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Do You Get Scratch Paper On The MCAT?
By Connor Reed Updated on May 6, 2024
Peter Bailey, MD Peter Bailey, MD

Do You Get Scratch Paper On The MCAT?

Detailed guide covering whether you are allowed to use scratch paper during the MCAT

Preparing for the MCAT can feel like gearing up for a mental marathon, and having the right tools can make all the difference. One burning question many test-takers have is whether they’ll have access to scratch paper during the exam. In this article, we’ll dive into the details of scratch paper availability, rules, and strategies, ensuring you’re fully prepared to tackle this crucial exam with confidence.

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Is The MCAT Online Or On Paper?

The MCAT transitioned from a paper-based format to a computer-based format in 2007.

You’ll be provided with a digital interface for answering questions. This format allows for more efficient scoring and faster delivery of your results compared to traditional paper-based tests.

mcat testing center
Example MCAT testing center

You can take the MCAT at authorized test centers located throughout the United States, Canada, and around the world. These test centers are typically located in universities, colleges, or other educational institutions.

Are You Allowed Scratch Paper On The MCAT?

Yes, you are allowed scratch paper on the MCAT. However, it’s not the type of scratch paper you’re likely imagining.

On test day, you’ll receive a wet-erase booklet, providing you with a space to jot down notes and complete calculations, similar to what you’ve done on your MCAT practice tests. This nine-page, graph-lined noteboard serves as a substitute for scratch paper.

What Does The MCAT Scratch Paper Look Like?

Below is a snapshot of what the MCAT scratch paper (wet-erase booklet) looks like. That way, you can get a feel for what to expect come test day.

mcat scratch paper
What you need to know about MCAT scratch paper

Tip: When using a wet-erase noteboard booklet as scratch paper during the MCAT, remember to keep your notes clear and organized in order to prevent confusion on future problems.

Are You Allowed Additional Scratch Paper When Taking The MCAT?

Yes, you are allowed additional wet-erase booklets during the MCAT.

If you run out of room or need a clean booklet, you must raise your hand to request a replacement. The test center staff will provide you with a new booklet, and remove the previous notebook you were using.

Tips For Using Scratch Paper During The MCAT

Mastering the art of using scratch paper effectively can significantly boost your performance on the MCAT, so here are some expert tips to help you make the most of this valuable tool.

Organize your work: Use different sections of the scratch paper for different types of questions or for different stages of problem-solving. This can help you keep track of your thoughts and calculations.

Use abbreviations and symbols: Since time is limited, use abbreviations and symbols to speed up your note-taking. Develop a shorthand that you’re comfortable with to save time. You can practice this when studying and taking practice tests with an MCAT prep course.

Practice with scratch paper: Familiarize yourself with the wet-erase notebook provided in practice tests to understand its features and limitations. This can help you use it more effectively during the actual exam.

Manage your time: While the scratch paper can be helpful, it’s also important not to spend too much time on it. Use it judiciously and focus on answering the questions efficiently.

By implementing these tips, you can optimize your use of scratch paper, enhancing your efficiency and accuracy on the MCAT exam.


Do you get scrap paper on the MCAT?

Yes, you do get scratch paper on the MCAT in the form of a wet-erase noteboard booklet, which serves as a substitute for traditional scrap paper. This booklet allows you to make notes and perform calculations throughout the exam.

Is The MCAT on paper?

No, the MCAT is not on paper; it is a computer-based exam. Test-takers use a digital interface for answering questions and are provided with a wet-erase booklet for note-taking.