Entrance Exams

Achieving a competitive score on your entrance exam shows preparation for your future career and is an important step in your professional journey.

Begin preparing for your entrance exams by truly learning the material from your related courses, not just studying for the next exam. Take thorough and clear course notes in your pre-requisite courses, and save them, along with your textbooks.  Form study groups with peers with similar educational aspirations. Plan your course of study so that you will complete all of your prerequisite courses with four to six months to study before you take your exam.

The single biggest mistake that students make is taking their entrance exam before they are fully prepared. It’s better to delay your test and, if necessary, defer your application for a year, than to get a non-competitive score. For most programs, schools will have access to all of your exam scores. Apply only when you have a competitive score for admission!

The Dental Admissions Test (DAT) is the required entrance exam for Dental programs.

The DAT is administered year-round at Prometric test centers in the U.S. and Canada. The DAT is comprised of multiple-choice test items consisting of a battery of four tests: 1. Survey of the Natural Sciences, 2. Perceptual Ability, 3. Reading Comprehension, and 4.Quantitative Reasoning.

The DAT should be scheduled only after all pre-requisite courses are successfully completed and the applicant has had 4-6 months to study. If the resulting date would be later than June, then deferral to the next year is highly recommended. Applicants cannot sit for the exam any later than June and receive a committee letter that cycle.

DAT Resources

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)  is the required entrance exam for Medical and Podiatry Programs.

The MCAT® is offered on set dates from January through September, except February. The MCAT® has four test sections: 1. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, 2. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, 3. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior, and 4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills.

The MCAT should be scheduled only after all prerequisite courses are successfully completed and the applicant has had 4-6 months to study. If the resulting date would be later than May for Pre-Med or August for Pre-Podiatry, then deferral to the next year is highly recommended. Applicants cannot sit for the exam any later than May for Pre-Med or August for Pre-Podiatry and receive a committee letter that cycle.

MCAT® Resources

The Optometry Admissions Test is the required entrance exam for Optometry Programs.

The Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) is administered year round by Prometric test centers in the U.S. and Canada. The OAT is comprised of multiple-choice test items and consists of a battery of four tests: 1. Survey of the Natural Sciences; 2. Physics; 3. Reading Comprehension; and 4. Quantitative Reasoning.

The OAT should be scheduled only after all prerequisite courses are successfully completed and the applicant has had 4-6 months to study. If the resulting date would be later than August, then deferral to the next year is highly recommended.

OAT Resources

ASCO OAT Test Prep Resources

OAT Guide

Optometry Admissions Test (OAT)

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is the required entrance exam for many Physician Assistant and Veterinary Programs.

The GRE General Test is administered year round and is available at more than 1,000 test centers in more than 160 countries. The GRE is consists of a battery of three tests: 1. Verbal Reasoning; 2. Quantitative Reasoning; and 3. Analytical Writing.

The GRE should be scheduled only after all prerequisite courses are successfully completed and the applicant has had 2-3 months to study. If the resulting date would be later than the launch date of your program’s centralized application, then deferral to the next year is highly recommended.

*Note to Pre-PA students: As you build your PA schools list, our office recommends applying to programs that allow you to take the same entrance exam.

GRE Resources:

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

Prepare for the GRE

The Physician Assistant College Admissions Test (PA-CAT) is an entrance exam used by a few Physician Assistant programs.

The PA-CAT is administered year round and is available at more than 5,000 test centers and at home through remote proctoring. The PA-CAT measures general academic ability and scientific knowledge necessary for success in the demanding Physician Assistant curriculum. The PA-CAT covers the following subjects: Anatomy, Physiology, General Biology, Biochemistry, General and Organic Chemistry, Microbiology, Behavioral Sciences, Genetics, and Statistics.

The PA-CAT should be scheduled only after all prerequisite courses are successfully completed and the applicant has had 4-6 months to study. If the resulting date would be later than the launch date of your program’s centralized application, then deferral to the next year is highly recommended.

*Note to Pre-PA students: As you build your PA schools list, our office recommends applying to programs that allow you to take the same entrance exam.

PA-CAT Resources

PA Programs Currently Using the PA-CAT

About the PA-CAT