Students applying to allopathic or osteopathic medical school are required to take the MCAT exam. Students applying to dental programs are required to take the DAT, and applicants to optometry programs take the OAT. The MCAT, DAT, and OAT are lengthy, standardized, comprehensive exams similar in structure to the SAT but much more specific in content. These exams test students' knowledge of biological and physical sciences as well as verbal reasoning and writing skills. Exams are usually taken by students in the spring of their junior year (or their senior year if they plan to take a year off after graduation) and should be taken only if the student has completed or is within a month of completing the pre-requisite curriculum. Students applying for Physician Assistant and Physical Therapy programs are required to take the GRE, a more general exam similar to the SAT in structure and content. Pharmacy students take the PCAT. Registration and general information can be found at the respective websites.
Dental applicants take a computerized DAT at a Sylvan Testing Center. Though the computerized DAT can be taken at the student's convenience, it is recommended that applicants take the DAT in the spring of their junior year (or the spring of the senior year if you plan to take a year off after graduation).
MCAT Exam Registration and Scheduling*
Online registration for each of the testing dates will usually open six months before a scheduled test date. Thomson Prometric will reserve seats for MCAT examinees until 60 days before each testing date. Typically, if registration is completed 60 or more days prior to the exam date, an examinee is guaranteed a seat at a site within 100 miles of their requested site. However, there is no assurance for an examinee who registers less than 60 days prior to the exam. Early registration is encouraged to guarantee a test site in your desired city.
The Optometry Admission Test (OAT) is offered in a computerized format. Testing is available year round. Scores are received immediately after completion of the test. Schools receive official scores within two weeks. It is recommended that applicants take the OAT no later than the end of June of their junior year (or their senior year if they plan to take a year off after graduation)
*There are additional MCAT exams offered through September but these exams are generally used as a makeup exam for students who score poorly on an earlier exam. It is not advisable to wait until August to take the MCAT for the first time. In addition it will be difficult to make informed medical school selections on the AMCAS application with out an MCAT score. Examinees may take the MCAT a maximum of three times per year, but can only register for one exam at a time.
Fee Assistance Program (FAP) for MCAT and AAMC:
The AAMC Fee Assistance Program (FAP) was created to assist MCAT® examinees and AMCAS; applicants who, without financial assistance, would be unable to take the MCAT or apply to AMCAS-participating schools.
AACOM Fee Assistance: The FAP application must be completed before submitting the AACOM application.
None for the exam but available for the AADSAS application.
The Fee Reduction Program Application Form will be available on the AADSAS website starting May. However, it is mandatory that an applicant to the program first complete their AADSAS Application and pay the application processing fee. FRP Applications will not be accepted, considered, or reviewed until after the pre-requisite has been met.
Fee Waivers: Computer Test
Partial fee waivers for the computerized OAT are available to examinees in cases of severe financial hardship. The waiver is 50% of test fees and includes the fee for the test and the five official transcript reports. There is the customary charge for all transcripts beyond five.See the OAT Testing Guide under "Test Fees".
Fee waivers must be requested in writing by the examinee. A financial information form will be provided to the examinee. This financial information form should be completed and submitted with the application and pre-optometry advisor's letter at least two months before the testing date. The Optometry Admission Testing Program will review all fee waiver requests. The Optometry Admission Testing Program will make the final decision regarding the fee waiver.
Please note that only a very limited number of fee waivers are available. Fee waivers are granted on a first-come basis to eligible examinees that have submitted their request with a completed OAT application, completed fee waiver financial information form and letter from their pre-optometry advisor. Examinees who have previously received a fee waiver or who have taken the OAT before are not eligible for a fee waiver.
Testing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
The web pages below provide information about the process for requesting accommodations. Be sure to read the information carefully. Start the process early. Extensive documentation is required and it may take a very long time to go through the approval process. Do not assume that documentation you have provided to the Disability Services for Students office will be enough. You may be asked for more current documentation. You must show that your disability substantially impacts your ability to take the test and the accommodation is directly related to the disability.
MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test : Examinees with Disabilities
DAT: Dental Admission Test Special Accommodations
OAT: Optometry Admissions Test: Click on Request for Testing Accommodations in table of contents
- Exploring the Health Professions
- Application Process/Forms
- Prospective Students