The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) score may be the most important factor in the admission of a prospective student to medical school. The test is managed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Scores on the MCAT are based on a 15-point scale, with 1 being the lowest and 15 being the highest. Most medical schools calculate the average MCAT score of incoming students.

Importance of the Average Score

High average MCAT scores are a mark of prestige for medical schools, so it is not surprising to learn that the most highly ranked medical schools have higher average scores. The most competitive schools look for students with the highest scores so that their average MCAT score is pushed higher. However, a high average MCAT score is not necessarily the best indicator of a school's prestige, as some schools do not calculate or post statistics on average MCAT scores.

National MCAT Average Score

The Association of American Medical Colleges gathers statistics on the average MCAT scores from schools and uses that data to determine the national average. The national MCAT average score gives the association an idea of how students are faring as a whole with the test and helps them determine what changes, if any, should be made.

Top-Tier School Averages

The incoming students of the most highly ranked (as ranked by "U.S. News & World Report") medical schools in the country boast average MCAT scores of between 10 and 12. A few examples are: number-one-ranked Harvard Medical School (11.9), second-ranked University of Pennsylvania (11.6), third-ranked Johns Hopkins University (11.8) and fourth-ranked Washington State University in St. Louis (12.5). As these statistics show, a high average MCAT does not necessarily equal a higher ranking.

Mid- and Lower-Tier School Averages

Middle-ranked and lower-ranked schools have average MCAT scores between 8 and 10.9. Some examples of these are: mid-ranked University of Florida (10.6), Boston University (10) and lower-ranked University of Arkansas (9.8). Some unranked schools have very high MCAT averages, such as Mayo Medical Clinic (11).