How Much Does the MCAT Cost: A Complete Guide


Preparing for medical school requires hard work, resilience, and financial investments. A key component of your medical school application is the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). This standardized exam assesses your knowledge of the natural, behavioral, and social science concepts and critical thinking skills prerequisite to the study of medicine. Not only is it a crucial part of your medical school application, but it also comes with a significant expense that you need to account for.

But how much does the MCAT cost? Join us and discover how you can finance your MCAT costs as we explore the costs of taking this test and tips on managing them.

How Much Does the MCAT Cost?

The MCAT is an exam designed and administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The AAMC also provides information on registration, rescheduling, and cancellation fees, which may vary depending on whether you are an international examinee. While there are various fees associated with the MCAT exam, the MCAT Score Reporting Service currently does not charge any fees.

The fees associated with the MCAT exam can be categorized as registration, rescheduling, cancellation, study materials, costs of MCAT preparation, travel expenses, and financial assistance options. Let’s take a closer look at the costs related to each of these categories.

Registration fee

The AAMC offers a complete list of MCAT test dates based on the 60-day, 30-day, and 10-day registration deadlines. You can reschedule or cancel the exam appointment according to these deadlines. However, we recommend registering as early as possible, as the MCAT spots tend to fill up quickly.

As of the 2024 testing dates, the MCAT registration fee is $335. On the other hand, the Fee Assistance Program Registration is $140. And, if you’re an examinee testing outside of the U.S., Canada, or U.S. Territories, you’ll be charged a $120 International fee in addition to the initial registration fee. 

Rescheduling fees

After scheduling the MCAT exam, you can reschedule your exam date and location up to ten days before your appointment. The fee for changing the date or test center of the exam increases the closer you reschedule to the exam date. 

If you reschedule the exam 60 days or more before the appointment, you’ll have to pay a fee of $50. You’ll have to pay double or $100 if you reschedule 30 to 59 days before the exam. And lastly, you’ll have to pay a fee of $200 if you reschedule 10 to 29 days before the exam.

You’ll have to pay significantly less if you’re eligible to receive financial aid from the Fee Assistance Program. For example, if you reschedule 60 days or more before the exam, you’ll have to pay a $20 fee. A $40 fee for 30 to 59 days before the exam and $80 if you reschedule 10 to 29 days before.

Remember, the AAMC doesn’t allow any changes less than ten days before the exam.  

Cancellation fees

You can cancel the MCAT exam through the MCAT Registration System. After that, you’ll receive an email confirmation within 24 hours. Keep in mind that you may have to wait until 24 hours after your original exam date to schedule a new appointment. 

Depending on when you cancel your appointment, you’ll be able to receive a refund to the card you used for scheduling the exam. 

If you cancel the exam 30 to more days before the exam date, you’ll receive a refund of $165 ($70 if you’re on the Fee Assistance Program). But, if you cancel the exam 10 to 29 days before the testing day, you won’t receive a refund. 

Study materials

Additional MCAT-related expenses include purchasing study materials such as prep books, online courses, and practice exams. These prep books cover the scientific concepts and knowledge required for the exam. The official Kaplan review books cost $158, whereas the Princeton Review MCAT set costs $249.99. You can also purchase the AAMC MCAT Official Prep Bundle, which includes over 2,300 unique passage-based questions, for $320.

One of the more expensive options is participating in live online courses, which can cost $2,599 to $3,099. These courses provide real-time online instruction and grant access to video lectures, practice questions, and other study materials.

Costs of MCAT preparation

In addition to the fees mentioned earlier, you may also have to bear other expenses while preparing for the MCAT, such as tutoring, joining study groups, and enrolling in review courses. 

If you’re facing difficulties preparing for the MCAT on your own, you can also receive one-on-one coaching for your most challenging subjects or question types. The cost of MCAT tutoring varies on the level and type of coaching; however, it can go from $60 to $300+ per hour.

Travel expenses 

The MCAT is not an online exam, so you must go to an MCAT test center to take the exam. This implies that you will have to bear the cost of traveling to your MCAT destination, including accommodation, food, and transportation to and from the test center. 

The exact cost of these expenses varies depending on the location and distance of the test center. On average, the cost of domestic flights in the U.S. is $367.79, but the cost of travel will depend on your location. To save on travel costs, you can register at the test center closest to you, which is the most cost-effective option. 

The cost of accommodation also varies depending on the location of your stay. For example, staying in a prime city area may be an expensive option. Alternatively, you can opt for cheaper accommodation a bit further from the city center and pay for public transportation or other means of transportation to reach the testing center. 

It’s important to keep in mind that the MCAT exam takes seven and a half hours to complete, so it’s crucial to be well-rested and maintain your stamina throughout the day. Rushing travel arrangements may result in arriving late for the exam or being too tired, so it’s better to spend a bit more to ensure that you arrive at the exam center on time and in the best physical and mental state possible.

Financial assistance options

Fortunately, there are many financial aid options to help you cover the costs of the MCAT exam. You can apply for the Fee Assistance Program offered by the AAMC to help you pay for the exam and the expenses related to it. Besides the reduced registration and rescheduling fee, you’ll also receive free access to MCAT prep materials, a two-year subscription to the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR), and a waiver for covering all American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application fees for up to 20 medical school submissions. 

You can also apply for scholarships and grants, especially those meant to provide financial assistance for taking the MCAT exam. You may receive coverage of the entire exam cost or partial financial support. You can find scholarships and grants through your school’s financial aid office or by contacting the medical school directly. 

Tips for Managing MCAT Costs


Here are some practical tips you can apply to minimize expenses while preparing for and taking the MCAT:

  • Budget wisely: Create a budget specifically for MCAT-related expenses, such as registration fees, study materials, and traveling. Make sure to allocate funds accordingly to ensure you can cover all costs without overspending.
  • Utilize resources: There are several free or affordable study resources that you can access online. For instance, Khan Academy offers a variety of study materials. You can also use the free MCAT prep resources provided by the AAMC. In addition, you can find other study aids such as blogs, study guides, and sample question banks that are available at little or no cost.
  • Plan ahead for registration: Registering for the MCAT well in advance will give you more flexibility in setting up accommodation and transport, thus avoiding last-minute additional costs. 

The Bottom Line

When applying to medical school, preparing for the MCAT exam can be a significant expense. From registration fees to study materials and practice exams, the costs can add up quickly. Therefore, it’s essential to plan ahead, take advantage of free and low-cost resources, and budget wisely to minimize financial stress. You can also consider applying for the Fee Assistance Program or scholarships and grants to help ease the financial burden.

With dedication and careful budgeting, you can navigate the costs of the MCAT exam while pursuing your dream of becoming a physician. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Can I use financial aid to cover the cost of MCAT preparation materials?

Yes, you can use financial aid to cover the cost of MCAT preparation materials. The AAMC Fee Assistance Program will provide you with a reduced registration fee, free MCAT preparation materials, and free access to the MSAR database. 

Can I get a refund if I need to cancel my MCAT registration?

While you can cancel your MCAT exam at any time before the scheduled appointment, you’ll only receive a partial refund if you cancel the latest 30 days before the test date. You won’t receive a refund if you cancel after the 30-day deadline.

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