What is an average MCAT score?
The Medical College Admissions Test, or MCAT, is a computer-based standardized test for students applying to medical school. The purpose of the MCAT is to provide applicants to medical schools with a common score on the same test. Students taking the MCAT are tested on problem solving, writing, critical thinking, and basic science concepts.
Why the MCAT?
The MCAT was developed early in the 20th century to combat rising dropout rates at medical schools–estimates suggest that as many as 1 in 5 medical students in the 30s were dropping out because they weren’t prepared for the rigors of medical school. Once the MCAT became standard, medical schools saw that dropout rate drop back to normal levels within ten years.
The MCAT is now used as a tool by medical schools to compare applicants and select them based on their performance in undergraduate school as well as their skill set, recommendations, and MCAT score.
The test itself involves four parts and a total of 144 questions. Test takers have four hours and twenty minutes to complete the test.
Those unfamiliar with the MCAT test look at a typical score and wonder what the hell it means. According to testing centers around the country, an average score on the MCAT is about 28.1P. What does that mean?
Three of the sections of the MCAT are given a number score–all three multiple choice sections are scored from 1 to 15, and the writing section is judged by a human and assigned a letter score between J (lowest) and T (highest). Add up the three number scores and tack on your writing score. That’s your MCAT score.
A final note on scoring–when taking the MCAT, you should concern yourself with presenting a “balanced” score. The makers of the MCAT as well as admissions departments at medical schools are more likely to look favorably on three numerical scores that are close together (12, 12, 13) than three that show an obvious over-concentration or under-concentration in one area (12, 19, 11).
So What’s the Average MCAT Score Mean?
I’ve already given you the average — about 28.1P — but how can you use that to your advantage?
The problem is, as with all standardized tests, simply knowing the average isn’t going to help you in the long run. You need to know the averages for the specific medical schools you’re applying to, as well as their applicant’s average GPA. This will help you figure out what score you want on the MCAT.
Here’s a sampling of ten poopular medical schools and their averages. If you want to make a good impression at these schools, meet or beat these averages. The MCAT averages given is the average of all student’s three multiple choice sections, and does not include the writing sample.
- UCLA — MCAT 11 GPA 3.6
- Stanford — MCAT 14 GPA 3.7
- Georgetown — MCAT 11 GPA 3.63
- Chicago — MCAT 11 GPA 3.63
- Johns Hopkins — MCAT 12 GPA 3.71
- Harvard — MCAT 12 GPA 3.8
- Boston — MCAT 9.7 GPA 3.6
- Ole Miss — MCAT 9 GPA 3.6
- Creighton — MCAT 8.8 GPA 3.7
- New Mexico — MCAT 9.5 GPA 3.7
If you’re preparing for the MCAT, be sure to order Kaplan’s MCAT Premier Program via Amazon. (We make a tiny commission if you order via our link.)
This is part of our series of posts about average test scores:
- What Is an Average ASVAB Score?
- What Is an Average MCAT Score?
- What Is an Average DAT Score?
- What Is an Average GMAT Score?
- What Is an Average PSAT Score?
- What Is an Average GRE Score?
- What Is an Average LSAT Score?
- What Is an Average ACT Score?
- What Is an Average SAT Score?