The MCAT testing conditions can seem intimidating, but accommodations are available for people with disabilities. Read on to discover how to apply for MCAT accommodations.
The MCAT is challenging and requires a lot of preparation and concentration. However, the test can be even more daunting for a person with a disability. The AAMC is aware that not everyone starts on an even playing field, which is why accommodations are offered for test-takers with medical conditions or disabilities.
Receiving accommodations from the AAMC shouldn’t be a stressful process, and we’re here to help. We’ll cover how to apply for accommodations on the MCAT and discuss eligibility requirements.
According to its website, “The AAMC is committed to providing all individuals with an opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency on the MCAT exam. That includes ensuring access to persons with disabilities in accordance with relevant law.”
Before you apply for an AAMC MCAT accommodation, it’s essential to understand how the process works. We’ll cover what you should do before starting your MCAT accommodations application.
To access the MCAT accommodations application, you must create an AAMC login ID.
The AAMC makes each decision on a case-by-case basis, as disabilities can present differently. The AAMC reviews the materials you submit to support your request. It’s important to note having a disability is not automatic grounds for accommodations. Your current functional limitations guide the AAMC’s decision.
Evaluate recommended accommodation submission dates, and submit your request for MCAT accommodations on or before the deadline that aligns with your test date.
Read application requirements thoroughly and note what the AAMC needs for your specific situation. Once you’ve completed these steps, you’re ready to apply for accommodations.
When crafting your MCAT disability accommodations application, ensure you have all the required materials. The more materials you have to back up your claim, the more likely you’ll be granted accommodations. We’ll outline what you must include in your MCAT accommodations application.
Your application has sections for your profile, condition, and history. These help the AAMC understand who you are and your condition.
This section provides the opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding your condition. Use your MCAT accommodation personal statement to help the evaluators understand your perspective and why these accommodations are necessary.
In your MCAT accommodations personal statement, you should include the following:
It may also help to include what would go wrong if you were to take the MCAT under typical conditions.
For instance, if you’re applying for extra time, you can describe a test situation where you weren’t granted this accommodation. You have to show the AAMC why extra time would help you succeed.
Avoid reiterating information that the evaluators already have. Your personal statement should genuinely express your concerns. You don’t need to repeat information from your evaluations or educational experiences. The evaluators can find that information in your supporting documents.
The AAMC defines a current comprehensive evaluation as a “detailed written report from your evaluator.” This report will significantly impact the final decision.
To ensure your evaluation includes all relevant information, show your qualified professional the AAMC’s guide on what evaluators need to know. This guide offers evaluation requirements for different types of conditions, including:
Remember, your MCAT accommodations decision is based mainly on your current functional limitations. That’s why your evaluation must be recent and describe how your condition currently affects you.
Supporting documentation establishes your condition’s history. Acceptable forms of supporting documentation include:
While some are more valuable than others, each document you provide helps your case. The AAMC’s table conveys how important each document is to your application according to the nature of your condition.
Any disability that impairs your testing ability can make you eligible for MCAT accommodations. Some common examples of disabilities that may require accommodations are:
No disability should hold you back from becoming a doctor. If you’re concerned that your disability doesn’t appear on the AAMC’s accommodations page, contact them. The AAMC wants every test-taker to have an equal opportunity for success.
You should also ensure you have adequate documentation to prove your eligibility before filing your application.
While the AAMC doesn’t provide an exhaustive list of MCAT accommodations, these are some common accommodations you can receive on test day:
Other potential accommodations include:
These are not all the accommodations available but are some of the most common. If you need a different accommodation, ensure you outline it in your application.
The AAMC doesn’t disclose your MCAT test accommodations with medical schools. Putting an asterisk on a student’s test to indicate they had accommodations is no longer practiced.
Here we’ll answer some frequently asked questions surrounding MCAT accommodations.
Yes, you can go to medical school if you have a disability. Today, approximately 2.7% of medical students have disclosed disabilities.
Yes, the AAMC aims to provide a level playing field for all test-takers. Many accommodations are available depending on the limitations of your condition.
Yes, you can get extra time on the MCAT if you’re approved for accommodations. More frequent breaks can also be approved if you have a medical condition that requires it. You can apply for stop-the-clock breaks, extended breaks, or extended time.
MCAT accommodations are valid for five years. During that time, your documentation is preserved in the AAMC’s system.
If your supporting documentation shows this necessity, you can request a paper test as an MCAT accommodation.
Yes, you can wear earplugs or a headset while taking the MCAT to assist with noise reduction. The AAMC has these items available for students at the test center.
Yes, MCAT ADHD accommodations exist, and you can apply for them with supporting documentation.
Yes, if you have a diagnosis and adequate documentation to support your condition.
The AAMC aims to give every test-taker an equal chance for success. Different MCAT accommodations are available for students living with disabilities. You can get extra time on the MCAT, access medication and food, or take the test in a separate room. There are many MCAT test accommodations available.
Don’t feel discouraged about taking the MCAT if you have a disability. Just ensure you submit your application on time with all the necessary materials. Check the AAMC website for further information on timelines and application materials.