How Hard is the MCAT | A Research into the Difficulty Level

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Most folks, especially those who took pre-med courses, will find themselves asking the question, ‘how hard is the MCAT?’ way before they start preparing for the said test. The answer will pretty much determine a student’s behavior towards the said test, so it’s crucial to provide the correct response to this query.

In this guide, we’ll assist you in better gauging the difficulty level of the MCAT. Hopefully, we’ll also give you a good glimpse into the test to help you craft a solid and effective approach in preparing for the said test.

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Is the MCAT Hard? How difficult is it really?

To be very honest, this question is a complicated one. Not everyone finds the same things to be easy or difficult. A lot of factors are in play in gauging something’s difficulty levels. Your skills, knowledge, and experience among others all play a role in this. So it can be impossible to definitively say that a test like MCAT is hard or easy.

However, a lot of people tend to agree that it is quite difficult. Even those who found it easy will tell you that there is a level of difficulty in this test that is unique and can’t be found in other standardized tests which is why there are a TON of different ways to prepare such as by taking online classes that specialize in MCAT preparation.

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Some folks even go as far as saying that the MCAT provides a glimpse into medical school so you could expect the same difficulty levels in the test. However, it’s not an accurate comparison.

The difficulty level of MCAT will not come close to a fraction of how hard medical school is. The latter is an arduous process that doesn’t just involve a lot of studying.

Its practice comes with a very heavy pressure that makes students ultimately scared of making a mistake.

The MCAT, on the other hand, is challenging in its own way. Since it is made to assess and evaluate your knowledge and readiness for med school, it has its own brand of complexity. To better demonstrate its difficulty level, we’ll discuss some important things below.

5 Points that can Quantify How Hard the MCAT Is

To help you better understand just how hard the MCAT is, we’ve rounded up five ways how you can gauge the difficulty level of this test.

It’s a long test.

One of the most daunting things about this test is its length. How many questions are on the MCAT, you might ask? There are only 230 questions in this test but with their complexity, test-takers are given 7 hours and 30 minutes to answer it. This makes the MCAT one of the longest tests out there and makes it hard for test takers to score high.

As for how long is the MCAT versus its difficulty level, well, for starters, it can get overwhelming. Think about it: if you’re going to take a test for nearly an entire work day, wouldn’t you think that it’s particularly laborious? What could a test contain that you’ll have to spend so much time answering it? On the other hand, if you consider how many years does it take to become a doctor, one day at MCAT is not that much.

The LSAT only has 100 questions and is administered in 4 to 5 hours. The GRE only has about 100-110 questions and runs for 3 hours and 45 minutes. The MCAT has double those numbers and test durations so it can be assumed that it’s more complex than the other two.

It’s also difficult in the sense that it can put your endurance to the test. Taking exams can be draining not just mentally but also physically and emotionally. So sitting inside the testing venue for hours can take a toll on you. Without ample preparation, you might already want to quit the test by the fourth hour.