What Is a Good MCAT Score?

Your MCAT score is one of the biggest factors in medical school admissions. Learn what counts as a good MCAT score to keep your application competitive.

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by Blake Weil

Published September 21, 2022

Edited by Tyler Epps
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What Is a Good MCAT Score?
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A necessary part of every student's medical school application, the MCAT is considered one of the most competitive standardized tests. A strong score is vital to securing admission to med school.

The MCAT is scored out of 528. This number can make it hard for students to determine what makes a good score. Discover what a good MCAT score is and get advice on what score you should target.

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What Is a Good MCAT Score Overall?

Generally speaking, a good MCAT score can be considered any score above the median, as this means you've outperformed a majority of test-takers. As of the 2022-23 testing cycle, the 50th percentile score for the MCAT is 501.6. In other words, a score of 502 or higher is considered an above-average MCAT score.

Because med school is super competitive, the higher the score you earn, the better your chances of getting in will be. A good MCAT score for you will be a score that's at or above the average MCAT score of admitted students at the medical schools you're applying to.

While it's possible to adjust the list of schools you're applying to after getting your results, it can help to know your target score before you sit for the MCAT.

MCAT Score Chart
Percentile MCAT Scaled Score
100 528
99 523
97 520
92 516
83 512
71 508
58 504
45 500
32 496
21 492
13 488
7 484
3 480
1 476
<1 472

Source: AAMC

What Is a Good MCAT Score Based on Your Target Medical Schools?

You'll need to look at the average scores of your target med schools to figure out a good MCAT score is for you specifically. Be sure to target a variety of med schools that are easier to get into and reach schools.

Many schools publish admissions statistics and test scores for admitted students. Alternatively, you could use the Association of American Medical College's (AAMC's) paid MSAR tool, a database that includes average MCAT scores and GPAs.

Try to pick what schools to apply to before you take the MCAT. Your target score can then guide your study plan and help you figure out what subject areas you need to improve to get the score you want and increase your chances of getting accepted.

Good MCAT Scores for 10 Popular Med Schools

Here's a list of 10 popular medical schools and their average MCAT scores for admitted students. Note that because these schools are very popular, they tend to demand some of the highest MCAT scores.

School Average MCAT Score
Columbia University 518
Duke University 520
Harvard University 519.46
Johns Hopkins University 521
New York University 522
University of California, San Francisco 515
University of Chicago 515.8
University of Pennsylvania 522
University of Pittsburgh 517
Yale University 519

4 Tips to Improve Your MCAT Score

A good study plan can boost your MCAT score and help you reach your target score. Check out some tips below on how to most effectively prepare for the MCAT.

1 Create a Study Schedule

A study schedule is a great tool for preparing for the MCAT. A schedule can ensure you're giving appropriate attention to different areas, that study time is blocked off every day, and that you incorporate various study activities.

One tip is to take a diagnostic test before you create a study plan. A diagnostic test can help you know what areas need more time and attention.

2 Take MCAT Practice Tests

MCAT practice tests can help reinforce learning and get you accustomed to the MCAT's format. A variety of tests are available, including full-length and partial-length practice tests, that mimic the layout of the MCAT.

AAMC offers many practice tests. The organization's official practice tests use old, retired MCAT questions that accurately reflect the content of the real exam.

3 Mimic Real MCAT Testing Conditions

The MCAT has strict testing conditions, including time limits and food and drink break limits. Students can only use approved testing materials, like scratch paper and calculators. It's also a long test, taking over seven hours to complete.

Taking official practice tests while you mimic real testing conditions can help you prepare for test day. Experience with testing conditions can reduce test-day anxiety, help you hone your time management skills, and allow you to build endurance for test day.

4 Retake the MCAT

If you're unsatisfied with your MCAT score, one easy way to improve it is to take the test again. You can apply your experience with the first test toward your next attempt.

At the same time, it's important that you analyze your weaknesses and tailor your study sessions to address them. Taking the MCAT multiple times without significant improvement is often perceived as a red flag by medical school admissions committees.

You can take the MCAT up to three times in a single testing year. That said, you can only take the MCAT four times in two consecutive years, and only up to seven times in your lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions About Good MCAT Scores

How is the MCAT scored?

The MCAT is scored out of 528. Each of the MCAT's four sections is scored out of 132. The minimum score for each section is 118, for a total minimum MCAT score of 472.

For each section, you'll receive a raw score based on how many questions you got right. This raw score then goes through an equating process to account for variations in difficulty among different versions of the test.

What time are MCAT scores released?

MCAT scores can be released at any time on release day. All test results will be released by 5 p.m. ET. Score releases are announced on the official AAMC Twitter account and are available by clicking the "Get Your Test Scores" button on the official MCAT scores page.

When do MCAT scores come out?

MCAT scores are released about a month after your test date. Test scores are released on both weekdays and weekends. Exact dates are listed on AAMC's website and are available for all test dates as they are announced.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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