Planning for the MCAT

Give considerable thought as you plan for the MCAT.  You should ideally take the exam only one time and only after you have completed the recommended courses.  Most students devote several months and approximately 300 hours or more to study and so consider when you will have this time available.  The MCAT is offered in January, and then monthly from March to September.  A January exam means that you will study throughout the fall.  A March, April or early May test date will mean that you will need to study for the exam while maintaining your spring courses and Duke activities.  An August exam will give you the entire summer to study.  

We recommend that you take the MCAT at least a month before you send in your application so that you have your scores back (medical school applications are submitted late May, so you want to take your MCAT likely, no later than the end of April).  Many students will take the MCAT much earlier, in January or even in the preceding August.

For our preparation tips please see our HPA MCAT Tips handout.

Applications to other health professions schools may differ slightly, but all require study for a standardized exam and preparation for an application.  See the Apply section for more details in Admissions Tests.