What is a good MCAT score?

The Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT) is a high-stakes exam given to students who aspire to attend medical school. In this guide we will cover what is a good MCAT score, how MCAT scores are calculated, and review MCAT score percentiles.

Most pre-med students want to attend the top medical schools in the country, but only those students who have the highest MCAT scores will likely be considered.

We have provided you with an in-depth guide on everything MCAT scores related below. Use the data to inform yourself on the score you will need to attend the medical school of your choice.

Summary: Find everything you need to know about MCAT scores. If you plan on studying for the MCAT, consider our reviews of the best MCAT courses.

Table of Contents

  1. MCAT Scores and Sections
  2. How the MCAT is Scored
  3. MCAT Score Ranges
  4. Average MCAT Scores
  5. What is a Good MCAT Score
  6. MCAT Score Percentiles
  7. MCAT Scores and Acceptance Rates for Medical Schools
  8. FAQs

MCAT Scores and Sections

There are 4 sections on the MCAT:

  1. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  2. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  3. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

You will receive a score for each section. Each section is scored in the range of 118 – 132. A score of 125 is the average for each section.

How is the MCAT Scored?

In simple terms, your MCAT score will be based on the number of correct answers you choose on the MCAT. The number of correct answers you achieve are then converted to a scale of 118 – 132.

As we mentioned above, each section receives its own score between 118 and 132. It is important to note that the MCAT is not graded on a curve and there is no penalty for wrong/unanswered questions, so guess away.

To arrive at your final total score, each section is added up. The total score range is 472 – 528.

MCAT Score Report

Every student will receive a score report after taking their exam. The score report will include the following:

  1. Section Scores
  2. Total Score
  3. Confidence Band
  4. Percentile Rank of Score
  5. Score Profile
  6. Notes

MCAT Score Report

MCAT Score Range

There are 2 MCAT score ranges students should be concerned with:

  1. Section Score Range – Ranges between 118 and 132. Receive a score for each section.
  2. Total MCAT Score Range – Adds up each section score and gives you a total score. The total MCAT score range is 472 to 528.

Highest MCAT Score

The MCAT max score is a 528. In order to achieve the highest MCAT score, you would need to score a 132 in each section.

Average MCAT Score

The average MCAT score in 2020-2021 was 506.4.

Understanding the average MCAT score will allow you to gauge how competitive you will be in the admissions process. If you have yet to take the exam, it will give you a better idea of what you need to achieve.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) release data on MCAT scores every year. View the table below to learn about the average MCAT score and how it has changed throughout the years.

Section 2018-2019 Average MCAT Score 2019-2020 Average MCAT Score 2020-2021 Average MCAT Score 2021-2022 Average MCAT Score
CPBS 126.3 126.4 126.5 126.3
CARS 125.9 125.9 125.9 125.7
BBLS 126.6 126.7 126.8 126.7
PSBB 126.8 127.1 127.2 127.3
Total Score 505.6 506.1 506.4 505.9
GPA 3.47 3.48 3.49 3.48

What is a Good MCAT Score?

This is a question a lot of students ask. A “good” score on the MCAT would be anything above 511. This would put you in the 80th percentile (we review MCAT score percentiles below).

Being in the 80th percentile would make you competitive for a ton of medical schools and give you a great chance at getting into a program.

With that being said, a good MCAT score is different for everyone. Students who want to get into a top program will need higher MCAT scores versus someone who just wants to get into any medical school.

Review our what is a good MCAT score table below to better understand scores.

  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
Total MCAT Score 501 511 518

It is important to remember that when applying to medical school, these schools are looking at you holistically. While your MCAT scores will be important, they are not everything. Some other things medical schools consider are GPA, personal statements, letters of recommendation, and your overall resume.

MCAT Score Percentiles

MCAT score percentiles are used to compare applicants to each other based on their MCAT scores. The MCAT score percentile is calculated against the scores of everyone what has taken the MCAT in the last 3 years.

The percentile ranking represents the percentage of test-takers who scored lower than you. For example, if you were in the 80th percentile, this means that you scored better than 80% of other testers.

We have listed the MCAT score percentiles for 2021-2021 below.

Total Score Percentile Rank
472 <1
474 <1
476 1
478 1
480 3
482 4
484 7
486 9
488 13
490 17
492 21
494 27
496 32
498 38
Total Score Percentile Rank
500 45
502 52
504 58
506 65
508 72
510 78
512 84
514 88
516 92
518 95
520 97
522 99
524 100
526 100
528 100

MCAT Score for Medical School

To further assist us in answering our question of what a good MCAT score is, let’s look at some data and statistics and try to help you figure out what score you need to get into medical school.

The table below shows scores and acceptance rates into medical school, reported by the AAMC.

MCAT Score Percent Accepted
Less than 486 .5%
486-489 1.1%
490-493 3.2%
494-497 10%
498-501 20%
502-505 32%
506-509 46.4%
510-513 61.4%
514-517 72.8%
517+ 82.5%

As expected, the higher scores you have, the better your chance at getting into medical school.

Top Medical Schools and MCAT Scores

If you are interested in attending one of the top medical schools in the country, review the table below to learn about their average MCAT score and acceptance rates.

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%

MCAT Scores FAQs

What is the national average MCAT score?

The average MCAT score in 2020-2021 was 506.4. Over the last couple years it has been around the same with it being lowest in 2018-2019 with an average score of 505.6.

Is 515 a good MCAT score?

A 515 MCAT score is a good score on the MCAT. This score puts you in the 90th percentile. According to historical numbers, a score of 515 should give you around a 72% chance of getting into medical school.

What is the highest MCAT score?

The MCAT max score is 528. This means you would need a perfect score of 132 in all 4 sections of the exam.

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