What MCAT Score Do You Need To Get Into Medical School?
If you’re aiming to get into med school, the first thing you need to prioritize is getting a good MCAT score.
Your MCAT isn’t something you should take lightly—it is one of the toughest examinations you can take and includes multiple sections that will test your knowledge and quick thinking. Top medical schools only take in the best MCAT scorers, so you need to ensure that you ace your test.
Preparing for the MCAT can be a tough and grueling process. It’s important to have a goal to work towards, so be sure that you understand the score you will need to make it to med school.
About the MCAT:
MCAT stands for Medical College Admission Test. It is the standard preliminary exam required by accredited medical schools all across North America, including Canada. The test is coordinated and conducted by the AAMC multiple times per year, starting in January and ending in September.
The test comprises wholly of MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) and has a total time limit of seven-and-a-half hours. The four sections of the MCAT exam are as follows:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
Knowing when to prepare for your MCAT is crucial to finishing your studies in time. You can never start preparing too early—ideally, you should start from your first year at college. As you’re making your way through your undergraduate education, keep in mind that medical school admissions committees also place a strong emphasis on extracurricular achievements, along with the applicant’s MCAT score. You must work towards becoming a well-rounded candidate.
What Score Do You Need?
As mentioned before, the MCAT is split into four sections. Each section has a minimum score limit of 118 and a maximum of 132. Therefore, the total score will range anywhere between 472 and 528. The score ranges are divided into percentiles.
To get into the top programs, you will need a score in at least the 90th percentile. Many excellent medical school programs have score requirements in the 70th and 80th percentiles, which are easier to achieve. If your GPA is on the lower side, however, keep in mind that you will need a higher MCAT score to compensate.
The average MCAT score is 500. If you do your research properly, you can develop a list of programs you like that will work with the range of scores you feel are possible for you. Each program has its own unique application requirements, so be sure to familiarize yourself with those specifics as well.
How to Get the Score You Need:
The MCAT is regarded as one of the toughest standardized tests out there, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Before formulating your study plan, determine the sections you’ll need to prepare for the most. You can take practice tests and look at past exams to help you decide.
The MCAT syllabus likely bears some similarity to your college program since both should include some amount of basic biology, physics, psychology, sociology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. You can certainly use your class studies to help you prepare for the MCAT—but don’t rely solely on those resources.
Make studying a part of your daily routine. Once you’ve analyzed your strengths and weaknesses, create a study plan that works with your schedule. Take mock tests at regular intervals to sharpen your skills and knowledge, and measure your progress. Be sure you’re setting yourself up for success by studying with the best MCAT practice tests.
If you’re having difficulties with your preparation, ask other students who are further along in the preparation process than you are, and check-in with your pre-med advisor for advice on how to handle your preparations. Don’t be shy about asking for help.
Preparing for the MCAT along with work and college obligations is a challenge, and you should never feel inadequate for facing difficulties.
Improve Your Odds:
Around 85,000 students take the MCAT every year across North America. To be among the very best of this cohort is not an easy job, so you need to be smart about your preparations. Be sure you’re setting realistic goals, and studying smart, and you’ll be sure to achieve your med school dreams.