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Medicine College Admission Test – MCAT | Important Information for Students

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Here you will find out everything you need to know about the entrance test for studying human and dental medicine, the MCAT. You can find background information about the admission process, registration, the process and duration of the medical test as well as tips for preparation on this page.

The MCAT is the admission procedure for studying medicine at medical universities. Your MCAT test result determines whether you are admitted to medical school. Everyone who sees their calling as a doctor or dentist must complete the MCAT.

The tests are structured very similarly and only differ from each other in a few modules. Both tests have one thing in common: they require good preparation.

The test results will be announced a few weeks after the MCAT. Those who have collected enough points can look forward to their place at a medical university, but others will unfortunately have to try again next year. How many students can study at a medical university in the current semester varies depending on the capacity of the university.

What is the MCAT?

The abbreviation MCAT stands for the Medical College Admission Test, the official entrance test of the Medical Universities.

The MCAT was the first unified medical admission exam, administered for the first time in 2013 at the three major public medical colleges. The MCAT has also been administered at the recently established medical faculty from 2014. Since then, the medical exam has seen constant development. Certain sections have been added or changed, and the “Social Decision-Making” section is one example of a new section.

The MCAT only takes place once a year. You can repeat it as often as you like. The date is usually in July (in 2023 it was July 21st).

Registration for MCAT

In order to take part in the MCAT, you must first apply to study medicine. You do this via the MCAT medicine admissions website, https://students-residents.aamc.org/.

choose. You then indicate whether you want to study dentistry or human medicine and register bindingly for MCAT. You cannot undo your choice of field of study or place of study once you have registered. It is also not possible to deregister from MCAT.

After you have registered, the amount for the MCAT cost contribution is due. This is currently 110 dollars (as of 2023) and must also be paid within the registration period.

Preparation for the MCAT

The number of medical study places is limited. In 2023, 12,777 applicants took part in the MedAT and a total of only 1,740 places were allocated. However, the number of study places can vary every year, as can the individual study quotas at the medical universities.

Since the number of applicants is regularly very high, it’s not just about passing the entrance test, but also about doing as well as possible in the overall ranking. For example, if the MedUni allocates 660 human medicine study places, then overall result must be among the 660 best test results (however, there is no minimum number of points).

In order to confidently master the Austrian medical test, good preparation is essential. Start studying early and plan a little more generously.

On the MCAT website you will find the official preparation documents for the dental and human medicine admission procedures. They are made available there by the University of Graz in the VMC (Virtual Medical Campus). There you will also find tips for preparation. To gain access to the VMC, you must register there once. Registration is free.

There has been a large market for preparing for the MCAT for several years: for example, you can find numerous books on preparing for the MedAT in bookstores or online. There are also a number of providers of preparation courses that take place either in person or online. However, the medical universities and the medical faculty at the University of Linz point out that unauthorized providers of preparatory courses and literature cannot guarantee preparation for the MCAT tasks.

Procedure: The test day

You have learned, are extremely prepared and finally the day of the decision has come: The MedAT is taking place. But what exactly can you expect and how does the exam day work?

This primarily serves to ensure comparability of the results and fairness. Otherwise there would be a risk that others would already know the tasks of the entrance test before it has started.

You should definitely plan the whole day for the entrance test. In recent years, the entire examination process took place between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Of course there are breaks between exams. The actual exam time is around five hours. Each individual exam lasts on average between 30 and 90 minutes.

MCAT Test content

The MedAT consists of four major test parts: the basic knowledge test for medical studies (BMS), text comprehension, cognitive abilities and skills as well as social-emotional skills.

Each part is weighted differently and accounts for a specific test part value:

  • Basic knowledge test for medical studies: 40%
  • Text comprehension: 10%
  • cognitive abilities and skills: 40%
  • social-emotional skills: 10%
  • Basic knowledge test for medical studies (BMS)

The BMS part consists of the subject areas of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. The questions are at Matura level – so if you haven’t written a final exam in one of the relevant subjects, you have some catching up to do. The questions are asked in multiple choice format.

Text comprehension

This part of the task is also offered in multiple-choice format and tests the applicants’ reading skills and comprehension of the text.

Cognitive abilities and skills

The aim here is to master five groups of tasks, all of which include basic cognitive abilities and skills and were collected on the basis of the latest scientific results. This part of the test is also in multiple-choice format.

These task groups await you:

  • Assemble figures
  • Memory and retention
  • Number sequences
  • Recognize implications
  • Word fluency
  • Social-emotional skills

This part of the test consists of two groups of tasks, also in multiple-choice format, which capture essential aspects of social-emotional skills:

  • Recognize emotions
  • Social decision-making
  • Manual skills in MCAT

As already mentioned, there are two versions of the MCAT. In the MCAT, the entrance test for prospective dentists, the “text comprehension” part is omitted and is replaced by the “manual skills” part. The task group “Recognizing implications” is also not found in the practice MCAT questions.

The “Manual Skills” part of the test measures basic skills required for studying dentistry. These consist of the task groups of wire bending and drawing exercises for mirroring shapes.