Students applying to allopathic or osteopathic medical school are required to take the MCAT exam. Students applying to dental programs are required to take the DAT, and applicants to optometry programs take the OAT. The MCAT, DAT, and OAT are lengthy, standardized, comprehensive exams similar in structure to the SAT but much more specific in content. These exams test students' knowledge of biological and physical sciences as well as verbal reasoning and writing skills. Exams are usually taken by students in the spring of their junior year (or their senior year if they plan to take a year off after graduation) and should be taken only if the student has completed or is within a month of completing the pre-requisite curriculum. Students applying for Physician Assistant and Physical Therapy programs are required to take the GRE, a more general exam similar to the SAT in structure and content. Pharmacy students take the PCAT. Registration and general information can be found at the respective websites.
June is the latest applicant test date for utilizing the UNH Committee review and letter.
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
- Online registration for each of the testing dates will usually open six months before a scheduled test date.
- Pearson View will reserve seats for MCAT examinees until 60 days before each testing date.
- Typically, if registration is completed 60 or more days before the exam date, an examinee is guaranteed a seat at a site within 100 miles of their requested site.
- However, there is no assurance for an examinee who registers less than 60 days before the exam.
- Early registration is encouraged to guarantee a test site in your desired city.
There are additional MCAT exams offered through September, but these exams are generally used as a makeup exam for students who score poorly on an earlier exam. It is not advisable to wait until August to take the MCAT for the first time. Also, it will be challenging to make informed medical school selections on the AMCAS application without an MCAT score. Examinees may take the MCAT a maximum of three times per year, but can only register for one exam at a time.
Dental Admission Test (DAT)
- Dental Admission Test (DAT)
- Dental applicants take a computerized DAT at a Pearson VUE testing center.
- Though the computerized DAT can be taken at the student's convenience, it is recommended that applicants take the DAT in the spring of their junior year (or the spring of the senior year if you plan to take a year off after graduation).
Optometry Admission Test (OAT)
- The Optometry Admission Test (OAT) is offered in a computerized format.
- Testing is available year-round.
- Scores are received immediately after completion of the test.
- Schools receive official scores within two weeks.
- It is recommended that applicants take the OAT no later than the end of June of their junior year (or their senior year if they plan to take a year off after graduation)
Considerations for re-taking the exam
- Discuss your results with the health professions advisor. If test scores were low, plan to retake the exam. Develop a game plan on how to tackle the exam so you will be more successful in the next attempt. Think about where or why you had difficulty the first time and how you will change that. Build improved test-taking strategies; use test preparation materials; practice, practice, practice. Most importantly, only take the exam when you feel you are ready and will do better on it – even if it means that you delay your application to a future application cycle
- Advice about re-taking the MCAT exam from a faculty member at another school: "For most students, improving their MCATs is not an easy thing, and if a student has taken all the science coursework and done quite well, and still not moved their MCAT score, it is likely that the problem is more along the lines of application of that knowledge to problem-solving (in that notoriously difficult MCAT style), test anxiety, etc."
- "In a nutshell, it is important to understand what the issue is with your MCAT performance so you can focus on improvements in those areas...this would be more purposeful and effective than blindly "studying more," and hopefully will not only improve the MCAT score but give some insight into yourself and some important med-school survival skills along the way."
Applying with low test scores
- There can be severe drawbacks to applying hastily to medical school. An applicant should apply when they can present their strongest profile. Deciding to apply with a weak profile may be seen as a reflection of the applicant’s decision-making skills and judgment.
- Also, because UNH applicants will interview with the Pre-professional Advisory Committee, they want able to present with their strongest credentials. When students have applied to their health profession programs and are rejected, and then re-apply, they are not working with a “clean slate.” They have to overcome the negative judgment made against them by the schools—they have to prove that they have significantly improved upon their first application.
- It is much better to delay applying, use the extra time to gain some more life experience and to put together a stronger application. Getting into school requires hard work, maturity, scientific ability, discipline, and a spirit of compassion.
- Remember, the right time to apply is when you are ready and able to demonstrate all of these attributes.
Fee Assistance Programs
- Fee Assistance Program (FAP) for MCAT and AAMC: The AAMC Fee Assistance Program (FAP) was created to assist MCAT® examinees and AMCAS; applicants who, without financial assistance, would be unable to take the MCAT or apply to AMCAS-participating schools.
- AACOM Fee Assistance: The FAP application must be completed before submitting the AACOM application.
- None for the exam but available for the AADSAS application.
- The Fee Reduction Program Application Form will be available on the AADSAS website starting May. However, it is mandatory that an applicant to the program first complete their AADSAS Application and pay the application processing fee. FRP Applications will not be accepted, considered, or reviewed until after the pre-requisite has been met.
Testing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
- The webpages below provide information about the process for requesting accommodations. Be sure to read the information carefully. Start the process early. Extensive documentation is required, and it may take a very long time to go through the approval process. Do not assume that the documentation you have provided to the Student Accessibility Services (Durham/Manchester) office will be enough. You may be asked for more current documentation. You must show that your disability substantially impacts your ability to take the test, and the accommodation is directly related to the disability.
- MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test: Examinees with Disabilities
- DAT: Dental Admission Test Special Accommodations
- OAT: Optometry Admissions Test: Click on Request for Testing Accommodations in the table of contents.
- GRE: Graduate Record Exam Disability Accommodations