Nobody said that getting into medical school would be painless. Competition is stiff, and the top-notch schools have uncompromising score prerequisite and criteria. Likewise, applying for med school could be overwhelming and high-priced. Thus, It’s safe to utter that med school is a pricey investment. Your tuition fees can go as much as $55,000 or more annually.
The pocket of potential students could sometimes take a hit from just getting ready for the med school entrance exam. However, knowing the upfront cost to take the MCAT can help you to put aside some cash and be prepared for the future.
Read on to learn more about the charges related to taking the MCAT, and obtain several tips and study advice.
Average Cost of MCAT
The fees correlated with the MCAT can differ subtly depending on how early you register for your desired test date. The table below from AAMC explains the choices for MCAT exam registration for the 2017 testing dates and their associated fees.
MCAT Registration Fees
|Zone||Deadline||Reg. Fee||R/S Fee||CAN. Refund||Int.Fee|
|Gold Zone||Approx. 1 month or more before the examination||$310||$85||$155||$100|
|Silver Zone||Approx. 3 to 4 weeks before the examination||$310||$145||N/A||$100|
|Bronze Zone||Approx. 1 to2 weeks before the examination ||$365||N/A||N/A||$100|
It is the AAMC or Association of American Medical Colleges that conducts the MCAT. They categorize the registration fees, reschedule fee, and cancellation refunds into three divisions based on how early you register for MCAT: Gold Zone, Silver zone, and Bronze zone.
The more advance you register for an exam date, the lower the MCAT cost. The test will cost at least $310, and another $100 if you decide to take it in international.
So, when you register one month or more, ahead of time, you will be in the Gold zone. You can avail lesser registration fee, able to reschedule, can cancel, and get a refund.
While in the Bronze zone, you could pay the same registration and international fees, but you can’t have a refund, and the rescheduling fee is a bit higher.
In a Silver zone, the cost to take the MCAT is $365, and the international price is still $100. However, you can’t reschedule and can’t get a refund.
AAMC as well presents a MCAT cost assistance program for prospective takers in the U.S.A. with residency status or legal citizenship. The right to obtain the said program is determined through its family size and earnings in relation to the degree of America’s poverty for the former year.
The table below shows the choices for registration and the associated fees for scholars obtaining assistance.
MCAT Fee Assistance Program Fees
|Zone||Deadline||Reg. Fee||R/S Fee||CAN. Refund||Int.Fee|
|Gold Zone||Approx. 1 month or more before the examination||$120||$40||$60||$100|
|Silver Zone||Approx. 3 to 4 weeks before the examination||$120||$60||N/A||$100|
|Bronze Zone||Approx. 1 to2 weeks before the examination||$175||N/A||N/A||$100|
Aside from registration fees, another cost might comprise a trip to the examination site, accommodation if you require staying one night, and courses or tutors for exam preparations, which could just range up to thousands. Also, retaking the MCAT will inflate the total charge of the test.
If you are looking for a better accommodation to relax while thinking about the examination, the AAMC provides a discounted price at specific hotels. You can inquire about them for available hotels with discounted rates, usually 5% off, and book. It may cost you $100 or more.
Taking a MCAT class, classes or tutors is an option, but for sure it will help you a lot. There are many things you might learn, for instance in Kaplan, and Princeton Review. The class might take three months, two nights weekly, and usually, they offer financial assistance. A fast online search discloses that the exam preparation courses would range from $2,000 to $12,000.
Who can take the MCAT?
You could take the MCAT if you are:
- Preparing to pass an application to a health profession’s school, for instance, osteopathic, podiatric, allopathic, and veterinary medicine. Also, it applies to international students.
- Planning to apply in any health-related program that would accept MCAT passers.
- Enrolled in Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery course or have such a degree.
Also, throughout MCAT registration, you will be requested to verify your purpose; to apply in health professions school or to medical school.
When to take the MCAT?
Potential doctors typically plan to take their MCAT a year ahead of their planned matriculation into med school. For instance, if you have wanted to apply for med school in 2019, then you ought to take the MCAT in 2018. Ideally, you must begin your exam preparation at least seven months before the test date.
Again, as early as your freshman, second or junior year, you can take the exam since there are no scholarly requirements for the MCAT. However, the best time to take the exam is when you are prepared.
If you’re one of the aspiring physicians out there, MCAT can be a major obstacle between med school and you. So, you have to prepare yourself, make some cash, and condition your mind to overcome MCAT.
Remember, MCAT cost isn’t just the factor to think about when gearing up for the exam. You must also ready yourself for some review. You can check online for some free tutorial. Also, there is a website that offers some refresher lectures to help you draw up for the exam. You can as well take practice quizzes to determine your readiness for your exam.
These are just a couple of ways that today’s aspiring doctors do for this important and demanding exam.
The Association of American Medical Colleges thinks that the cost to take the MCAT shouldn’t be a hindrance for any potential future doctors.