What is the Significance of MCAT Percentiles?
Percentile of MCAT represents the percentages of students who have scored lower than what you have attained. Suppose that you have obtained a percentile of 87, it means you have scored better than 87 per cent of the total test takers. The test takers’ population includes the test takers of previous year also. This percentile is reported on your score report. The score report also comprises the scores for different test sections. The various test sections that constitute MCAT are the Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Verbal Reasoning and Writing Prompts. First, your raw scores are obtained separately for the different test sections; they are then converted to scaled scores.
The scales for the Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning and Biological Sciences vary from 1-15 whereas, the score for the Writing Sample varies from 2-12. You have to write two essays. Two experts evaluate them separately. The experts assess essays on a scale of 1-6. Your total score for the Writing Sample is obtained by adding all the scores obtained by the two experts. For instance, if you have obtained a score of 4 and 5 for the two essays by one expert, and 5 and 6 on the same essays by the other expert, your total score will be 20. The scaled score for the Writing Sample is then converted to an alphabet that may vary from J to T. Once raw scores are obtained, accordingly, your percentile is decided and reported to you.
The Significance of MCAT Percentiles
Your percentile in MCAT is significant owing to the fact that it indicates your performance as compared to other test takers. The percentile not only represents your performance with test takers of the same test edition, it also tells you about your performance among the test takers of the previous test edition.
How is MCAT Percentile Related to MCAT Scores?
MCAT percentile is related to MCAT scores. It is calculated after you have obtained your scaled scores. Mentioned below are the data obtained from the MCAT 2011, which depicts the relationship between scores and percentile of the test. The data was obtained after studying a sample population of 86,181 test takers:
|Scaled Score||Percentage of Achievers||Range of Percentile|
Mentioned below is the relationship between scaled score for the different test sections and percentile range:
The data procured from the descriptions of scaled scores and the corresponding percentiles that have been obtained by test takers in MCAT 2011 show that only 0.1 per cent of the sample test takers have attained a percentile of 99.9 in the subject of physical sciences. Most of the test takers have obtained a scaled score of 8 out of 15 in the subject of physical sciences during the MCAT 2011.
Only 0.2 per cent of the test takers had obtained a scaled score of 14. Maximum number of students had obtained scaled score within the score range of 6 to 10 and they lie within the percentile range of 15.5 to 85.9.
The data of MCAT 2011 communicates the fact that out of the 86,181 test takers who had taken the MCAT 2011, only 0.4 per cent of the test takers have attained a scaled score of ‘T’ and they lie within the percentile range of 99.7 to 99.9. This detail when compared with the details of the Physical Sciences and Verbal Reasoning test sections conveys that students found it easier to score high in this section as compared to the Verbal Reasoning section and Physical Sciences test section. The toughest they found was the Verbal Reasoning test section. However, about 0.9 per cent of the test takers have scored the lowest ‘J’ in the writing prompt test and they lie within the percentile range of 0.0 to 0.9. The percentage of students who have scored minimum in the Writing Prompts test section is more than that of the Physical Sciences and Verbal Reasoning test sections.
0.6 per cent of the test takers have attained the maximum score of 15, and they fall within the percentile range of 99.5 to 99.9. This shows that the students have found it to be easy to score high in this subject as compared to the other subjects. In addition, maximum test takers have obtained scaled score in the range of 8 to 10, and the corresponding percentile range varies from 24.9 to 75.9.
The above discussion provides you almost complete information about the percentile in MCAT and its significance. Alongside, the article provides you with all the information that have been gathered from the link https://www.aamc.org/students/download/264234/data/combined11.pdf to communicate the relationship between percentile and total scaled score of the test; and percentile and scaled scores for the different test sections.