Although preparation begins when one enters college through course choices that provide foundational knowledge and support the development of reading, analytical, and test-taking skills, we strongly recommend that you allow sufficient time to prepare adequately for standardized tests.
Applicants are encouraged to defer taking the MCAT, DAT, OAT, PA-CAT, and PCAT until they have completed all of the recommended core science courses. Taking these examinations prior to the completion of the coursework on a “try-out” basis is strongly discouraged and rarely fulfills any useful purpose. These skills cannot be developed overnight. It is essential to carefully plan your studying for these tests by first identifying the broad areas that need to be strengthened and then organizing your time appropriately.
AAMC PREview™ Professional Readiness Exam
A situational judgement test (SJT) that is a “standardized exam designed to help admissions officers assess your readiness to learn about issues related to professionalism in medical school.” A limited amount of allopathic medical schools currently require applicants to complete the AAMC PREview™ Professional Readiness Exam.
Computer Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (CASPer)
A situational judgement test (SJT) that “assesses applicants for non-academic attributes or people skills.” An increasing number of health profession schools require applicants to complete the CASPer test to assist in their selection process.
Dental Admission Test (DAT)
For Dental School Applicants
Dental Admission Test (DAT) General Information:
- Apply to take the DAT
- Test Preparation
- DAT Score Information
- DAT Newsletters and Resources
- DAT Test Construction and Contact Information
- DAT Partial Fee Waiver Information
- DAT Program Guide
Register for DENTPIN:
The DENTPIN (DENTal Personal Identifier Number) is a unique personal identifier for applicants and students involved with the U.S. dental education system and standardized testing programs.
You must register or retrieve a DENTPIN from www.ada.org and use it to proceed with your application to a dental education program or application service, your application to test, or your score report request.
It is important that individuals authorize the forwarding of the DAT results to the Preprofessional Advising Office for their inclusion in the applicant’s file.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
For Veterinary and Nursing School Applicants (and other graduate programs)
- Physician Assistant (some programs may require the PA-CAT)
- Veterinary Medicine
Preparation for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
For Medical, Podiatry, and Physician Assistant School Applicants
The MCAT includes four sections:
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
We recommend applicants incorporate the following courses, in addition to the traditional premedical curriculum, into their curricula at some point before taking the exam:
- A course in Statistics – MA 113, 115, 116, 213, 214, EC 305, NE 212, or PS 211.
- An introductory course in Psychology – PS 101 for students without a strong background in Psychology or PS 261 for students with a strong background in Psychology.
- An introductory course in Sociology – SO 100 or SO 215
There are several resources published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), that can help you prepare for the MCAT.
General MCAT Information from the AAMC:
- Prepare for the MCAT Exam
- The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam
- MCAT Practice Test
- Official MCAT Question Packs
- Khan Academy
- Register for the MCAT Exam
- MCAT Test Day and Security
- MCAT Scores
- MCAT FAQ
- The MCAT Essentials
It is important that individuals authorize the forwarding of the MCAT results to the Preprofessional Advising Office for their inclusion in the applicant’s file.
Optometry Admission Test (OAT)
For Optometry School Applicants
Optometry Admission Test Information:
- OAT PIN
- OAT Guide
- Apply to Take the OAT
- OAT Test Preparation
- Take the OAT at Prometric
- OAT Score and Audit Information
- OAT Newsletters and Resources
- OAT Test Security
Register for a Personal Identification Number for the OAT:
The PIN (Personal Identification Number) is a unique personal identification for examinees who wish to take or have taken the Optometry Admission Test.
You must retrieve or register for a PIN and use it to apply to test or request a score report.
Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT)
For Pharmacy School Applicants
Pharmacy College Admission Test:
- About the PCAT
- Register and Schedule
- Test Day
- Scoring and Reporting
- Practice Test and Study Guide Brochure
- Candidate Information Booklet
- Fee Schedule
Please note: “The final Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) testing cycle will be offered during the 2023–2024 (next) admissions cycle on the following dates: July 6, 2023; October 16–27, 2023; and January 3–9, 2024. No PCAT testing dates will be offered during the 2024–2025 admissions cycle or beyond. Applicants who have previously taken or plan to take the PCAT during the 2022–2023 (current) admissions cycle will not be affected. All test-takers may continue to request Official Transcripts and Personal Score Reports through the Pearson website until February 2026. No pharmacy schools currently require the PCAT for admission. Please visit the PCAT and Other Tests page to determine whether a pharmacy school will consider the PCAT in the current admissions process.”
Physician Assistant College Admissions Test (PA-CAT)
For Physician Assistant School Applicants
Beginning in 2020, applicants to Physician Assistant schools will be able to take an optional PA-CAT (it is estimated that about 30 PA programs will participate). Other PA programs may continue to require the GRE until the PA-CAT is fully adopted.