The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is one of the most important components of the medical school admissions process. The MCAT assesses a student’s knowledge of the natural, social, and behavioral sciences and critical thinking skills. The score range of the MCAT is between 472-528, and the average score of accepted students is 512. However, depending on the medical school you apply to, the average score may be higher or lower. Therefore, it is crucial to determine what the best score would be for your specific situation and how much work you need to put in to reach your target MCAT score.
Where Is Your MCAT Score Competitive?
It can be easier to get into medical schools in the state you currently live in. The difference in acceptance rates between instate and out-of-state can be extreme. For example, the University of Vermont has an instate acceptance rate of 45.9% compared to the out-of-state acceptance rate of 3.9%. That’s a big difference! However, not all schools are this extreme, so use this link to figure out how important being instate will be in your situation.
Additionally, medical schools have differing expectations for students' MCAT scores, GPAs, and experience. You can use this information to improve your chances of acceptance by applying to medical schools where you are an above-average applicant. You can prepare for this and improve your chances overall by having a high MCAT score. Use this link to find a full list of schools in every state and the average MCAT score and GPA of incoming students. You can also insert your statistics to determine which schools you are competitive at. Generally, the average MCAT score of accepted students is 512. However, some schools' average is closer to 515 or above!
Think about which medical schools you are interested in and what their average score is to determine what your ideal MCAT score would be. You can also use this link to input your GPA and MCAT score to determine which schools you are competitive at.
Boosting Your MCAT Score: The Key to Overcoming a Low GPA
A low GPA can be a hindrance to your medical school admissions process. However, medical schools don’t only look at your GPA. They want to see your volunteer activities, patient experience, and more. If you struggle with a lower GPA (below 3.8), you may need to compensate for excelling in other areas, such as a high MCAT score.
One great way to show medical schools that you are improving despite your low GPA is by achieving a high MCAT score. Admissions committees see a high MCAT score as an indication that you have the potential to succeed in medical school, even if your GPA is not as high. Therefore, if you have a lower GPA, you may need to aim for a higher-than-average MCAT score to compensate for it.
Learn more about MCAT scoring here.
How do I get my target MCAT score?
The MCAT is a challenging exam, and preparing for it can be overwhelming. However, there are resources available to help you succeed. The first step is to create a study plan that is tailored to your learning style and schedule. The study plan should include a schedule of when you will take practice exams, review content, and seek help from tutors or study groups.
We’ve taken the guesswork out of the MCAT prep process by creating an assortment of free study materials including a personalized study plan and a step-by-step MCAT guide. The MCAT guide breaks down each step you’ll need to take to achieve your target MCAT score.
To ensure you reach your goals, we also offer a one-on-one call with an expert tutor. During this ~30-minute call, we will make you a full, personalized study plan and a strategy guide to ensure you get your target MCAT score in the most efficient and effective way possible.