High Score of MCAT
How does a High MCAT Score help you get Admission?
The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is a standardised test to ascertain the suitability of a candidate for the schools of Medicine. The test has four sections, namely:
- Physical Sciences: Consists of 52 multiple choice questions
- Biological Sciences: Consists of 52 multiple choice questions
- Verbal Reasoning: Consists of 40 questions
- Writing Sample: Consists of 2 questions
If you are aiming for medical school admissions, you have to understand how, what you answer in the test, is converted to the score given to you and, how you can maximise your scores to achieve a high score.
There are three aspects of an MCAT score. They are:
- The MCAT actual/total scores.
- The MCAT scores on the comparative scale.
- The MCAT Writing Sample alphabetical scores.
1. The MCAT Actual Scores:
The questions in the first three sections of the test i.e. the Physical Sciences section, the Biological Sciences section, and the Verbal Reasoning section have equal values. No marks are deducted for wrong answers and the actual score is the sum total of the marks from the correctly answered questions. Therefore, if you have answered 100 questions correctly, then your actual score or your total is 100. It is important to know that, a high total score does not necessarily determine a high score. These are merely totals.
2. The MCAT Scores on the Comparative Scale:
The actual scores are converted into the MCAT scores on a scale that ranges between 1 and 15, where 1 is the lowest score and 15 is the high score. The exam score of each section is a derived value of the actual score totals. The value is derived mathematically after charting the actual scores of all the candidates on a graph and comparing them to each other. This is done because different candidates answer different test papers and each paper may have a different range of questions. What may be easy for one can be difficult for another. It is very difficult and can be erroneous to decide who has scored better than whom if we go by the actual total scores. The relative value derived through the score scale helps in rating the ability of two equally able candidates who may have different total scores due to difference in question sets.
3. The MCAT Writing Sample Alphabetical Scores:
The Writing Sample section of the test has two questions. Both these questions are assessed by two people to arrive at two different sets of scores. For example, your Writing Sample has two sets of total scores given by two people who have checked your test paper. The marks are allotted on a scale of 1 to 6. One person may have given you a 5 and 3 on the two answers and the second person may have marked you as a 4 and 5 on the given answers. The total score of your Writing Sample will be a sum of all these scores that is 17. This sum total is then expressed alphabetically, between the alphabets J and T. The score denoted by J is the lowest writing sample score and T is the highest and can be called a high score for the Writing Sample test. X denotes that your answers were not scored due to any possible reason.
How does a High MCAT Score help you...?
- Freedom of choice is the most important plus point of getting a high score. A good test score not only places you in the acceptance list of the best medical schools but it also gives you a chance to choose. A high score achiever has little difficulty in gaining admission to the school of his/her choice.
- Joining any educational fraternity brings with it a fair share of competition. The MCAT, due to its system of relative scores rather than actual totals, depicts a clear view of the student's comparative standing amongst his/her fellow medical school aspirants. In short, one gets to know one's competition. The high score not only means that you have done well but it also means that you have done well as against other applicants. This gives you an edge during admissions.
- The scores mostly get primary consideration over other scores. For medical school eligibility, MCAT, along with other scores like college scores, volunteer certificates from hospitals, certificates of short science courses that have been taken etc. are considered. Out of all the scores and certificates, the MCAT scores are most important during admissions. You should therefore aim to get a high score so that even if you have not scored well in other medical tests and courses, you still get through a good medical school.
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