The VCAT, or the Veterinary College Admission Test is administered every January, October and November, and is a test that helps evaluate the knowledge and achievement of the student who is applying to the veterinary colleges. The VCAT is set up to test whether or not a student is ready for the educational workload that graduate school has to offer. Different universities use the results of the VCAT in many different ways. VCAT test results are only one of the factors used to determine whether or not a student will be accepted into the competitive veterinary colleges.
Breakdown of the VCAT Sections
There are approximately 300 total questions, and all are in multiple choice format. None of the questions are related to each other, unless specified. The total test time, which includes rest and lunch breaks is three and a half hours, or 210 minutes.
The questions, when broken down include:
- 50 biology questions
- 50 chemistry questions, organic and inorganic
- 40 reading comprehension questions
- 40 quantitative questions
- 50 verbal questions
For the biology section, test takers are given 30 minutes to complete questions related to biology and human physiology. The reading comprehension section usually covers areas of natural sciences, sciences, and humanities and students are given 40 minutes to complete the 40 questions. The chemistry section tests mainly on general chemistry, however, there are also questions that relate to organic chemistry. Test takers are given 25 minutes to complete the 50 chemistry questions. The 40 quantitative questions relate to basic math concepts, algebra and geometry. Plus, they test advanced math skills such as logs and factorials. Test takers are given 25 minutes to complete the quantitative section.
Preparing for the VCAT
There are many different routes a student can take to study for the VCAT. University text books, sample tests and free web resources seem to be the most popular forms of study material. Other times, students visit the website for VMCAS, as that is where you apply to take the test, plus they have study material available. As of right now, the 2010 application cycle is closed, yet each cycle reopens in March of every year. You’ll need to visit the website to learn more information about study materials and application requirements, deadlines, fees and more.
It’s important to keep in mind that exact fees and dates may change without notice. There is a Candidate Information booklet available to all potential test takers so they may double check fees and dates. As of right now, the VCAT test costs in between $50 and $65. There are late fees assessed if your application is not turned in by the given deadline. Generally, a test taker must have their application turned in at least 5 weeks prior to the examination date.