MCAT Scores Percentiles

How Are MCAT Score Percentiles Calculated?

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a medical entrance exam intended for students who wish to pursue Medicine in the universities located in the USA and Canada. The test is administered as a computer-based test by the AAMC in the designated Prometric test centers situated round the world. The test is taken by students from various countries and requires you to surpass a stiff competition that surrounds it. Hence, for you to achieve a good score, you need to work very hard. The following article helps you know what the test contains and how different sections are scored. You receive your scores in the form of percentiles. The calculation of the scores percentiles is also explained below.

What Does MCAT Consist of?

MCAT consists of four sections in all. The different sections of the test include the Verbal Reasoning section, Physical Sciences section, the Writing Sample section and the Biological Sciences section. All the sections of the test put together will assess your ability to solve problems, frame an essay with the right content within the allotted time, and display your knowledge in the Biological Sciences subject. Actually, all the above-mentioned skills are quintessential for you to perform well in the course of your medical graduation. For all the sections, the scoring is done individually. The composite score you obtain will be the summation of the individual scores that you obtain in each separate section of the test. Once your score is calculated, the percentiles of the scores are calculated.





How is MCAT Scored?

The test is scored based upon the raw scores, which literally mean the number of questions attempted correctly. The three sections of the test except the Writing Sample section consist of multiple-choice questions. The scores of all these sections are first calculated based upon the number of questions correctly answered. Any questions answered incorrectly would not have any effect on your score. Hence, you must not leave any of the questions that you may be unsure of. Try and make your best guess. These scores are then scaled on a 1-15 range. Hence, the maximum score that one can obtain in these three sections is 45. The Writing Sample section is given an alphabetic scoring scale that ranges from J to T. Now the scores are reported 45T, which means you have scored 45 in the three multiple-choice sections and T in the Writing Sample section.

MCAT Score Percentiles

The percentiles are calculated since the test is standardized for all the test takers irrespective of anything. In order to establish a comparative relation between all the test takers based upon the composite scores that they might obtain, the exam percentiles are calculated. The literal meaning of a percentile is a value with respect to the population of values. Here, percentiles are the scores of individuals with respect to all the other test takers. If we say that you scored 95%, then we mean that you have scored higher than 95% of all the test takers who took the exam. Likewise, it also means that your score has fallen behind 5% of all the test takers who have outperformed you. This way, the percentiles help you to know your performance level with respect to the test taker population.

The MCAT's scores are evaluated on a scale of 0-45. The test taker who scores 45 receives the highest percentiles. In an analysis reported by the AAMC, 50% of the population fall behind a score of 25-26. Hence, this score can be reported as the mean with an approximate standard deviation of 6-7. To know more about percentiles, you can refer to the following link of the official website that gives you a graphical representation and tabular presentation of the scores obtained and the corresponding test scores obtained by the test takers: https://www.aamc.org/students/download/85332/data/combined08.pdf




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