Mcat Length

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Mcat Length
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You might have heard friends, professors, and premed advisors throw these words around when they talk about the MCAT: important; tough; and, most often, long.

How Long is the MCAT? A Complete Time Breakdown

The MCAT time breakdown, plus answers to common test day questions

Mcat Length

Introduction

You might have heard friends, professors, and premed advisors throw these words around when they talk about the MCAT: important; tough; and, most often, long.

The SAT you took in high school was only three hours long, and most college final exams are a few hours long at most. As a result, in addition to being one of the hardest tests you’ve ever experienced, the MCAT will most likely also be the longest test you’ve taken in your life.

The MCAT is a cornerstone of your medical school application as it can make or break the tireless effort you have been putting in as a premed. A good MCAT score will make your application stand out. Given the exam’s importance, the test writers at the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) have created a long test that not only looks at your ability to solve challenging problems under pressure but also tests your ability to perform at a high level for a long time.

Students sitting down to study for the MCAT need to have an idea of the magnitude of their undertaking. This guide will walk you through one of the most common questions we get: “How long is the MCAT?”

How long is the MCAT?

Without breaks and other optional sections, the total “content time” of the MCAT is 6 hours and 15 minutes. With breaks and optional sections, the MCAT’s total “seated time” is 7 hours and 27 minutes. The MCAT is taken in one day, unlike multi-day tests you may take later on in medical school (e.g., USMLE Step 2).

While the AAMC offered a shortened exam—5 hours and 45 minutes—during parts of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MCAT is now back to its normal length.

Below, we show you the breakdown of exactly how you’ll be spending your time during the MCAT.

How long is the MCAT?

How long is the MCAT

How long is the MCAT

The MCAT lasts approximately 7 hours and 30 minutes, with breaks. The test content itself takes 6 hours and 15 minutes. You will complete the entire MCAT in a single day.

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) strikes fear into the heart of many a future medical student, and with good reason. The infamous test plays a huge role in determining where — and if — you get into medical school.

Your MCAT score is a foundational element of your medical school application so earning a good MCAT score is key to your success in the medical school admissions process and will determine where you apply to medical school.

While there’s no undermining the rigor and challenge the MCAT presents, ample preparation and knowing what to expect will help you tackle the test.

Maddie Otto

By Maddie Otto

Maddie is a second-year medical student at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney and one of Level Medicine’s workshop project managers. Prior to studying medicine, she worked and studied as a musician in Melbourne. She has a background in community arts, which combined her love for both the arts and disability support. She is an advocate for intersectional gender equity, and is passionate about accessibility and inclusive practice within the healthcare system.