The MCAT is tough obstacle for many pre-medical students. Even the brightest students can struggle to score well on the exam. When a student with a high GPA gets a low MCAT score, what do they do? Well, it depends on what the MCAT score actually is. Sometimes, the GPA may be enough to carry the student into medical school.
Good GPA Low MCAT Chances
The Association of American Medical Colleges has released acceptance rate statistics on all the medical schools in the nation (table below). This table shows the acceptance rate of all students that fall within a certain GPA and MCAT score range. For example, 73.9% of all the students that applied with a GPA between 3.60-3.79 and an MCAT score between 33-35 were accepted to medical school. As a general trend, students with higher GPA and MCAT scores have a higher acceptance rate. Students don’t have to have extremely high numbers to get accepted though.
Table from AAMC, 2015
When you look at the acceptance rate for students with lower MCAT scores, you can see that the numbers can be low. However, there are students that are still getting accepted. Take a look at the acceptance rate for your GPA and MCAT. If you are comfortable with that acceptance rate, then your chances may be fine. If not, you may have to consider retaking the exam. Sometimes when a bright student does poorly on the MCAT, it’s because the student didn’t sleep well before the exam or had too much anxiety. By resolving the issues from the first attempt, the student may attain a score commensurate to their GPA. If you’re looking for additional study help, Magoosh also offers online MCAT prep.
More Than Numbers
Remember, getting an admissions offer from a medical school requires more than just numbers. The medical school admissions committee will read your entire application, including your personal statement, description of activities and awards, letters of recommendation, and any additional essays required by the school. You will be evaluated based on your reasons for pursuing medicine as well as the quality and depth of your clinical, volunteer, research, and other extracurricular experiences. A good GPA and MCAT score will definitely help but they are also not everything! If you are looking for tips to get a high MCAT score, we recommend that you read the Top Tips for MCAT Studying and the Biggest Study Mistakes on the MCAT.