MCAT Test Scores
Assessment is a very important tool for improvement. The point behind working hard is to get a good result in the end. In fact, this result is not the end but it is the beginning of a number of new avenues. In today’s world, you cannot achieve your desired goal without working hard for it. This is because you are not the only one aspiring for that particular goal. There are a number of other people working hard like you to reach to the same goal. That is why assessment becomes an important method to measure everyone’s performance.
MCAT is also such a test conducted for assessment. Candidates are assessed on the basis of their scores. Students undertake this assessment test with the sole purpose of attaining high scores. There are many students aspiring for a career in medicine but the seats available in the medical colleges are limited. Therefore, it becomes necessary to adopt some kind of assessment procedure in order to select the deserving candidates over the non-deserving ones. This is why MCAT scores gain importance. It is a competitive test conducted for the purpose of admissions of students in medical colleges. The process of screening the students in various colleges is done according to their test scores. If you are able to get a high score, you can be sure of getting admission in a medical college of your choice. Along with this, your test score can also help you in getting a scholarship from some scholarship programs.
Different Ways Of Assessment
There are a number of ways of assessment. Each assessment procedure has its merits and demerits. Along with numerical scoring system, you have grading system, classroom performance, practical observation and many others. Each assessment procedure has its merits and demerits. That is why MCAT is marked in a way that combines the best features of different assessment procedures.
Grading system is a qualitative measure of the student’s ability. The students are given alphabetical grades like A, B, C etc. according to their performances. These grades represent different levels of students. For example, the grade A is the topmost grade and students getting this grade are considered the best in a class, whereas a student getting an E is considered very weak. This system does not completely hold good for MCAT as it generalizes the performances of students. Thus, it groups the students broadly with no way to differentiate two students getting the same grade. That is why numerical scores have an upper hand over the grading system. However, the importance of grading cannot be ignored. The grading system reduces neck-to-neck competition by giving the same grade to equally competent students. It gives equal importance to all students who have minor differences in their performances.
Along with grading, score in MCAT is also depicted as a quantitative measure and helps in clearly pointing out the difference in the capabilities of the students. Giving numerical marks in a test helps to form a scale on which the performances of students can be judged together. It clearly shows the level of a student as compared to other students. In addition, it can be used to judge a number of students at the same time. Thus, the numerical marking system is very essential in a competitive test like MCAT.
Other systems like the classroom performance and practical observation also do not prove strong enough to assess thousands of students at the same time. A class is supervised by a teacher. A teacher is able to judge the ability of a student by his performance in the class. Thus, the teacher’s word can be taken as a yardstick to compare two students. Similarly, in the experimental and play-way methods too the performance is judged by observing the problem solving ability of a student. However, when it comes to judging thousands of students together, it is impossible to follow such methods.
Thus, we can say that the MCAT scores combine the best features of different methods, by including numerical marks as well as grades.
Understanding the MCAT Score
MCAT consists of four sections that are marked separately. You receive individual scores in each of these sections of the test. Out of the four sections, all sections except the Writing Sample receive a numbered score, whereas the Writing Sample is scored alphabetically. The numbered score of a section varies from 1 to 15, and the alphabetical score can be anything between J and T. Your total score in the test is a combination of the scores in all four sections taken together. Thus, the highest score that you can get in the test is 45T and the lowest possible score is 3J.
When the sections are marked, you gain points for the number of correctly answered questions. These points form the raw test score. Raw MCAT scores are then converted into the scaled MCAT scores. This is done in order to bring justice to the marking scheme and reduce any difference in score that occurs due to factors other than the capabilities of students. Students receive this scaled score as the final result.
In the multiple-choice questions, the raw score is converted into a scaled score ranging between 1 and 15. You gain points for correctly answered questions. No marks are deducted for a wrongly attempted question or an omitted question. The Writing Sample is scored by two examiners on a scale of 1 to 6 each. Thus, the raw score is obtained on the scale of 2 to 12. This raw score is then converted into a scaled score ranging from J to T, with J representing a score of 2 and T representing a score of 12.