Simply fill out how many questions you got right in each section of your practice MCAT test and hit “Submit” to find out your scaled score!
1. How important is my MCAT score for medical school?
Your MCAT score is undeniably important for medical school admissions. Your GPA and test scores are the first metrics most admissions committees consider.
“MCAT and GPA are important as screening tools. They won’t be the end all for you to get in or be rejected from a school, but they are often that first look” – Dr. Monica Taneja, MD. University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Your MCAT score can also influence your medical school acceptance chances. A higher scores means an increased chance of getting into more competitive schools.
“I got 97th percentile on the MCAT. Getting a high score broadened the number of schools I could apply to and increased my chances of admission to medical school.” – Dr. Neel Mistry, MD, University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine.
2. What is a competitive MCAT score?
What qualifies as a competitive MCAT score can vary from med school to med school. The more competitive the applicant profile of a medical school, the higher your MCAT score needs to be to make an impression.
“MCAT matters only to an extent at most schools. It serves as a flag and a baseline cutoff for most people. I really only think the students who score in the top 90+ percentile across all categories have this as an advantage … That being said, it really does vary school to school and each school has their own rules when it comes to MCAT and GPA calculation.” – Dr. Jaime Cazes, MD, University of Toronto Temerty Faculty of Medicine.
“Each year, the MCAT score gets more and more competitive, and slowly, scores that used to be accepted in the past are no longer the scores that receive invites/acceptances in the present. My score is quite old now in retrospect, so take it with a grain of salt, but at the time, I was able to receive interviews with both Canadian and American Medical Schools with [a 505].” – Dr. Shaughnelene Smith, DO, Kansas City University School of Osteopathic Medicine.
Your MCAT score will also be a factor in deciding where you apply, since you stand a better chance of getting into medical schools that historically accept students with similar scores.
“[I scored in the] 85th percentile. My score did affect the choice of schools I applied to. I specifically applied to schools with listed scores close to my own.” – Dr. Tony Huynh, DO, Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine.
3. Can I get into medical school without taking the MCAT?
There are some , meaning it is possible to get accepted without taking the test at all. However, this list of schools is short, meaning your chances of getting accepted to these competitive programs will be even lower. Taking the MCAT, even with a low score, increase your chances of getting into medical school.
4. Can I get accepted to medical school with a low MCAT?
Yes! Even a perfect MCAT score is not a guarantee of acceptance, just as a low score won’t preven you being accepted. Med school admissions look at a number of factors when evaluating applicants, and each school may approach the process differently.
"There is no simple formula for who gets in and who does not. I have seen many students over the years with perfect GPAs and MCAT not get in, while those with less impressive statistics get in.” – Dr. Neel Mistry, MD
“[I scored] 498. I looked at schools with lower MCAT averages, but before my last-minute acceptance, I was planning to retake my MCAT for a higher score.” – Dr. Noah Heichel, DO, WVSOM
5. How do I know if I should retake the MCAT?
Retaking the MCAT isn’t that uncommon. But retaking the test means committing to another lengthy study period, paying the costs of the test another time and potentially pushing back your . Ideally, you’ll get the score you want the first time around, but if you decide to retake the MCAT, go in with the mindset of improving your prep strategies, otherwise you may not see a significant score improvement.
6. How do I improve my MCAT score?
If your initial score is too low, focus on your . The best way to improve your score is to learn the right strategies to approach the test and then practice applying those strategies with regular practice tests.
“Doing a combination of content review and passage questions was most helpful. This helped ensure that I was staying up to date with the required textbook knowledge while applying it to passage-based questions on a regular basis.” – Dr. Neel Mistry, MD
Many students think they need to choose between relying on or getting expert help through an or . The best MCAT preparation is personalized to YOU and your studying needs. Some students prefer the structure of a prep course and others are fine to create their own study plan. Others may find a blend of the two most helpful.
“I took an MCAT prep class from a company that had in-person availability in my hometown. I really enjoyed the in-person component, but for me it was most helpful as it came with a structured study schedule … given that this was my first large, standardized test I really appreciated the structure. Towards the end of the course, I stopped going in person as I found that I could best tailor my studying to high yield items for myself.” – Dr. Monica Taneja, MD
“I did take a prep course for the MCAT. Doing so helped me to become familiar with the strategies needed to excel on the real exam. I was able to study the content on my own but the strategies for passage-based questions is something I was able to learn from experts. I also recommend studying with friends/colleagues, if possible, as this helps to fill in any missing gaps in knowledge.” – Dr. Neel Mistry, MD
7. What should I do if my MCAT score is not improving?
“The MCAT strategy that worked for me was knowing what I was up against (question subject breakdown) and focusing on what I could realistically review in the time that I had … I focused on refining my strongest points, reviewing topics I had grasped previously, and focusing on high yield for the items I didn’t know.” – Dr. Monica Taneja, MD
And remember that consistent practice, while it is grueling, will pay off. However, consistent practice will only work if you’re using solid strategies and applying them to your practice tests.
“Practice was perhaps the most important habit I had to instill. It was important I became accustomed to reading long passages and be able to answer the questions afterwards. With repetition, I became better and better at reading, understanding, and ultimately extracting relevant information in a short period of time.” – Dr. Tony Huynh, DO
8. What should I do if one MCAT section is bringing my score down?
“My main advice is ensuring you study all the sections regularly, with an emphasis on the section you are weakest in. It is also important to take time off in the week to ensure you are not burned out as studying for the MCAT can be mentally exhausting … Ensuring you treat this as a full-time job, putting in adequate work and practice, while taking time off when needed, are my best strategies and study habits to excel on the MCAT. Finally, trust the effort you have put in and go in with confidence on test day.” – Dr. Neel Mistry, MD
“I would specifically review one chapter of material and then do a bulk question set on that entire section; then repeat this process … I think MCAT study is very student specific. Depending on the strength of the student, different amounts of time will be spent on different sections of the test. An individualized learning plan is necessary.” – Dr. Tony Huynh, DO
“Practice. I equate CARS to going to the gym–you can’t expect the day before a strength or endurance competition that you will suddenly perform well; it requires longevity in your training. I promised myself when I started preparing for the exam that every day (regardless of my commitments), I would read 1 CARs passage and try to struggle through it. It took several months to see this payoff, but slowly, my score started to bump up, and I started recognizing the patterns.” – Dr. Shaughnelene Smith, DO
To your success,
Your friends at BeMo
BeMo Academic Consulting
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