MCAT Score Range
The MCAT scores can be a difficult thing to understand, especially if you’re a medical student looking to take it. It’s always good to look ahead to see how the test you will be taking will be scored. There are three parts to the MCAT examination: Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, Biological Sciences, and the Trial Section, which is an optional section to take if the test taker does not void the test at the Biological Sciences section. So, how exactly are the MCAT tests scored? Well, let’s start with the basics first, and work our way up to the scoring of the exam.
First of all, you have to know a thing or two about the structure of the MCAT examination. As stated before, the MCAT is made up of three multiple-choice sections, Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Verbal Reasoning, along with a Trial Section that you have the option to take or not. In the beginning of 2013, the writing assessment portion of the exam was taken out to make room for the trial section.
Next, you have to know a bit about the basics of the scores of the MCAT examination. There are three parts to the test, and each part is multiple choice that is scored from 1 to 15 with 15 being the highest possible score. In the previous versions of the MCAT, the writing assessment was scored by both a human and a computer program. The sum of the scores was the overall score for the writing assessment portion, and that raw score was converted into a letter from J to T, with T being the highest score. As of 2013, the writing assessment is gone, and has been replaced with the Trial Section, which will not affect your overall composite score on the MCAT.
For the scoring of the multiple choice sections, there will be medical educators to do that task. The medical educators that come in to score the MCAT will proceed to accurately count the number of correct answers in each section of the test. The raw scores will then be converted into a scale that will also take into consideration the difficulty of the examination questions. It is not advisable to leave any of the multiple choice sections blank, as you will not be penalized for incorrect multiple choice answers.
In the version of the MCAT prior to 2013, educators would come in to score each writing assessment essay twice. The essays will also be scored by a computerized program. The individual scores will range from a numerical value of 1 to 6. The total raw score on the writing assessment section will then be converted into an alphabetical scale.
Remember, when you’re taking the MCAT there is no penalty for making educated guesses in the multiple choice sections of the exam. Do not leave anything blank just because you do not know the correct answer for sure.
Let’s move on to more of the scoring portion of the MCAT process. We’ll get into more details about the scoring now that you know some of the basics of the MCAT.
Calculation of the MCAT score percentiles
The MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test, is a test for medical students who want to pursue Medicine in universities that are located in the United States or in Canada. The MCAT is administered by the AAMC as a computer-based test, and can be done in designated Prometric test centers all around the world by qualified medical students.
The MCAT is a test that is taken by medical students from numerous countries, and there’s a lot of tough competition that surrounds the exam. In order for you to get a satisfactory MCAT score, you’ll need to study hard and have a game plan. The rest of this article will become a guide for you on how the different sections of the MCAT are scored. When you receive your MCAT scores, they’re given to you in percentiles. There’s a specific calculation with the MCAT percentiles that will also be explained.
Make-up of the MCAT
As stated before, the MCAT has different sections that consist of the Verbal Reasoning section, Physical Sciences section, the Biological Sciences section, and the optional Trial Section. Overall, the entire MCAT examination put together will evaluate your abilities to solve problems, display your knowledge in Biological and Physical sciences, and see how well you work under pressure and on a clock. In addition, all the skills that are to be tested through the MCAT are very essential to how well you will perform in the path of your medical graduation. All the sections of the MCAT are scored individually. There will be a composite score that will come out of it, which is the sum of all the individual scores that you get in each separate section of the examination. When your score is calculated, the MCAT scores percentiles are also calculated.
MCAT Scores Percentiles
The MCAT test is standardized for all medical students, and so the MCAT scores percentiles are calculated regardless of anything. To make a solid establishment of the comparative relation between all of the medical student examinees based on their individual composite scores that they will get, the MCAT scores percentiles are calculated. The actual meaning of the MCAT score percentiles is that it’s a value that also shows respect to the population of the other values. The MCAT scores percentiles are simply the scores of the individual test takers with respect to all the other test takers that took the exam. For example, if you scored a 90% for the percentile, that means that you have surpassed 90% of the other test takers scores who took the exam. In addition, it also means that you fell behind 10% of the rest of the test takers that outperformed you on the MCAT. What the MCAT scores percentiles will give you is information on how well you performed in comparison to the rest of the test taker population; essentially, it’s a score of your performance level.
The MCAT examination is scored on a scale from 0 to 45, and the test taker who manages to scores a 45 will be given the highest MCAT scores percentiles. According to an analysis conducted by the AAMC, half of the population falls into a score of about 25 to 26 on the MCAT. That score of 25 to 26 is somewhat of a mean, or an average, with a standard deviation of anywhere from 6 to 7. If you would like further information on the MCAT scores percentiles, you are free to browse the official MCAT website that will provide for you a graphical representation, in addition to a tabular presentation of the scores and the MCAT scores percentiles that come from the test takers.
In approaching the test, it is best to study for the three multiple choice sections evenly. It’s better to have three individual section scores around the same number, as long as the number is satisfactory to high, then do exceptionally well on one section and fall behind on the other two sections. Remember to plan your studying for the MCAT well, and to give yourself enough time to study for each section.