How long are MCAT scores valid? Read on to find out!
Taking some time for a gap year before med school has become more and more common for aspiring med students. If you’ve been planning on applying for med school but are considering taking some time off, you might be asking if and when MCAT scores expire.
In this article, we’ll be covering the longevity of your MCAT score and how medical schools feel about old MCAT scores. We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions to clarify how long MCAT scores are valid.
Let’s get started!
So, how long are MCAT scores valid for? Generally speaking, a large majority of medical schools accept MCAT scores that are between two to three years old.
While there is no set expiration date on your MCAT score, the answer to this question can also depend on which schools and programs you’re planning on applying for. Overall, more prestigious schools with lower acceptance rates, such as Harvard or Johns Hopkins, are unlikely to accept MCAT scores older than two years.
With that said, more and more medical schools are only considering MCAT scores no older than two years. As application requirements may change each year, it’s essential to research each program’s admission requirements to ensure all your documents are valid for the application!
Knowing how long your MCAT scores are valid is only one side of the coin when it comes to your application. It’s also essential to understand how medical schools feel about submitting an old MCAT score.
Since most schools only accept MCAT scores within two years old, med school admissions likely won’t bat an eye if your score was acquired during this time frame.
While submitting a score within the designated two-year window won’t affect your application, it can be worthwhile to consider whether your application can communicate why you’ve decided to take a break before applying or reapplying.
Whether you’ve taken a break to pursue research, work full time, or improve your candidacy for med school, it’s essential to give admissions context for submitting an older MCAT score. Remember that your MCAT score isn’t all admissions look at when considering your application.
Below, we’ll cover some FAQs to clarify any questions you might still have.
While MCAT scores don’t have a set expiration date, most medical schools will accept MCAT scores between two to three years old.
Generally speaking, MCAT scores are eligible for two to three years, depending on the medical school you’re hoping to apply for. With that said, most schools are beginning to only accept scores within two years old.
It’s essential to do research on the application requirements for each school or program you’re hoping to apply for, as they can change with each application cycle!
Your medical schools can see old MCAT scores. While retaking the MCAT won’t necessarily impact your chances of getting into a program, how many times you take the MCAT without significant improvement may be a red flag for admissions committees.
So, it would be wise to retake the MCAT only if you’re confident that you’ll score significantly higher or if your MCAT score is no longer valid for an application.
The question of how long MCAT scores remain valid becomes more relevant as aspiring medical students are more likely to consider taking gap years after college.
As you plan your application timeline for medical school, remember to take note of each school’s requirements, as they can differ depending on the program and application cycle. These requirements may also be different for international students or transfer students, so keeping a keen eye on what your dream school requires can only work in your favor!