Academic Accommodations for the MCAT

If you are reading this page you are probably seeking some answers concerning the MCAT. It may be that you or someone you know is preparing for the test and feel it’s not going well. You may even be wondering if you would qualify for academic accommodations like extended time on test sections or testing in a distraction free room. You may be surprised to know that there are numerous psychological conditions/disorders that may make you eligible for academic accommodations on this daunting high stakes test.

The Medical College Admission Test or, MCAT, as it is known, is the standardized test that purports to assess your readiness for medical school. Your MCAT score is a vital part of your academic package. It can not only compensate for a less than stellar GPA, it can have a direct effect on the tier of medical school to which you are admitted. In other words, it’s very important! The MCAT is a computer administered test that assesses your knowledge across four academic domains: Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems; Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS); Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems; and Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior.

Making a good MCAT score is challenging for even the best students. The pressure to do well, a short amount of time to complete complex test sections across multiple domains of academia, and the knowledge you’re competing with thousands of other students – the stress is immense. Almost all students will at times suffer from performance anxiety and concentration problems when prepping for and taking the MCAT.

But what if one’s emotional and intellectual functioning seems abnormally impaired? In these instances, gaining a psychoeducational assessment can diagnose the problem, outline a treatment plan, and gain a student deserved academic accommodations.

Typical diagnoses stemming from a psychoeducational assessment are:

  • ADHD
  • Specific Learning Disorder in Reading (Dyslexia)
  • Specific Learning Disorder in Math (Dyscalculia)
  • Specific Learning Disorder in Writing
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder (Dysgraphia)
  • Auditory and Visual Processing Disorders
  • Emotional Conditions such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder

Once it’s been determined that you suffer from a clinical psychological condition that is affecting academic performance, you can typically use this information to apply for accommodations on the MCAT. The most common accommodations available on the MCAT are:

  • Extended time (e.g., time and a half) on all test sections
  • Testing in a distraction free room
  • Increased number of breaks during the test administration

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Every Service We Provide Starts With a Psychoeducational Assessment Battery

Your testing process will be supervised by a psychologist and the assessment will begin with a clinical interview to get necessary background info. After, you will be tested by a psychometrician who will administer intellectual, academic, attention, emotion, and personality measures.

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Though ADHD symptoms are easily recognizable in many people, they are not as apparent in high achieving college students who put in grueling hours to achieve their grades, leaving them beleaguered and taxed. These students often lack sleep and are very susceptible to developing anxiety and depressive disorders that compound their ADHD symptoms. For these students, academic accommodations are essential.

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