The MCAT is a long, anxiety-producing exam. Here are answers to the top 4 student questions about voiding MCAT scores.

void in red

1. Can you void your MCAT score?

Yes, the AAMC gives students the option of voiding their MCAT scores; however, this must be done immediately after the exam. AAMC doesn’t give you a “cooling off” period to go home and think about it. Sometimes this means that people make a rash decision based on their immediate feelings moments after completing the exam.

After completing the fourth section, you will be presented with a Void Question. There will be two options provided:

  • have your MCAT exam SCORED
  • VOID your exam

You will need to select one of these options to continue . Read them carefully and double check that you are selecting the correct one as this decision is final.

Remember: You are not able to void your test in the middle of your exam. If you decide to leave before finishing the exam, the test will still be scored. If you realize you’re truly not yet prepared for the MCAT, it’s still best to take the attempt seriously and finish the exam. Think of it as extra practice and you can then void the exam at the end. If you must leave prematurely, click through to the end of your exam and void it.

Free MCAT Practice Tests & Events

Evaluate and improve your MCAT score.

2. How does voiding your MCAT work?

A voided exam will not be scored or appear on your record. Schools you apply to will not know that this attempt happened. You will never know what you scored on that particular exam.

Even though the attempt itself is not recorded, it will count as one of your “MCAT takes.” You are permitted to take the MCAT:

  • three times in one year
  • four times in two years
  • seven times in your lifetime .

Remember: A voided test leaves no trace, so if you need an MCAT score for an application, you will need to retake the exam.

3. How do you decide if you should void the MCAT?

Before making the decision to void, consider these factors:

Weigh the Anxiety versus the Reality

Anxiety over the test and over the results is real and normal . It’s not unreasonable or unlikely for even a high scorer to feel that the exam did not go well immediately after completing it. Adrenaline is still running high at that point and our brains tend to focus on the aspects that we struggled with. It may be that you only struggled with a few questions in each section, but because you’re convinced these few questions didn’t go well, your brain can catastrophize that to believe that the entire test didn’t go well.

There are also risks to voiding your exam. You will need to consider where in the application cycle you are. For instance, if this is the last possible exam for your application cycle, it could mean that your application will not have an MCAT score attached to it (unless you’ve taken it before) and you may now need to wait until the next application cycle opens. Even if you plan to retake it, this may delay your application being processed and considered by the schools you’ve applied to as you now must wait for your next attempt and its score.

Remember: Take a minute and breathe before making any rash decisions about voiding. Ask yourself if you feel negatively about your own performance on the entire test or if it’s just several difficult questions in each section that stumped you. Remember not to over - emphasize the value of a single question or two. You may still have picked up points on questions that you struggled with or weren’t sure of by applying consistent test-taking strategies to maximize your accuracy.

Consider Your Track Record

You should be taking the MCAT when you are truly ready to take it . This means that you’re at the end of your studying cycle and you’ve completed enough practice exams where you are now scoring in your target range. If your most recent 2-3 practice tests have been in your target range for scores and you stuck to the same strategies and processes in your official exam, then your score will likely not be a major outlier compared to those practice tests. Voiding may not be the best choice for you as you may end up voiding a score that you would be happy with.

Remember: If you feel that you abandoned all of your regular strategies completely on test day (due to nerves perhaps), that would be something to take into account as the result would be harder to predict.

The Test is Scaled!

Scaling a test creates a bit of mystery (and sometimes confusion) about how its score is derived. AAMC does not just total up your raw number of correct answers and use that as an identical score on every exam. The exam is purposely scaled to even out small differences in passage and question difficulty across different tests to arrive at the scaled scores of 118-132 in each section.

Remember: This means that if you find that your test was harder and you feel like this is the reason you didn’t do well, you should hold off for voiding simply for this reason. If the test was harder and you ran out of time for a few questions (whereas you normally don’t) or you found a couple of questions stumped you, it’s likely that other people found that to be the case too. AAMC scales the test to account for these differences in difficulty. If you’re fretting that you missed 2-3 more questions than you normally do, this could be evened out in the scaled score if the section truly was more difficult.

IRL (In Real Life): Extraneous Factors

While you might have done things just right in terms of your prep, sometimes real life throws a wrench in our plans. For instance, a close family member could have passed away very close to your exam. Or you could have been dealing with a severe flu and fever for the past two weeks and you’re just now starting to recover from it. Or you could have had a panic attack during your exam that caused you to lose 10-15 minutes of time in a single section. Things can happen even when we do everything right to prepare.

Remember: There’s no doubt that other factors outside of your control can come in on test day and affect your performance. It could be that you simply could not focus at all from a fever and you were struggling to understand even the basics of what would normally be a straightforward passage for you. Or it’s possible that you usually run out of time on only 2-4 questions in CARS, but this time still had 12-15 questions left because you were extremely nauseous due to an upset stomach or anxiety. This isn’t your fault, but it affects your performance. If you do feel that something like this affected your mental state and ability to perform on test day, then it may be the right decision to void.

4. What will happen after you void your MCAT?

You will still get a confirmation letter from the test administrator that you took the test, and it will include your decision to void your exam. While this counts as one of your “attempts” for the purposes of testing limits, only you will know about it. Your attempt and decision to void will not be reported to the schools where you are applying.

Remember: Take some time to think about how you will prep for your next test so that you are fully prepared the next time you take it. The Princeton Review’s 513+ MCAT Course includes 16 full-length practice exams, a full-set of textbooks covering each MCAT subject, diagnostic exams to specifically identify your strengths and weaknesses so you can better target your time and practice, and over 120 hours of live instruction with subject-matter experts. If working one-on-one is more your learning style, there are also tutoring options available . Lastly, if you prefer to work at your own pace around your hectic schedule, a self-paced option may be the best option for you.

Key Takeaways

Make sure that you take the MCAT when you’re ready and when your practice scores reflect a range that you are happy with. This will make it much less likely that you’ll even need to worry about voiding. It will also allow you to go into the test with confidence and the necessary belief to succeed.

On the other hand, if you find while you’re taking the test that you clearly didn’t prepare yourself enough (maybe by not completing enough practice exams or not studying certain topics at all) or if there was an event in your life that affected your performance substantially that day in terms of your focus and your pacing, then voiding may be the right decision.

Voiding the MCAT is a nice option to have, but it should only be used as an option if something goes really wrong on test day.