Every year, thousands of aspiring doctors sign up for the grueling ordeal known as the Medical College Admissions Test, or the MCAT. According to "The Princeton Review," your MCAT score is a key component of your medical school application. It can make or break your chances of getting into top schools. Therefore, it is important that you evaluate your MCAT score just like a medical school committee member would.
Log in to the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) website using the same user name and password that you used to register for your MCAT.
Enter the Testing History system, which the website refers to as the THx. "THx" is a clever play on the fact that doctors use the abbreviation “Hx” for history when filling out medical records.
Check your total score, which is located in the second column from the right. Your total score measures your overall performance, and is one of the first things that a medical school admissions committee sees. A score of 30 or above is competitive, while a score of 35 or above is excellent. You might successfully apply to medical school with a score of 27 or above, but make sure that you have outstanding essays and extracurricular experiences.
Look at your individual section scores and make sure they are all above 8. Some schools have a computer program in admissions that automatically screens out section scores below 8, so your application might not get considered at these schools.
Evaluate your scores using the AAMC’s percentile comparisons, which are included in the Resources section. By looking at the percentile charts, you can figure out exactly where you stand in comparison to all other MCAT test takers. For example, a total score of 36 corresponds to a percentile score of about 96, which means that you did better than approximately 96 percent of all other test takers.
Perform more school-specific analysis. Think about which medical schools you want to attend and whether you stand a chance of being accepted. The book “Medical School Admissions Requirements” has the average MCAT scores for accepted students to every medical school in the United States. Use this essential book to look at your chances at each school where you plan to apply.
Be realistic. You may feel devastated looking through the Medical School Admissions Requirements and realizing that you have no chance at getting into your dream school. However, you will save yourself time and money by not applying to too many out-of-reach reach schools. Interpreting your MCAT scores correctly helps you to choose schools where you have a good chance of admission.
- If your MCAT score is not competitive for the medical schools that you want to attend, you can retake it. However, medical schools usually look down on more than three attempts to retake, so make sure you are well-prepared.
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