After all the preparation and hard work and the excitement of test day, it all comes down to the MAT scores. While the application process at most schools does not depend only on your reported test scores, the application package usually has several components, they are an important indicator of your success in graduate school.
What You See
Your score reporting letter will come in 10-15 days after you take the exam and might seem a little bit of a letdown. If you were hoping for a “perfect” score, you will be disappointed, take a look at this post to learn why there isn’t such a thing for the MAT. The all-important information is on one third of the single page of the letter and all the work is condensed down to three numbers. However, these three numbers give a lot of information to your potential school.
Scaled Score: ###
Percentile for intended major: ##
Percentile for Total Group: ##
What It Means
There are 120 questions on the test and 100 of the count towards your score. However, as different sets of questions might vary in difficulty and to take into account the differences in paper versus computer-based versions, your raw score is converted to a scaled score. The scores range from 200-600 with 400 being the mean (most common) score.
The next entry is the percentile for your intended major; given as a value from 1-99. This shows how you have scored in comparison to test-takers that have indicated they are in the same category of graduate school majors as you listed when you registered.
The third entry is your percentile for the total group of test takers in the normative group; also given as a 1-99 value. This value (if taken after 2004) is what can be used for possible entry to the Mensa group as an indicator of your intelligence. If you had taken the MAT prior to 2004, your raw score is what would have been reported and taken for your application.
Your MAT scores are important but also only part of your application process. You want to do well on your test to indicate your ability to process the information you will receive in your graduate program. However, your admissions office will also look at your resume, other transcripts, your entrance essay and other things to get a total picture of who you are as a student.