Length of MCAT

Time Limits Associated with MCAT and Tips to Handle Them


MCAT or the Medical College Admission Test is intended for all those candidates who wish to pursue a career in medicine. Initially, when it was first introduced, this test was pen and paper based but since August 2006, it became a computer based examination. In a year, this test takes place around twenty-five times and the frequency of the exam may vary each year. The test's length of time is 4.5 to 5 hours and it is held in the afternoon or in the morning. Of course, there are also some dates where there will be morning as well as afternoon administrations.

Test Sections and MCAT Length for Each Section

There are four sections in this test and the length of each section is not the same. The various sections are:

  • Biological sciences
  • Physical sciences
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Writing sample

The time for Biological Sciences is seventy minutes and you will find fifty-two questions in this section. The Physical Sciences section also has fifty-two questions and it also lasts for the same amount of time. The Verbal Reasoning section is one that lasts for an hour and consists of forty questions. These three sections have multiple choice questions. Last but not the least, the Writing Section is one where you need to write two essays and the total time is sixty minutes. You will have to write the essays by typing into the computer.

Tips to Handle Time Limits

If you want to get a good score, you will have to make sure that you are well-prepared for the test and you will also need to complete all the test sections within the limit of time. How do you do that? You can follow these tips:

  • Practice each of the sections of the test everyday and make sure that you time yourself. This is the best way to ensure that you complete the test within the limit of time.
  • For the multiple choice questions, work on those questions whose answers you know. The questions that you do not know the answers to, you can always make a lucky guess. There is no negative marking if you choose an incorrect answer.
  • If you know people who have taken this test before, you can ask them for tips and suggestions.
  • Make sure that you buy books or attend preparation courses on MCAT as they will offer you good tricks and tips you can use to finish the test in time.

Preparing for the Test...

It is important for you to realize that MCAT is a test that will require you to work hard if you want to score high. Most importantly, it is essential for you to work on each of the sections carefully and within  time. How do you prepare for it? You will find that there are many preparation courses you can attend and you can also buy books related to this test so that they can help you obtain a high score. It will be best if you can set aside at least three months and study for the test regularly so that this will increase your chances to score high. While it is possible for you take a retest, you should try to get a high score in the first attempt. Remember, the best way to ensure you get admission into a good medical school is to score high in this test so do everything you can to understand the test well and get a good score.

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