Along with an added section and new material, the new MCAT also has a new scoring system. The scale and range are completely different from the old scoring. In this post, we’ll go over some basics about the new scoring system and how the new MCAT score conversion relates to old scores. Then I’ll tell you more about the Magoosh MCAT course. First, let’s look at the key terms:
Your MCAT Raw Score: The number of questions you answered correctly, which could hypothetically be as high as 230, since that’s how many questions are on the new MCAT.
Your MCAT Percentile: The percentage of students whose raw scores were lower than yours on a specific test.
Old MCAT Scaled Score: A number between 3-45, wherein students in the 50th percentile receive a score of 25.
New MCAT Scaled Score: A number between 118-132, wherein students in the 50th percentile receive a score of 125.
New MCAT Score Conversion Basics
How the MCAT is scored is covered more in depth in the “How the New MCAT is Scored” post, but we will go over some basics in this post as well. The old MCAT had three sections of multiple choice and a writing section, with the score in each multiple choice section ranging from 1 to 15 for a total score of 3 to 45. The new MCAT has four sections, each ranging from 118 to 132 for a total score range from 472 to 528. The mean, or average, is centered on a score of 500. Officially, the AAMC says that direct comparisons between the old scores and new scores are “impossible.” The new test is meant to cover a broader range of material and better equip medical schools with ways of more completely assessing applicants.
Can I convert MCAT scores?
Yes! We’ve put together a handy conversion table for you to use to go back and forth between new and old MCAT scores.
|Old MCAT Score||New MCAT Score||Percentile|
|7 (or less)||474 (or less)||0|
The AAMC provides no official means of converting the scores between the two systems. However, both the old MCAT and the new MCAT are still standardized exams. As standardized exams, they have percentiles the scores can be converted, albeit roughly, by using the percentiles. Medical schools will also be using percentiles to assess applicants. The AAMC has released final percentiles and score correlations for both the old MCAT and the new MCAT. We can see that the 50th percentiles for the old and new MCAT were about 25 and 500, respectively. This means that a 25 in the old scoring system would be roughly 500 in the new scoring system. The 99th percentile for the old and the new are 38 and 522, respectively. By using percentiles on these two charts, you can convert your scores between the two systems.
Other resources for converting scores
There are numerous other websites that have charts or calculators that can (again, roughly) convert the scores. As the new scoring system becomes the new norm, the need for conversion will disappear. For at least the next two years, many schools will be accepting both types of MCAT, so having an understanding of how the two types of scores compare to each other will be useful. If you’re studying for the MCAT or are considering retaking it, consider checking out Magoosh’s MCAT course to help prepare. We offer 300 video lessons and over 700 questions, which can be taken as practice tests or split up for review. Plus, you have email access to MCAT experts as part of your subscription.
This blog post contains contributions from Burton Shen.