Most healthcare graduate programs require some type of entrance exam as part of their application selection process.
Both allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) programs as well as most Podiatry (DPM) programs require the MCAT. Scores which are more than five years old are generally not allowed and a student is not generally allowed to sit for the exam more than 3 times during a year without approval from an advisor or testing center. As a general rule, students should strive for a combined score of 30 and without a significantly lower score in any one subject area. (10/10/10 – Biology/Physical Sci/Verbal). The test is offered between Jan – Sept each year and students are strongly encouraged to make their first attempt by April of the summer they plan to apply. You may not be registered for more than one test at a time and application windows typically open ~120 days prior to the test date. Test results are received in approximately 4 weeks.
With respect to dental school, the DAT is the exam required for admission. A score of 20 and above is considered solid. Students should strive for at least an 18 or higher on the Academic Average and Total Science portions of the test again, with no significantly lower score in a single area. Again, we encourage you to make your first attempt between April and May of your application year. This test is self-scheduled and offered throughout the year at various testing centers. The results are immediate. A 90 day window is required between testing attempts.
The OAT is the required test for optometry school - each school sets their own standards for admission review - generally a score of 320 to 340 or better is considered competitive. Like the DAT, this test is self-scheduled and the results are immediate.
The PCAT is the pharmacy school admission exam and scores in the 80% and above are considered by most schools as competitive – the test is scored 200-600 with 400 being the mean. The PCAT is offered four times a year Jan, June, Aug. and Oct.
The GRE is the admission test that students seeking master or doctoral level degrees in such programs as PT, OT, Nursing and PA programs should take. Scores vary and there are general as well as specialized tests available to better qualify knowledge level. The test is self scheduled.