How Many Questions Can I Miss on the New MCAT and Still Get a Perfect Score?

How many questions can I miss on the new MCAT and still get a perfect score - image by Magoosh

Scoring on the New MCAT:

The new MCAT has a new scoring system, but people are still interested in the new 45—the new perfect score. 528 is the new 45—the single highest score that can be achieved on the MCAT. A common question for those aiming for a perfect score is “how many questions can I miss on the new MCAT and still get a perfect score?” We’ll get into this question and discuss the merits of a perfect score.

So, how many questions can I miss on the new MCAT and still get a perfect score?

The answer is: not many. The precise answer is difficult to pin down. The MCAT is a scaled exam, which means it’s based on percentiles, which we discussed in a previous post. That means that the actual number you get right isn’t quite as important as how you do compared to all the other test takers. If a large percentage of test takers are getting 50 questions wrong, then getting 10 wrong might get you a perfect score. If a large percentage of test takers are getting five questions wrong, then perhaps you need to get every single question correct in order to get a perfect score.

It’s unclear exactly how many questions you can miss and still get a perfect score, but it’s safe to assume that there will be many well-prepared test-takers who will do quite well on the exam at any given testing.

Should I try to get a perfect score?

There is not necessarily any significant benefit of getting a 528, aside from being part of a select club that can say they got a perfect MCAT score. If you look at the percentiles released by the AAMC, there are six different scores that are listed as “100th percentile.” This means that these four scores, 523 to 528, are all scores that are scoring higher than 100% of test takers.

It’s really hard to distinguish how these scores are any different from each other. In terms of getting into medical school, getting a 523 versus a 528 will not really affect your chances. By that point, all the other parts of your application will matter so much more in distinguishing you from other applicants. The bottom line is that if your goal is to get into a great medical school, don’t worry too much about scoring a 528. Rather, focus on doing as best as you can and scoring in a high percentile, without splitting hairs about the numerical score. Don’t forget that Magoosh also offers online MCAT prep if you’re looking for an additional study resource.

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2 Responses to How Many Questions Can I Miss on the New MCAT and Still Get a Perfect Score?

  1. Douglas Alger September 9, 2018 at 8:06 pm #

    So why don’t they remove the mystery and state how many a test taker got right on each section? If there are 53 questions on CARS, how many wrong did I get? They should at least state what got a perfect score and what got an average score.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 14, 2018 at 12:26 pm #

      Hi Douglas,

      This is certainly an ongoing frustration for the MCAT, and all standardized tests. Unfortunately, the MCAT keeps their scoring system a close secret. Even if the score report did tell you how many questions you get right, it doesn’t necessarily provide information that can be generalized to other tests. The scaling system, which is designed to ensure that different versions of the test are standardized, is unique to each version.

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