Planning to take the MCAT this upcoming cycle? The 2023 MCAT test dates are finally out!
The test dates come out first (in October) while MCAT registration opens later on, as discussed below.
Looks like, once again, we have 2 different testing calendars for the US and Canada with more Canadian dates later in the cycle. Perhaps, to accommodate the rolling admissions for hard deadlines?
The testing calendar for US territories and international locations has also been released, with dates ranging from January all the way to early September.
Note: Also thanks to Covid, examinees and staff may be required to wear face masks, both in the US and US territories. Mask requirements were recently updated to align with CDC and state and local guidance. In some places, masks are not required indoors. You can use the search tool on the Pearson VUE website to check the requirements at your center.
Why MCAT Test Dates Matter
Most Canadian medical schools have hard deadlines. This means you should aim to complete your MCAT with enough time to receive your scores before the deadline.
Most US medical schools have rolling admissions. This means that the sooner you test, the sooner you can apply, and the sooner your application will be reviewed for consideration.
Rolling admissions are discussed in more detail in my free MCAT prep guide.
2023 MCAT Registration Dates
According to the AAMC, registration for the 2023 MCAT opens in October for those wanting to test in the first half of the year. Registration for the Jul-Sep test dates opens in February.
2023 MCAT Score Release Dates
MCAT scores are released ~30 days after testing. The second column on each image shows the score release for that specific MCAT date.
Plan for this 30 day delay when calculating your MCAT + application timeline.
In my experience, I've seen the highest success rate with students who test by June and have their applications in by July.
Students testing in July still do ok, with Aug/Sep dates pushing it slightly.
Your #1 goal is to choose a test day that fits your timeline AND STILL allows you to be PREPARED!
This means that you are much better off with a LATER MCAT test date that you're actually ready for versus an early exam date with a potential low score. The latter situation puts you at greater risk for an earlier rejection.
Remember, it doesn't matter WHEN you reach your goals. So long as you refuse to give up and keep working hard, you WILL ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS!!
Not sure how to prepare or even get started?
First, read How to Start Studying for the MCAT. I also cover everything you need for MCAT prep in my free Ultimate Guide to MCAT Prep.
For more personal help, see the following:
– Creating a custom study schedule and long term plan: Schedule an MCAT Strategy Session
– Strategy + content + accountability + guidance every step of the way: MCAT Study Hall
– One-on-one private MCAT tutoring
Why NOT to register yet for the MCAT
MCAT registration is NOT your next step, despite what most advisors recommend. Before getting started, before establishing your baseline and schedule, before getting a feel for your progress and ability, you have no way of knowing when you’ll be ready.
Instead, I recommend reviewing the MCAT test dates, choosing an ideal target date (on paper) and setting your goals accordingly.
Once you confirm you’re on track, only then should you register for the MCAT (so as not to waste your funds on cancellation and postponement fees).
Sample Study Plan with Downloadable PDF
If you're looking for a sample study plan to customize and follow, especially one that has you evaluating your progress every step of the way, see my plans below:
Strategy, Skills, and Useful Study Techniques
- Overall: The Ultimate MCAT Prep Guide
& MCAT Resources – the best of the best as voted by fellow premeds
- Mental Prep:
- How much time do you REALLY need for MCAT Prep?
- Building Endurance for the 7.5 hour exam
- Start and end with a WIN Strategy for avoiding procrastination
- The Pomodoro Technique to keep you focused and improve it!
- Study Strategies:
- Newspaper Strategy for improving in CARS
- Audio Study Strategy for maximizing time spent driving/chores…
- Flashcard Strategy for utilizing them the RIGHT way
- Studying in the Bathroom because hey, you're there every day anyways
- Active Writing for concept and equation memorization
- Note-Taking Strategy for fast-paced effective studying
- 3 Steps to Raising Your MCAT Scores With Full-Length Practice Tests
- 5 Steps to Mastering MCAT Sciences
- Should I retake my MCAT? If so, when?
- Fellow Pre-med Interviews passing on their insight and advice to you!
Confused by MCAT Zones, Deadlines, Scheduling and Rescheduling Fees? I explain it all in THIS Video!
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding MCAT Registration
What's the best MCAT schedule so I can be ready by __ test date?
This is a tricky question. It's not about the ‘perfect schedule' that worked for someone else. You have to evaluate YOUR OWN situation to see what YOU can do. Follow along with my study schedule guide above, figure out how much time YOU need, and plan your studies accordingly.
When does registration open for the 2023 MCAT?
MCAT Registration opens in 2 phases. Registration for January – June opens in October, followed by registration for July – September opening in February
What happens if I can't find an MCAT test date?
Initial registration for the MCAT is chaotic, with all seats quickly disappearing. However, as you get closer to the test date, many students realize they are not ready and cancel or postpone their exam. If you check for seats around 60 days prior to your target test date, you WILL find a seat due to another student cancelling right before the deadline.
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