MCAT is super challenging for candidates. People don’t know where to start and constantly debate whether a good MCAT score is attainable. Getting into your dream medical school may require a high MCAT score. MCAT is often frightening, but you can quickly get through the exam with sustained hard work and intelligent work.
Most med schools will set their distinguished MCAT cut-off for admission. Generally, you can expect the best medical schools to establish an above-average cut-off for admission. MCAT is about testing your fundamental knowledge in all the branches of science – Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.
What Do You Mean by a Perfect MCAT Score?
The term perfect MCAT score is deceiving. Perfect is indeed a relative term. So, if you are wondering what the word excellent means in the context of the MCAT, here is all you need to know. The perfect MCAT score is somewhere around 525- 530. The minimum qualifying score for MCAT is 472. So when preparing for the MCAT, these two figures should always be in your mind. From preparation to solving test sheets, your target should always be 528+ because this figure can fetch you a seat at your dream medical school. A score of 528+ will earn you a rank in the 99th MCAT percentiles.
Unlike many other competitive exams, the MCAT does not deduct marks for incorrect answers. Instead, MCAT dedicates marks for correct answers. Therefore, your total score will only manifest the number of correct answers. MCAT has multiple sections, and the total score will be calculated in each area.
As you know, 528 (approximately) is the perfect MCAT score, and you need to get at least 132 in each section to attain this ideal score. The minimum score in each section should be 118. However, these marks are not actual marks. Instead, they are scale converted. 500 is the average scale-converted MCAT score, but more is needed to get into the best medical school.
Know More About MCAT
If you don’t know how many sections there are in the MCAT, here is a small and quick recap – MCAT is composed of 4 sections – the first three contain 59 questions each, and the last section comprises 53 questions. The raw marks in each division will be converted into the scale range, and the aggregate of scale-converted marks will lead to your final MCAT marks. Let us have a quick look at the exam structure:
MCAT has the following four sections:
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems (CPBS)
- Biological and Biochemical Fundations of Living Systems (BBLS)
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS)
- Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behaviour (PSBB)
A candidate can achieve marks in the range of 118 – 132 in each section. For example, a candidate can achieve perfect 528 scores on MCAT by securing 132 marks in each area. That may be difficult for you. For example, you can get anywhere between 118 – 132, so the cumulative score shoots high. You may think, why is 528 on the MCAT the magic figure for MCAT? If you calculate, 524 to 528 would be the 99.9th percentile score for MCAT. That means any candidate scoring these marks will be in the top tier of the achievers, and they can get into the best medical college.
Is it Possible to Score a Perfect MCAT Score?
It is challenging to get a perfect MCAT score. It is imperative to understand that the scoring for MCAT is a scaled system. There may be a very nominal difference in the raw scores of the candidates, but whenever the score is converted to a scale range, there appears to be a massive difference in the marks. It is also necessary to understand that even if a candidate cannot attempt all the questions correctly in a section, they can still achieve the perfect scale score of 132 in each section. Statistics say that around 30-70 students obtain the perfect MCAT score yearly. So it may sound complicated, but it isn’t impossible to achieve the perfect MCAT score isn’t impossible.
Many students get demotivated by thinking they can never achieve a perfect score for the MCAT, but it is attainable if you are ready to work hard.
Strategies to Achieve a Perfect MCAT Score
Now that you know almost how much you should get and the best marks for the MCAT, the most prominent question arises – is it possible to score the perfect MCAT score? Well, it is. It might seem impossible to some and extremely difficult to a few others, but it is possible to attain the perfect MCAT score with some guidance and a robust study strategy. Let us explore some of the best tips for achieving the ideal MCAT score or a position in the 99th MCAT percentile :
Understand the Exam
Understanding the exam’s whereabouts is imperative before studying and preparing for it. Start by exploring the syllabus. Scrutinize the syllabus for all the sections individually. The preparation must be done individually for each section. Try to identify the types of questions mostly asked and their frequencies of occurrence each year. This can help to divide the priorities and understand where to lay more emphasis.
While understanding the nature of exams, pay greater importance to the sections you need more confidence with. For example, examinees often avoid topics they find challenging to handle, but you can’t do that if you want to be a part of that 99.9th percentile of students.
Three things will help you get the best MCAT score: a dedicated routine that is well suited for the exam and flexible according to your lifestyle. Second is not to try and complete everything; instead, study according to the exam demands, and third, to learn realistically.
Planning for the Exam
Most students fail to qualify for MCAT or even get the minimum marks because they need a plan. An organized study map will help you score the best. Planning makes the process manageable, and you can make the best use of time and optimum use of all available resources. In the digital era, there is an information overload, but the sad part is that most MCAT students need to learn how to filter the information and use the resources to their best.
A realistic study plan can help you in this matter. When planning, you must plot and coordinate two variables – time and resources. You will get the ideal result if you can manage these two axes well, you will get the perfect result. Usually, a dedicated study period of 3 months to 6 months would be enough to attain the perfect MCAT score.
You can start by sorting the available resources. Then tally the resources with the syllabus and last year’s papers. Then, sort them according to the sections.
Preparing a Study Schedule
Now, pay some attention to time management. Prepare a sustainable timetable that is necessarily flexible. Have a clear idea of the timeline and prepare accordingly. One of the major mistakes that most students make while preparing a schedule is that – they don’t evaluate the daily period. In contrast, it is the daily effort that will bring success. Try to pay attention to all the actions daily. Pay extra time and unique importance to the subjects you are weak in.
Divide the time for each chapter into three phases. The first phase is the most crucial time – building the concepts. Dedicate the maximum time for building ideas because it is imperative. The second tier would be collecting information. You must make notes and organize the resources for future reference at this stage. The last phase will be practicing, primarily applying the knowledge learned so far. Gather test papers and past year question papers and start solving
them. When solving papers, carry out analysis simultaneously. Assess your strengths and weaknesses to make preparation even better.
Candidates have to prepare a roadmap toward success, and they can never do it if they don’t have a clear idea about the exam; it is not reasonably possible to prepare the schedule.
Needless to say, that practice will make you perfect. But what needs to be emphasized is that practicing the content and exam skills like time management are necessary to attain the perfect MCAT score. You could only be practicing the answering domains neglecting the time management or the order of answering, and that will lead only to a disastrous ending. Instead, you should focus on improving your skills to perform better in MCAT.
Lesser Known Facts About Achieving the Perfect MCAT Score
Here are some truths that you must know about MCAT score
- You need to have a competitive MCAT score, judged everywhere based on your MCAT score until you reach med school and many more years after that, so it does matter.
- Another myth you need to get rid of right now is that- securing just the qualifying marks for MCAT will be enough. No, dear, that won’t be. You have to rise above the average if you genuinely want to secure a seat. There are too many good scorers, so you may never get a seat.
- There is no alternative to sustained hard work and a suitable study strategy. Prepare a timetable and pay attention to all the sections. Remember that your cumulative score in all the units will lead to the final marks, indicating that all units are crucial.