who are forced to take the MCAT at a really inconvenient time OR location for them, all because they didn’t register early enough. Imagine having to fly somewhere or drive across state to take the MCAT…

Having your preferred location and day makes it easier for your mindset - and mindset is everything! So again, early is key!

Worse case scenarios involve students having to push their applications to another year. If you don’t know when you want to take it, we’d recommend to still register early because you can always change your date. Not to mention that it’s less expensive if you do it earlier than later.  

Tips For MCAT Registration Day

  • Know your preferred date but also have backup dates in mind just in case.
  • Have your credit card and government-issued ID ready
  • Make sure you've created your AAMC Account and your login info works - you don't want to be resetting your password on the registration day.
  • Know the scheduling fees so you're not caught off guard on the day of. Also consider fee assistance if you can (and do it as early as possible!).
  • You’ll be required to choose a date, state, and location in that order - if your state isn’t there, seats for that date are gone
  • Only choose TBD sites if you’re prepared to travel
  • Stay calm on the day of - be present and remember if you've studied the same way a top scorer before you studied, you’re going to be fine!

Once you get your chosen test date and location, you’ll feel relieved. Enjoy it... Making a decision like that and preparing beforehand, takes a lot of mental power and you deserve to feel good!

At the end of the day, whichever date and location you do get, it’s completely fine. We’ll make it work no matter what 🙂

You got this, 

The MCAT Mastery Team
Your MCAT Success Mentors

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About the Author MCAT Mastery

Every year MCAT Mastery helps thousands of premeds in achieving their target MCAT score goal so they can get into the med-school of their dreams. The dedicated team at MCAT Mastery accomplishes this by conducting ongoing research and paid interviews with 90+ percentile MCAT scorers, to bring you the most credible, most proven MCAT prep strategies on the planet.

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