How Many Times Can You Take the MCAT?

You may not have received the best score when you took your first MCAT. But hey, guess what? You’re hardly alone. Every year, the AAMC estimates 10,000 people retake the MCAT. Now that you know you’re no longer a minority, you may feel more comfortable asking the question “how many times can I take the MCAT, then?” 

Thanks to the creator and directors of MCAT, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), they have provided clear and reasonable answers to that question. An individual is allowed to take the test just 3 times in a calendar year, 4 times in a span of two years and a total of 7 in one’s lifetime. As clear as this is, it has led to another question, why the limits? And what do they mean?

Prepping for the MCAT? Check out our favorite MCAT prep books that will help get you the score you need! 

A cap as to how many times you can take the MCAT seems a bit limiting, but they are actually there to help you as an individual. As highlighted before, taking the MCAT again is not a bad idea but the limit will only remind you that you have just a little margin for error. Consider the following two reasons for those limits.  

There might be a need for a person to reassess the reasons why he or she is not achieving the score he or she would like, knowing that with each failure he or she is getting close to the finish line where he won’t be able to take the test again, thereby dashing all hopes. This will motivate such a person to look at his or her situation before taking the test and consider if the situation were perfect for someone taking the MCAT. If this is your case, you should consider taking a diagnostic test and focusing on some of your weaker areas. Consider some of these free, full-length practice tests to diagnose your strengths and weaknesses. 

How many times you can take the MCAT may also be restricted by your budget. There is a large financial burden to taking this test multiple times that can be countered by simply studying and changing how you take the test to improve your scores. 

Retaking MCAT

Now that you know that you can retake the MCAT and how many times you are able to retake it, all you need to do now is to decide when you will take the test again and calculate the probability of you getting a better score than you earlier did.

Here are some things to think about when evaluating how to get a higher score on your retake:

  • Think about why you failed at first.
  • Consult with those who did well on the MCAT and ask for any tips or insight
  • Create a superb study plan that works with your current schedule and routine
  • Identify your strength and weakness.
  • Attend preparatory classes if possible. There are many MCAT test prep courses you can register for
  • Start studying early. It is never too early to begin to prepare for the MCAT

With all these in place, you can be sure of a higher chance of success in your next MCAT test.

Want to know how your scores compare to the older MCAT? Check out our MCAT score conversion.

How to Change Your MCAT Registration

If you know you need to cancel or reschedule the MCAT, don’t delay! Find out your options and you may be able to receive a partial refund on your MCAT registration