When you decide you want to go to medical school, you’ll probably wonder what’s a good MCAT score. Moreover, it’s one of the most popular questions students pose beforehand. It’s important because you should know what you need to focus on and how much you need to score to get into your school of choice. For example, those with a lower GPA should know how much they need to score on their MCAT to compensate for it.
Also, there are different things to consider when it comes to determining a good MCAT score, such as the raw score, score range, and percentile ranks. So, let’s see what constitutes a good MCAT score, based on all these criteria.
MCAT Score Range
A good MCAT score ranges anywhere from 118–132, on the following multiple-choice question topics:
- Reasoning Skills and Critical Analysis
- Physical and Chemical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Biochemical and Biological Foundations of Living Systems
- Social, Psychological, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
Thus, when you combine all of the points from these questions, scoring anywhere from 472–528 is a good outcome. To be clear, this score isn’t a guarantee, but it should be enough for you to get into the school of your choice.
The percentile might be a bit arbitrary, but it’s still a good thing to consider when you’re applying to a medical school. Preferably, you’d want to be in or above the 90th percentile (which equals to an A in most schools). To achieve this result, you should get somewhere between 513–528 points.
All that said, a passing MCAT score might not come down to percentiles, but the school you apply to. You can check out the table of the average MCAT scores in the top 10 US medical schools here.
MCAT Raw Score
Because the MCAT is a scaled exam, you’ll get a raw score that correlates to the number of questions you answered correctly. That number will then be scaled into a score that also takes into account the difficulty of the questions.
How to Get into Your School of Choice
The first thing you should know is that med schools evaluate the whole package — not just your MCAT. Here are all of the factors a medical school will consider before accepting you:
- Undergraduate coursework
- Extracurricular activities
- Medical-related experience (research or volunteer work)
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
- MCAT scores
So, to get admitted to your preferred school, you’ll need to work on all of these factors beforehand. Additionally, there are some resources that allow you to compare your scores to those of other students enrolled in the school.
For example, you can access the MSAR database to compare numbers or find the average GPA and look at the schools’ acceptance rates. The database will allow you to realistically determine whether you stand a chance of getting into your preferred school.
When Should You Take the MCAT?
It goes without saying that you need to be well-prepared before taking the MCAT. Additionally, you can read over The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam to make sure you can prepare for every question that will be thrown at you.
Also, make sure to schedule your exam in a timeframe that allows you to take your MCAT courses and not rush through them. For example, if you plan on taking a course at the beginning of summer, it might be best to take the exam later that summer.
Additionally, keep in mind that you do face certain limitations when it comes to taking the test. In fact, you can take the test 3 times during a year, 4 times in 2 years, or 7 times in total. So, since you don’t have an unlimited number of attempts, make sure you’re ready.
However, if things don’t go according to plan, and you need to take the exam again — it’s not the end of the world. Try to learn from your mistakes, and don’t let the previous score discourage you.
How Important Is the MCAT Exam?
Your MCAT is an important step in your application process, but it’s not the only thing you should focus on. Admission committees will consider many other aspects of your academic performance and your life in general. They’ll also take into account your personal interests and experiences, as well as consider your potential to contribute to the community and campus.
So, you should keep in mind that getting accepted won’t depend solely on the results of your MCAT exam. On the day of your test, make sure you rest, and even if you fail — there’s always the next time.