Before You Register for the MCAT

MCAT Registration Facts

Getty Images | StA-gur Karlsson


Sure, you want to register for the MCAT. You're planning to attend medical school. You've completed the necessary coursework to get you there, you have your recommendations all lined up and you're dreaming of your future career in the medical world. But, before you do all that, you need to take the MCAT and get a fabulous score. And before you can take the MCAT, you need to register. And before you register (are you seeing a pattern here?), you need to figure out a few things.

Are you eligible to register? Do you have the proper identification? And if so, when should you test?

Read the details about what you need to do before you register for the MCAT, so you're not scrambling when registration deadlines approach!     

Determine Your Eligibility

Before you ever log into the AAMC website to register for the MCAT, you'll need to figure out if you're even eligible to take the exam. Yes – there are people who will not be.

If you're applying to a health professions school – allopathic, osteopathic, podiatric, and veterinary medicine – then you're eligible. You'll be required to sign a statement that indicates you're taking the MCAT only for the purpose of applying to medical school.

There are some people who are interested in taking the MCAT who aren't applying to medical school – test prep experts, professors, students who want to change medical schools, etc. – who can take it, but will need to obtain special permission to do so. If that's you, then you'll need to send an email to explaining your reasons for taking the test. Ordinarily, you'll get a response within five business days.

Secure Appropriate Identification

Once you've determined that you may actually register for the MCAT, you'll need to get your identification in order. You'll need these three identification items in order to register:

  1. An AAMC ID
  2. A user name connected to your ID
  3. A password

You may already have an AAMC ID; you'd need it to use any of the AAMC services like practice tests, MSAR database, Fee Assistance Program, etc. If you think you have an ID already, but you can't remember your login, then DO NOT create a new ID! This can botch the system and test score distribution! Call 202-828-0690 or email if you need help with your current login.

Be careful when entering your first and last names into the database. Your name must perfectly match your ID when you come into test. If you find out that you've mistyped your name, then you'll need to change it in the system before the end of the Bronze Zone registration. After then, you won't be able to change your name, and you won't be able to test on your test date!

Select The Best Test Dates

The AAMC recommends that you take the MCAT in the same year you apply to medical school. If, for example, you're applying in 2018 for admittance to school in 2019, then you'll need to take the exam in 2018. Most of the MCAT test dates and score release dates will give you sufficient time to meet application deadlines. Of course, every medical school is different, so to be absolutely sure you test with appropriate time to get scores to your first choice, check with the schools before you register for the MCAT.

The AAMC also recommends that you don't take the MCAT for the first time in September because you may not have sufficient time to retest if your scores don't accurately reflect what you can do since the MCAT is not offered October – December. If you're thinking about testing more than once, take the exam early in the year from January – March, for instance. That way, you'll have plenty of time for a retake if it comes to that.

Register for the MCAT

Are you ready to go? If so, click here to complete your MCAT registration today!

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Your Citation
Roell, Kelly. "Before You Register for the MCAT." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Roell, Kelly. (2020, August 26). Before You Register for the MCAT. Retrieved from Roell, Kelly. "Before You Register for the MCAT." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 24, 2023).