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Mcat Or Gre: Which Test Should You Take For Med School?

Discover the Surprising Test You Should Take for Med School: MCAT or GRE? Find Out Now!

If you’re considering applying to medical school, chances are you’ve heard of the MCAT and the GRE. These two standardized tests are integral parts of the application process for nearly all medical schools in the United States.

However, with so many similarities between them, it can be difficult to decide which test is right for you.

The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is specifically designed for students who want to pursue a career in medicine or another health-related field. On the other hand, the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is used by a variety of graduate programs, including some medical schools that do not require the MCAT.

In this article, we’ll break down the differences between these two exams and help you determine which one might be a better fit for your goals and circumstances.


  1. Understanding The Differences Between The Mcat And Gre
  2. Factors To Consider When Choosing Your Test
  3. Making An Informed Decision For Your Medical School Application
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Conclusion

Understanding The Differences Between The Mcat And Gre

Deciding which test to take for medical school can be challenging. It ultimately depends on the specific requirements of the schools you are applying to.

The MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test, is designed specifically for aspiring doctors and is a common requirement for most medical schools. The test format of the MCAT consists of four sections: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior, and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. Each section is timed separately and includes multiple-choice questions. The scoring system ranges from 472 to 528 points with each section being scored between 118-132 points.

On the other hand, the GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, is a more general test that covers a variety of subjects and is typically required for graduate school programs. In comparison, the GRE has three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Unlike the MCAT, there are no specific subject areas tested on the GRE. Instead, it tests general knowledge in math and English language skills. The scoring system ranges from 130-170 points per section with a maximum combined score of 340 points.

Overall, understanding the differences between these two tests will help you determine which one is best suited for your career goals. It’s important to research each program’s requirements thoroughly before making your decision to ensure that you’re taking the appropriate test.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Your Test

After understanding the differences between the MCAT and GRE, it’s time to consider which test is right for you.

One important factor to consider is cost comparison. The MCAT is typically more expensive than the GRE, with a registration fee of $320 compared to the GRE’s $205 fee. Additionally, the cost of test preparation resources should also be taken into account.

When it comes to test preparation resources, both tests have numerous options available. However, the MCAT has more specialized resources tailored specifically towards medical school admissions. This includes official AAMC practice materials and prep courses offered by companies like Kaplan and Princeton Review. On the other hand, GRE test prep resources are more widely available through various companies and online platforms.

Ultimately, your decision should be based on your individual strengths, weaknesses, and goals for medical school admission.

It may be beneficial to take practice exams for both tests to determine which one aligns better with your abilities. Remember that while cost and test prep resources are important factors to consider, they should not be the only factors in your decision-making process.

Research the format and content of each test to determine which one aligns best with your academic and career goals.

Making An Informed Decision For Your Medical School Application

Making the decision to pursue a career in medicine is a significant one, and it’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the multitude of tests and requirements involved. One of the biggest choices you’ll need to make is whether to take the MCAT or GRE for your medical school application.

This decision can be daunting, but with some research and consideration, you can choose the test that’s right for you. One crucial factor to consider when deciding which test to take is the format of each exam. The MCAT focuses heavily on science content, including biology, chemistry, physics, and biochemistry. On the other hand, the GRE covers a broader range of topics, including verbal reasoning and analytical writing.

Depending on your strengths and weaknesses as a student, one test may be more suited to your skillset than the other. Another key consideration when choosing between these two exams is score validity. While both tests have a five-year validity period, each school has its own set of requirements regarding which test scores they will accept.

Before committing to one exam over another, make sure you check with each school you’re considering applying to and confirm their individual policies regarding score submission. In summary, selecting between taking the MCAT or GRE for med school requires careful thought and consideration. Take some time to evaluate your academic strengths and research each exam’s format before making your final choice. Additionally, ensure that you understand how long each score remains valid so that you can plan accordingly as you prepare for medical school applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does It Cost To Take The Mcat Or Gre?

When it comes to exam fees, the cost of taking any standardized test can add up quickly.

Fortunately, financial assistance is often available to help alleviate some of the burden.

Many organizations offer scholarships or fee waivers for those who demonstrate financial need, and some test prep companies even offer financing options for their courses.

It’s important to do your research and explore all possible avenues for assistance before deciding which test to take.

Can I Take The Mcat Or Gre Multiple Times?

If you’re considering taking either the MCAT or GRE for med school, it’s important to know about retaking options and score comparison.

Both tests offer the option to retake, but with different limitations and fees. The MCAT allows test takers to retake up to three times in a single testing year, while the GRE allows unlimited retakes with 21 days between each attempt.

When it comes to score comparison, medical schools typically prefer the MCAT over the GRE as it is specifically designed for medical school admissions. However, some schools may accept both scores and weigh them equally.

Ultimately, it’s important to research individual school requirements and consider your own strengths before deciding which test to take and how many times to take it.

How Long Are The Scores Valid For The Mcat And Gre?

Score validity and renewal options are important considerations for anyone taking standardized tests like the MCAT or GRE.

The length of time that scores are valid varies between the two tests, with MCAT scores being valid for three years and GRE scores being valid for five years.

Both tests offer options for score renewal or retaking, but these options come with their own set of rules and limitations.

It’s important to research and understand the score validity and renewal options for each test before deciding which one to take.

Are There Any Test Prep Materials Or Courses Recommended For The Mcat Or Gre?

Effective strategies for test preparation are essential to achieve a good score on standardized exams.

Best resources available for preparing for these tests include practice exams, study guides, online courses, and tutoring services.

It is recommended to start studying early and dedicate ample time to prepare thoroughly. Test-takers should also identify their strengths and weaknesses in the subject areas covered by the exam and focus their efforts accordingly.

Additionally, it is crucial to develop effective test-taking strategies such as time management and identifying keywords in questions.

By utilizing the best resources and implementing effective strategies, test-takers can increase their chances of success on both the MCAT or GRE exams.

How Do Medical Schools Weigh The Importance Of The Mcat And Gre Scores In The Application Process?

Admissions criteria vary depending on the medical school, but standardized testing trends show that MCAT and GRE scores play a critical role in the application process.

Medical schools weigh these scores heavily, along with other factors such as GPA, volunteer work, research experience, and personal statements.

While some schools may place more emphasis on one factor over another, overall, strong MCAT or GRE scores are an essential component of a competitive medical school application.

It is important to carefully consider which test to take based on your individual strengths and weaknesses and the specific requirements of the programs you are applying to.


Overall, the decision of whether to take the MCAT or GRE for medical school depends on individual circumstances and goals. It’s important to consider factors such as cost, testing availability, and program requirements before making a decision.

If you’re set on pursuing medical school, the MCAT may be the better option as it’s specifically designed for medical admissions.

However, if you’re open to other graduate programs in addition to medicine, the GRE may be a more versatile choice.

Ultimately, it’s crucial to prepare thoroughly for whichever test you choose and aim for a strong score that will help set you apart in the competitive application process.