Pre-Health Professional Program Entrance Exams
Many professional health programs require entrance exams for admission. It is highly recommended that you add an "exam" column to the spreadsheet of programs you're applying to so that you can track each one's specific exam requirements. Listed here are exams generally required by professional health programs.
The National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions provides this at-a-glance chart for viewing health professions schools' application services. The document includes the entrance exams typically required for each program along with links to more information about those exams.
This list is not exhaustive; if there is a required exam that's not listed here, contact the Natural Science & Pre-Health Professional Pathways Advisor.
- MCAT - Medical College Admission Test - typically required for Allopathic, Osteopathic, & Podiatric Medicine
- AAMC PREview Exam - situational judgment test typically required in the secondary application phase for Allopathic Medicine
- Casper - situational judgment test typically required in the secondary application phase for Allopathic Medicine; programs will use AAMC PREview or CASPer
- DAT - Dental Admission Test - typically required for Dental programs
- OAT - Optometry Admission Test - typically required for Optometry programs
- PCAT - Pharmacy College Admission Test - typically required for Pharmacy programs - NOTE: The PCAT is being retired after the 2023-2024 cycle; 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.
- GRE - Graduate Record Exam - typically required for Veterinary Medicine, Occupational & Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant programs, and others. Some programs are no longer requiring the GRE; investigate whether your top school(s) require the GRE and plan to take it only if needed.
Take the MCAT entrance exam once all prerequisite courses are completed. Most students take this exam during the spring of the year prior to their intended start date. The cost for this exam is more than $300. Apply to the Fee Assistance Program for help with exam costs.
AAMC PREview Exam
The AAMC PREview™ professional readiness exam is a new assessment for premeds to demonstrate some of the professional competencies that are important for medical school. To get you started, here are five important things you need to know.
Casper Situational Judgment Test
Casper is an online, open-response situational judgment test (SJT). It asks what you would do in a tough situation, and more importantly, why. This helps determine behavioral tendencies of applicants pursuing people-centered professions. PrepMatch hosted a presentation on the peer-to-peer platform for Casper prep; you can watch the video online.
DAT - Dental Admission Test
Completing the Dental Admission Test (DAT) is required for admission to dental schools. You should plan to take the test no later than the Spring or Summer of the year before you are planning to start dental school. The test currently covers the following topics: Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Perceptual ability, reading comprehension, and quantitative reasoning. More information about the test may be found at http://www.ada.org/dat.
Below is a sample list of DAT preparation resources. There are many more available on the web.
OAT - Optometry Admission Test
The OAT is a comprehensive exam that enables optometry education programs to assess the knowledge and preparedness of program applicants. OAT test results are accepted by all optometry schools in the U.S. and Canada.
PCAT - Pharmacy College Admission Test
The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT®) is a specialized test that helps identify qualified applicants to pharmacy colleges. It measures general academic ability and scientific knowledge necessary for the commencement of pharmaceutical education. The PCAT is constructed specifically for colleges of pharmacy.
NOTE: The PCAT is being retired after the 2023-2024 cycle; 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.
GRE - Graduate Record Exam
The GRE - Graduation Record Exam General Test features question types that closely reflect the kind of thinking you'll do in today's demanding graduate-level programs, the GRE General Test lets you show schools you are ready to succeed.