Your MCAT or Medical College Admission Test score will determine whether or not you can achieve a seat in your desired medical college. Upon receiving the MCAT scorecard, you shall witness two parameters – individual scores for each section and the total score for all the sections.
Unlike other ordinary exams, the MCAT scoring is not done on raw marks. Instead, it is done on a scale that ranges from 472 -528. So, the raw score obtained by each candidate is converted on this scale range and presented as the final marks. Before we understand the MCAT percentiles, let us first understand what percentile is and how you can get the perfect MCAT score.
What is MCAT Percentiles?
Percentile is a candidate’s rank concerning the other candidates. That means percentile rank or percentile score will define a candidate’s relative rank or performance with respect to other test givers. Let us presume a candidate has achieved the 95 percentile. This means that the candidate has performed better than 95% of the examinees who appeared.
The question now is, which would a student consider good MCAT percentiles? That indicates, which MCAT percentile can you presume to fetch you a good seat in medical college? Since the MCAT scores are scale converted, we shall discuss the percentiles in the same standards. A scale-converted score of 528 is presumed to be the best or perfect MCAT score. If you score 524-528 on a scale converted standard, you can expect to hold a 100 percentile rank.
Percentile scores of 95 and below are good enough, but they cannot guarantee a seat in your desired medical college. One thing that students must know is: If you are attempting multiple times for the MCAT exam, your recent and all your past scores will be evaluated while considering your place in the medical college. Your MCAT percentile, overall CGPA and other transcript factors will determine your eligibility to secure seats in the desired medical colleges.
For the past few years (approximately since 2017), the MCAT examination board has offered MCAT scores (scale converted) and MCAT percentile in the scoreboard.
What Do Medical Schools Consider?
Many students assume that only their MCAT score will make all the difference. Of course, this is true, but only partially. Your acceptance chance in medical school depends significantly on the MCAT percentile and other factors. Here are some of the crucial parameters that med schools look into while accepting candidates:
- Average GPA: Medical schools demand a high GPA score and the MCAT percentile. They attach ample importance to the GPA score. If any two candidates have similar MCAT scores and percentile, their GPA scores are considered for selection.
- MCAT Scores: MCAT is the primary entrance examination, the rank that determines whether the candidates will secure a seat in the medical school. The MCAT exam is based on four sections. The individual marks and the cumulative marks in these sections constitute the overall scale-converted marks of the MCAT. 528 is considered the perfect overall MCAT score, as this score can secure the candidate’s rank in the 99th percentile. For each section, 118 – 132 is the best score range.
- Undergraduate Coursework
- Letter of Recommendation
- Extracurricular Activities
- Areas of Personal Interest
Medical schools decide whether to accept a candidate based on these aspects. The two most crucial factors are the GPA and MCAT score. Many students confuse the raw score and scale converted score for MCAT. The MCAT scores are assessed on the converted norm scale, and the percentile is calculated for rank determination.
MCAT Scaled Scores (Percentile and Scale-Converted Scores)
When you score at least 505+, you can get placed in the 80th percentile or above. This indicates you shall be scoring above 80% of the test takers. In the past few years, the average MCAT score has ranged from 504 to 506. Candidates who have secured these marks have attended a medical school. Candidates who have scored 510 to 511 have been placed in the medical school of their choice. So, overall you have to target at least 505 to secure a seat in the medical school.
What is a Good MCAT Score?
The best MCAT percentile is 99% +. The perfect MCAT score 528 (scale-converted) yields a 99% percentile. Your MCAT score should rank you above in the percentile-induced ranking system. If you wish to get into any of the best medical schools in the United States, focusing on the CGPA and percentile score is imperative. An average GPA of 3.71 is essential for getting into the best medical school.
Score the Best MCAT Percentile
99 percentile seems unattainable to many candidates. Whereas in reality, it is not. Many students have successfully secured the 99 percentile, and it is possible to attain such high scores on MCAT. Here are some quick steps that candidates can follow to score the perfect MCAT score and the best MCAT percentile:
- Understand the exam pattern well and scrutinize the past year’s papers
- Practice simulated time management strategies
- Cater to the demands of the exam when preparing rather than trying to cater to the whole syllabus at once
- Spend extra time on the difficult sections. Prepare a suitably flexible timetable to enhance your efficiency.