Academic Accommodations for the MCAT

You have been in school for years. You have decided to pursue a career in medicine. You have attained a decent college GPA and built a good resumé. You are dreaming of attending medical school and pursuing your career as a doctor. One thing stands in your way: The MCAT. Though you have done well in school, the pressure of a test like the MCAT is intimidating. You are not doing well on practice tests. You feel that you constantly run out of time before complete practice test sections. You are feeling anxious, a bit depressed, and you feel in your bones that you will never achieve your desired score. Is this the case for you or someone you know? If the above problems sound familiar, then please know that there is hope. Often, problems exist that hinder students’ abilities to perform well on high stakes exams such as the MCAT. Fortunately, there are legal requirements in place that ensure deserving students receive academic accommodations on high stakes exams.

The MCAT and Med School Acceptance

The Medical College Admission Test or, MCAT, as it is known, is the standardized test that purports to assess your readiness for medical school. Your MCAT score is a vital part of your academic package. It can not only compensate for a less than stellar GPA, it can have a direct effect on the tier of medical school to which you are admitted. In other words, it’s very important! The MCAT is a computer administered test that assesses your knowledge across four academic domains: Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems; Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS); Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems; and Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior.

Does the above description sound intimidating? It is! The MCAT is a frightening prospect for any future physician. But if you add in another factor, a cognitive, learning, or emotional condition that affects academic and test performance, the fear factor increases exponentially. Believe it or not, many students do not realize they have a learning problem until they are preparing for their MCAT. At other times, they have conditions that have been previously diagnosed, but they have never received academic accommodations, or they lack the proper documentation that would demonstrate a need for accommodations. For these students, the answer is to gain a psychoeducational assessment administered by a qualified psychologist.

Common Diagnoses Resulting from a Psychoeducational Assessment

  • Developmental Coordination Disorder (Dysgraphia)
  • Auditory and Visual Processing Disorders
  • Emotional Conditions such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Specific Learning Disorder in Reading (Dyslexia)
  • Specific Learning Disorder in Math (Dyscalculia)
  • Specific Learning Disorder in Writing

Once a test battery has been administered and a clinical condition has been diagnosed, a report is provided that outlines how a student’s condition hinders test performance. Next, this report is utilized to acquire deserved MCAT accommodations.

Examples of Academic Accommodations Provided for the MCAT

  • Extended time (e.g., time and a half) on all test sections
  • Testing in a distraction free room
  • Increased number of breaks during the test administration


At Bryce Gibbs PhD & Associates, our founding clinicians have assessed college students for over 20 years, interacting with state offices and testing companies including MCAT. In addition to our unique assessment system that accurately and efficiently outlines a student’s psychoeducational functioning, we produce appropriately formatted reports to submit to for the MCAT that are designed for approval. We utilize specific criteria for determining if an accommodations request is even advised; it is not the optimal solution for everyone. If our screening process determines that you meet the ADA standards for accommodations or modifications, then our psychoeducational assessment reports will typically result in an affirmative request. If academic accommodations are not warranted in your situation, we produce a comprehensive strategy to achieve peak performance tailored to your strengths and weaknesses.

If, after reading this page, you are questioning whether you need academic accommodations on the MCAT, then you should contact Bryce Gibbs to schedule a time for your psychoeducational assessment. Bryce Gibbs PhD & Associates is a company that specifically focuses on assessments for college and graduate students. Not only can we gain you academic accommodations when necessary, we can typically help you acquire academic accommodations for your graduate program. We will also help you submit necessary forms and will act as advocates who will talk to test companies and college disability offices. Our assessment and consulting services are efficient and seamless. Please do not hesitate to contact Bryce Gibbs so we can answer your questions and begin the assessment process.

Bryce Gibbs PhD and Associates Can Help You Reach Your Full Potential

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Every Service We Provide Starts With a Psychoeducational Assessment Battery

Your testing process will be supervised by a psychologist and the assessment will begin with a clinical interview to get necessary background info. After, you will be tested by a psychometrician who will administer intellectual, academic, attention, emotion, and personality measures.

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Though ADHD symptoms are easily recognizable in many people, they are not as apparent in high achieving college students who put in grueling hours to achieve their grades, leaving them beleaguered and taxed. These students often lack sleep and are very susceptible to developing anxiety and depressive disorders that compound their ADHD symptoms. For these students, academic accommodations are essential.

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Dr. Bryce Gibbs

1717 West Ave.
Austin, TX 78701

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