Dr. Jordan Bilezikian - MCAT Expert Academically reviewed by Dr. Jordan Bilezikian - MCAT Expert
What is a good MCAT score?

The Medical College Admission Test®, or MCAT, is the standardized exam used by medical schools when evaluating potential candidates. We will review MCAT scores and look into what a good MCAT score is. 

The exam is a high stakes test designed to test candidates and their ability to think critically within a medical environment.

Most pre-med students want to get accepted to the top medical schools in the country, but only those students who score in the top percentiles of the MCAT will likely be considered.

Summary: Review MCAT scores and get the answer to our question, "what is a good MCAT score?"

Scoring of the MCAT

The Association of American Medical Colleges, or AAMC, uses a whole scoring scale on the exam. Your raw score, which is based on the number of questions you got right, is converted to a scaled score that considers the difficulty of the questions.

Each of the four MCAT sections is scored from 118 to 132, with the mean and median at 125. Test takers will receive a score for each of the four sections. 

Scores for all four sections are combined to create a total score in the ranges 472 to 528, with the mean and median scores being 500. 

MCAT Score Averages

When you receive your MCAT score, it will include:

  • Section scores for each section of the MCAT.
  • A Total score ranging from 472-528
  • A "confidence band," which is a range of scaled scores above and below your score.
  • A percentile rank of score - ranking your performance relative to the scores of other MCAT test-takers.
  • Your score profile, which shows you your strengths and weaknesses across all four sections of the MCAT.

MCAT score report

Source: AAMC

What is a Good MCAT score?

The highest score you can receive on the MCAT is 528 total - this would be 132 on each of the four sections. Based on average scores nationwide in 2019, a good MCAT score is 127 in each section or 508 out of 528 for all four parts. 

  Average score acceptable to few medical schools Average score acceptable for most medical schools  Average score acceptable for Top medical schools 
Qualitatively Average MCAT score Good MCAT score High MCAT score
Percentile rank 50th percentile 80th percentile 95th percentile
Sectional score: (max. = 132) 125 127 129
Combined score: (max. = 528) 500 508 516

What is the significance of the MCAT percentiles?

The average MCAT score is 500. Medical colleges will compare you to other applicants by relying on an MCAT percentile, which is a percentile calculated against the scores of everyone who has taken the MCAT in the last three years.

The percentile ranking represents the percentage of test-takers who scored lower than you on the MCAT. If your score, for example, was a 508, you scored in the 80th percentile.

MCAT Percentiles

 MCAT Percentile Scaled MCAT Total Score 
 Top 10% of all test takers 514 to 528
 Top 25% of all test takers 508 to 513 
 Top 50% of all test takers 500 to 507
 Below 50th percentile of all test takers 499 or below

MCAT Scores for Top Medical Schools

The table below shows the average MCAT scores, average median GPAs, and acceptance rates of the top 16 medical schools. This table will help you determine what MCAT scores you may need to get accepted into your school of choice.

School Rank Average MCAT Average GPA Acceptance Rate
Harvard University 1 519 3.92 3.3%
Johns Hopkins University 2 519 3.91 6.0%
University of Pennsylvania (Perelman) 3 521 3.90 4.4%
New York University (Grossman) 4 522 3.93 2.5%
Stanford University 5 519 3.86 2.3%
Columbia University 6 521 3.88 3.5%
Mayo Clinic School of Medicine (Alix) 7 520 3.92 2.4%
University of California - Los Angeles (Geffen) 8 517 3.84 2.4%
University of California - San Francisco 9 517 3.83 3.8%
Washington University in St. Louis 10 522 3.89 8.2%
Cornell University (Weill) 11 518 3.87 5.1%
Duke University 12 519 3.86 4.0%
University of Washington 13 510 3.72 4.1%
University of Pittsburgh 14 517 3.78 4.5%
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 15 514 3.80 5.0%
Yale University 16 521 3.90 5.5%
University of Chicago (Pritzker) 17 520 3.87 4.3%
Northwestern University (Feinberg) 18 520 3.90 6.4%
Vanderbilt University 19 519 3.90 5.3%
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 20 518 3.86 5.7%

How is the MCAT structured?

The MCAT is a 6.5-hour exam that consists of 4 parts. The MCAT sections are integrated. Subjects are not tested independently. They include overlapping areas of concentration, which is how you’ll encounter these subjects in medical school and in medical practice.

 Overview of the Sections of the MCAT 

 MCAT Sections  Details
 Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems  
  • 59 multiple-choice questions
  • 95-minute section
  • Covers basic biology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and biochemistry
 Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems  
  • 59 multiple-choice questions
  • 95-minute section
  • Covers basic biochemistry, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics
 Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior  
  • 59 multiple-choice questions
  • 95-minute section
  • Covers introductory psychology, sociology, and biology
 Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
  • 53 multiple-choice questions
  • 90-minute section
  • Reading passages come from a variety of humanities and social sciences disciplines
 

MCAT Resources

If you are looking for some resources to get a top MCAT score, please review some of the resources below. 

Students looking to get a baseline of what they know, and what they do not know should start off with our free MCAT practice exams. These exams are 100% free and contain answer explanations to help you understand why an answer was right or wrong. 

The exams are automatically scored and grouped by sections on the MCAT. These practice questions are a great place to start to get a better idea of what specific topics you should be studying. 

If you are looking for some more comprehensive help, you should consider investing in a MCAT prep course. Our team reviewed the best MCAT prep courses and broke down the best of the best courses. 

MCAT prep courses can be pricey, but they are usually 100% worth it. These courses will ensure you get a top score on the MCAT. Some of these courses even offer score guarantees. Prep courses will provide you with everything you need in one place. It will take some unnecessary stress out of your life. 

A good MCAT score is a score that could be one of the factors that gets you into the medical school of your choice. Taking a practice MCAT will give you a general idea of your score and areas you need to focus your study.

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