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What Is a Good MCAT Score: Let’s Learn More about It Together

7 October 2020

Do you know what an MCAT is? If you know how to decipher the abbreviation, you have probably got the chi era down your spine now. This is a Medical College Admission Test, and it triggers everyone going to apply for a medical school or college. Getting accepted into a medical institution is dependent on several factors, and MCAT is only one of them. Though, the students fear this one a lot. They usually think that the MCAT score will define their future. But in reality, the results of the test have less weight and cannot be a decisive factor during the application process.

When getting prepared for the test, every student undergoes years of professional studying at school and doing other extracurricular activities to enhance their knowledge. But despite all the efforts and time dedicated to studying medicine before the application process, students still fear to fail because of the MCAT score. There’s another aspect to be worried about. If you are sure that you will get high points, will it be enough to enter top programs? This is another matter of concern. Be it the first or the second case, and if you are going to have an MCAT, you are probably nervous now.

At this point, there is an obvious question that comes up to the mind of every student: what is considered to be a good MCAT score? What points should I get to enter a medical school successfully? What should I do to get accepted by the school I really want to enter?

In the article, we’ve gathered all the crucial information about the MCAT structure. We have also covered what the scores are meant to say, how to achieve better scores, and what to do to enhance your chances. Let’s learn more to get accepted successfully.

MCAT structure and sections

There are 4 basic sections that you’re going to cover when writing MCAT. They relate to various areas of a medical study. This section would be:

  • PSBB – Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • CARS – Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
  • CPBS – Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • BBLS – Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

You will have to pass the test on all 4 sections and will get a scaled score in the end. It will depend on the difficulty of questions and the number of correct answers you have. These sections don’t have the same weight. If you answer 20 questions correctly, you won’t get an equal score for every correct or incorrect answer. Such an approach is aimed at identifying the true skills of a student. There is no point in entering a medical school if you know answers only to simple questions but don’t know the answers to the difficult ones.

What is an average score?

500 would be an average score. But your points can vary from 470 to 528. You can get approximately 124 points for each section since it is estimated to be the average score for a separate test section.

The highest score: what is it?

If you get 520 and more, you have answered 99,9% of the questions correctly. The highest point would be 528.

As we’ve learned what’s the score options for students, now it’s time to get the idea behind the MCAT and what are good points?

What is considered to be a good MCAT score?

Fortunately or not, there is no exact answer. Like it happens with many other aspects, the results depend on different aspects. When you apply for a medical school, you provide not only your MCAT results. You also give other achievements to impress the admission board. Thus, in most cases, the selection committee will take a complex or holistic approach. They will look at all your achievements without any preferences for the MCAT results. You need to have good grades for the last couple of years so that the admissions know you’ve been meticulously working to enter their school. They will also pay attention to your participation in extracurricular activities and how you succeeded there. You also need to have a well-written personal statement and, for sure, your MCAT scores. As you can see, MCAT scores are not a decisive factor during the application process.

Furthermore, you cannot fully depend on the MCAT scores. Every school has different applicants with different points for the test. Thus, your points can be uncompetitive in some schools but be enough for other institutions. As we’ve already mentioned, your successful entering is dependent on many factors.

If we summarize this section, a good MCAT score is a combination of all your achievements. If you failed in other aspects but have impressive MCAT results, you will probably fail to enter the college. On the other hand, if you have great results in other aspects but didn’t manage the test, you still have chances to get into the school or program.

There are average points characteristic for students applying for medical schools. But in general, the highest points do not exceed 75%, which is approximately 507. But it still has nothing to do with your application process. Everything is dependent on the context. And you can enter or fail despite your MCAT results. To make a decision, the admission board pays huge attention to you as a professional in many fields. So, the test doesn’t define your medical future for 100%.

There’s also a need to compare GPA and MCAT scores to clarify the situation.

  • If you get high GPA points, you are most likely to get high MCAT scores. But it works as well in the reverse direction. If you fail your GPA, you will do the same with MCAT.
  • With a higher MCAT and GPA, your acceptance rates to enter the school are higher. If you are satisfied with these points, you should have little fear of the application process.
  • There is another correspondence. If you have low GPA scores, you should pay more attention to MCAT.

We’ve cleared the issue about a good MCAT result. But now, let’s look at what you can do with your scores and where you should apply.

MCAT results: the best schools to apply

When you have your results on hand, you can start choosing a school to apply. It could be a hard task. There are so many medical institutions waiting for students. But at this stage, your choice will merely depend on your MCAT scores.

Go to the Internet and check the list of schools. In most cases, they will post the information on their websites. There you can find basic requirements for your MCAT and GPA scores. Research the websites and see what the most appropriate schools to enter are.

There are more and less competitive programs. Before applying to any school, you should analyze your chances and be ready to get rejected.

Let’s summarize

To apply for a medical school, you should pay huge attention to your MCAT. This would be an important issue. It has a lot of weight and is obligatory when entering school. High MCAT results are important, but they are evaluated together with other aspects, such as other activities, GPA, recommendation letters, grades, etc. The application process is a complex procedure. Thus, MCAT cannot be evaluated separately and serve as a decisive factor. But to maximize your chances, you should take into account every aspect and analyze the schools you apply to. This way, you can achieve great results.

FAQ: time to answer your questions

We’ve covered a lot in the article, but there are still questions to be answered. Below you will find answers to these questions. If you have additional concerns, you can ask us in the Comments section. We will consider them and provide answers in the further issue-related articles.

Do I need to retake the test?

MCAT is a standardized test. It means that your scores won’t considerably vary if you decide to retake the test one more time. If you don’t change the conditions, your test scores will be pretty much the same. Now you may ask, what are the conditions? They are the following:

  • If you failed the test for the first time, you could painstakingly prepare for the second attempt. And if you make efforts and prepare for the next 3 months, you can improve the results.
  • If you weren’t feeling okay when dealing with the test for the first time, you could try the second attempt. If you feel okay now, you can considerably enhance the results.

What about the MCAT number of attempts?

If you want to retake your test, again and again, you should think about your professionalism as a medical student. If you pass the test and nothing changes, you should stop and get better at studying. There is no point in trying over and over again because your result won’t change considerably within a few weeks or months.

What section is most likely to fail?

Students prove that the CARS section is the hardest one and causes a lot of problems for students. But you shouldn’t pay attention to the differences between the section scores. The total number of points is more important than if you take them separately.

How should I treat cumulative and science GPA?

The bad news is that we cannot predict how the admissions can respond to your test results. But if we take this particular situation, the science GPA is more important than a cumulative one. That’s simply an assumption. But it’s fair to say that science subjects are much harder than non-science studies.

How does my undergraduate experience influence the admission process?

As usual, it depends on the university and on other application documents that you provide to the institution. The truth is that the name of your undergraduate institution matters a lot. It can not define your entering the school. But in some cases, it matters a lot.

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