Virtually all medical schools in the U.S. require that you take the MCAT. The test will be offered 28 times on 26 dates in 2011. Most students taking the test in April-July of their junior year (e.g.. April 2010 for fall 2011 admission). The fee for the test is $230. Students with financial limitations may apply for a fee reduction to $85. This fee assistance program (FAP) also allows you to apply to up to 10 medical schools free of charge. Taking the test in August or September may not give the student the best opportunity to gain acceptance, as by the time scores are reported (approx. 30 days later) some med school classes may be almost half full. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete, i.e. your MCAT scores have been received.
Students may take the test at Thomson Prometric Testing Centers in Lexington, Louisville, Evansville, Clarksville (TN), or Madison TN (across from Rivergate Mall). There currently is not a Testing Center in Bowling Green.
It is very important that the student prepare adequately for the test. While taking a formal MCAT preparatory courses may or may not be helpful to you personally, it is important that you have finished your physics (2 semesters), chemistry (four semesters) and biology (as much as you have time for) courses before taking the MCAT. Students will find courses in cell/molecular biology, physiology, genetics, biochemistry, and quantitative analysis very helpful.
The test is composed of four sections that are presented here in the order they are given: 1) physical sciences (physics and inorganic chemistry) 52 questions in 70 minutes; 2) verbal reasoning, 40 questions in 60 minutes; 3) the writing sample, two essays in 60 minutes; and 4) biological sciences (roughly 65% biology and 35% organic chemistry) 52 questions in 70 minutes. All except the writing sample are scored from 1-15 with a mean score of around 8 for each section. An 11 is an excellent score representing 85-90% ile depending on the section and the test date. The writing sample is evaluated on a letter scale between J (low) and T (high) with a median score of O. The writing sample is judged by two graders on a scale of 1-6 for each essay. If both don't agree on the score for each essay, it will be judged by a third person. The combined scores are then converted to a letter grade. If you have a 12, you will get a "T" and if you have a 2, you will get a "J", and so on in between.
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