What MCAT score do you need? When considering your MCAT score goal, it’s always a good idea to look at the requirements or minimums (if any) at the schools to which you’re applying. To start, though, here is what you need to know about your MCAT score:
Each of the four sections of the MCAT is scored between 118 and 132, with the mean and median at 125. This means the total score ranges from 472 to 528, with the mean and median at 500. Why such odd numbers? The AAMC stresses that this scale emphasizes the importance of the central portion of the score distribution, where most students score (around 125 per section, or 500 total), rather than putting an undue focus on the high end of the scale.
[ RELATED: 2020 MCAT Test Dates and Score Releases ]
The AAMC utilizes the whole scoring scale on the exam. Unlike the previous MCAT (administered prior to 2015), the current exam gives a measurable proportion of students the top score of 528. The AAMC has released the correlation between scaled score and percentile:
These scores will put you in the top 10% of all test takers
MCAT Total Score: 514-528
Critical Analysis and Reading Skills: 129-132
These scores will put you in a highly competitive place in admissions (top 25% of all test takers)
MCAT Total Score: 508-513
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems: 127-128
Critical Analysis and Reading Skills: 127-128
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems: 127-128
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior: 127-128
These scores put you ahead of the pack (50%+), but won’t be as advantageous when applying to highly competitive programs
MCAT Total Score: 500-507
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems: 125-126
Critical Analysis and Reading Skills: 125-126
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems: 125-126
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior: 125-126
These scores may be enough to get into a certain medical schools, but will be below average compared to the testing population
MCAT Total Score: 499 or below
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems: 124 or below
Critical Analysis and Reading Skills: 124 or below
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems: 124 or below
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior: 124 or below
While what is considered a good MCAT score differs from program to program, Kaplan Test Prep research shows that not doing well on the exam is the admissions factor most likely to keep you out of medical school. According to the 59 medical schools we spoke with in 2018, 37 percent said a low MCAT score is “the biggest application dealbreaker” in the primary application; a low undergraduate GPA was a close second at 36 percent.
QUIZ: What is your MCAT Score?
MCAT Score Statistics
Many factors affect your med school application, and each will help decide whether you’re admitted or rejected. Your MCAT score is just one part of your candidacy. Your undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation, research, interviews, and personal essays will all contribute to your acceptance into your dream school.
Kaplan is the official MCAT® prep of the American Medical Student Association.