When to Take the Exam
Most medical schools fill their classes on an ongoing basis ("rolling admissions"). Therefore we strongly recommend that students apply as early as possible. If you are applying to medical school during the upcoming admissions cycle (this summer), we very strongly recommend that you take the MCATs in the late April–July period. If you are an undergraduate, please plan your Spring term accordingly, as studying for the MCAT should take more time than an individual course. Given the importance of this exam, we do not recommend you take the MCAT unless you have had time to prepare.
Those individuals who plan to delay applying to medical school until the end of their senior year (or later) often choose to take the MCAT in August, just before they return for their final year at BC. This strategy allows them to focus on their grades during second semester of their junior year, without having to study for the MCAT. If they do poorly on the August test, they still can retake the MCAT in January of senior year, or the spring or summer just after senior year, and the scores from this exam will not delay the evaluation of their applications by medical-school admissions committees.
Timing of the DAT: is largely up to you; however, some dental schools state that they must have the scores one year (e.g. September/October) prior to the year of matriculation. Given this, as well as the 90 waiting period for a retake, we recommend you plan accordingly. (In the past, students have generally scheduled the exam for June/July prior to the year of matriculation). To learn more about the DAT, we strongly encourage you to review the book Official Guide to Dental Schools. It is also on reserve in O’Neill Library (BI 000).
The best strategy is to take the GRE the year that you intend to apply. Some students prefer to take it during the fall or spring semester prior to applying so that they will have time to retake if necessary. Other students take the exam during the summer to have more time to prepare. It is strongly advised that you take the GRE before you fill out the VMCAS application so that you already have your scores. This will aid in your choice of schools to which you want to apply and help determine if you are a strong candidate.