Before, after and during the dreaded MCAT exam, a single question tends to continually confound a number of test takers: “What is a good MCAT score?”
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, or the AAMC, the answer to this question is 25.1, with a standard deviation of 6.4, and a writing sample of “O”.
But while it’s certainly satisfying to be given a concise, black-and-white answer, the question of ‘what is a good MCAT score?’ is a much greyer and more personalized problem. Discerning the difference between an exemplary, adequate and awful MCAT score tends to resemble a complex mathematical equation, rather than a dictionary definition.
Deciphering an MCAT score is dependent on a number of contrasting personal factors. From the kinds of acceptance rates and number of applicants defining your dream school, to the kinds of extracurricular activities you’ve participated in, no two answers to the inquiry of ‘what is a good MCAT score?’ will mirror the other precisely.
Personalizing What is A Good MCAT Score Based On Your School Search and Candidacy
Before you begin embarking on the answer to the question, ‘what is a good MCAT score?’, it’d behoove you to consider the following.
• What is your GPA, level of extracurricular activity and statement-writing ability like? Although the MCAT tends to be a defining factor for medical school admission, a mediocre score can certainly be amped by an outstanding resume.
• What are the acceptance rates, number of applicants, and general admission requirements for your dream schools? Basing rejection and acceptance on MCAT scores alone can be a cost-effective, quick way for admissions teams to weed out less-worthy applicants. That being said, the more applications your school is likely to receive (based on prestige or pure numbers), the more likely they’ll base their decisions on scores primarily. For a more detailed description of individual school admission statistics, be sure to check out our medical school information pages.
• What are your expectations? Although facing the MCAT will likely be an enormous feat for all medical school applicants, it won’t be the first challenge of your skills in the medical field. If you’re considering a high-paying, skill-dense profession, be sure to give your MCAT score the weight and consideration it deserves.
The Basics to What Is a Good MCAT Score
Although personalization of your preferences and expectations is key, there are a couple of universal benchmarks that tend to define what is, and what isn’t an acceptable MCAT mark.
A good, competitive score at most MD schools is roughly 30. A highly competitive mark for some of the most prestigious schools in the country would sit somewhere at 34 to 36.
A score of 36 or better, however, would place you in the top two percent of test takers in the entire country.
While the answer to ‘what is a good MCAT score’ might be a bit more muddled than most applicants prefer, it’s a necessary component to honing in on your medical career strengths, expectations and passions. Be sure to see where your MCAT score sits with your dream school on our rankings and medical school listings pages.