The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is an integral part of the admission process to get into any medical school. Caribbean medical schools, which are growing in popularity among prospective medical students due to their high acceptance rate, also demand MCAT scores in some cases.
Most Caribbean medical schools require you to fulfill certain criteria before submitting the medical school application of which the MCAT score is a part of. Although it is mandatory only for students who are U.S. citizens or residents, it is strongly advised to sit the MCAT for easy admission.
Here are a few of the important aspects you need to know about the MCAT exam as an aspiring international medical student.
What is MCAT?
Conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the MCAT is a standardized objective examination that tests your knowledge in basic science subjects such as physics, chemistry, biology, and biochemistry along with critical thinking and reasoning skills. This is a computer-based test conducted multiple times a year at different test centers.
The question paper is divided into two sections which are science and critical analysis and a reasoning section. The following are the exact divisions of the MCAT paper:
- Chemical and physical foundations of the biological systems
- Biological and biochemical foundations of the living systems
- Biological, psychological, and social foundations of behavior
- Critical thinking and reasoning skills
A basic understanding of science subjects combined with logical skills is sufficient to pass this test.
Who should attend the MCAT exam?
An MCAT score is not a mandatory part of the admission process. All students who apply for the Doctor of Medicine program are strongly encouraged to attempt the test as part of the selection process. However, it is compulsory to take the MCAT test for applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Students with outdated prerequisite coursework are also recommended to take the test to prove their proficiency.
Scoring good marks in the MCAT exam is proof that you are well-versed in the basics of science and will follow the medical school curriculum without much difficulty. MCAT scores can help you stand out from others who apply to the same school and will increase your chances of getting selected for the medical program.
How to prepare for MCAT
Scoring well in the MCAT is not a difficult task if you follow the right path. AAMC, the examination conducting authority, has prepared all the essential study resources you need to prepare for the examination. You can access these study materials developed by experts at very low rates.
Various online sites have also posted mock question papers which you can do to get an idea of the pattern and structure of the paper. Also, talk to your peers and educators to get valuable insights on how to pass the examination. Create a study plan, stay organized, dedicate some time each day for the preparation, and practice mock tests frequently to ace the MCAT exam and gain a seat at a Caribbean medical school.