Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Standardized Tests

MCAT 2013


In 2013, the computerized Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) will be given on over twenty days with some dates offering more than one administration.  Online registration for the test dates through next May opened in October, and registration for later dates will open on a rolling basis.  Complete MCAT information can be found at: (we recommend in particular the “2013 MCAT Essentials” PDF).  Be sure to register for the MCAT as soon as registration is available, as you may not get your first choice of test site if you are late.  When registering for the test, please release your scores to the your health professions adviser at your undergraduate institution (F&M) when asked to do so.  We use the scores anonymously, and only for statistical purposes.   

All applicants planning to apply for admission to medical schools for Fall 2014 should take the MCAT absolutely no later than July 2013, preferably no later than June 2013.  There are distinct advantages, however, to taking the test in January, March, April, or early May, which we are happy to discuss with you.  The MCAT is traditionally offered during the months of January, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September.  August and September dates are not for current applicants, but rather for students planning to apply the following summer, or later.  At most medical schools, MCAT scores are good for three years prior to matriculation.


MCAT 2013 has three multiple-choice sections and a Writing Sample.  It takes approximately five-and-a-half hours to complete.

  • Physical Sciences - 70 minutes to complete 52 questions that test reasoning in General Chemistry and Physics  
  • Verbal Reasoning - 60 minutes to complete 40 questions that are designed to measure “comprehension, evaluation, application, and incorporation of new information”
  • Biological Sciences - 70 minutes to complete 52 questions that test reasoning in General Biology and Organic Chemistry
  • Trial Section - 45 minutes to complete 32 questions.  Last section of the day, voluntary.  You will be asked to “test” new questions in either biochemistry, biology, chemistry, and physics or psychology, sociology, and biology.

Unlike 2012’s examinees, 2013 examinees will not take the Writing Sample section of the MCAT; this portion has been removed to make room from the Trial Section, which is being added in preparation for the new 2015 MCAT.

Three separate scores are reported, indicating your performance on each section.  The scores are reported on a scale ranging from 1 (lowest) to 15 (highest).  

You will be able to access your MCAT scores approximately thirty days after you have taken the test.  The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) will automatically send MCAT scores to the participating schools to which you applied if you release them.  Again, please release them to us as well.

MCAT 2015

The MCAT exam will change in 2015 to keep pace with changes in medical education and health care.  To quote material on the MCAT website directly:  “The changes to the MCAT exam in 2015 preserve what works about the current exam, eliminate what isn’t working, and further enrich the MCAT exam by giving attention to the concepts tomorrow’s doctors will need. 

  • Natural sciences sections of the MCAT2015 exam reflect recent changes in medical education.
  • Addition of the social and behavioral sciences section, Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior, recognizes the importance of socio-cultural and behavioral determinants of health and health outcomes.
  • And the new Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section reflects the fact that medical schools want well-rounded applicants from a variety of backgrounds.”

We urge all pre-meds who have yet to take their MCAT to review the vast MCAT material available to you on the AAMC website:  Information here includes many details about the new 2015 MCAT.


Veterinary schools require the GRE, or Graduate Record Exam, as do Schools of Public Health and some other health professional schools.  The GRE General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills that are not related to any specific field of study.  For complete information, go to

  • Analytical Writing – 60 minutes (30 mins each for two tasks), measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, specifically the test taker's ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively
  • Verbal Reasoning – 60 minutes (30 mins for two sections), measures reading comprehension skills and verbal and analogical reasoning skills, focusing on the test taker's ability to analyze and evaluate written material
  • Quantitative Reasoning – 70 minutes (35 mins for two sections), measures problem-solving ability, focusing on basic mathematical skills and concepts

The GRE is offered throughout the year.  Test takers may schedule a GRE administration at a computer testing lab on a date of their choosing.


Dental schools require the DAT, or Dental Admission Test.  The DAT is divided into four sections:    Survey of Natural Sciences (including Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry), Perceptual Ability, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Reasoning.  The DAT is offered throughout the year.  Test takers may schedule a DAT at a computer testing center on a date of their choosing.  For complete information, go to  Take a moment to save the PDF “DAT Program Guide” to your desktop; it tells you everything you need to know.