MCAT Accommodations: What They Mean and How to Get Them

April 25, 2024
6 min read


Reviewed by:

Akhil Katakam

Third-Year Medical Student, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Reviewed: 4/25/24

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.

image of dots background

How to Ask for MCAT Accommodations

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. Don’t worry; there’s no additional cost to request accommodations. We’ll cover what you should do before starting your application.

Step 1: Create an AAMC ID

To access the MCAT accommodations application, you must create an AAMC login ID.

Step 2: Understand the Review Process

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.

Step 3: Review Deadlines, Cycles, and Dates

Evaluate recommended accommodation submission dates and submit your request for MCAT accommodations on or before the deadline that aligns with your test date. 

Step 4: Identify Application Requirements Specific to Your Condition

Read the 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.

What to Include in Your MCAT Accommodations Application 

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 in the MCAT testing facility. We’ll outline what you must include in your MCAT accommodations application.

Complete Profile, Condition and History Sections in MAO

Your application has sections for your profile, condition, and history. These help the AAMC understand who you are and your condition. 

Your MCAT Accommodations Personal Statement

This section provides the opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding your condition. Use your 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:

  • A brief history of your experience with your condition
  • Any accommodations you’ve previously received 
  • Your current functional limitations 
  • What you feel is necessary for taking the MCAT

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.

A Current Comprehensive Evaluation 

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 (Academic and Medical)

Supporting documentation establishes your condition’s history. Acceptable forms of supporting documentation include:

Supporting Document Description
Academic Transcripts Ensure your name is visible on your academic transcripts, which include high school, undergraduate, and postgraduate education. Submitting transcripts is highly recommended, regardless of your condition or diagnosis date.
Standardized Test Score Reports Submitting standardized test scores helps the evaluation committee understand how you fare in testing conditions. They’re relevant regardless of your diagnosis date.
Verification of Previous Accommodations Only official documentation is accepted. Include accommodations made in educational institutions and standardized testing in the forms of IEPs, Section 504 plans, Disability Support Services letters, etc. This documentation should explain previous accommodations you’ve received.
Supporting Academic Records Providing academic records helps to establish the history of limitations you have faced. According to the AAMC, you can submit:
Report cards
School progress reports
Tutor evaluations
Notes about previous unofficial accommodations
Comments from teachers about past/present academic difficulties
Documentation from physicians/service providers referencing academic issues
Previous Accommodations Any previous assessment you’ve received helps the evaluation committee understand the history of your condition.

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. 

What Conditions Are Eligible for Accommodations on the MCAT?

Any disability that impairs your testing ability can make you eligible for MCAT accommodations. Some common examples of disabilities that may require accommodations are:

  • Acquired brain injury
  • ADHD
  • Learning Disability
  • Physical Disability
  • Psychiatric Disability 
  • Sensory Disability

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.

What Accommodations Can You Get On the MCAT? 

While the AAMC doesn’t provide an exhaustive list of MCAT accommodations, these are some common accommodations you can receive on test day: 

  • Extended time on the MCAT: A specific amount of time is usually decided before test day
  • Additional breaks or stop-the-clock breaks: You can take more breaks and/or stop the clock to do anything that has to do with managing your condition
  • Pregnancy/nursing: While you can’t bring your baby with you, you can request extra break time to pump or for any other pregnancy-related limitation 
  • Food and drinks: While you can have food and drinks during your break time, if you need immediate access to these, you can get accommodation for them 

Other potential accommodations include: 

  • Adjustable-height work station 
  • Adaptive mouse
  • Text enlargement 
  • Paper tests 

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. You’ll be responsible for bringing your things such as food and water. 

Do Medical Schools See MCAT Accommodations?

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.

1. Can You Go to Medical School If You Have a Disability?

Yes, you can go to medical school if you have a disability. Today, approximately 2.7% of medical students have disclosed disabilities.

2. Does the MCAT Have Disability Accommodations?

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.

3. Can You Get Extra Time on the MCAT?

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.

4. How Long Are Accommodations Valid? 

Accommodations are valid for five years. During that time, your documentation is preserved in the AAMC’s system.

5. Can You Request a Paper MCAT?

If your supporting documentation shows this necessity, you can request a paper test as an accommodation.  

6. Can You Wear Headphones During the MCAT?

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.

7. Can You Get Accommodations For ADHD? 

Yes, MCAT ADHD accommodations exist, and you can apply for them with supporting documentation. 

8. Can You Get Accommodations for Anxiety? 

Yes, if you have a diagnosis and adequate documentation to support your condition. 

MCAT Accommodations: Everyone Deserves an Equal Chance

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. 

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Schedule A Free Consultation

Plan Smart. Execute Strong. Get Into Your Dream School.
Get Free Consultation
image of dots background

You May Also Like