Arriving at Your MCAT Score
Your composite MCAT score is based on the four separate scores you receive in each of the sections. The following multiple-choice sections are initially given raw scores and later converted to a scale of 1 (min. score) – 15 (max. score): Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, & Biological Sciences.
*You are NOT penalized for guessing on the MCAT so be absolutely sure that you FILL IN AN ANSWER FOR EACH AND EVERY QUESTION.
The Writing Sample is scored differently than the others. You’ll have to complete two essays (30 min. / essay). Two scores are assigned to your first essay, and two are assigned to the second essay. Each essay is given a 1 (min.) – 6 (max.). The sum of these four individual scores is your total raw score on the Writing Sample which is then matched up with the following alphabetic scale:
So, a perfect cumulative score on the MCAT is a 45T. When accessing your scores, you’ll see how you performed on each section. Each MCAT CBT includes a small number of questions which may be deemed too difficult, flawed in some respect, or factored in to the calibration of that particular MCAT; these questions, interspersed throughout the exam, will not count towards your actual score. It is important that you are cognizant of this fact because if you encounter a nasty, difficult question, it might very well be one of the questions not scored.
Conversion from Raw to Scaled Scores
Standardization of test scores, across the world on the many MCAT CBTs administered every year, is the driving force for converting raw to scaled scores. Despite the fact that each MCAT test administration contains different question sets, each exam is designed to measure the same fundamental concepts and skill set. Since one particular MCAT exam may be slightly easier or more challenging relative to another MCAT, AAMC converts the raw scores to scaled scores.
What this all means is that whichever MCAT CBT administration you decide to sit for, your scaled score on your specific MCAT demonstrates the same level of mastery as your friend who received her scaled score from a different MCAT a few months earlier. The conversion process renders a more accurate and valid assessment of an examinee’s abilities. Let's look at a sample conversion on a section. If, hypothetically, your raw score on one of the sections is between 40 and 43 correct responses, your scaled score might be an 11.
Scores ranging from 44 to 46 correct responses would potentially be a 12. There is no definitive range across every single MCAT. Just do your absolute best in managing the MCAT on exam day and you'll be fine.
Receiving and Sending MCAT Scores
Along with your composite MCAT score, scaled score means, standard deviations, and percentile ranks will be included within your score report for the purposes of comparing your performance to that of your peers. You’ll receive your scores through the MCAT Testing History (THx) System and you’ll also be able to send online score reports to application services used for a variety of health professional programs. You'll need to access this system in order to view, send, and print your MCAT scores. Your MCAT score will be available roughly 30 days after your official exam date. The AAMC official MCAT score release schedule provides detailed info regarding score release dates in relation to each individual test administration.
Your MCAT Score Release Options
At the outset of your MCAT registration process, you authorize release of your scores to AAMC and its affiliated institutions for research purposes. Only with your permission can these institutions disclose your MCAT score. If you’re applying to med schools through AMCAS, you’ll receive your scores automatically. You do not have the option to withhold scores for MCAT exams taken in 2003 or later. Other than this automatic release, you’ll be prompted at the time of MCAT registration to decide on the following score release options: Health Professions Advisor release, MCAT Recruiting Service release, and Med-MAR release.
The first release allows your undergraduate institution’s designated Health Professions Advisor to receive your MCAT score and demographic data. Your advisor will use this info to counsel you and also may proceed to share your MCAT score with other members of their Pre-Med Committee. Students attending schools without an official Health Professions Advisor cannot exercise this first score release option.
The second release (Med-MAR) is used for a service created to benefit disadvantaged students and under-represented minorities who plan to apply to med schools. By going with this option, you allow AAMC to submit your scores and biographical information to the Medical Minority Applicant Registry (Med-MAR). In order to qualify for Med-MAR you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident visa holder, and part of a currently under-represented minority group in medicine and/or economically disadvantaged.
The third and final score release involves the MCAT Recruiting Service. By checking this box during registration, you permit AAMC to include your MCAT score and contact info in reports generated by the MCAT Recruiting Service. U.S. government scholarship programs, in addition to accredited health professional schools, may request info about examinees and use those data for recruiting purposes.