There is no doubt that the MCAT is one of the most difficult entrance exams out there.
Over 80,000 medical students take the MCAT annually in hopes of attending medical colleges nationwide.
While this exam can be overwhelming, it can also be very expensive.
In this article, you will find everything you need to know about the MCAT exam fees - from application costs to fees you may have not even thought of.
We have also included some ways in which prospective students can save money with medical school application costs and MCAT prep.
MCAT Price Breakdown
- The MCAT tests basic medical knowledge you need to have for medical studies, and it’s made up of four sections.
- Before you take the MCAT you need to pay the registration fees.
- Apart from the MCAT fee, you’ll also have other expenses.
- The AAMC offers a fee assistance program to US residents.
- There are also a number of ways in which you can lower the MCAT cost.
MCAT: An Overview
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a multiple-choice exam that can be computer-based or paper-based.
Most colleges require students to take this test when applying to medical school in the USA and Canada.
The MCAT was designed to test basic medical knowledge, along with writing, problem-solving, and analysis skills.
During the medical school application process, the AAMC (Association Of American Medical Colleges) will analyze your MCAT score, along with any supporting materials.
There are four sections on the MCAT, with a total of 528 points up for grabs - the top 10% of prospective medical students scoring 514 - 528.
MCAT Registration Fees
|Refund For Cancellation||$320|
|Additional International Registration Fee||$115|
As you can see, international students are required to pay an extra $115 on top of the primary application fee.
You can obtain a full refund if you decide to cancel your MCAT. However, you will not receive a refund on taxes and international fees.
It’s also a good idea to cancel your MCAT early since if you decide to cancel or reschedule 8 days before the exam, you will not receive a refund.
We recommended registering for your MCAT exam 2 - 3 months in advance.
You will not be able to register 8 days before the test date, so it’s a good idea to register early.
The AAMC's Fee Assistance Program
The AAMC offers an assistance program aiding students who can not afford to take the MCAT exam or apply to medical schools without financial assistance. This program is only available for US residents.
If you are applying to medical school through this program, you will need to provide information on your family's income, as well as any financial aid you may have already received .
|Refund For Cancellation||$130|
Students attending medical school through AAMC’s program will only be required to pay $130 instead of the full $320.
Here are a few other benefits that come along with the reduced cost:
- You will be given access to an online-only bundle full of official MCAT prep products ($269 value).
- Free subscription to the medical school admissions requirements online database ($36).
- Waiver for all AMCAS fees - application submission, covering up to 20 medical school admission fees ($968 value).
- You will be considered for financial assistance for MCAT exam accommodation.
All of these benefits can be accessed until December 31st of the year after your original date of registration.
Since most medical schools require applicants to submit an Medical College Admission Test score, having a good MCAT score will increase your chances of attending a reputable med school.
Some medical school applications require a minimum score, so test takers have to aim high.
“AAMC offers a full refund if you cancel your exam 8 or more days before the test date.” - Association Of American Medical Colleges.
To nail the test, you will have to put a lot of time and effort into studying for the MCAT.
This means going over a ton of materials - practice tests, guides and textbooks for the MCAT. Some even go to the extent of having in-person classes.
If you aren’t eligible for a fee assistance program, the cost of these materials will have to come out of your own pocket.
How much you will spend, however, depends on your MCAT studying technique and academic goals.
MCAT and medical school application fees are not the only thing you have to consider.
Since the MCAT isn’t an online exam, you will have to travel to the test center.
This will most likely include accommodation and transportation costs, among other additional fees.
It all depends on where you live and which testing centers you choose. For example, if you live in the city, you may only have to travel minutes to your nearest testing center.
If you live in a rural part of America, you may find yourself having to drive to another city and book overnight accommodation.
Depending on the hotel and room availability, AAMC offers a 5% discount for students traveling for the MCAT.
You should try your best to book an exam date and location nearest to you, so you don’t have to spend much on travel expenses.
If you do choose a testing center far from your location, you could find your MCAT costs going up by another $200 - $300.
Applying to Medical Schools is Pricey
You won’t be able to get the MCAT fee reduced unless you apply for the AAMC fee assistance program. However, there are other ways to save some money.
Searching for free or discounted exam prep will help, as will finding a testing center close by. Instead of one-on-one tutoring, try to find some online tutors or videos and podcasts you can listen to.
Medical school is expensive, but thousands of students apply every year. Attending a medical college is possible with the right planning and research.