When preparing for the MCAT, we always set our sights on getting the highest score possible. We consult the best MCAT prep resources we can find, adhere to strict study schedules, and study our overworked brains into delirium. However, even with extreme discipline and focus, students still fall short of the elusive 528 they were aiming for. With a score of 528 falling in the 100th percentile, it’s obvious, and somewhat comforting, that most students who matriculate into medical school don’t actually achieve such a score. With so much focus on getting the highest score, the average MCAT score is often overlooked, and at times, even snubbed. The reality, though, is that the medical school admissions process is notoriously competitive. Therefore, it is helpful to know what you’re up against.
What is the average MCAT score?
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For the 2015-2016 testing year, the mean MCAT score fell in the 67th percentile range for allopathic medical schools, which corresponds to a score of about 504 (which is approximately equivalent to a score of 28.3 on the old test). It’s important to note, however that this mean reflects scores from all students who applied to allopathic medical schools. Of the students who actually went on to enroll, the average MCAT score is in the 81st percentile with a score of about 509 (31.4 on the old test). For osteopathic schools the average MCAT score for applicants to the 2015 entering class fell within the 55th percentile which corresponds to a score of 501 (or 26 on the old test).
What does an average MCAT score mean for admissions?
Admissions committees can be elusive when it comes to setting required MCAT score. Top medical schools typically accept students who score above the 95th percentile, but collectively they also accept a great deal of students whose scores hover around the mean, or even lower. While this certainly goes to show that students need to be proficient in areas beyond their MCAT score to get a seat, it also shows that a stellar MCAT score will set you apart from the crowd.
But I still want a 528. What to do?
Premeds tend to be high achievers, which is great! The key to achieving an awesome score always boils down to this: knowing your weaknesses and having the discipline to practice until they become strengths. It may sound cliché, but that’s for good reason. Simply desiring a high score won’t be enough to achieve it, unfortunately. For those who don’t know where to start, we have plenty of great tips for studying, from the dreaded CARS section to having to take the test again. I highly recommend you read through them and carve out a method that will help you exceed your MCAT goals. Also, Magoosh offers online MCAT prep if you’re looking for additional study resources.