Four separate scores are derived from the MCAT because the paper consists of four sections, one score for each section. It is all added up to the cumulative total score at the end. Most U.S. medical schools give equal importance to your MCAT scores as well as your GPA. Moreover, if there is an inconsistency between these scores which you have submitted, there is a tendency is to give MCAT scores more credence. Most of the medical schools in Canada give greater weight to MCAT scores and have a set minimum cut-off score that applicants must meet in order to be considered. A competitive applicant at a U.S. medical school should have scores of 10's and 11's in the physical sciences, verbal reasoning and biological sciences sections and 12's or higher if you are aiming for a top 10 medical school. Most competitive medical schools, look for a combined MCAT score of at least 30 and a writing score of P or Q. Read through the following section to get a better understanding.
Good MCAT Score
When your dream is to study medicine in the U.S. then an MCAT score becomes the deciding factor. Read this article further to find out more about the average score and other interesting information n MCAT score.
- The physical sciences, verbal reasoning and biological sciences sections on the MCAT paper are scored between a 1 and a 15. (1 is the lowest score and 15 would be the highest score). Therefore, in total the lowest MCAT score you can receive is a 3 and the highest MCAT score is a 45.
- The writing sample is scored on a J-T scale. This section is comprises of two separately timed essays. These essays are read and scored independently by two readers (as mentioned, human and computer), added and converted into an alphabetical scale ranging from J to T. A poor score would be anything between J-L. A good score is anything between N-S and beyond S is considered outstanding!
- Now, the score which you get on a scale of 1-15 in the multiple choice sections (physical sciences, verbal reasoning, and biological sciences) is based on the number of questions that you answer correctly. Thus, this tally is a reflection of correct answers. Remember that there is no additional penalty for wrong answers. So even if you are unsure of the correct answers, don't hesitate to attempt it!
- The logic behind the ratings is simple. Your total is determined by adding the scores which you receive on each of the two essays that you write. Since different readers are rating the paper, your total writing score is technically the sum total of the four scores: two for the first response and two for the second.
- An X in the writing sample section indicates that one or both of the answers by the examinee were considered to be inappropriate owing to reasons such as being completely off-topic, blank, unintelligible, written in a language other than English, etc.
- The sum awarded to the examinee in the multiple choice section can result from a combination of different individual scores. These numbers are assigned along a 6-point scale. For example, a student whose scores are 4 and 5 on the first item and 4 and 4 on the second is given raw scores of 17, which is similar the point of a student who scored a 3 and 3 and a 5 and 6. Now, it is important to convert these into scaled scores to compensate for a small variation in difficulty between the sets of questions. The exact conversion is not constant due to the different sets of questions in each of the exams.
MCAT scores are valid for 3 years but this also varies from school to school. So it is advisable that you contact the school of choice and find out their guidelines and policies of MCAT scores and admission.