MCAT Scoring System
Understand How the MCAT Scores Are Calculated
The scoring system of MCAT has a very important role in the life a student taking the test. This scoring system is also useful for the medical schools participating in the admission process.
Understand How the MCAT Scores Are Calculated
The scoring system includes raw scores, scaled scores and your percentiles. Raw scores represent the actual number of correct answers you have attempted. There is no negative marking involved, so you should never leave a question unanswered. Scaled scores converts the raw scores based on a 15-point scale to avoid any discrimination arising out of varying difficulty levels. Scaled scores are then converted to percentile scores based on how you have performed in comparison to your competitors. The percentiles help in providing you with a comparison of your performance with others who had attempted the test. A person getting a score in the range of 38-45 is categorized with a percentile score of 98.5-99.9. This is a rough medium used to see how well different candidates have performed. It also acts as a medium for the AAMC to check the difficulty level of the test administered.
MCAT contains Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Verbal Reasoning and a Writing Sample section. The contents that are tested belong to your undergraduate level of study. The basic concepts that you have learned during your course of study needs to be made clear. The test does not require an advanced level of study. The three sections except for the Writing Sample are multiple-choices based, whereas the Writing Sample requires you to write two essays based on the given topic. Each multiple-choices section is scored out of 15, making a total of 45. The essays are scored on a scale of 1-6 by two evaluators, one human and the other a computer. The scores are then added together and converted into an alphabetic scale ranging from J (lowest) –T (highest). Thus, the highest possible score in a test is 45T, which is very difficult to achieve.
Most medical schools accept students getting an average of 8 and above in the different sections. Getting a grade of P and above in the Writing sample is considered good. Some schools do not process the applications if your score is below an 8. You should concentrate on getting a balanced score in all the three sections, like getting a 10 in all the sections looks better than a 12, 10, and 8.
Your aim should always be on getting a score above 30P, as this will provide a chance for getting selected to a medical school. Each medical school has its own average scores for getting selected for the particular school. The average scores may vary with the difficulty level of the test. In case of a difficult MCAT, average scores will be less and if it was an easy test then the average scores will be more.
Your test scores are available after 30-35 days of appearing for the test. It is made available in the Testing History System (THx) of the AAMC. You can view your scores by logging on to the system using the same username and password that you had used for registering for the test.
The scor acts as a medium for the students to know if they are eligible for applying to a particular medical school. For some, the scoring system opens up opportunities in the form of a list of medical schools to which they can apply. It is also important for the medical schools participating in the admission process. It helps them in knowing which candidates are eligible for admission. The scores of a particular year help them in deciding about setting the average score criteria needed for getting admitted to the concerned school.
MCAT scores and scoring system have an important role in making as well as breaking your medical career.
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