If you plan on taking the MCAT in the future, you’re probably concerned about what you need to score at minimum to ensure that you’ll be considered by your favorite medical schools.
First, you need to understand what medical schools are doing with your MCAT scores. Med schools have minimum mandatory cutoffs - you need to meet this cutoff score to even be looked at.
For most schools, the MCAT cutoff is in the 504-505 range - that is what you need to score at minimum to ensure that your awesomeness will be considered (extracurriculars, personal statement, GPA, etc.) Lower tier schools might be slightly below this for their cutoff, say around 502-504.
You shouldn’t shoot for this score however, you’ll want to aim to score at least in the 80th percentile which is around 510 to have plenty of space between your score and the cutoff, and also to show schools that you are an elite test-taker. Test-taking skills matter to medical schools because medical training is all about high-stakes tests, and not only is it important for you to do well so you can become a licensed doctor, but also because medical schools are evaluated based on their students’ test scores. For the top medical schools, you’ll want to aim for 512-514 to ensure you are competitive because these med schools have super high standards (whether it is right or wrong, it is the way things are).
Remember that if the rest of your application is weak, you’ll need to score higher on the MCAT. And vice versa - if your GPA, extracurriculars, etc. are strong, you won’t necessarily need an incredible MCAT score. I have had students who were stellar applicants, so they were able to get into great medical schools with MCAT scores in the low 500s.
The average MCAT scores for med school applicants and matriculants has gone up ever since the revamp to the MCAT, so you’re going to have to put plenty of effort into your preparation strategy to guarantee you don’t just meet that minimum cutoff range of 504-505, but you exceed it!
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So instead of focusing on what score you should be getting, we need to be focusing on the approach, the methodology that is going to get you there, and the rest will take care of itself!
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