All About the AAMC’S Shortened MCAT

June 23, 2020

Since COVID-19 has disrupted MCAT testing for many prospective medical students, the AAMC has increased the number of MCAT administrations between May 29 and September 28, 2020 to 21 administrations. In order to accommodate this increased testing, the AAMC has made adjustments to the MCAT structure and administration processes. 

Shortened MCAT Exam Format and Scoring

The biggest change to the MCAT for May 29-September 28 administrations is the length. Each section will have fewer questions, leading to a reduction in overall MCAT time from 7 hours and 30 mins to 5 hours and 45 mins. This allows multiple administrations to take place on each testing day at each testing location. The number of questions will also be reduced, so the approximate time per question will be the same as in traditional MCAT administrations.

There is now time for three appointment slots each day the MCAT is administered. You will have the option to choose between the following three start times:

  • 6:30am
  • 12:15pm
  • 6:00pm

According to AAMC, MCAT scoring will remain the same. If you take the MCAT between June 19 and August 1, your MCAT scores will be reported in about two weeks instead of the usual 4. If you take the MCAT outside of this window your scores will be released in the usual timeframe.

Impacts to Medical School Admissions Timelines

AMCAS applicant data won’t be sent until July 10, which is 2 weeks later than originally scheduled. This will allow some extra time for you to complete your applications. Individual schools may adjust their final due dates for applications. However, according to our current understanding, Med School Admissions will still be a rolling process – you should still try to get in your completed application as soon as you can. For more information, see AAMC’s MCAT FAQs

Kaplan MCAT Resources

Visit Kaplan’s MCAT resources to learn more about accommodations for the shortened exam, how to prepare for the shortened MCAT, and for a breakdown of the time and number of questions per section on the shortened vs. traditional MCAT.